Rowley, William

, a physician of some note in his day, was of a family of Irish extraction, but born in London, Nov. 18, 1743. After a liberal education, he determined to the profession of surgery, and became a pupil at St. Thomas’s Hospital, under Mr. Thomas Baker. Being duly qualified, he went into the king’s service, in which he continued from 1760 to 1763, and was present at the | siege of Belleisle, and the taking of the Havannah. By the patronage of admiral Keppel he obtained a confidential situation under the administration, and in obedience to their instructions made a voyage, in the course of which he visited Jamaica, Hispaniola, Cuba, and all the Leewardislands. On his return to England he was liberally rewarded for this service, which he had performed to the entire satisfaction of his employers. In the course of those voyages, as well as during his visits to the continent, he became an excellent French and Italian scholar, and collected many valuable specimens of the fine arts. Having now encouragement to settle in London, he first commenced practice as a surgeon and accoucheur, during which he resided in Holborn, Harley-street, Castle-street, Leicester-fields, and lastly in Savile~row. At what time he digressed so far from practice as to go to Oxford, we know not, but he was entered of St. Alban hall, where he took his degree of M. A. in May 1787, and that of bachelor of medicine in June 1788. He was desirous also of obtaining his doctor’s degree in that faculty, but this was refused, owing probably to his not keeping his regular terms. He obtained, however, a doctor’s diploma from the university of St. Andrew, in Scotland, and was admitted a licentiate of the college of physicians, and from this time his practice as a physician was considerably extensive and lucrative. He was chosen physician to the St. Mary-le-bone infirmary, and consulting physician to the queen’s Lying-in hospital, in both which stations he was distinguished for his humane attention to the poor patients, and his judicious treatment. He died of a cold, caught at a funeral, March 17, 1806.

Dr. Rowley wrote a great many medical pamphlets on various subjects, arising from the practice or peculiar diseases of his day, the titles of which it is unnecessary to specify, as in 1794, he re-published the whole, with corrections and additions, in 4 vols. 8vo. under the title of “The rational practice of Physick of William Rowley.” He appears to have been a man of extensive reading; and his practice, if not his theory, was in general conformable to that of his brethren, who did not, however, hold him in the highest regard, as in most of his works he seemed less ambitious of professional fame, than of popularity. When the Cow-pock was introduced, Dr. Rowley joined his learned friend Dr. Moseley, in direct hostility to the plan, and thus added a few more enemies to those he had created | by his former attacks on some of the most eminent physicians of his time, Fothergill, Huxham, Pringle, Fordyce, Wall, Gregory, Cullen, &c. In 1793 he published a work under the title of “Schola medicinse universalis nova,” 2 vols. 4to, and afterwards a sort of translation of it in one volume 4to. This appears to have excited very little attention, although he was at great expence in engraving anatomical, &c. plates, and referred to it in many of his’ subsequent pamphlets on “Injections,” “The Hydrocephalus,” “The Plague,” &c. Dr. Rowley had much caste for music, and some for poetry. We are told he wrote light verses, and songs of a humorous cast, with great facility. 1

1 Mag. Vol. LXXVI. 2 Nichols’s Bowyer, —Hutton’s Dictionary,