Underwood, Michael (DNB00)

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UNDERWOOD, MICHAEL (1736–1820), man-midwife, was born in Surrey in 1736. He studied at St. George's Hospital under Sir Cæsar Hawkins [q. v.] (Ulcers of Legs), and also saw something of the practice of John Freke [q. v.] (Ulcers of Legs, p. 140); he became a member of the Company of Surgeons. He also studied for some time in Paris. He practised for some years as a surgeon in Great Marlborough Street, London, and published in 1783 ‘A Treatise upon Ulcers of the Legs.’ In 1788 he published on the same subject ‘Surgical Tracts on Ulcers of the Legs.’ On 5 April 1784 he was admitted a licentiate in midwifery of the College of Physicians of London, and was the last survivor of that kind of practitioner. Thenceforward he practised as a man-midwife. He was attached to the British Lying-in Hospital, and attended the Princess of Wales at the birth of the Princess Charlotte on 7 Jan. 1796. He published in 1784 ‘A Treatise on the Diseases of Children,’ of which a fuller edition appeared in 1801, consisting of one volume on medical diseases, one on the surgery of childhood, and one on the general management of infants; a fifth edition appeared in 1805. The work was edited in 1835 in a ninth edition by Marshall Hall [q. v.], and a tenth in 1846 by Henry Davies [q. v.], and was translated into French by De Willebrune. It is based upon extensive clinical observation, was the best treatise on the subject which had appeared in English, and may still be consulted with advantage. Underwood died at Knightsbridge on 14 March 1820.

[Works; Munk's College of Physicians, ii. 336.]

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