Lives of the fellows

Augustus Bozzi Granville

b.1783 d.3 March 1872
MD Pavia(1802) LRCP(1817) FRS(1818)

Augustus Bozzi Granville, M.D., was born at Milan in 1783, and was the third son of Carlo Bozzi, the postmaster-general in that city. He was educated in the first instance by the Bamabite fathers at Milan, then at the collegiate school of Merate, and in 1799, on the advice of the celebrated Rasori, a friend of his family, applied himself to the study of physic, and was entered at the university of Pavia. He spent three years there, attended the lectures of Rasori, Joseph Frank, Spallanzani, Scarpa, and Volta, and graduated doctor of medicine 28th August, 1802.

After travelling for some time in Greece and other eastern parts, he visited Spain and Portugal, and at Lisbon, in March,1807, joined the British squadron in the capacity of assistant-surgeon. In due course he rose to the rank of surgeon, and continued in the navy until 1813, when he retired on half-pay. Dr. Granville had a natural aptitude for acquiring languages and having made good use of the opportunities of doing so, which his travels had afforded him, was by this time master of many tongues. In addition to other avocations at this time, he acted occasionally as translator and interpreter to the Foreign Office, as courier and as foreign correspondent.

Having determined to practise as a physician in London, he, with the consent of his family, assumed the maternal surname of Granville in addition to that of Bozzi, by which he had previously been known. By the advice of his friend, Sir Walter Farquhar, he applied himself to midwifery, and in 1816 proceeded to Paris, where he remained for eighteen months, studying midwifery under Capuron and Deveux at the Maternité, and the diseases of women and children at the Hôpital des Femmes and the Hôpital des Enfants.

Returning to London, he settled in Savile-row, and on the 22nd December, 1817, was admitted a Licentiate of the College of Physicians, and in 1818, a fellow of the Royal Society. Through the recommendation of Sir Walter Farquhar and several distinguished persons, English and foreign, to whom he had become known in the course of his travels abroad, he soon got into practice as an accoucheur, and for several years enjoyed a considerable business in that department. Twice had he to visit Russia in his medical capacity, first in 1827, in charge of the countess Woronzow to St. Petersburg; and secondly in 1849, to attend the princess Tczernicheff, the wife of the Russian Minister of War at St. Petersburg, in her confinement.

In 1835, Dr. Granville’s attention was attracted to the mineral waters, first of Germany and then of England, the more important of which in both countries he personally visited and minutely examined. Becoming convinced of their value in the treatment of disease, he devoted himself, with characteristic energy and determination, to making them more generally known and appreciated in this country than they then were. His work, The Spas of Germany became, in some sort, the text-book for those seeking information on the subject, and its author the great authority to whom invalids in England resorted for guidance in the selection of a spa suited to their individual cases. In 1841, appeared his work on the English Waters and Health resorts, The Spas of England and Principal Sea Bathing Places in three volumes.

Very early in the course of his investigations, Dr. Granville formed a high opinion of the value of the Kissingen waters, and from the year 1840 down to 1868, was in the habit of spending about three months of every year, from June to September, as a practising physician at Kissingen, after which he returned to London for the remainder of the year. In 1858, he paid a flying visit to Vichy and its springs, and on his return to London sent to the press a sketch of their chemical and physical characters, and of their efficacy in the treatment of various diseases. Dr. Granville retained his activity and energy to an unusually late period of his life.

In 1863, he completed his eightieth year, and until then had not felt that he was an old man. But from that date, age seemed to creep upon him fast. His intellect was undimmed, but his bodily strength became enfeebled, though he was able to continue his summer visits to Kissingen as late as the year 1868, when he had a most brilliant season, surrounded by numbers of his old patients, all of whom seemed to have gone to Kissingen to consult him for the last time. On his return to England, he determined never to leave it again, and having finally relinquished practice, he commenced writing his autobiography. In 1871, he left London to spend the winter at Dover, and died there 3rd March, 1872, aged eighty-nine.

Dr. Granville was a man of good natural abilities which he cultivated in a manner calculated to lead to success in the course of life to which he devoted himself. He had travelled much, he spoke many modern languages, he was easy and entertaining in conversation, and he sought society and entered largely into it. As a physician, his attentions to his patients were unremitting, he was full of resources, and had great confidence in his own powers, a feeling which he had the faculty of imparting to others; he was a good nurse and a better cook, qualities which did him good service on many occasions, and contributed, in no slight degree, to the entire trust reposed in him by many of his patients. His autobiography, an interesting work, The Autobiography of A. B. Granville, M.D., F.R.S., being eighty-five years of the Life of a Physician edited by his daughter, appeared in two volumes, 8vo., in 1874.

Dr. Granville was a voluminous writer, his pen, indeed, was seldom idle. The following is, I believe, a complete list of his more important writings :—
A Report of the Practice of Midwifery at the Westminster General Dispensary during 1818; with New Classification of Labours and the Diseases of Women and Children. 8vo. Lond. 1819.
Observations, Practical and Political, on the Plague and Contagions. 8vo. Plate. 1819.
An Historical and Practical Treatise on the Internal Use of Prussic Acid in Pulmonary Consumption and other Diseases. 12mo. Lond. 1820.
An Essay on Egyptian Mummies, with Observations on the Art of Embalming among the Egyptians. 4to. Lond. 1825.
A Letter to the Right Hon. W. Huskisson, on the Danger of Altering the Quarantine Laws of this Country in reference to Plague. 8vo. Lond. 1825.
St. Petersburg: a Journal of Travels to and from that Capital, through Flanders, Prussia, Russia, Poland, Saxony, &c. 2 vols. 8vo. Lond. 1828.
Reform in Science; or, Science without a Head. 8vo. Lond. 1830.
The Catechism of Health; or, Simple Rules for the Preservation of Health, and the Attainment of a Long Life. 16mo. Lond. 1831.
Graphic Illustrations of Abortion, with Prolegomena of the Development and Metamorphoses of the Human Ovum. Large 4to. Lond. 1833.
The Royal Society in the Nineteenth Century; being a Statistical Summary of its Labours during the last Thirty-five Years, &c. 8vo. Lond. 1836.
The Spas of Germany. 2 vols. 8vo. Lond. 1837.
Counter-Irritation, its Principles and Practice Illustrated by One Hundred Cases. 8vo. Lond. 1838.
Medical Reform: being the subject of the First Annual Oration at the British Medical Association. 8vo. Lond. 1838.
The Spas of England and principal Sea-Bathing Places. 3 vols, post 8vo. Lond. 1841.
Kissengen, its Sources and Resources. 12mo. Lond. 1846.
Two Letters to the Right Hon. Lord Palmerston, Minister for Foreign Affairs, on the necessity of Establishing a Northern Kingdom of Italy. 8vo. Lond. 1848.
On Sudden Death. Post 8vo. Lond. 1854.
The Mineral Springs of Vichy. A sketch of their Chemical and Physical Characters and of their efficacy in the treatment of various Diseases. 8vo. Lond. 1859.
The Sumbul, a new Asiatic Remedy. 8vo. Lond. 1858.

William Munk

(Volume III, page 174)

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