Lives of the fellows

Edward (Sir) Hulse

b.1682 d.10 April 1759
MB Cantab(1704) MD(1717) FRCP(1718)

Sir Edward Hulse, Bart., M.D., was the eldest son of Edward Hulse, M.D., a Fellow of the College of Physicians, by his wife Dorothy, a daughter of Thomas Westrow, esq. He was of Emmanuel college, Cambridge, and as a member of that house proceeded M.B. in 1704, M.D. 17th December, 1717. He was admitted a Candidate of the College of Physicians 23rd December, 1717, and a Fellow 22nd December, 1718; was Censor in 1720, 1721, 1735; Elect 5th June, 1736; and Consiliarius in 1750, 1751, 1753. He was physician in ordinary to queen Anne and king George I, and was created a baronet in 1739. Sir Edward, who had married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Richard Levett, lord mayor of London in 1700, withdrew from practice some years before his death, and retired to Baldwins, on Dartford Heath, co. Kent. He died on the 10th April, 1759, aged seventy-seven, and was buried at Wilmington, Kent, in the churchyard of which parish there is a vault of considerable dimensions, supposed to have been built in 1746, when the remains of lady Hulse were brought from Essex, where she had been buried, and deposited in it. Over the vault is raised a monument similar in its design to that erected in the churchyard of Chelsea to the memory of Sir Hans Sloane, there being a marble urn entwined by a serpent. On a tablet of white marble fixed in the east front of the pedestal is the following inscription:—
Here lieth the body of
Sir Edward Hulse, Bart.,
First Physician to His Majesty George the Second.
He practised in London forty years with reputation and success,
and, retiring from business in the later part of life,
died April 10, 1759,
aged seventy-seven.
Here also lieth the body of
Dame Elizabeth, his wife, one of the daughters of
Sir Richard Levet, knight, citizen of London.
She died January 15th, 1741, aged 47.

A few years before Sir Edward Hulse’s death he became childish, and was impressed with the idea that he should die in want. To obviate this feeling, his family were in the habit of putting some guineas into his pocket every day, which they made him believe he had taken as fees. He was probably aware of his approaching infirmities, for ten years before his death he declined visiting any patient unless accompanied by his intimate friend Dr. (afterwards Sir William) Watson.

Sir Edward Hulse, although not the first medical baronet, is the first of that order who left a son and transmitted the title, which is now borne by his descendant Sir Edward, the fifth baronet of Breamore, in Hampshire. The house and estate of Breamore was purchased by Sir Edward Hulse, M.D., in 1738. The house was burnt down some years since, but has been rebuilt in the same style. There is a print of the old house in Prosser. All the family portraits were burnt. They were fixed to the walls, and could not be removed.

Sir Edward Hulse’s portrait was painted by F. Cotes, and engraved by J. Watson.

William Munk

(Volume II, page 62)

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