Lives of the fellows

Whitlock Nicholl

b.1786 d.3 December 1838
MRCS(1809) MD Aberd(1816) Ex LRCP(1817) MD Glasg(1826) LRCP(1826) FRS(1830)

Whitlock Nicholl, M.D., was born in 1786 at Treddington, co. Worcester, and was the son of the Rev. Iltyd Nicholl, D.D., rector of that parish, by his wife Ann, daughter of George Hatch, esq., of Windsor. The death of his father, when he was scarcely two years old, led to his removal shortly afterwards to the house of his uncle, the Rev. John Nicholl, a man of learning and great benevolence, from whom he appears to have derived the elements of his education. In 1802 he was placed with Mr. Bevan, a respectable medical practitioner at Cowbridge, in Glamorganshire, and in 1806 was entered a pupil of St. George’s hospital. He attended the lectures of Mr. Wilson, Dr. Hooper, Dr. Pearson, Dr. John Clarke, and Sir Everard Home; in 1808 was appointed house surgeon of the Lock hospital, and in the spring of the following year was admitted a member of the Royal college of Surgeons. Returning to Cow-bridge he entered into partnership with his former master, Mr. Bevan, but in 1816 removed to Ludlow, in Shropshire, when he relinquished general practice and acted thenceforward as a physician.

He was created doctor of medicine by Marischal college, Aberdeen, 17th May, 1816, and was admitted an Extra-Licentiate of the College of Physicians 8th June, 1816. In October of the following year (1817), through the interest of his relation, Sir John Nicholl, he was created doctor of medicine by the archbishop of Canterbury. Dr. Nicholls success at Ludlow was fully equal to his expectations. His leisure time was devoted to study and writing, and most of his medical publications, whether in the journals of the day or separate, were completed and published during his residence in Shropshire. No small portion of his time was given to biblical studies, and to enable him to prosecute them with greater effect and satisfaction to himself he commenced the study of Hebrew, to a very competent knowledge of which language he eventually attained.

In 1826 Dr. Nicholl quitted Ludlow and repaired to London. In preparation for this change, and in order to comply with the requirements of the college, he matriculated at Glasgow in November, 1825, and graduated doctor of medicine there the 17th March, 1826. He was admitted a Licentiate of the College of Physicians 26th June, 1826, and then settled in London. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society 18th February, 1830. For some years he possessed a select and respectable practice. Severe and repeated domestic afflictions determined him in 1835 to quit the metropolis and devote himself to the care and education of his children. After various changes of abode he finally settled at Wimbledon, where he died on the 3rd December, 1838.

We have from his pen—
A Sketch of the Economy of Man. 8vo. Lond. 1819.
General Elements of Pathology. 8vo. Lond. 1820.
Practical Remarks on the disordered states of the Cerebral Structures occurring in Infants. 8vo. Lond. 1821.
An Analysis of Christianity, exhibiting a connected View of the Scriptures and showing the Unity of Subject which pervades the whole of the Sacred Volume. 8vo. Lond. 1823.
Nugæ Hebraicæ.
Nature the Preacher. A Tract. 1837.
Remarks on the breaking and eating of Bread and drinking of Wine in commemoration of the Passion of Christ. 8vo. Lond. 1837.
An Inquiry into the Nature and Prospects of the Adamite Race as viewed in connexion with the Scheme of Christianity. 8vo. Lond. 1838.

Some writings left behind in MS., but unfinished at the time of Dr. Nicholl’s death, were collected and published, with "A Slight Sketch" of his life, in 1841. This volume contains Thoughts in Rhyme; A concise and familiar View of Mental Perception and of the Fallacies to which it is liable, with general remarks on the Credibility of Human Testimony; An Analysis of the Primary Record of the Pentateuch; Hints for Improving the Condition of the Poorer Classes; On the Divinity of Christ; and On Hades and Heaven.

William Munk

(Volume III, page 149)

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