Parents and family
His parents have yet to be identified. The only clues are
- His birthplace, slightly unclear on the Census return, looks like
Rodboro, Gloucestershire, which is believed to be believed to be
Rodborough, near Stroud, Gloucestershire.
- He appears to have had a nephew called H. W. DEWHURST, who
founded the Verulam Philosophical Society and whose grandmother is
referred to at one point as Sarah BULL.
- His wife's HATTON cousins married into an EDGINGTON family descended
from RODWAY, the latter being a surname associated with Rodboro,
although no link between the two groups has yet been proved.
Birth, abt 1790
The 1851 Census gives: Age 61, name Henry W BULL, born Rodb[oro] (the last
part being difficult to read), Gloucestershire. From which his birth date
is about 1790. There is a Rodborough, just south of Stroud, in
Henry was later a Naval Surgeon and Naval Surgeons of this period
generally served an apprenticeship on land before going to sea. Henry
would have been put to such an apprenticeship at age 14, so in about
1803-4. There is an index entry for the apprenticeship in 1804 of Henry W
BULL (no place of residence given) to Jonothan JOHNSON, surgeon, of
Bexley, Kent. [National Archives IR 1 (Board of Stamps: Apprenticeship
Books) 39 f 155. ]
Active Naval Service
He joined the Navy when Trafalgar (21 Oct 1805) was still fresh in the
national memory and was in active service for just over seven years as a
naval surgeon (equivalent to the normal duration for an apprenticeship at
Naval Service Record
|Plymo (sic Plymouth) Hosp'l
||5 April 1807
||25 jun 1807
||7 July 1807
||18 Jan'y 1808
||4 March 1808
||7 March 1809
||13 March 1809
||4 Nov'r 1810
||18 Feb'y 1811
||11 April 1814
The record is annotated 'Assist 25 March 1807' and 'Surgeon 15 Feb'y
1809'. From a later Navy List it is clear the latter is his date of
promotion to that rank (see Navy List for 20 Dec 1848).
The following is based largely on details from Michael
Ships of the Old Navy
Age of Nelson
site, with additional snippets from Sailing
and Wikipedia entries for classes and specific boats. Other
sources have been cited were used. Details of actions are those that
took place during Henry's postings to the ship in question. Details for
some of the ships may be found on the 3Decks
Naval Sailing Warfare History
36-gun fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy launched in 1795 and still
operational in at least 1812. The National
Maritime Museun at Greenwich
holds a full
of this ship
and a painting of it in action, ‘Capture
La Nereide Decr 21st. 1797
- At some point in 1807 under Capt. James OSWALD in the Channel. Fifth
rate ships generally patrolled alone or acted as scouts.
- On 31 Aug 1807 it was reported that the Phœbe had sailed
from Plymouth under Capt. OSWALD to join the Rochefort squadron [Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle etc (Portsmouth,
England), Monday, August 31, 1807; Issue 412.] As the Rochefort
squadron seems to have been French this was presumably 'join'
in the sense of 'engage with'.
- Toward the end of 1807 a British squadron was
stationed off Rochefort to watch the motions of the French squadron
at anchor in Aix road. However bad weather and a lack of
provisions allowed the french fleet to escape [William James, The naval history
of Great Britain, from ... 1793, to ... 1820, with an
account of the origin and increase of the British navy., 1859, pg
287] It is not clear if the Phœbe was with them.
- The Phœbe was docked in Plymouth around the time Henry left her, for
she sailed from there under Captain OSWALD to reach Gibraltar on 26th
January 1808 [The Times, Tuesday, Mar 15, 1808; pg. 4;
Issue 7309; col C ]
14-gun brig, built in 1805 and sold in 1816.
- In 1808 she was operating in the North Sea under Lieut. TEMPLAR.
- In early May 1809 she captured two Danish privateer sloops (the Four
Brothers, four guns and 22 men, and the Mackerel, two guns and 18
10-gun Cherokee class brig-sloop of the Royal Navy (same class as HMS
Beagle), launched on 16 December 1808. Sold in 1819. Brig sloops were
small ships and relatively unimportant in the larger naval actions. They
were used for coastal defense and patrols in places like the English
HM Brig Raleigh
- In 1809 she was under Captain Henry Thomas DAVIES and at
- The Naval Chronicle for the year carried the following note: “Mr.
W.H. Bull is promoted to the rank of surgeon, and appointed to the
Tyrian sloop” [The Naval Chronicle for 1809: containing a general and
biographical history of the royal navy of the United kingdom with a
variety of original papers on nautical subjects ([1799-1818]). Vol 21
(Jan-June). London: Joyce Gold. 1809, pg. 263]
- On 21 August 1809 the Tyrian arrived in Portsmouth accompanied by a
few transports from Lisbon [The Times, Wednesday, Aug
23, 1809; pg. 3; Issue 7756; col C ]
- In Nov 1810, one of this ship's officers, Lieut. Thomas BRADISH, was
court martialed for absenting himself without leave.
an 18-gun Cruizer class brig-sloop. She was launched in 1806 and used
as a target from 1839 before being sold in 1841. The National
Maritime Museun at Greenwich
holds a full
of the ship
, which in 2012 was on loan to a museum in Newfoundland.
- Between 1811 and 1812 captained by Commander G. W.HOOPER in
the Baltic, where on 22 September 1812, she ran a French
privateer (of about 100 tons) ashore under Easternest. [The Royal
military chronicle: or, British officers monthly register and mentor.
v.1-7, Nov.1810-Apr.1814; new ser. v.1-6, May 1814-Apr.1817, Volume 5
(Google eBook), pg 146]
- On 18 Feb 1812, the Raleigh was cited as carrying 18 guns and was
"ordered to proceed immediately to Anholt" (The Times,
Friday, Feb 21, 1812; pg. 3; Issue 8532; col B). Anholt is a Danish
island in the Kattegat.
- At 2pm on 19 Jan 1814 His Majesty's brig Raleigh, under Captain
HOOPER, arrived in Halifax after an eight day passage from
Passamaquoddy (presumably Passamaquoddy Bay, which straddles the
United States-Canada border between New Brunswick and Maine), leaving
there his Majesty's sloop Martin and the schooners Curlew and
Shelbourne. The Raleigh was reported to have had American Papers
containing the Embargo Act which were sent aboard the Martin. [The Morning Chronicle (London,
England), Thursday, February 10, 1814; Issue 13968. Halifax Papers
- At some point in 1814, presumably after Jan 19th, she was in the
Hamoaze (the stretch of water outside Devonport Dockyard).
Much of the work in the North Sea related to the ongoing Napoleonic War
and the need to provide escorts to our commercial fleets. However, two
battles of Copenhagen (2 April 1801 and August – September 1807)
ended Danish neutrality, precipitating a naval guerilla war in
which small Danish gunboats sought to destroy larger British ships in the
Danish and Norwegian waters (Wikipedia article on the Napleonic
There is some fascinating background on the duties of a Naval Surgeon in
the early 19th C at The Historical
's page on Nelson's
. Henry started his career right at the end of this period and
was probably trained for this sort of thing. In 1805 an Order in Council
was passed, permitting medical officers in the navy to have their own
uniform and be considered of equivalent rank to their land counterparts.
This raised Senior naval surgeons to wardroom officer rank. However,
the lot of an assistant surgeon was not improved and remained
miserable at the time Henry joined his first ship.
After active service
Although in later years he appears in the Navy List, he clearly did not
see active service again before he retired. This was not unusual for the
period. Following the naval supremacy achieved by the Royal Navy at
Trafalgar, many of its officers were at home on half pay for long
In 1815 he married Mary HATTON of Widford, Gloucs. in St James,
Westminster, London. (Pallots Marriage Index has an entry 'St Jas
Westminster, Hy Bull & Mary Hatton, 1815')
On November 13, 1816
, The Morning Chronicle
carried the following appeal.
|TO THE EDITOR OF THE MORNING CHRONICLE,
Knowing your humane disposition, I beg you will, if
possible, state in your valuable paper, the consequences
of the dreadful fire that occurred on Sunday morning
last, in Broad-street, Golden-square, at No. 8, having
begun in the shop, it was with difficulty that the lodgers
escaped with their lives. There is a Mr. Girlin (a
widower), with three children, the youngest only eight
months old, the eldest not five years, and his servant,
escaped only with their lives, the children have not the
smallest article of clothing, except night clothes they
had on at the time. Having lost near 500l. in proper-
ty, his case (being wholly uninsured) is truly pitiable.
They are taken in by Mr. Bull, surgeon, R. N. 43
Broad-street, Golden-square; where the smallest con-
tributions are most thankfully received.
Sir, your obedient servant,
A CONSTANT READER
The Morning Chronicle (London,
England), Wednesday, November 13,
1816; Issue 14831, Pg 3, Col 2.
The name BULL is clearer in the The
Morning Post (London, England), Wednesday,
November 13, 1816, which also carried the same appeal.
The Binfield years
It remains something of a conundrum how the family came to be in Binfield.
There may be some link/involvement with the PITT family as Mary's Mother
was in Swallowfield during this period (the PITT family had mansions in
Binfield & Swallowfield). It also happens that Pitt/Putt was the
surname of the local (Burford) surgeon whom Mary's Mother would have been
familiar with during her time at Widford. However, there are other links
between the two areas. Shortly before the BULLs appear in Binfield the
POPEs had links with the HARCOURT family of Stanton
. The TRUMBULLs of adjacent Easthampsted Park had Ralph
TRUMBULL, Rector of Witney,
. and the HYDEs, original owners of Swallowfield, also owned
Cornbury Park at Charlbury,
. There are several references that appear to suggest a social
link between TRUMBULL and the JORDAN family of Witney,
- On 28 Dec 1817 they christened Louisa Mary BULL in Binfield, Berks.
- On 28 Dec 1817 they christened a daughter, Louisa Mary BULL, in
- On 12 Nov 1819 they christened a daughter, Sarah BULL, in Binfield,
- On 28 May 1820 they christened a daughter, Sarah Hatton Lewis BULL,
in Binfield, Berks.
- On 1 Mar 1821 they christened a son, Frederick
William BULL, in Binfield, Berks.
- On 14 Sep 1822 they christened a daughter, Mary Louisa BULL, in
- In about 1826 one Henry BULL was born in Binfield, the 1861 Census
lists him as Henry W BULL, of Peckham, Camberwell, London, printer
compositor. He is therefore possibly a relation.
- In about 1827 one William John BULL was born in Binfield, Berks. He
may be related to this family as the 1851 Census has him working as a
Visiting Assistant to Frederick C JONES, of 69 Blackfriars Road,
Southwark, Surrey, Surgeon.
- On Saturday, 16 June 1827, The Mirror of Literature, Amusement,
and Instruction (No 258), carried an article on Pope's Tree,
Binfield. This commences with 'Sir, - Through the kindness of my
uncle, H. W. Bull, Esq., R. N., of Binfield, Berks, I am able
to gratify your readers with a view and description of the once
celbrated Pope's Tree, which, perhaps may not be uninteresting.' The
aticle mentions no details of its author's family and is attributed to
simply 'H. W. D.' (enboldening mine) Other edditions of the paper
contain a number of contributions on scientific, medical and
historical issues from one H. W. DEWHURST.
- In Sep 1828 Amelia Maria BULL was born in Binfield, Berks (according
to the Turnbull Clan website)
- In A Guide to Human Phrenology (published c1829) , Henry Willam
DEWHURST mentions forwarding drawings to "Mr Bull of Binfield, Berks"
- In Henry William DEWHURST's The Natural History of the Order
Cetacea and the Oceanic Inhabitants of the Arctic Regions.
(London: Henry William Dewhurst, 1834) may be found amongst the
subscribers one 'H. W. Bull, Esq., R.N., M.R.C.S.L.' and in an
Appendix (Pgs 301-302) can be found -
This is to Certify, that H. W. DEWHURST,
Esq., Lecturer on Human and Comparative Anatomy, Zoology, &c.
&c., is perfectly qualified to teach, and that he possesses every
means of doing so : a Museum fast approaching to perfection, casts,
plates, &c., and it is not in my power to speak too highly of
his abilities and qualifications. I therefore most strongly and
earnestly recommend him as a teacher.
H. W. BULL,
of the Royal College of Surgeons
in London, and Surgeon Royal Navy.
Binfield near Bracknell, Berks.
Nov. 25th, 1828.
- On 7 Mar 1831 they christened a daughter, Eliza Caroline BULL,
in Binfield, Berks.
He appears on the Navy List for 20th March 1934, under Surgeons, with
seniority dating from 1809, listed as simply "Henry William Bull 15
In 1840 Henry appears to have suffered a debilitating illness, which
sounds suspiciously like a stroke. Together with its treatment, it is
described in some detail in this extract, taken from Samuel Dickson
& William Turner, The principles of
the chrono-thermal system of medicine, with the Fallacies of the
Faculty. In a series of lectures by Samuel Dickson, M.D. containing also
an introduction and notes by William Turner M.D.
Simpkin, Marshall, and Co., 1845, Pg 187.
From H. W. Bull, Esq., Surgeon, R.N. "
Wokingham, 5th Feb. 1843. "
Dear Sir,—I beg to forward to you a statement of my own case, and one or
two cases of others treated on your plan, all of which are evidence of
the value of the Chrono-Thermal System. I was attacked by paralysis on
the 28th October, 1840, which deprived me of the use of my right arm and
leg, affected the same side of the face, and produced some difficulty of
speech. The usual plan was adopted,—bleeding, purging, leeching,
mercury, and blisters. In this state I crawled on to May, 1841, when I
lost more blood to prevent another anticipated attack, goaded on by what
you term the bugbear CONGESTION. In this manner I went on occasionally
cupping and purging, and with a very restricted diet. In consequence of
all this I was much reduced, and I became exceedingly weak,—the heart
palpitated very much on the least motion, and I had in addition
occasional fainting fits. Last May my son sent me some extracts from
your Lectures, the perusal of which induced me a few days afterwards to
state by letter the particulars of my case to you. The first
prescription you were so kind as to send disagreed; you then ordered
quinine, and this I took with good effect. The shower-bath which you
also ordered I found very beneficial. I have followed the plan laid down
by you with very great advantage,—changing the different medicines from
time to time as occasion required; and I can now walk two miles without
assistance. I have now not only power to raise my right arm and wave it
round my head, but I can lift a weight of forty pounds with it. I am now
following the same plan with very good effect; I must confess I was at
first startled by a practice so very different from all I had been
taught in the schools, but a practice, I can truly say, to which I owe
my life. Like Dr. M'Kenzie, nothing will ever induce me to lose a drop
of blood again so long as it will circulate in the veins of, (sic)
"Yours most sincerely and faithfully,
" H. W. BULL, Surgeon, Royal Navy."
Cases alluded to in the preceding letter.
" Case 1.—Mr. ? was attacked with acute rheumatism in almost every
joint, great difficulty of breathing, and violent pain in the chest. I
prescribed an emetic, but he refused to take it,—he is a Hampshire man,
and almost as obstinate as one of his own hogs. He continued in this
state two days more ; at last he was prevailed on to take the emetic. It
operated soon and gave him instant relief. I followed it up with quinine
and colchicum : he is now quite well, and has gone to his brother's
house some distance from this.
" Case 2.—A girl twelve years of age was brought to me from Binfield in
convulsive fits. The pupils of her eyes were much dilated, and the fits
followed each other in rapid succession. I first gave her a purgative,
and followed it up with prussic acid ;—this was on a Monday. The fits
became less and less frequent, and from the following Friday they
entirely ceased. I also lately used the prussic acid with the best
effect in the case of a child seven weeks old. "
Case 3.—A gentleman lately brought his child, a fine boy, to me for
squint ; the age, two years. Some days the boy squinted less than
others. I gave him six powders containing quinine and a little calomel :
no other medicine was prescribed. There has been no squint since the
powders were finished. In many other cases I have followed your plan
with the best success.
" H. W. B."
NOTES ON THE TREATMENTS - Prussic Acid (Hydrocyanic Acid or Hydrogen
Cyanide) is extremely poisonous to humans, so was clearly administered in
a non-lethal dose. Calomel (Mercury Chloride) is also toxic and long term
low-level exposure could result in death from mercury poisoning. This
toxicity was not yet understood in 1843 and Calomel was regularly used to
induce vomiting and act as a purgative. The medical benefits of Quinine in
cases of Malaria are well known, but at that time it was used more
generally for symptoms of fever. Many parts of the Colchicum plant are
toxic, though extracts have been used in traditional medicine (in
appropriate doses) to treat gout and some forms of fever. These sorts of
aggressive treatments were commonplace during the so-called "Age of Heroic
Dickson's method reduced all disease to variations on a single disoder,
which he called 'ague,' and which he believed effected the healthy
periodicity of natural actions. Whilst Dickson’s basic premise was
misguided, it nevertheless made him an early opponent of the
then-prevailing practice of blood letting. Henry BULL clearly became a
convert to that cause.
The 1841 Census appears to list them at Broad Street, Wokingham, Berks
[the text looks like Bread Street, but this is probably a transcription
error for Broad Street, a main thoroughfare in the village]. At that time
the family group comprised:
- Willm BULL, 52, Surgeon, not born in county
- Mary BULL, 46, , not born in county
- Sarah BULL, 21, , born in county
- Henry BULL, 16, , born in county
- Willm BULL, 14, , born in county
- Amelia BULL, 12, , born in county
- Caroline BULL, 12, , born in county
The Navy List of 20 Dec 1848 mentions no details other than his
seniority (i.e. when he became an officer), 15 Feb 1809.
He signed his Will on 24 Sep 1850
The Camberwell years
In 1851 his family were residing at 1 St
Thomas's Terrace, Camberwell, Surrey
- Henry W BULL, Head, Mar[ried], 61, Surgeon R.N.M.R.C.
Lond, Gloucestershire, Rodboro
- Mary BULL, Wife, Mar, 60, ,Gloucestershire, Widford
- Amelia M BULL, Dau, U[nmarried], 22, Schoolmistress, Berkshire,
- Caroline E BULL, Dau, U[nmarried], 20, , Berkshire, Binfield
He refers to himself as 'Surgeon R.N.M.R.C. Lond' which probably stands
for Royal Navy, Member of the Royal College [of Surgeons] as I have seen
other surgeons of this period refer to themselves as 'Royal Navy,
M.R.C.S.', M.R.C.S. being a well recognized qualification, with original
branches in London and Edinburgh (hence the 'Lond.'). The Royal College's
web site states “If your ancestor was solely a member (MRCS), it is
unlikely that we will hold any detailed information.”
On 4 Oct 1851 the Reading Mercury carried in its deaths column (pg3 col
6) the following announcement of his wife's death.
On the 23rd ult., in London, after a long
illness borne with christian resignation and fortitude,
Mary, the beloved wife of H. W. Bull, Esq., Surgeon,
Royal Navy, aged 61 years.
Last Will and Testament
The Will, which was proved on 15 Feb 1854. It is very short and may be
summarized as follows:
Henry William BULL, Surgeon in the Royal
full transcription has been produced for the probate record for this
will, see the Probate Records Index.
Everything to be equally divided between his Daughters Amelia Maria BULL
and Caroline Eliza BULL.
Executor Octavius OMMANNEY of Charing Cross Westminster Navy Agent
Witnesses were J PIKE & W J WHITLEY
Based on Public Records Office: prob
14 Nov 1853, from the details in his obituary.
The Lancet carried the following very brief obituary
|OBITUARY.- Died on the 14th Inst., at Walworth, HENRY
WILLIAM BULL, Esq., surgeon R.N., after being paralyzed for
London: a journal of British and foreign medicine, surgery,
obstetrics, physiology, chemistry, pharmacology, public health
and news, Volume 2, Nov 26, 1853 (Google eBook), Pg 517,
A similarly brief obituary was carried in The Medical Directory for
|Nov. 14  - Henry William Bull, Esq. Surgeon, Royal Navy,
at his residence, Walworth, after having suffered paralysis during
the long period of fourteen years.
Directory for Scotland. London:John Churchill, 1854, Pg
Probate was granted 15 Feb 1854.
A posthumous reference on the marriage certificate of Frederick Henry
William Bull, dated 31 Aug 1860, gives his profession as 'Surgeon in the
Descendants and notable relations
An Australian branch to the family
On 30 March 1872 the Reading Mercury carried the following announcement
in its marriages column (pg5, col 7).
On the 8th Jan., at Emu Plains Station,
Australia, by the
Rev. Mr Sheldon, Thomas Turnbull, Esq. to Amelia Maria,
eldest surviving daughter of the late H. W. Bull, Esq., sur-
geon, RN., late of Wokingham, Berks.
Henry William DEWHURST, scientist or swindler?
This gentleman, a nephew of Henry's, appears a rather interesting
character. In his book The Natural
History of the Order Cetacea and the Oceanic Inhabitants of the Arctic
he lists his credentials as follows:
'Professor of Natural History, Human, Vetinary, and Zoological Anatomy;
Fellow of the Westminster Medical, Royal Jennerian, and London Vaccine
Societies; Corresponding Member of the Worcestershire Natural History
Society, Honorary Member of the London Vetinary Society' before
summarising some of his publications.
A search of the Internet reveals a range of his published works. They
give a flavour of his interests and include:
Books and pamphlets
A series of short letters or brief
reports appearing in compilations
- A Dissertation on Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology by H.W.
Dewhurst, Esq., surgeon, & c.
The Natural History Of The Order Cetacea And The Oceanic
Inhabitants Of The Arctic Region. by H.W. Dewhurst (Hardcover - 1 Jan
1834) [Complete with chapter on two species of 'Sea Serpents', the
species illustrated, Ophiognathus ampullacens, is actually a Gulper
- Prostitution in Lambeth by H. W. Dewhurst, Surgeon.
- A Guide to Human and Comparative Phrenology. 1831, Dewhurst,
- Synoptic Tables of the Materia Medica by H.W.
Dewhurst, surgeon. [8 volumes, small]
- A Letter to the Right Hon. Robert Peel, on some of the Impediments,
and Abuses existing in the present System of Medical Education, H. W.
Dewhurst, Surgeon, and Lecturer on
Anatomy, p. 51. Highley, London,
- Practical remarks on the inutility of the Hydrostatic Test in the
Detection of Infanticide. By H. W. Dewhurst, Esq. Surgeon- Accoucheur,
&c. To which is added, Observations on the Employment
of a new Counter-irritant in the Cure of Diseases of the Chest., 1831
[Duodecimo, pp36, price 1s]
- A Physiological History of Man, tracing his gradual progress through
the various stages of animal existence, from his first formation to
the destruction of his body By H. W. DEWHURST, Esq.
- Elements of Geology. By H. W. Dewhurst, Esq., Professor of
Natural Theology. (believed to be a book but may be less than
- An Essay on the Objects, Advantages, and Pleasures of Astronomy:
exhibiting the Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of God, in the Formation of
the Universe, with illustrations, by Henry William DEWHURST, Esq.,
F.E.S.L., Professor of Anatomy, &c. [mentioned as in press in The
Literary Gazette: A Weekly Journal of Literature, Science, and the
Fine Arts, Volume 20. William Jerdan, William Ring Workman,
Frederick Arnold, John Morley, Charles Wycliffe Goodwin
H. Colburn, 1836. p558 c2]
- A Familiar Treatise on the Natural History and Management of the
Phalæna Bombyx Mori, or Common Silk-worm. By H. W. Dewhurst, Esq.
F.E.S.L. House Surgeon of St. John's British Hospital; President of
the Verulam Philosophical Society of London; Professor of Zoology
& c. to the Eclectic Society; &c. &c. Second Ed. [London:
Bennett, 1839. 119 pages]
- H.W.Dewhurst, "Sailors on
the First of May," The Table Book [His
address is given as Crescent-Street, Euston-Square]
"Efficacy of the Chloruret of Lime as a Disinfecting Agent," Mirror of Literature,
9 (1827), 338.
- H.W.Dewhurst, "Remarks
on Hermaphrodism, in Man and Animals," Hippiatrist
(Farrier and Naturalist) 3 (1830), 262
- H. W. Dewhurst,
"Suggestion for the Construction of a new Musical Instrument",
The Mechanics' Magazine, Museum,
Register, Journal, and Gazette, M. Salmon, 1833, v.18 (Oct.
1832-Mar. 1833), 364-365
[He styles himself 'Surgeon, Professor of Zoology and Anatomy'.
The instrument involved tubes of various sizes blowing jets of
- "Dewhurst's Apperatus
for Illustrating the Flux and Reflux of the Tides," Iron: An Illustrated Weekly Journal for
Iron and Steel Manufacturers, Metallurgists, Mine Proprietors,
Engineers, Shipbuilders, Scientists, Capitalists ..., edited
by Sholto Percy, Perry Fairfax Nursey, Published by Knight and
Lacey, 1831, v.14 1830-1831, 200-201
styles himself 'Surgeon, Professor of Human and Comparative
Anatomy' and dates the letter October 7, 1830]
- Observations on the Structure and Economy of the Talpa
Europaea. BY H. W. DEWHURST, ESQ. Surgeon, Processor of Human and
Comparative Anatomy, etc.,The
Farrier and Naturalist, 1829, Vol 2, 183-187 [Anatomy of the
- On the Symptoms and Causes of Inflammation, The
Farrier and Naturalist, 1829, Vol 2, No 22, 153-155 [He
styles himself DEWHURST, Surgeon, P.M. W.S. Ec., Professor of
Human and Comparative Anatomy, Phrenology, and Zoology. Letter dated
April 25, 1829]
- Observations on The Probable Causes of Rabies in the Dog and Other
Animals, transcript of a paper presented on 6 Oct 1830, at the London
Veterinary Medical Society, London: self-published
- Synoptical Tables of an Improved Nomenclature for the Sutures of the
Cranium [fifth edition was self published in 1831, with availability
at "all medical booksellers." Dewhurst claimed that, having originally
published the body of this scheme in the first volume of the London
Medical and Surgical Journal [Believed to be the John Davies ed. of
1828, volume numbering re-started in 1832 with a new editor], this
re-print had been necessitated by the adoption of his scheme by some
very eminent medical men and the spread of its use abroad.
- Observations on the Zoology and Comparative Anatomy of the Skeleton
of the Balænóptera Rórqual, or Broad-nosed Whale, now exhibiting at
the Pavilion, King's Mews, Charing Cross., Magazine
of Natural History , 1832, , 214-233 [He styles
himself DEWHURST, Esq., Surgeon, Professor of Zoology and
- The Poetical Works of John Milton: To Which is Prefixed a
Biographical Sketch of the Author, by Henry William Dewhurst, Esq.,
Surgeon; Professor of Anatomy and Zoology; Author of "The Natural
History of the Order Cetacea," "A Dictionary of Anatomy," & c..;
and Fellow of several Learned Societies. Magnet Edition. London:
William Mark Clark, 1833.
- Necessity of the Study of Mental Diseases, London Medical and
Surgical Journal Vol 1. (pgs 510-12) [in which he argued that more the
training of medical professionals should pay more attention to mental
disorders than it currently did]
- Practical Observations on the New System of warming Dwelling-houses,
Cathedrals, Churches, Theatres, and other Public Buildings, with Hot
Water ; together with a Description of the dangerous and uncertain
Effects produced by the Employment of heated Air ; to which is added,
some Remarks on the Importance of an equability of Temperature, and
Cure of Cholera and other Diseases. London, 1832. Printed for the
Author, 8. Gower Place, Euston Square. 2*. [advocating the use of
circulating water based central heating]
- Joshua Brookes's Method of Preserving Bodies for Dissection, a
letter to the Editor of The Lancet, commenting on an earlier article,
The Lancet, 1844, Vol 1 Pg 460 [as "H.W. Dewhurst, Ph. D.,
- Observations on the Probable Cause of Rabies, or Madness, in the
Dog, and various other domestic animals. Read at the London Veterinary
Medical Society, October 6, 1830 [He styles himself as Professor of
Midwifery, Human and Comparative Anatomy; Fellow of the Westminster
Medical, Royal Jennerian, and London Veterinary Medical Societies;
Author of a Dictionary of Anatomy; Guide to Phrenology; Essays on the
Formation, Zoology, and Mind of Man; Treatise on Medical Education;
Dissertation on the Component Parts of an Animal Body, &c.
London:Alexandre, Medical and French Bookseller, 1831, 18 pages]
Verulam Philosophical Society of London
- James Barclay, Henry William Dewhurst, A Complete and Universal
English Dictionary, printed for J.F. and C. Rivington; B. Law and
Son; G.G.J. and J. Robinson; J. Sewell; H.L. Gardner [and 12 others in
- A series of Engravings of the Human Bones and Muscles for the use of
Artists and Students
- An essay on the Minute Anatomy and Physiology of the Organs of
Vision in Man and Animals
- A series of colour engravings of the Horse's Foot
His publications for 1835 include some connected with a short lived
learned society he established and was president of. One Charles DEWHURST
- An Oration on the Objects, Advantages, and Pleasures of Science,
delivered on the First Anniversary of the Verulam Philosophical
Society of London, February 1835. By its Founder, Henry William
Dewhurst, Esq., F.W.N.H.S. President and Director, Professor of
Natural Theology, &c. &c.
- The Transactions of the Verulam Philosophical Society of London,
for 1834—5. Vol.1.
The obituary of Joshua BROOKES, Esq. F.R.S. in The Gentleman's Magazine
notes a dinner given on 25th June 1831 for his former students who had
distinguish themselves. It concluded by citing those whose distinction was
in the zoological field. These included one Professor DEWHURST. (The
Gentleman's Magazine, F. Jefferies, 1833, v.103 pt.1 1833, 184-185).
In his earlier life DEWHURST, as far as one can tell, seems to have
been reasonably regarded as a medical man in some circles, although a
lot of his work seems rather derivative.
The Dublin Penny Journal (Vol. 3, No. 138 (Feb. 21, 1835),
p. 272) related a talk given at a late meeting of the Verulam
Philosophical Society, at which the secretary C. DEWHURST read some
observations concerning honey bees. This mentions a hive designed by his
father the Rev. C. DEWHURST of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk (where it is
unclear if the Rev. gentleman is the father of C. DEWHURST or of Henry
William). In his pamphlet on the silk worm, H. W. DEWHURST mentions a C.
DEWHURST of Bury St Edmunds as simply a friend. The Rev C. DEWHURST, c.
1820, seems to have been the Rev. Charles DEWHURST, the minister of a
non-conformist church, an Independent Chapel ["Intelligence, Recent
Deaths, The Rev. C. Elven." pg 595-598 in The Baptist Magazine,
1873, pg 595] in Whiting-street, Bury St. Edmunds [Appendix to Report of
the Commissioners Appointed to Inquire Into the State of Registers of
Births, Deaths, and Marriages. c. 1836, pg 56]. An account of the
Congregational Ossett-Green Chapel, in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, mentions
that several of its members went on to become ministers, including the
Rev "C. Dewhurst (Bury St. Edmunds)" [James C. Miall Congregationalism
in Yorkshire. London: John Snow, 1868. Pg 328]. Charles DEWHURST
married at least twice, his second wife being Letitia BROMLEY, daughter
of Nathaniel Warner BROMLEY, of Grey's Inn, and his wife Sarah (nee
WRIGHT), the Visitation's pedigree of BROMLEY states "Letitia born 7
December 1783; died at Bury St. Edmumds, Co. Suffolk, 9 July 1832. She
marr. as his 2nd wife, 25 May 1831, Charles Dewhurst of Bury St Edmunds,
marriage licence (Arch : of Sudbury) dated 25 May 1831." [Frederick
Arthur Crisp Ed. Visitation of England and Wales. Notes Vol 6. Privately
Printed. 1906]. A cached page from Curious Fox contains the following
"Looking for family of Rev.Charles Dewhurst .b abt.1781 & Sophia
wife. Children, Charles,Alfred, Edward, Mary- Sophia, Emma, Anna, &
William, all born bet.1810/1823 in Bury. Can only trace William who
moved to Harwich, then Ipswich." [
https://www.curiousfox.com/vill100/Suffolk17173_1.html. Accessed 26 Mar
2019 17:13:52] It has been suggested that Charles Chantler
DEWHIRST, minister at Whiting St Independent Church, married Sophia Mary
LAST. Thus confirming that C. DEWHURST was not the father of Henry
William, but merely a friend (possibly a family one), as suggested in
the pamphlet on the silk worm.
On 7 Jul 1805 one Henry William DEWHURST, born 9 Jun 1805 in
Marylebone, was christened at St James, Westminster. His parents were
Henry Brier DEWHURST and Elizabeth Sophia DEWHURST. A later court-case
confirms that Elizabeth Sophia's maiden name was BULL
On 1 Aug 1818 he was apprenticed to Thomas WALLINGTON, Surgeon, R.N.,
Bayswater, an apprenticeship he would complete on 1 Aug 1824 (The
Natural History of the Order Cetacea pg. 299).
In a letter to the editor of The Lancet (1844, Vol 1 Pg 460),
"H.W. Dewhurst, Ph. D., Surgeon" advocates a method of preservation
presented to the Royal Society by "my late most excellent teacher,
Joshua Brookes" and he recounts how, in the hot summer of 1822, he was
amongst a group (including one Mr. HEALY of St. James's-street) who
spent four months dissecting a fine male subject. The letter inferred
that this took place at BROOKES' Blenheim Street School of Anatomy. In
Joshua BROOKES testimonial in The Natural History of the Order Cetacea
(pg. 305), he states that Dewhurst attended eight courses of lectures
and three courses of dissections and himself carefully dissected the
human body three times.
That, between July 1822 and July 1823 Dewhurst attended "the PRACTICE
OF SURGERY" at St George's Hospital, and spent two months as a dresser,
was attested by four surgeons (The Natural History of the Order Cetacea
pg. 296), including Mr. B. C. BRODIE, who elsewhere states that in 1822
and subsequent years Dewhurst attended four courses of his lectures on
Theory and Practice of Surgery (The Natural History of the Order Cetacea
In late 1823 he appears to have completed six months further training
in "the Practice of Physic, Materia, Medica, Pharmaceutical Chemistry
&c." under John Harding (The Natural History of the Order Cetacea
pg. 306), as well as specialist training in Midwifery (The Natural
History of the Order Cetacea pg. 297).
On 31 Dec 1823 he was appointed Surgeon of the merchant ship Neptune,
of London, Matthew AINSLIE, Commander, his credentials having been
approved by a government appointed mustering officer. (The Natural
History of the Order Cetacea pg. 297).
On 11 May 1826 one Mary MAHONEY stood trial, "indicted for stealing,
on the 20th of April , 1 tea spoon, value 3s.," property of one
Elizabeth Sophia DEWHURST, widow, of Upper Thornhaugh-street (now
Huntley Street, Bloomsbury, Camden, London WC 1E). Elizabeth's mother,
one Sarah BULL, was called as a witness. The spoon was said to be marked
T.B. [The Proceeding of the Old Bailey," database, The Proceeding of the
Old Bailey (http://www.oldbaileyonline.org : accessed 12 May 2013),
In 1827 Henry William DEWHURST was based at 24 Sidmouth Street, Gray’s
Inn Lane where he lectured at his New Theatre of Anatomy (A Lecture
Introductory to the Study of Anatomy and Physiology Delivered by Henry
William Dewhurst...on Monday, October 1, 1827, at the New Theatre of
Anatomy, 24, Sidmouth Street, Gray’s Inn Lane, 1827; copy originally
owned by Joseph Hume, UCL Special Collections)
In 1828 he is again listed at 24 Sidmouth Street (L. Hebert ed, The
Register of Arts, and Journal of Patent Inventions, vol. I, 1828)
In 1828 M. RYAN, editor of the London Medical and Surgical Journal,
mentioned that he believed DEWHURST's Dictionary of Anatomy and
Physiology to be, at that time, the first in any language.
By 1828 DEWHURST seems to have established his own museum of medical
specimens to support his teaching (The Natural History of the Order
Cetacea pg. 301-2).
On 11 Mar 1829 he wrote from the Theatre of Human & Comparative
Anatomy‚ 4 Little Clarendon Street, to one T.Pollock‚ sending a copy of
his ‘Dictionary’ [of anatomy and physiology]‚ stating that “I am my own
publisher”‚ and inviting him to a lecture on the Circulation of the
blood in Man and Animals. (Offer for sale of a letter dated and
signed H. W. Dewhurst, at http://www.historicalautographs.co.uk,
accessed 7 Aug 2011).
In 1830 Dewhurst was unsuccessful in applying for a lectureship at
King's College London. He appears to have made contact with his former
tutors too late to solicit their support (see The Natural History of the
Order Cetacea pg. 306)
In 1832 he signed a letter, published in the London Medical and
Surgical Journal Vol 1. (pgs 510-12), and in which he briefly alludes to
improvements at the University of London, "Hy. Wm. Dewhurst, Lecturer on
Human and Comparative Anatomy. 8 Gower Place, London University, May 1,
In Feb 1834 Dewhurst founded the Verulam Philosophical Society of
London. The same year he published The Natural History of the Order
Cetacea, which contains a lengthy Appendix comprised entirely of
testimonials, some of which seem a trifle contrived, others quite
genuine. The intention behind this appendix is difficult to discern,
purporting to justify his credentials for writing the book, it is
seemingly a defence against some as-yet unidentified criticism that he
might not be adequately qualified, yet it might also be a desperate
attempt to bring his credentials before a wider public in the hope of
soliciting further medical work.
In 1835 The Lancet carried an anonymous editorial stating that 'Several
correspondents continue to express in very pointed terms their
indignation on finding that the name of "Dewhurst" has been associated
in print with the names of men who are distinguished in the annals of
medical science, and the whole of our correspondents contend that Mr. W.
H. Dewhurst has played the part of puff to "Professor Dewhurst."'
[Thomas Wakley Ed. The Lancet, 1835, Vol 2, pg 200-201] This piece is
worth quoting at some length as it would seem to crystallize the sort of
criticism levelled at Dewhurst at this time . . . 'Some men aspire to be
"Professors and Lecturers" in medicine, whose attainments would scarcely
qualify them for the discharge of the duties would connect them with the
counter of a druggist's shop. By marvellous conceit of themselves, or by
the flattery and adulation of companions who are only remarkable for
their incomparable stupidity and knavery, such persons at the outset of
life soar, or a while, in prospectuses and advertisements, as
"professors"or "lecturers," and then, their incompetency being exposed
at the moment their money is expended, they sink, because the artificial
means of sustaining their spurious repute is exhausted, and they begin
to rail against the world because "men of genius are neglected by an
undeserving and mercenary public."'"
Dewhurst responded to his critics in a letter to The Lancet dated 1
Jan 1836 (pg 531-2), his letter suggesting that he had been severely ill
for two years, as a result of a dissection wound, and that, in
consequence of his inability to afford the membership of learned
societies "Earl Stanhope three years ago generously presented me with a
ticket, conferring the privileges of a member of the Medico-Botanical
Society; and similar honours have been conferred on me by many London,
Dublin, and provincial learned societies." The Verulam society, he
stated, now had 320 members and he continued to act as its president.
The title of "F.R.S." was, he claimed, a typological error for
"F.E.S.L.", that had been corrected in the next issue.
On 17 Feb 1840, The Morning Chronicle (London,
England), Monday, February 17, 1840; Issue 21913., carried an appeal on
behalf of Professor DEWHURST, 'a deserving and truly learned man' and
his four children who were described as nearly starving. Henry having
been confined to his room for several months with ulcerated legs.
The appeal was submitted for publication by one Henry BRIER and dated
Feb. 15, 1840.
He clearly recovered for on 4 Feb 1841 he was lecturing in
Witney, Jackson's Oxford Journal (Oxford, England),
Saturday, February 6, 1841; Issue 4580. Though, all does not seem to
have been well and this illness looks as if it marked the start of
Henry's decline into fraudulent criminality.
On the 1841 Census he appears in Lambeth and gives his occupation as
On 19 Jun 1844, in a letter to the editor of The Lancet,
concerning preservation techniques (The Lancet, 1844, see above),
he signs himself "H.W. Dewhurst, Ph. D., Surgeon,
In 1845 the London Mendicity Society cautioned their subscribers
and the public against appeals from one H. W. Dewhurst, also known as
Professor DEWHURST, Dr , Dr DEW or Mr HURST. These solicited
the purchase of a book or some other charity. He had been writting
similar letters for many years. The Bristol Mercury (Bristol,
England), Saturday, September 27, 1845; Issue 2897
In 1847 The Liverpool Mercury stated 'The Plymouth Journal cautions
the benevolent against the applications of a person styling himself the
Professor Dewhurst who has been in the habit of writting the most urgent
letters to the Secreteries of Literary and Mechanic's Institutes.' Liverpool
Mercury etc (Liverpool, England), Tuesday, September
28, 1847; Issue 1925.
In 1847 the Rev. Dr. Henry DEWHURST solicited the Mayor of Preston, as a patron of Science,
to buy his 'History of the Bible'. The article cites DEWHURST's letter which
presents a pitiful picture (if true). No blanket, bed, bedding, table
and chairs. Intends opening a school for four boys when he can pay for
four more forms, then he 'will establish an evening scientific lecture
for the support of his three destitute motherless children (one
fourteen, is slowly recovering from brain fever).' He claimed his
'troubles arose from his own frequent illness, the want of employment,
and four and half years' illness of his wife.Lloyd's Weekly
Newspaper(London, England), Sunday, January 27, 1850;
In 1849, Henry William DEWHURST, aka The Rev. Dr. DEWHURST, was hauled
before a magistrate in Lambeth and described as a 'Swindling
Schismatical Preacher' who had carried on an 'very extensive and
lucrative trade' which the judge believed was put an end to. The witness
against the prisoner went down with Cholera and, as as he could not be
brought to trial, Henry escaped with a prison sentence of two months
hard labour. The Era (London, England), Sunday,
August 5, 1849; Issue 567.
On the 1851 Census he gives his profession as Schoolteacher and he was
In 1857 the Bristol and Clifton Mendicity Society were shown a letter
from a Dr BRIERS in London. Instead of sending the half crown requested
the society made enquiries and found that Dr BRIERS was well known
'as levying contributions on the charity under the name of Dr. or
Professor Dewhurst'. The Bristol Mercury (Bristol,
England), Saturday, March 21, 1857; Issue 3496.