21/06/2011

John Reynolds Beddome

The British Medical Journal for January 4, 1860 carried a notice of the death of Beddome's grandson John Reynolds Beddome. It begins  as follows:
 
THE LATE J REYNOLDS BEDDOME, M.D.
Our obituary of last week recorded the death of Dr J R Beddome at Romsey, on December 26th. He had been a member of our Association at its first formation; and we especially recur to his death, as he was a favourable type of the medical practitioner, whose sterling qualities during a long and laborious life, in a country town and neighbourhood, command at length the universal respect of his neighbours, and thus, in the right way, elevate our profession. His life was the common one. He worked diligently and successfully in the same place for forty years as a general practitioner, and then resigned the active part to his son-in-law, Mr Taylor, and spent the other ten in that partial withdrawal from hard work which is often the most suitable and happiest kind of medical retirement. This enabled him also to devote much of his time to the public services of the town in which he lived, and of which he has been six times Mayor. He died after a short illness; and the local papers, in describing the gloom which his death cast upon the town, pronounce his best eulogy. "It is felt in the town that his loss is irreparable; and, from the highest to the lowest, all very deeply and sincerely mourn that he has been removed from among us." (Hants Independent.) His funeral was, as far as the general and uninvited attendance made it, a public one. Lord Palmerston, his neighbour, friend, and former patient, the Mayor and Corporation, and a great number of inhabitants, attended. "Such a testimony of public respect", says the same paper, "we never before witnessed to the memory of one of our townsmen; and from the Premier down to the peasant, all seemed to feel that they had bid farewell to an old and valued friend." To those (and there are many such) who in gloomy moments look down at their own profession as not an elevated one, we would quote the effect of the death of Dr Beddome, in the place where he was well known, as proving that there are no men with more real and deep and true influence for good in their own districts than such medical men. Two or three years ago, Mr Salter of Poole died suddenly, after forty years practice there; and the effect was the same. His loss was felt to be a public one, and his funeral was attended by the whole town. ...
An obituary for his wife in the Evangelical Magazine can be found here (page 330 ff)

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