Hewson, William

, an eminent anatomist, was born at Hexham, in Northumberland, November 14, 1739. He attended the grammar school of that town until he was apprenticed to his father, a surgeon and apothecary of reputation; after which he resided some time with Mr. Lambert, surgeon, at Newcastle. In 1759 he was sent to London, and resided with that distinguished anatomist, Mr. John Hunter, attending the lectures of his no less celebrated brother, Dr. Wm. Hunter. Young Hewson’s assiduity and skill having attracted the attention of the teachers, he was appointed to superintend the dissecting room, while Mr. Hunter went abroad with the army in 1760; and in 1762, after studying a year at Edinburgh, he became associated with Dr. Hunter, and occasionally delivered the anatomical lectures; and when Dr. Hunter’s spacious establishment was completed in Windmill-street, Mr. Hewson was allotted an apartment in the house. Here he pursued his anatomical investigations, and “his experimental inquiries into the properties of the blood;” an account of which he published in 1771, and he communicated to the royal society several papers containing an account of his discoveries of the lymphatic system in birds and fishes, for which he received the Copleyan medal, and was soon after elected a fellow of that body. In 1770, his connection with Dr. Hunter was dissolved, and he began a course of anatomical lectures alone in September 1772, in Craven-street; and published a second edition of his “Experimental Inquiry,” which he dedicated to sir John Pringle, as a testimony of gratitude for the undeviating friendship of that illustrious physician. In the spring of 1774, he published his work On the “Lymphatic system.” At this time his anatomical theatre was crowded with pupils, his practice was daily increasing, and his ardour for experimental research undiminished, when he was seized with a fever, occasioned by a wound received in dissecting a morbid body, which terminated fatally on the 1st of May 1774, in the thirty-fifth year of his age. His papers, which were afterwards collected together, were originally published in the 23d, 24th, | 25th, and 28th volumes of the Philosophical Transactions, annis 1768 73. 1

1

From Dr. Simmon’s Account of the Life and Writings of Dr. Hunter, in New Ann. Register, 1783. Rees’s Cyclopedia.