Macbride, David

, a distinguished physician, was born at Ballymony, co. Antrim, on the 26th of April, 1726. He was descended from an ancient family of his name in the shire of Galloway, in Scotland; but his grandfather, who was bred to the church, was called to officiate at Belfast to a congregation of Presbyterians, and his father became the minister of Ballymony, where David was born. Having received the first elements of his education at the public school of this place, and served his apprenticeship to a surgeon, he went into the navy, first in the capacity of mate to an hospital-ship, and subsequently in the rank of surgeon, in which station he remained for some years preceding the peace of Aix-laChapelle. At this period he was led from the frequent opportunities of witnessing the attacks of scurvy which a sea-faring life afforded him, to investigate the best method of cure for that disease, upon which he afterwards published a treatise. After the peace of Aix, Mr. Macbride went to Edinburgh and London, where he studied anatomy under those celebrated teachers doctors Monro and Hunter, and midwifery under Smellie. About the end of 1749, he | settled in Dublin as a surgeon and accoucheur; but his youth and remarkable bashfulness occasioned him to remain a number of years in obscurity, little employed; although he was endeared to a small circle of friends by his great abilities, amiable dispositions, and his general knowledge in all the branches of polite literature and the arts. In 1764, he published his “Experimental Essays,” which were received with great applause, and were soon translated into different languages; and the singular merit of this performance induced the university of Glasgow to confer the degree of doctor of physic on its author. The improvement introduced by Dr. Macbride in the art of tanning, by substituting lime-water for common water in preparing ooze, procured him the honour of a silver medal from the Dublin Society, in 1768, and of a gold medal of considerable value from the society of arts and commerce in London.

For several years after Dr. Macbride obtained his de*­gree, he employed part of his time in the duties of a medical teacher, and delivered at his own house a course of lectures on the theory and practice of physic. These lectures were published in 1772, in 1 vol. 4to, under the title of“An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Medicine,” and a second edition appeared in 1777. It was translated into Latin, and published at Utrecht, in 2 vols. 8vo, in 1774. This work displayed great acuteness of observation, and very philosophical views of pathology, and contained a new arrangement of diseases, which was deemed of so much merit by Dr. Cullen, that an outline of it was given by that celebrated professor in his Compendium of Nosology. Of the five classes, however, into which Dr. Macbride distributed diseases, the genera and species of the first only were detailed.

The talents of Dr. Macbride were now universally known, his character was duly appreciated, and his professional emoluments increased rapidly; for the public, as if to make amends for former neglect, threw more occupation into his hands than he couid accomplish either with ease or safety. Although much harassed both in body and mind, so as to have suffered for some time an almost total incapacity for sleep, he continued in activity and good spirits until the end of December, 1778, when an accidental cold brought on a fever and delirium, which terminated his life on the 13th of that month, in the fifty-third year of his | age; his death was sincerely lamented by persons of all ranks. 1

1

Rees’s Cyclopædia.