Fordyce, Sir William

, another brother of the preceding, was born in 1724, and educated in the Marischal college, Aberdeen, of which he died rector magnijicus, or lord rector, an office of great dignity in the Scotch universities, and to which he bequeathed a legacy of \000l. At the age of eighteen, he had completed the usual course of academical studies, and had distinguished himself for his proficiency in Greek and mathematics. He had also studied physic and surgery under an able practitioner, and then joined the army as a volunteer, and afterwards served as surgeon to the brigade of guards on the coast of France, and in all the wars of Germany, and some part of that time, if we mistake not, under sir John Pringle. The warm support of his military friends, and of some persons of high rank to whom he had been serviceable, concurred with his own merit and address in recommending him to very extensive practice in London. His publications, likewise, added considerably to his fame: and he was sent for to greater distances, and received larger sums, than almost any physician of his time. By these means he might have acquired an immense fortune, had he not been a very great sufterer by the bankruptcy of his brother Alexander, and had he not proved himself a man of most unbounded | liberality to his family and friends, and a generous patron to many of his young countrymen, who were, from time to time, recommended to his good offices. His address had much of the courtly manner of past times, and his conversation, while unassuming, was replete with elegant anecdote and solid information. His practice lay much among persons of rank, whose manners became familiar to him. Few men died more generally lamented by a very extensive circle of friends. Although originally of a delicate constitution, by temperance and exercise he preserved his health for many years, but suffered at last a long and severe illness, which ended in his death, Dec. 4, 1792, at his house in Brook-street, Grosvenor-square. His first publication was “A Treatise on the Venereal Disease,” which was followed, some years after, by another on “Fevers,” and a third on “The ulcerated Sore Throat.” In all these, except perhaps the first, he gave the result of long practice and judicious observation. Just before his death he published "The great importance and proper method of cultivating and curing Rhubarb in Britain, for medicinal uses/* 1792, 8vo. For his successful attempts to cultivate this valuable medicine, the importation of which at that time cost the nation annually 200,000l. the society for the encouragement of arts unanimously voted him a gold medal. Sir William was a fellow of the royal society, and received the honour of knighthood from his majesty about 1787. 1


Gent Mag. 1792.