Lives of the fellows

George Leith Roupell

b.18 September 1797 d.29 September 1854
MB Cantab(1820) MD(1825) FRCP(1826)

George Leith Roupell, M.D., was born of a wealthy family, originally from Hesse-Cassel, where it flourished in great local importance for centuries, and where it still exists under the name of Rüpell. The first of the family who settled in England was Capt. Roupell, an officer in William Ill’s guards, who accompanied that monarch from Holland in 1688, and whose widow received a pension.(1) Our physician was the eldest son of George Boon Roupell, esq., of Chart Ham park, county Sussex, an eminent member of the English bar, and for some years one of the masters in Chancery, by his wife Frances Browne, youngest daughter of Robert McCulloch, esq., of Charlton, Kent.

He was born 18th September, 1797, and was educated at Greenwich under Dr. Burney, and at Caius college, Cambridge. He gained a Tancred studentship, and proceeded M.B. 1820, M.D. 1825. He was admitted an Inceptor-Candidate of the College of Physicians 22nd December, 1824, a Candidate 14th July, 1825, and a Fellow 30th September, 1826. He was Censor in 1829, 1837, 1838; Croonian lecturer 1832; lecturer on Materia Medica at the College in 1837, 1838, 1839; and Consiliarius in 1837.

Dr. Roupell’s first medical appointment was that of physician to the Dreadnought hospital ship, but on the 19th June, 1834, he was appointed physician to St. Bartholomew’s hospital. He died 29th September, 1854, from cholera, after an illness of only twenty-six hours. He had been over to Boulogne to visit a near relative then ill with that disease, and had returned suffering from diarrhoea. His premonitory symptoms were so slight that on the morning of his attack he went through, his usual duties at the hospital, and seemed in good health and spirits.

Dr. Roupell’s "public life was that of an upright and honourable man, and in private he was courteous, kind, and generous, almost to a fault. Habits of close industry, together with deep interest in the subjects of his study, stood him in the place of brilliancy of intellect, and furnished him with a rare extent of professional knowledge."(2) Dr. Roupell succeeded to the family estates of Chart Ham park, Sussex, and Charlton, county Kent, on the death of his father in January, 1838, and himself, dying unmarried, was succeeded by his brother, Robert Prioleau Roupell, a bencher of Lincoln’s-inn.

Dr. Roupell was the author of—
Lectures on Cholera. 8vo. Lond. 1833.
Treatise on Typhus Fever. 8vo. Lond. 1839.
Illustrations of the Effects of Poisons; the plates from drawings by G. M. McWhinnie. Folio. Lond. 1833.

William Munk

[(1) Burke’s Landed Gentry, sub nomine Roupell of Charlton.
(2) Medical Times of 7th October, 1854.]

(Volume III, page 293)

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