By Laurence Brockliss, John Cardwell, Michael Moss
Within the lead-up to the bicentenary of Trafalgar a couple of very important new reports were released in regards to the lifetime of Nelson and his defeat of the mixed Fleet in 1805. regardless of the numerous function performed via the future health and health of the British crews in securing the victory, little has been written hitherto in regards to the naval health care provider within the period of the lengthy conflict opposed to France. This publication is meant to fill the distance. Sir William Beatty (1773-1842) was once physician of the Victory at Trafalgar. An Ulsterman from Londonderry, he had joined the army in 1791. sooner than being warranted to Nelson's flagship, Beatty had served upon ten different warships, and survived a yellow fever epidemic, court docket martial, and shipwreck to proportion within the trap of a Spanish treasure send. After Trafalgar, he grew to become surgeon of the Channel Fleet, established at Plymouth, and at last general practitioner to Greenwich clinic, the place he served till his retirement in 1838. because the publication makes transparent in drawing upon an in depth prosopographical database, Beatty's profession until eventually 1805 was once consultant of the adventure of the nearly 2,000 naval surgeons who joined the army throughout the warfare. the 1st a part of the biography presents an in depth and scholarly creation to the pro schooling, education, and paintings of the naval healthcare professional. yet after 1805 Beatty turned a member of the carrier elite, and his profession turns into fascinating for different purposes. within the ultimate a long time of his lifestyles, Beatty was once excess of a senior naval health care professional. As a Fellow of the Royal Society, director of the Clerical and medical health insurance corporation, and director of the London to Greenwich Railway, he was once a widespread determine in London's enterprise and clinical neighborhood, who used his starting to be wealth to construct a wide number of books and manuscripts. His later existence is testimony to the a lot wider contribution that a few naval and armed forces clinical officials made to the advance of the recent Britain of the 19th century. In Beatty's case, too, the contribution used to be unique. by way of publishing in 1807 his rigorously crafted Authentic Narrative of the loss of life of Lord Nelson, he used to be instrumental in forging the parable of the hero's final hours, which has develop into part of the nationwide realization and has helped to outline for generations the concept that of Britishness.
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Extra info for Nelson's Surgeon: William Beatty, Naval Medicine, and the Battle of Trafalgar
When the surgeon successfully treated a wounded Nelson, who had believed he was on the point of death, at the Battle of the Nile, Jefferson duly reaped his reward by being posted ashore to run the new naval hospital at Malta. Unfortunately, he then blotted his copybook, probably through excessive drinking, and was relieved of his command, thereby forfeiting his patron’s support. In the spring of 1804 Jefferson seems to have tried to use Emma Hamilton to get himself transferred to the Victory, but the lobbying of the Admiral’s inamorata was to no avail.
The College, formerly the Company of Barber Surgeons of London, had the right to license surgeons for the navy, army, and East India Company, a privilege that in the first case 23 Gilbert Blane, ‘Statement of the Comparative Health of the British Navy from the Year 1774 24 Bown, The Age of Scurvy. to the Year 1814’, Medico-Chirurgical Transactions, 6 (1815). 14 The Naval Surgeon During the French Wars went back to Tudor times. 25 Having passed the examination in surgery, the applicant had to take another in physic.
Haslar and Plymouth remained the two principal naval hospitals during the wars. But others were established temporarily at Deal, Sheerness, Yarmouth, and Dartmouth to cope with the large numbers of sick in the Channel and North Sea fleets. More significantly, naval hospitals in this period came to be founded on British territories all over the globe, to serve the other squadrons far from home. Typical was the hospital set up on Malta in 1804, the Mediterranean island formerly owned by the Knights of St John, which was occupied by the British at the turn of the nineteenth century.