Lives of the fellows

William Baylies

b.1724 d.2 March 1787
MD Aberdeen(1748) FRCP Edin(1759) LRCP(1765)

William Baylies, M.D., was born in Worcestershire, and bred an apothecary, in which capacity he practised for some years in the country. By a marriage with the daughter of Mr. Thomas Cookes, a wealthy and influential attorney at Evesham, he acquired an independency, and thereupon determined to practise as a physician. He obtained a degree of doctor of medicine from the university of Aberdeen 18th December, 1748, and on the 7th August, 1759, was admitted a fellow of the College of Physicians of Edinburgh. He settled at Bath, and shortly afterwards published a small treatise, entitled " Reflections on the Use and Abuse of Bath Waters," which involved him in an acrimonious dispute with Dr. Lucas and Dr. Oliver, the two leading physicians in that city. He next printed " A Narrative of Facts, demonstrating the Existence and Cause of a Physical Confederacy, made known in the printed letters of Dr. Lucas and Dr. Oliver;" and, in consequence of this publication, was excluded from all consultations at Bath. In 1761 Dr. Baylies was a candidate for the representation of Evesham in Parliament; and in November of that year presented a petition against the return of one of the members, alleging that he himself had received a majority of votes, and ought to have been returned. The petition was ordered to be heard the 15th of December; but before the day arrived it was allowed to be withdrawn. Having lost all chance of success at Bath, he removed to London; and on the 8th November, 1764, was elected physician to the Middlesex hospital. He was admitted a Licentiate of the College of Physicians 30th September, 1765; and about that time " took a magnificent house in Great George-street, Westminster, where he kept an excellent table and fine carriages, gave splendid entertainments and wines, and was remarkable for an enormous tie-wig. He lived there about six months, put off notes, and then was obliged to abscond, on account of some disgraceful money transactions." He retreated to Germany, and practised first at Dresden, and then at Berlin, where he succeeded in gaining the confidence and patronage of Frederick the Great. The doctor died at Berlin, apparently a rich man, the 2nd March,1787, aged sixty-three. A portrait of him, by H. Schmid, engraved by D. Berger, was published at Berlin. Dr. Baylies, in addition to the two pamphlets above mentioned, was the author of—

Remarks on Perry’s Analysis of the Stratford Mineral Water. 8vo. Stratford-upon-Avon. 1745.
A History of the General Hospital or Infirmary at Bath. 8vo. Lond. 1758.
Pacts and Observations relative to Inoculation at Berlin. 8vo. Edinb. 1781.

William Munk

(Volume II, page 271)

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