Lives of the fellows

John Parsons

b.1742 d.9 April 1785
AB Oxon(1763) AM(1766) MB(1769) MD(1772) FRCP(1775)

John Parsons, M.D., was born in Yorkshire in 1742, and educated at Westminster school, of which he was admitted a king’s scholar in 1756. Elected thence in 1759 to Christ church, Oxford, he proceeded A.B. 27th April, 1763, and A.M. 6th June, 1766. Selecting medicine as his profession, he pursued the study of it, not only at Oxford, but also in London and Edinburgh. In the last-named city he evinced a particular predilection for natural history and botany, and obtained the prize medal given by Dr. Hope for the best hortus siccus. His reputation and influence at Oxford must have been considerable, for in 1766, before he had taken a degree in medicine, he was nominated to the then newly-established office of Lee’s reader in anatomy at Christ church. He proceeded M.B. 12th April, 1769; M.D. 22nd June, 1772. Dr. Parsons was elected reader of anatomy in the university in 1769, physician to the Radcliffe infirmary 6th May, 1772, and clinical professor, on lord Lichfield’s foundation, 1780. He was admitted a Candidate of the College of Physicians 30th September, 1774, a Fellow 30th September, 1775, and he delivered the Harveian oration in 1784. Dying of fever the 9th April, 1785, aged forty-three, he was buried in Oxford cathedral(1)

William Munk

[(1) "In numero autem horum piaculum esset non commorâsse unum (cujus quis desiderio sit pudor aut modus), qui professorium munus quod artem anatomicam, chymicam et clinicam, summâ dignitate implevit, Parson; cui nimia forsan in visendis et curandis ægrotantibus assiduitas officiosaque sedulitas adduxit febrem, nullâ omnino arte medendi superabilem. Omnibus quidem ille flebilis occidit, quibus inter prima ducuntur cura, animi cogitatio vigilantia cum summâ virtute conjuncta. Occidit etiam, nos probe moniturus ne, inter præsentis horæ gaudia, Lethæo quasi rore madentes quàm breves humanæ spes quam caduci honores obliviscamur. Meministis omnes qua dulcedine, quali eloquio capti eum superioris anni oratorem his é rostris disserentem audivistis. Meminerunt Oxonienses et in æternum meminerint quali diligentiâ saluti invigilaret publicæ. In Tyronum animis infixa manent præcepta quibus paucis! paucissimis! abhinc mensibus corporis humani compagem dilucidè explicavit, quam scienter, veterum thesauris è propiis scriniis nova quamplurima adjecerit." Oratio ex Harvæi instituto auctore Jac. Hervey, 1785]

(Volume II, page 303)

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