Lives of the fellows

Francis Bisset Hawkins

b.1796 d.?
AB Oxon(1818) AM(1821) MB(1822) MD(1825) FRCP(1826)

Francis Bisset Hawkins, M.D., was born in London in 1796, and is the son of Mr. Adair Hawkins, a distinguished London surgeon. He was educated in the first instance at the schools of Dr. Burney and of Dr. Morris, and then at Eton, from which he proceeded to Exeter college, Oxford, and as a member of that house graduated A.B. 26th November, 1818 ; A.M. 27th June, 1821 ; M.B. 6th July, 1822, and M.D. 12th February, 1825.

He was admitted an Inceptor-Candi-date of the College of Physicians 28th March, 1825, a Candidate 22nd December, 1825, and a Fellow 22nd December, 1826. Dr. Bisset Hawkins was Gulstonian lecturer in 1828, Censor in 1830, and Lumleian lecturer in 1835. He was appointed professor of materia medica at King’s college on the opening of that institution, but resigned his chair there in 1835.

Dr. Hawkins has filled in succession the important offices of factory commissioner, to which he was appointed in 1833; of inspector of prisons, in 1836; and of metropolitan commissioner in lunacy, in 1842. In 1847-48 he was commissioner for the government of the Model prison at Pentonville, and in 1858 was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Dorsetshire. In his Report on the Health and Condition of the Manufacturing Districts, he strongly recommended the diminution of the hours of labour for children and women ; and suggested the creation of public gardens or parks at Manchester, all of which has been since amply accomplished.

In his Reports on Prisons he laboured to restrain and limit the disposition which existed in powerful quarters to adopt in all its entirety and rigour and duration the American system of solitary imprisonment. And when the government originally introduced the Act for the Registration of Births and Deaths, Dr. Bisset Hawkins was instrumental in obtaining the insertion of a column containing the names of the diseases or causes by which death was occasioned. At first the insertion was voluntary ; it has since been made compulsory ; and has produced important additions to medical and statistical science through the indefatigable labours of Dr. W. Farr.

Dr. Bisset Hawkins contributed the memoirs of Mead, Huxham, Pringle, Fothergill, Heberden, Cullen, Hunter, Warren, Jenner, to the "Lives of British Physicians," a volume of Murray’s Family Library: and he is the author of—
The Elements of Medical Statistics. 8vo. Lond. 1829.
The History of the Epidemic Spasmodic Cholera of Russia. 8vo. Lond. 1831.
Germany; the Spirit of her History, Literature, National Economy, and Social Condition. 8vo. Lond. 1838.
Reports on the Factory Commission. Lond. 1833.
Reports on the Prisons of the Southern and Western Districts of England from 1836 to 1842. Folio. Lond.

William Munk

(Volume III, page 303)

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