Lives of the fellows

Charles Badham

b.? d.9 November 1845
MD Edin(1802) LRCP(1803) AB Oxon(1811) AM(1812) MB(1817) MD(1817) FRCP(1818) FRS(1818)

Charles Badham, M.D., was born in London. After a sound classical education, he applied to the study of medicine, and proceeded to Edinburgh, where he graduated doctor of medicine in 1802 (D.M.I. de Urinâ et Calculis). He was admitted a Licentiate of the College of Physicians 4th April, 1803, and about that time entered as a gentleman commoner of Pembroke college, Oxford. As a member of that house, he proceeded A.B. 5th June, 1811, A.M. 6th November, 1812, M.B. 23rd March, 1817, M.D. 27th March, 1817, and then coming again under examination at the Censor’s board, was admitted a Candidate of the College 30th September, 1817, and a Fellow 30th September, 1818. He was Censor in 1821, and he delivered the Harveian oration in 1840. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society 12th March,1818.

Dr. Badham settled in business in London in 1803, and before long was honoured by the appointment of physician to the duke of Sussex. In 1808 he gave proof of his attainments as an observant practical physician by the publication of his Observations on the Inflammatory Affections of the Mucous Membrane of the Bronchiæ, 12mo., Lond., in which bronchitis, acute and chronic, was for the first time separated from peri-pneumony and pleurisy, and the other conditions with which it had hitherto been confounded, and its history, differential diagnosis, and treatment established. About the year 1818, Dr. Badham gave to the world a forcible and eloquent translation of the "Satires of Juvenal," in which he displayed a thorough knowledge of his author, and so much poetical talent, that even Mr. Giffard, then editor of the Quarterly Review, and the severest critic of his time, himself the author of a translation of the same satirist, felt himself obliged to admit that though in the tenth satire Dr. Badham had to contend with Dryden, he had "well sustained the contest."(1) This translation, with considerable corrections, was republished in the Family Classical Library.

Dr. Badham’s fondness for travel, in which he spent nearly the half of his days, and his love of classical literature, to which he devoted much of his time, were unfavourable to his obtaining that extent of medical business which, had he remained at his post, would, with ordinary diligence, assuredly have been his portion. But he preferred the more easy, though less lucrative, occupation of travelling physician to persons of high degree. When, in 1827, the chair of the practice of physic in the university of Glasgow became vacant, Dr. Badham was recommended by his friend, Sir Henry Halford to the duke of Montrose, as one whose talents and accomplishments would tend to increase the fame of a rising university. And although Scotchmen were not pleased at having an Englishman preferred before them, Dr. Badham’s lectures displayed so much ability, that his colleagues soon discovered they had reason to be proud of the services of so brilliant a professor. At Glasgow Dr. Badham was but little solicitous of medical practice, and devoted himself almost exclusively to the duties of his chair. The vacations he spent in travel, and mostly in the south of Europe. He died in London 9th November, 1845. Dr. Badham was a frequent contributor to Blackwood’s Magazine.

William Munk

[(1) Gent.Mag., 1846, pt. 1.]

(Volume III, page 190)

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