Lives of the fellows

George Hamilton Roe

b.? d.13 April 1873
MD Edin(1821) LRCP(1823) MD Oxon(1828) FRCP(1836)

George Hamilton Roe, M.D., was born in Wexford, and graduated doctor of medicine at Edinburgh 1st August, 1821 (D.M.I. de Respiratione). He was admitted a Licentiate of the College of Physicians, 25th June, 1823; and then commenced practice in London. He was created doctor of medicine by the university of Dublin, and was incorporated on that degree at Oxford, as a member of Magdalen hall, 24th January, 1828. He was admitted a Candidate of the College of Physicians, 13th April, 1835; a Fellow 25th June, 1836; was Harveian orator in 1856, and Consiliarius 1864, 1865, 1866. He was physician to the Westminster hospital from 1824 to 1856, and to the hospital for consumption from its establishment in 1842. Dr. Roe died 13th April, 1873, aged seventy-seven.

Dr. Roe belonged to a class of practitioners which, if they have done little for the science of medicine, exercised considerable influence in their time on its practice. He may be associated with a number of well educated men, who, eschewing theories, and yet taking advantage of all improvements in medicine, brought common sense and the observation of disease to the bedside. Dr. Roe was not a man of genius, but those who met him in consultation could not fail to be impressed with his decision as to diagnosis, his fertility of resources, and his boldness of treatment in difficult and dangerous cases. For many years he gave gratuitous advice at his house in Hanover-square, where crowds attended in the morning as recipients of his charity.

This abuse may be said to have culminated with him: he not only gave gratuitous advice to any one who applied, no questions being asked as to the applicant’s position or circumstances, but he had one or two surgeons in general practice sitting at the table with him, to whose private charge were handed over those who appeared likely to be remunerative, to the detriment of other practitioners, who in many instances had a juster claim to their suffrages. This vicious system entailed upon Dr. Roe a series of attacks and annoyances which were naturally consequent on the practice he pursued.(1) He had allied himself for some years to the Irvingites, and was a preacher in their places of worship.

He was the author of—
A Treatise on the Hooping Cough and its Complications; with Hints on the Management of Children. 8vo. Lond. 1836.

William Munk

[(1) Clarke’s Autobiographical Recollections of the Medical Profession. 8vo. Lond. 1874. P. 506.]

(Volume III, page 275)

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