Lives of the fellows

William Squire

b.1 December 1825 d.8 April 1899

William Squire was born at Silsoe, Bedfordshire, the son of William Peppercorn Squire, and began his medical studies with a short apprenticeship to a doctor at Chesham. As a student at University College, London, he won several medals and prizes, and administered ether at Robert Liston’s first major operation performed under a general anaesthetic. On qualifying in 1849, he served as a house surgeon in University College Hospital and visited Paris, where he interested himself in the regular taking of temperatures, a long-stemmed axillary thermometer being the instrument used. It was for Squire, after his return to England, that the first short-stemmed thermometer is said to have been made, and he was the author of articles on temperature variations in children. In 1851 he was appointed medical superintendent of the St. Marylebone Infirmary, and at a later date he became physician to the St. George’s Dispensary, Hanover Square, and to the North London Hospital for Consumption. But it was for his work on epidemiology that he was most widely known. He published Collected Essays on Preventive Medicine in 1887 and contributed articles to Quain’s Dictionary of Medicine. Natural history and geology were among his hobbies, and he was a keen student of Shakespeare. He was the father of J. E. Squire, F.R.C.P.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1899; B.M.J., 1899]

(Volume IV, page 267)

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