Lives of the fellows

Robert James

b.1703 d.23 March 1776
AB Oxon(1726) Ex LRCP(1727/8) MD Cantab(1727/8) LRCP(1765)

Robert James, M.D., was born, in 1703, at Kin-vaston, in Staffordshire. His father was a major in the army; his mother a sister of Sir Robert Clarke. He had his preliminary education at the grammar school of Lichfield, where he was contemporary with the great lexicographer Johnson. He went thence to St. John’s college, Oxford, and as a member of that house proceeded A.B. 5th July, 1726. He was admitted an Extra-Licentiate of the College of Physicians 12th January, 1727-8, and the 8th May of the same year was created doctor of medicine at Cambridge, by royal mandate. He practised successively at Sheffield, Lichfield, and Birmingham, but eventually removed to London; and was admitted a Licentiate of the College 25th June, 1765. Dr. James was the inventor of the celebrated "fever powders," which bear his name. He was a person of very considerable attainments, and was highly esteemed by Dr. Johnson, who is reported to have said of him, that " no man brought more mind to his profession but he tarnished the fair fame he might otherwise have obtained, by patenting his powders, and falsifying their specification. Dr. James died 23rd March, 1776, aged seventy-three. He was a voluminous writer, and published the following works:—
A Medical Dictionary, with a History of Drugs. 3 vols. Fol. Lond. 1743.
A Treatise on the Gout and Rheumatism. 8vo. Lond. 1745.
A Translation of Rammazini de Morbis Artificum, &c. 8vo. Lond. 1746.
The Presages of Life and Death in Diseases, translated from the Latin of Prosper Alpinus. 2 vols. 8vo. Lond. 1746.
A Dissertation on Fevers and Inflammatory Distempers. 8vo. Lond. 1748.
This ran to eight editions, to the last of which, a posthumous publication, was appended—
A Vindication of the Fever Powder, and a short Treatise on the Disorders of Children. 8vo. Lond. 1778.
Pharmacopœia Universalis; or, a New Universal English Dispensatory. 8vo. Lond. 1752.
The Practice of Physick. 2 vols. 8vo. Lond. 1760. .
A Treatise on Canine Madness. 8vo. Lond. 1760.

William Munk

(Volume II, page 269)

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