Garthshore, Maxwell

, an eminent physician, and very amiable man, was born at Kircudbright, the principal town of the county of that name in Scotland, Oct 28, 1732. He was the son of the rev. George Garthshore, the minister of Kircudbright, and received his early education at home. At the age of fourteen he was placed with a surgeon-apothecary in Edinburgh, where he attended the medical classes of the university, and the infirmary. In his twenty-second year, when he had finished his medical studies, he entered the army, as mate to surgeon Huck (afterwards Dr. Huck Sauntiers) in lord Charles Hay’s regiment. In 1756 he had an opportunity of relinquishing this service for the more advantageous situation of succeeding to the practice of Dr. John Fordyce, a physician at Uppingham, in Rutlandshire, who was about to remove to London. In this place, Dr. Garthshore resided until 1763, giving much satisfaction by his activity, assiduity, and successful practice in physic and midwifery, in a very extensive range of country. Here also he formed some valuable connections, and in 1759 married a young lady heiress to a small estate. This last advantage encouraged him to remove to London in 1763, and after a short residence in Bed ford -street, Coventgarden, he settled in a house in St. Martin’s lane, where he continued nearly fifty years. His professional views in | coming to London were amply gratified*; but here he was soon assailed by a heavy domestic affliction, the loss of his wife, which took place the 8th of March, 1765. From this calamity Dr. G. sought relief in the practice of his public duties. His natural susceptibility, the instruction of his father, the correspondence of Mr. Maitland, an early friend and patron, had deeply impressed him with devotion to his Maker, and taught him to consider it as inseparable from good-will and beneficence to men. Volumes of his Diary, kept for the whole of his life in London, and amounting to many thousands of close-written pages, in contractions very difficult to decypher, consist of medical, miscellaneous, and eminently pious remarks, meditations, and daily ejaculations of praise and thanksgiving, with fervent prayers to be kept steady in that course of well-doing essential to happiness in the present life and in that which is to come. The tone and temper, elevation and energy, acquired by this sublime heavenly intercourse, appeared indispensable to this good man, not only as the consolation of sorrow, and the disposer to patience and resignation under the ills of life, but as the spring and principle of unwearied perseverance in active virtue; the diligent, liberal, charitable exercise of the profession to which he was devoted. From this time forward he continued for nearly half a century cultivating medicine in all its branches, most attentive to every new improvement in themf, physician to the British lying-in hospital, fellow of the royal and antiquarian societies, rendering his house an asylum for the poor, as well as a centre of communication for the learned; for his connection with the higher orders of men never prevented his habitual attentions and services to the less fortunate: in general, to stand


As an accoucheur, he was acknowledged by the best judges to have had the following very admirable qualities: “He was extremely patient, as long as patience was a virtue; and in cases of difficulty or of extreme danger, he decided with quickness and great judgment; and he had always a mind sufficiently firm to enable his hands to execute that which his head had dictated.” Sir G. Baker made him acquainted with the celebrated Dr. William Hunter, through whose recommendation and interest Dr. Garthshore was chosen physician to the hospital in Brownlow-street.

In 1169 he read before the society of physicians a case of fatal Ileus, which was published in the fourth vol. of Med. Obs. and Enquiries. And in the same year two cases of retroverted Uterus, which were published in the fifth volume. In 1789 he published in the London Medical Journal, Observations on Extra-uterine cases and ruptures of the Tubes and Uterus and in the same year sent to the royal society a remarkable case of numerous Births, with observations printed in the 77th volume of the Philosophical Transactions.

| in need of his assistance was the surest recommendation to his partiality.

To the last he maintained his gaiety and briskness; and, in company with his friends, was always ready to give way to those innocent sallies of pleasantry, that facetiousness and hilarity which are the natural fruits of an unblemished life, and of a benevolent disposition. In 1795 he married a second wife; but she died long before him. The day previous to his death he said to a friend, in the words of Grotius, “Heu vitam perdidi operose nihil agendo” adding,that he had firm reliance on God’s goodness through Christ. He died next day, the 1st March, 1812, and was interred in Bunhill-fields burying-ground.

In person he bore so striking a resemblance to the first earl of Chatham, that he was sometimes mistaken for him. This likeness once produced considerable sensation in the house of commons. Lord Chatham was pointed to in the gallery; all believed him to be there; the person really present was Dr. Garthshore. He died worth about 55,000l. and by his will, made only a few days before -his death, after the payment of a considerable number of legacies, names as residuary legatee, John Maitland, esq. M. P. 1


Gent. Mag. vol. LXXXII.