Milward, Edward (DNB00)

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MILWARD, EDWARD (1712?–1757), physician, was born about 1712, probably at Lindridge, Worcestershire, where his family resided. He was entered at Trinity College, Cambridge, but left without graduating, and acquired the degree of doctor of medicine from some foreign university, possibly Leyden, though his name does not appear in the ‘Album Studiosorum’ of that university. We find from the date of his first book that he was in 1733 a doctor of medicine, living in London at Queen's Square, Ormond Street, whence he removed to Portugal Row, Lincoln's Inn Fields. On 7 July 1741 he was created by royal mandate M.D. of Cambridge as a member of Trinity College. He was admitted licentiate of the College of Physicians 30 Sept. 1747, and fellow 30 Sept. 1748; was censor 1752, and in the same year delivered the Harveian oration. He became fellow of the Royal Society 21 Jan. 1741-2. Subsequently removing to Worcester, he died there 26 Aug. 1757 (Gent. Mag. 1757, p. 435), and was buried in the Knighton Chapel, Lindridge, among other members of his family. His epitaph, given in Nash's ‘Worcestershire’ (ii. 98), states that he died at the age of forty-five.

Milward was a man of considerable learning, and a diligent student of the classical medical writers. His only important work was his essay on Alexander Trallianus, a Greek physician of the sixth century, whom he sought to rescue from unmerited obscurity. It shows wide reading and an originality remarkable in a young man of twenty-one. It is spoken of with respect by the latest editor of Alexander (Puschmann, Alexander von Tralles, Vienna, 1878, i. 100). Milward intended this essay to be the prelude to a new edition of the text of Alexander, for which he had made, he says, elaborate preparations, but this never appeared. Another ambitious scheme was that which occasioned his ‘Letter to Learned Men,’ namely, the plan of a complete history of British writers on medicine and surgery, for which he desired to obtain the assistance of other scholars, and had himself made large collections. Among these were the papers of William Becket [q. v.] the surgeon, who had for thirty years been collecting materials for such a purpose, but died without carrying out his intention. The acquisition of these papers from Curll the bookseller was the starting-point of Milward's scheme; he again refers to it in the preface to Drake's ‘Orationes,’ but the projected work was never published. Another projected but unpublished work is advertised at the close of the ‘Circular Letter’ as preparing for the press, viz., ‘Gangrænologia, sive de Gangræna et sphacelo liber,’ intended to be an elaborate treatise on gangrene. The important materials collected by the author with a view to these works seem to have unfortunately disappeared.

Of his published works, 1., ‘The Essay on Trallianus,’ appears with two different title-pages, though the text in each case is identical, (a) ‘A Letter to Sir Hans Sloane in Vindication of the Character of those Greek Writers on Physic that flourished after Galen, but particularly of Alexander Trallian, etc. By E. Milward, M.D., formerly of Trinity College, Cambridge,’ London, 1733, 8vo. (b) ‘Trallianus Reviviscens, or an Account of Alexander Trallian, &c., being a Supplement to Dr. Freind's “History of Physick,” in a Letter to Sir Hans Sloane,’ London, 1734, 8vo. 2. ‘A Circular Invitatory Letter to all Orders of Learned Men … concerning an Attempt towards an History of the Lives, etc., of the most celebrated British Physical and Chirurgical Writers,’ London, 1740, 8vo, 63 pp. 3. ‘Oratio Harvæana,’ 1752, London, 1753, 4to. He also edited ‘Jacobi Drakei Orationes tres de febre intermittente,’ &c., London, 1742, 4to. In the British Museum Library (Sloane MS. 4435, f. 281) are reports of three medical cases by Milward, presented to the Royal Society in 1739 but not published.

[Milward's Works; Munk's Coll. of Phys. 1878, ii. 166.]

J. F. P.