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FOR AUGUST 1802.
HON, BARON DIMSDALE, M. D. F. R. S.
BY A CORRESPONDENT.
[WITH A PORTRAIT.] IN Ncontemplating characters that have period; the last dying, after a short
risen from a degree of obscurity to illness, April 26th, 1979. high distinction, incidental and fortu. Thomas, the present subject of a bionale occurrences often contribute more graphical sketch, was educated under effectually to raise into eminence, than his father, and after attending St. Thoany radical or superior powers of mind; mas's Hospital, settled, in 1714, at when the former elevate to distinction, Hertford, as a furgeon. Soon after this without the support and balance of the period, he married the only daughter latter; respect of character rarely fol- of Nathaniel Bralley, Esq. of Roxford, lows this elevation to rank; whilst near that town, an eminent banker in contempt, which is excited by little. London, and representative of Hertford ness under disguise, is the more gene. in four luccessive Parliaments; she died ral result,
in 1744, and left no children. He
feverely felt the loss of this amiable The Honourable THOMAS BARON woman, the painful recollection of DIMSDALE, the present subject of dif. 'which he endeavoured to lessen, by quilition, was, however, of very respect- change of scene and habits, which in able origin, being defcended from John duced bim voluntarily to offer his ferDimsdale, of Theydon Gornan, near vices to the physicians and surgeons of Epping, in Flex; and Susan, daughter the army under the Duke of Čumberof Thomas Bowyer, of Albury Hall, in land, and continued with it till the the parith of Albury, near Hertford. furrender of Carlisle to the King's His grandfather, Robert, accompanied forces, when he received the Duke's William Penn to America in 1684, thanks, and returned to his professional and took with him his two sons, Johņ duties in Hertford. and William. In a few years they re In 1746 he married Ann Ives, a turned, and the parent settled in his relative of his firit wife, and by her native village, and was there succeeded fortune, and that which he acquired by lis eldeit son John in the practice of by the death of the widow of Sir John medicine, which his other son William Dimidale, of Hertford, he was enabled pursued at Binop's Stortford. John to retire from practice ; but from the had eight children, four of whom, expences of an increasing, family of Mary, Jane, William, and Calvert, feven of his ten children being then died young ; Susan and Robert lived living, and possessing at the same time to a more advanced age ; Thomas the vigour of constitution and activity of fixth, and Joseph the seventh, to a lace 'mind, lie determined to resume the
practice of medicine, in the character (of which he gives a particular aceount of a physician, and in 1761 took his in his “ Tracts on Inoculation," in degree of Doctor of Medicine.
1781), and by the subsequent masks of About this period, the Suttons, fo favour from his Imperial patients. He celebrated in the seience of inoculating was appointed actual Counsellor of the small.pox, aftonilhed the public by State, and Physician to her Imperial their boldness, mystery, and success. Majeity, with an annuity of sool. the Dr. Dimidale turned his attention to rank of a Baron of the Russian empire, the subject, and after a clear discrimina to be born by his eldest lawful de. tion of its principles, published, in scendant in succession, and a black 1776, a pamphlet, entitled “ The pre- wing of the Russian Eagle, in a gold sent Method of inoculating for the field, in the middle of his arms, with Small Pox." The Public received and the customary helmet, adorned with read this performance with such gene- the Baron's coronet over the thield; ral avidity, that a sixth edition was de. to receive immediately 10,000l. and manded in 1772. It was tranNated into 2000l. for travelling charges; minia: the Russian, as well as other European ture pictures of the Empress and her languages, and made the author, as son ; and the same title of Baron to his well as the practice, universally known. Ion Nathaniel, who accompanied him i He was consulted by, and inoculated, to whom also the Grand Duke gave the first families in this country ; and a snuff-box richly set with diamonds. his experience was amply enlarged and Independent of these princely faconfirmed by admitting into a house he vours, the most flattering prospects of had opened near. Hertford fuch sub- pecuniary emolument might be fuperjeets of inoculation as it was requisite added, as persons of the first rank were to seclude from the community, in or. eager to adopt a practice which the der to prevent the extension of vario- supreme head of Government had enlous contagion.
couraged in the moft unequivocal At this time a Princess governed manner, and numerous were ihe folia Rusha, who certainly pollessed magną. citations of the Nobility, as well as pimity of mind, and who, not having earnest were the entreaties of the Emhad the small-pox, turned her atten- press, to induce the Baron longer to tion towards the practitioners in Eng- continue his residence in Russia, and land, with a view of submitting to the eyen to accept the office of her phyfi, process of inoculation. She accord- cian; he relilted, however, every imingly gave directions to her Ambassa- portunity, and determined to return to dor (we believe Mouschin Pouschin), England; and op his rout, he and his in 1768, to engage one of the Suttons, fons were admitted to a private audi. or some able Inoculator, to visit Ruffia, ence of Frederick II1. King of Prussia, in order to inoculate her and her son at Sans Souci. with the small-pox. This order he When the high situation is confi. communicated to the Russian Agent or dered which a physician occupies, with a Consul, who was then under the care responsibility the first that can attach to of the celebrated Dr. Fothergill, to a human being, that of standing as the whom he related the particulars of the arbiter of life and death'; it is natural Imperial message, and requested his to suppose, that confidence as well as advice. The Doctor immediately men elteem, if not sincere friendship, must tioned his friend Dr. Dimidale, whose polless the mind of the patient; and celebrity as a writer, and success as an this produced an interesting frankness, Inoculator, were amply established. if not familiarity, in the Empress, to.
That Dr. Dimsdale did not seek this wards the distinguished character to preferment, but that the preferment whom the had intrusted her life ; and Gought him, was confirmed to me by doubtless were the conversations comDr. Fothergill ; who at length, with municated to the Public, they would difficulty, influenced him to accept the afford more interesting traits of chaOffer, which the Ambassador himself racter than the history of bloody cam. even urged upon him with earnestness. paigns, and of cruel usurpations of
That he supported the high charac-power over imbecility. One anecdote ter thus intruded upon him with ho- I have introduced, as it respects, in nour to himself, and dignity to the some measure, the religious fociety of Englith nation, is authenticated by his which the Baron was a member. reception at the Court of Petersburgh If he were not the first Quaker who
ever visited Russia, he was probably the preme intellect, fome impression of farft ever known to the Emprefs; and which seemed to pervade all animated certainly the firit ever honoured with a nature, from the instinct of inferior title by any Potentate ; and no doubt animals, to the rational mind of man. but her curiosity and powers of mind, He stopped, however, further reasonwould leari her to make various enqui- ing, by a rapid conclusion, “.On ne ries relpecting a society, of which the sçait rien de Dieu." must have acquired some knowledge Soon after Baron Dimsdale's return from the writings of Voltaire, as well to England, he became a Banker, as froni the French Encyclopedie, and under the firm of Dimidale, Archer, to a member of which the was now and Byde: some time afterwards a about to commit, in some measure, change taking place among the parher life ; for under such confidence, ties, he became the head of a banking, a considerable degree of familiarity must house in Cornhill, where the son, now have been admitted. Those who know Baron Dimsdale, continues. little more of the Christian religion The practice of inoculation was prothan the name, or only as it is rendered fecuted by the Baron in England, and subfervient. to regal policy, if they he continued his house of reception sometimes reflect upon inspiration, at Hertford for patients under inocula. generally admit fome hafty and con. tion. The practice, indeed, was very fused ideas respecting it. In her con- general throughout England; the Sutverlation, she was once led to ask, in tons and their colleagues were every what manner Preachers in this society where promoting it. An hospital was were qualified to act as such. The erected at Pancras, near London, for Baron might naturally answer, that the reception of the poor, under the as more perfect freedom exifted in this care of Dr. Archer, and at length a Society than in any other under Chrift- Society was established in London for endom, any accepted virtuous charac- inoculating the poor at their own habiter, of either sex, were at liberty to tations; which gave rise to a literary preach. “ I suppose, then," observed warfare between the Baron and Dr. the Empress, " that you sometimes Lettsom, an active member of this preach." The Baron replied, that he new plan of general inoculation. This did not find that he had received that dispute, however, would scarcely have influence or inspiration of the Divine occupied a line here, had it not been Spirit which called him to perform the alluded to in a respectable periodical ministerial duties. In further conver- work with some degree of censure on fation on the moral and political con the Baron, who was himself a public duct of the Quakers, the seemed very Inoculator of the higher ranks of the much interested in learning, that every community, whilst he avowedly disquarter of a year all the members of couraged the practice of inoculation this Society answer certain queries, in others : and hence it is deemeu pro. the breach of any of which subjects the per to explain the circumstances that individuals todisunion of membership; engaged him in a discussion which neione of these is, “ Whether any person ther dishonours his meinory: nor re. deal in goods even suspected to have flects on the character of his living been run; or in evading the payment antagonist; who, with several other of all legal duties." The Empress Gentlemen, formed the Inititution quickly remarked, “ As to the inspi- doubtless with the laudable view of ration of the Spirit, I do not under. extirpating, or at leatt lellening the ftand it ; but from the principle of not fatality of, the natural or cufual Imalldealing in goods fufpected to have been pox, which, upon an averige, kilis run, I wilh my fea.cuaits were lined about 3000 children annually, in Lonwith Quakers."
don alone. As the Baron could not I well remeniher, that once in con have any motive to oppose the inoculiza versation with the late celebrated Mi. tion of the poor but the danger of sabeau, he was very anxious to enter spreading the imall-pox by indiscrimi. upon the subject of inspiration ; but nate inoculation, he might consilietiy as I knew that the authority of Scrip discourage this leis guarded practice, ture could have no influence with'a and at the same time encourage bis Deift, I endeavoured to explain the own upon a more private or fealuded rationality of an influence on the hu situation. That indiscriminate inocne man intellectual principle, by the fu. lation has really increaled the deatlis