Lives of the fellows

Daniel Bridges

b.? d.c.1792
Ex LRCP(1766)

Daniel Bridges was bred as an apothecary; but, ambitious of a higher position, he presented himself before the Elects of the College of Physicians, and on the 4th October, 1766, was admitted an Extra-Licentiate. He practised at Hull, and was the first appointed physician (1782) to the infirmary in that town. " With his more regular practice as a physician he combined that of an accoucheur, much against the wishes of the surgeons and contemporary apothecaries, so that he was obliged to connect himself with a dispensing druggist, then quite a new character; and thus, though well respected by a particular set of acquaintances, he never attained any eminence in the opinion of the faculty, or of the higher ranks in the town or country. He was a man of genius and a scholar, though rough in his manner. He it was who first discovered a method of converting spermaceti into a composition well adapted for burning as wax; and the Hull spermaceti candles, which he manufactured, were burned in almost every drawing-room in the kingdom. Had he had common prudence, and kept the invention secret, he might have died rich from this manufacture alone; but, being fond of company and shooting, he entrusted his secret to his workman, who soon found occasion to leave him and set up for himself, and thus to draw away most industriously the advantages of the invention. His family came to poverty, whilst his servant left a fortune behind him."(1) He died about the year 1792.

William Munk

[(1) MS. Sketches of some of his Contemporaries, by John Alderson, M.D. of Hull. Penes Jac. Alderson, M.D.]

(Volume II, page 277)

<< Back to List