Reynolds, Henry Revell

, a late eminent pbysijcian, was born in the county of Nottingham, Sept. 26, 1745; and his father having died about a month before, the care of him devolved on his maternal great-uncle and godfather, Mr. Henry Revell, of Gainsborough; by whom he was sent, at an early age, to a school at Beverley in Yorkshire, then in great repute under the government of Mr. Ward. Having early shewn a disposition for his profession, his uncle placed him, at the age of eighteen, as a commoner at Lincoln college, Oxford. It was in the second year of his residence at this university that he had the misfortune to lose his uncle and benefactor, the memory of whom was ever cherished by him with a pious and grateful affection, and who left him a small landed property in Lincolnshire, by which he was enabled to prosecute the object that he had in view. He continued at Oxford till the early part of 1766, when, in order to the obtaining of his medical degrees sooner, he was admitted, by a benc decessit from Oxford, ad eundem to Trinity college, Cambridge, and he kept a term at that university. In the summer of this year he went to Edinburgh, and resided there two years, and after attending a course of medical studies, returned in 1768 to Cambridge, when the degree of bachelor of physic being conferred upon him, he went to London, and attended as pupil at the Middlesex hospital. The following year he became a resident physician at Guildford; and married Miss Wilson, in the month of April 1770. By the advice, however, of his friend, Dr. | Huck, afterwards Dr. Huck Saumders, he settled in London, in Lamb’s Conduit-street, in the summer of 1772. The next year he took the degree of doctor of physic at Cambridge, and was immediately afterwards elected physician to the Middlesex hospital. In 1774 he was chosen a fellow, and at the same time a censor, of tke college of physicians. He soon became the object of particular notice and regard by the eminent physicians of that day, doctors Huck, Fothergill, and sir Richard Jebb; and the high opinion which the latter gentleman had formed of his professional abilities, and personal character and manners, and the consequent expression of that opinion, and recommendation of Dr. Reynolds to his majesty, were the original cause of his being called into attendance upon the king in the memorable period of 1788. In 1776 he was appointed to speak the Harveian oration; and, although, his modesty would not suffer him to print it, it has been thought worthy of being compared with the most classical of these harangues. In the course of it, he exactly described that mode, which he ever observed, of performing the various duties of his profession, and of dispensing its various benefits. In 1777 Dr. Reynolds was elected physician to St. Thomas’s hospital; and from this period his business gradually increased, till, in the progress of a few years, he attained to the highest fame and practice in his profession. In every successive illness of our revered sovereign since 1788, Dr. Reynolds’s attendance on his majesty was always required; and his public examinations before parliament are recorded proofs of his high merits as a physician, a gentleman, and a scholar; while his appointments to the situations of physician extraordinary to the king in 1797, and physician in ordinary in 1806, evince the estimation in which his sovereign held his character and his services. When he was called into attendance at Windsor, he was suffering under a rheumatic affection, which had been oppressing him for some time. The anxiety attached to such an attendance as the illness of his majesty required, had oil this occasion a very powerful, if not a fatal, influence. The first day that he seriously felt the fatigues of mind and body was, after his examination before the House of Lords, the etiquette of this branch of parliament not allowing a witness to sit down, Dr. Reynolds, who, in consequence of his having attended his majesty in all his previous similar illnesses, was examined | at greater length than his other brethren were, was kept standing fur two hours, and the riext clay was reluctantly compelled to remain the whole of it in his bed. On the following, however, he returned to Windsor; but from this time his appetite began to fail, and his strength and flesh visibly to diminish. In the month of March, 1811, these symptoms had so much increased, that his friends besought him to retire from his anxious attendance at Windsor, to spare his mind and body entirely, and to devote himself solely to the re-establishment of his own health; but unfortunately for his family, his friends, and the public, he would not be persuaded. While any powers were left, to his majesty’s service he resolved that they should be devoted: and thus he persevered till the 4th of May, when he returned to London extremely ill; and from that day his professional career was stopped. Having been confined to his room for nearly three weeks, he was prevailed upon, by his excellent friends Dr. Latham and Dr. Ainslie, to go to Brighton, where he remained two months. Sometimes during this anxious period he would seem to rally, but the appearances were deceitful; they were the mere struggles of a naturally good constitution, unimpaired by any intemperance, against the inroads of a disease. At the end of the month of July, he returned to his house in Bedford-square, where he lingered Until Oct. 23, on which day he expired, very deeply regretted for his talents, virtues, and professional skill and humanity. 1


Gent. Mag. vol. LXXXII. Part II. p. 82,