Lives of the fellows

William Lambe

b.26 Feb 1765 d.11 June 1847
AB Cantab(1786) AM(1789) MD(1802) FRCP(1804)

William Lambe, M.D., was born 26th February, 1765, at Warwick, and was the son of Mr. Lacon Lambe, an attorney practising in that town. After a good scholastic education at the Hereford grammar-school, he was entered at St. John’s college, Cambridge, of which society he subsequently became a fellow. He proceeded A.B. 1786, and was fourth wrangler of his year, A.M. 1789, and M.D. 1802. Soon after taking his second degree in arts, he commenced business at Warwick, succeeding to the practice of his friend, Dr. Landon, who about that time withdrew from the active exercise of his profession. Whilst at Warwick, he made a minute chemical examination of the mineral water at Leamington, the results of which he published in the 5th vol. of the Transactions of the Philosophical Society of Manchester.

Desirous of a wider field for his exertions, he, after a time, removed to London, was admitted a Candidate of the College of Physicians, 22nd December, 1803, and a Fellow, 22nd December, 1804. He was Censor in 1806, 1815, 1826, 1828; Croonian lecturer, 1814, 1815, 1816; Harveian orator, 1818; Elect, 30th September, 1828; and Consiliarius, 1839. He died at Dilwyn, whither he had retired, on the 11th June, 1847, aged 82, and was buried in the family vault in the churchyard of that parish.(1)

Dr. Lambe was an accomplished man, benevolent and kind hearted, his advice and purse being open on all occasions to the sick and needy. "He was eccentric in his manners, and a rigid vegetarian, having for nearly half a century before his death never tasted animal food. He wrote a work to show that almost all diseases, but particularly those of a scirrhous nature, had their origin in the use of animal diet, and in the impure water supplied to the metropolis. He did not, however, insist upon all his patients keeping to a vegetable diet, but he strongly relied upon the necessity of their drinking nothing but filtered water; and he had the model of a glass filter in his consulting room, which he invariably exhibited and described to his patients. Dr. Lambe had never any considerable practice of a remunerative character, and lived for many years a short distance out of town. He had, however, a consulting room in King’s-road, Bedford-row, at which he was in the habit of attending three times a week. Never was a poor patient turned from the door at any of the hours of his attendance, and this most benevolent man assisted with money those who without it were unable to obtain the little luxuries necessary in sickness and the medicines he had prescribed."(2)

Dr. Lambe was the author of—
An Analysis of the Leamington Water. 8vo. 1790.
Researches into the Properties of Spring Water, with Medical Cautions against the use of Lead in Water-pipes, Pumps, Cisterns, &c. 8vo. Lond. 1803.
A Medical and Experimental Inquiry into the Origin of Constitutional Diseases, particularly Scrofula, Consumption, Cancer, and Gout. 8vo. Lond. 1805.
Reports of the Effects of a peculiar Regimen on Scirrhous Tumours and Cancerous Ulcers. 8vo. Lond. 1809.
Additional Reports on the Effects of a peculiar Regimen in cases of Cancer, Scrofula, Consumption, Asthma, and other Chronic Diseases. 8vo. Lond. 1815.
An Investigation of the Properties of Thames Water. 8vo. Lond. 1828.

William Munk

[(1) Neque vero, hoc loco, mihi silentio prætereundus est, quem nuper, gravem annis, amisimus Gulielmus Lambe quippe qui scientiæ chemicæ cultor esset haud spernendus, idem litteris humanioribus bene imbutus, atque medendi certe haud imperitus. Particulas plumbeas in aquis latitantes scite evocavit. Simplex erat et apertus et mores ejus modestissimi, vita integerrima. Quod si paulo inconsultius carnem nobis omnino interdicere vellet, ignoscendum est tamen. Cuinam enim nocuit? Nemo, quod sciam, illi, de hac re, nisi ipse sibi, dicto fuit audiens. Vale! igitur lenis anima! qualis neque candidior, neque innocentior altera ad plures migravit: neque facile crederem te, in locis piorum lætis, beatisque sedibus, quemquam tibi iratum, veluti Ulyssi Ajacem, esse inventurum: namque irasci tibi vix potuerit aliquis, nisi vero si quis esset ita, plusquam tu ipse, Pythagoræus, ita cibum omnem nitrogenatum perosus, ut tibi succenseret, quod non obsecutus esses Pythagorico illi edicto, ne faba vesceremur. Sed, ut quæramus seria, nonne is beatus, post obitum certe, videtur jure appellandus, cui nihil quisquam, neque fraudis, neque malitias, neque vitii, recte objicerit? Oratio ex Harveii Instituto habita die Junii xxiv; MDCCCXLVIII a Francisco Hawkins, M.D. pp. 19—20.
(2) Lives of British Physicians. 12mo. Lond. 1857, p. 406.]

(Volume III, page 17)

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