Millingen, Julius Michael (DNB00)

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search



MILLINGEN, JULIUS MICHAEL (1800–1878), physician and writer, born in London on 19 July 1800, was son of James Millingen [q. v.], archæologist. Millingen spent his early years between Calais and Paris, and was sent to school in Rome. In his holidays he took walking tours in Germany, on one of which he is said to have visited Goethe in Weimar. In 1817 he entered the university of Edinburgh, and attended medical classes there every winter until 1821, when he received a diploma from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

On the Greek committee being formed, Millingen, who seems to have been then living in London, was recommended to its notice by William Smith, M.P. for Norwich, and on 27 Aug. 1823 he left England for Corfu, with letters of introduction to the Greek government and to Lord Byron. Arriving at Asso in Cephalonia in November of that year, he found Byron at Metaxata, and spent some time with him there. He afterwards accompanied him to Missolonghi, and attended him in his last illness, which, at the autopsy, Millingen pronounced to be purulent meningitis (see Moore, Life, edit. of 1832, vi. 209 et seq., where much of the account of Byron's last hours is taken from Millingen's ‘Memoirs’). He was charged by Bruno, another of Byron's doctors, in an article in the ‘Westminster Review,’ with having caused the poet's death by delaying phlebotomy. Millingen replied at length in his ‘Memoirs.’

Soon after Byron's death in 1824 Millingen had a severe attack of typhoid fever, and his life was saved by the friendly aid of Lord Charles Murray, son of the Duke of Athole. On recovering he was appointed surgeon in the Greek army, in which he served until its surrender to the Turks. He was taken prisoner by Ibrahim Pasha, and released only upon the urgent representations of Stratford Canning, then British ambassador to the Porte. In November 1826 Millingen went to Smyrna, and after a short stay in Kutaya and Broussa, settled in 1827 in Constantinople. There he attained considerable reputation as a physician, being attached in that capacity to the Dutch legation, and becoming Dutch delegate to the International Board of Health sitting at Galata. Millingen was also court physician to five successive sultans, Mahmud, Abdul Medjid, Abdul Aziz, Murad, and Abdul Hamid. He was one of a commission appointed to inquire into the death of Abdul Aziz (see Sir Henry Elliott's article in the Nineteenth Century, February 1888). He was also a member of the International Medical Congress on Cholera held in Constantinople in 1866, and an original member and afterwards president of the General Society of Medicine. He did something to introduce the use of the Turkish bath in England in 1860; it was apparently at Millingen's persuasion that David Urquhart [q. v.] then established one in London.

Like his father, Millingen was an archæologist. For many years he was president of the Greek Syllogos or Literary Society of Constantinople, where he lectured in Greek on archæological subjects. He discovered the ruins of Aczani in Phrygia, an account of which was published by Keppel, and excavated the site of the temple of Jupiter Urius on the Bosphorus. Several of his manuscripts, including a life of Byron, were destroyed in the great fire at Pera in 1870, in which he lost nearly all his personal effects. Millingen died in Constantinople on 30 Nov. 1878. There is a portrait of him in Mavrogény's pamphlet mentioned below.

He was married three times, having separated from his first wife, a Roman catholic who thereupon embraced Islamism and entered a harem. Her son, Frederick Millingen, became Osman Bey in the Turkish army, and afterwards turned Greek under the name Alexis Andrejevitch. Millingen had two other sons, one of whom was an oculist well known in the east of Europe.

Millingen published: 1. ‘Memoirs of the Affairs of Greece, with Anecdotes relating to Lord Byron,’ London, 1831, vol. i. (vol. ii. remaining in manuscript). 2. ‘Arbitrary Detention by the Inquisition at Rome of three Protestant Children in Defiance of the Will of their Father,’ London, 1842. He also contributed an article in French on ‘Oriental Baths’ to the ‘Gazette Médicale d'Orient,’ 1 Jan. 1858.

[Information from Millingen's sons, supplementing the Memoirs; Les Bains Orientaux, avec une notice biographique de Jules van Millingen, par le docteur S. S. Mavrogény, Strasburg, 1891; information from the registrar of Edinburgh University; Times, 17 Dec. 1878 (slightly inaccurate); Brit. Mus. Cat.]

T. B. S.