Richard Mead - Encyclopedia




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RICHARD MEAD (1673-1754), English physician, eleventh child of Matthew Mead (1630-1699), Independent divine, was born on the 11th of August 1673 at Stepney, London. He studied at Utrecht for three years under J. G. Graevius; having decided to follow the medical profession, he then went to Leiden and attended the lectures of Paul Hermann and Archibald Pitcairne. In 1695 he graduated in philosophy and physic at Padua, and in 1696 he returned to London, entering at once on a successful practice. His Mechanical Account of Poisons appeared in 1702, and in 1703 he was admitted to the Royal Society, to whose Transactions he contributed in that year a paper on the parasitic nature of scabies. In the same year he was elected physician to St Thomas's Hospital, and appointed to read anatomical lectures at the Surgeons' Hall. On the death of John Radcliffe in 1714 Mead became the recognized head of his profession; he attended Queen Anne on her deathbed, and in 1727 was appointed physician to George II., having previously served him in that capacity when he was prince of Wales. He died in London on the 16th of February 1754.

Besides the Mechanical Account of Poisons (2nd ed., 1708), Mead published a treatise De imperio solis et lun g e in corpora huniana et morbis rode oriundis (1704), A Short Discourse concerning Pestilential Contagion, and the Method to be used to prevent it (1720), De variolis et morbillis dissertatio (1747), Medial, sacra, sive de morbis insignioribus qui in bibliis memorantur commentarius (1748), On the Scurvy (1749), and Monita et praecepta medica (1751). A Life of Mead by Dr Matthew Maty appeared in 1755.

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