Lives of the fellows

Richard Pulteney

b.17 February 1730 d.13 October 1801
MD Edin(1764) Ex LRCP(1765) FRS

Richard Pulteney, M.D., was the son of Samuel Pulteney, by his wife Mary Tomlinson, and was born at Loughborough, co.Leicester, on the 17th February, 1730. He was educated in an ordinary elementary school in that county; after which he served a seven years’ apprenticeship to an apothecary, and then commenced practice at Leicester. His progress there was slow, and wholly inadequate to his deserts; but he devoted the abundant leisure he possessed to self-improvement, and especially to the study of his favourite sciences, botany and natural history. At a very early period he became a contributor to the " Gentleman’s Magazine," and some years later to the " Philosophical Transactions." His papers to the Royal Society introduced him to the notice of Sir William Watson, M.D., and through him to the earl of Macclesfield, then president of the society, and several other eminent literary characters. Through their recommendation he was induced to leave Leicester, and take the necessary steps to qualify himself as a physician. With this object he proceeded to Edinburgh, and there, by a special act of favour, was admitted to examination without residence or attendance upon lectures, and proceeded doctor of medicine in 1764 (D.M.I. de Cinchonâ Officinali). Dr. Pulteney then came to London, and was appointed domestic physician to the earl of Bath. The death of that nobleman within a year gave a different direction to his views; and, a good opening for a physician presenting itself at Blandford, Dr. Pulteney determined on removing thither. Preliminary to this he presented himself before the College of Physicians, and was admitted an Extra-Licentiate 18th April, 1765. He soon got into extensive practice at Blandford, and accumulated a handsome fortune. He died, generally esteemed and respected, 13th October, 1801, aged seventy-one; and was buried at the village of Langton, about a mile from Blandford. A tablet with the following inscription was placed in Blandford church:—
This tablet
is erected in memory of
Richard Pulteney, M.D., F.R.S.,
who, after 36 years’ residence in this town,
died on the 13th October, 1801, aged 71.
That modesty for which he was
remarkable through life, forbad any
vain eulogium on his tomb; but he will
long be remembered with gratitude and
affection, both as a physician and as a
friend; and with the truest reverence
and sorrow by Elizabeth, his afflicted
widow, daughter of John and
Elizabeth Gatton, of Shapwick, Dorset.

Dr. Pulteney’s portrait by J. Beach was engraved by T. Roberts. He was a fellow of the Royal Societies of London and Edinburgh, a fellow of the Linnæan Society, and an honorary member of the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh. Besides his contributions to the "Philosophical Transactions," the " Gentleman’s Magazine," and the " Transactions of the Linnæan Society," he was the author of—
A General View of the Writings of Linnæus. 4to. Lond.
Historical and Biographical Sketches of the Progress of Botany in England, from its origin to the introduction of the Linnæn System. 8vo. 2 vols. Lond. 1790.

William Munk

(Volume II, page 264)

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