Lives of the fellows

Alexander Patrick Stewart

b.28 August 1813 d.17 July 1883
MD Glasg(1838) FRCP(1855) Hon FKQCPI

A. P. Stewart was the son of Rev. Andrew Stewart, minister of Bolton, in East Lothian, who had practised as a physician before his ordination, and his wife Margaret, daughter of Alexander Stewart, tenth Lord Blantyre. Stewart himself received a classical education at Glasgow University between the years 1826 and 1828 and, after spending two years abroad with his family, returned to the University to study medicine. He graduated as M.D. in 1838, passed some months at Paris and Berlin, and settled in practice in London in 1839. Experience as a house surgeon in the Glasgow Fever Hospital from 1836 to 1838 and discussions with Chomel in Paris provided material for a paper on typhus and typhoid fever, read to the Paris Medical Society in 1840. In this, he put forward the opinion, never before published in England, and soon to be irrevocably confirmed by Jenner, that the two fevers were "totally different diseases". He earned further distinction by condemning the use of purgatives in typhoid fever.

His principal hospital connection was with the Middlesex, where he became assistant physician in 1850, physician in 1855, and consulting physician in 1866. His first lectures were on materia medica, his later ones on medicine. He was also physician to the St. Pancras Royal General Dispensary. Stewart was a promoter of sanitary reform and in 1849 wrote an essay on Sanitary Economics. In 1854 he published a paper on cholera cases in the Middlesex Hospital and in 1866, with Jenkins, one on The Medical Aspects of Sanitary Reform. He was an elder in the Presbyterian Church and actively participated in its missionary activities. His main faults were a lack of punctuality and a disregard for time. These, perhaps, accounted for his failure to rise higher in his profession. He died, a bachelor, in London.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1883; B.M.J., 1883; D.N.B., liv, 269]

(Volume IV, page 82)

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