Rigby, Edward (1804-1860) (DNB00)

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RIGBY, EDWARD (1804–1860), obstetrician, son of Edward Rigby (1747–1821) [q. v.], was born with a twin-sister on 1 Aug. 1804. Educated at the grammar school, Norwich, under Valpy, he was a schoolfellow of Sir James Brooke [q. v.] (afterwards rajah of Sarawak) and Sir Archdale Wilson [q. v.] In 1821 he attended Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, and next year matriculated at Edinburgh University. He graduated M.D. 1 Aug. 1825, on his twenty-first birthday (the earliest age then possible). After graduation he spent some time in Dublin, and in 1826 went to Berlin University to study midwifery. From Berlin he passed to Heidelberg, and was kindly received by Naegele. In 1830 he translated Naegele's work ‘On the Mechanism of Parturition,’ which greatly advanced the science of midwifery in England. In 1830 he became a house pupil at the Lying-in Hospital in York Road, Lambeth, where he subsequently held the appointments of junior and senior physician successively. In 1831 he was admitted a licentiate of the College of Physicians, and in 1843 became a fellow. In 1831 he began to lecture on midwifery at St. Thomas's, and from 1838 to 1848 he lectured on the same subject at St. Bartholomew's. He was examiner in midwifery in London University from 1841 to 1860. He was regarded as the first obstetric physician in London after Sir Charles Locock [q. v.] retired from practice. When the Obstetrical Society was founded in 1859 he was elected its first president. He was a fellow of the Linnean Society, and a member of many foreign medical societies. Rigby died on 27 Dec. 1860 at 35 Berkeley Square, London.

He married, in September 1838, Susan, second daughter of John Taylor, F.R.S., F.G.S. She died in 1841, leaving a daughter. He married secondly, in 1851, Marianne, eldest daughter of S. D. Darbishire of Pendyffrin, North Wales. She died in 1853, leaving two daughters.

Rigby was author of: 1. ‘Memoranda for Young Practitioners in Midwifery,’ London, 1837, 24mo; 4th edit. 1868, 16mo. 2. ‘A System of Midwifery’ (vol. vi. of Tweedie's ‘Library of Medicine’), London, 1841, 8vo. 3. ‘On Dysmenorrhœa,’ London, 1844, 8vo. 4. ‘On the Constitutional Treatment of Female Diseases,’ London, 1857.

He also contributed ‘Midwifery Hospital Reports’ to the ‘Medical Gazette,’ and ‘Reports on Uterine Affections’ to the ‘Medical Times,’ and brought out the second edition of Hunter's ‘Anatomical Description of the Gravid Uterus,’ London, 1843, 8vo.

[Familiæ Minorum Gentium (Harl. Soc.), p. 1106; Medical Times, 5 Jan. 1861.]

E. I. C.