Lives of the fellows

Edward Henry (Sir) Sieveking

b.24 August 1816 d.24 February 1904
MD Hon LLD Edin FRCP(1852)

Edward Sieveking was born in London, the descendant of an old Westphalian family. His father, Edward Henry Sieveking of Stamford Hill, had emigrated from Hamburg to London but had returned to serve in the Hanseatic Legion in 1813-14. His mother, Emerentia Louise, was the daughter of Senator J. V. Meyer of Hamburg, and his aunt was a well-known philanthropist in that city. His early education was divided between England and Germany, and he studied medicine at Berlin, Bonn, University College, London, and Edinburgh, where he graduated in 1841. After a year of postgraduate visits to Continental schools, he practised for four years among the English colony in Hamburg, where he founded the Alster Rowing Club. In 1847, however, he settled in London. In 1851 he was appointed assistant physician to St. Mary’s Hospital, where he lectured on materia medica for sixteen years and rose to be physician (1866-87) and ultimately consulting physician. He also held appointments as physician to the London Lock Hospital (1864-89) and the National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic (1864-67).

Sieveking received a number of Court appointments in his later years. In 1863 he became Physician-in-Ordinary to the Prince of Wales, who created him Physician-Extraordinary after his accession to the throne. Queen Victoria made him Physician-Extraordinary in 1873 and Physician-in-Ordinary fifteen years later. His connection with the Royal College of Physicians likewise was distinguished. A prominent supporter of the reforms of 1858, he was Censor and Vice-President (1888) and delivered the Croonian Lectures in 1866 and the Harveian Oration in 1877. A president of the Harveian and other societies, he was instrumental in founding Epsom College in 1855 and the Edinburgh University Club in London in 1864. He was a Knight of Grace of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. Sieveking, whose writings dealt mainly with the subjects of nursing, climatology, and nervous diseases, was a good general physician, a man of courtly demeanour, and wide sympathies. His many friends included Charles Kingsley, F. D. Maurice and Henry Crabb Robinson. He married in 1849 Jane, daughter of John Ray, J.P, of Finchley.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1904; B.M.J., 1904; Times, 25 Feb. 1904; D.N.B., 2nd Suppl., iii, 312]

(Volume IV, page 69)

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