Lives of the fellows

William Carter

b.1836 d.2 February 1913
MB BSc Lond(1864) LLB(1866) MD MRCS LSA FRCSI(1866) FRCP(1885) JP

William Carter was born at Newbury, Berkshire, the son of Dr. Thomas Carter, the descendant of an old Berkshire family long associated with Kingsclere. He was educated at Newbury Grammar School and at Charing Cross and St. Thomas’s Hospitals, qualifying in 1863. Not only was he a brilliant medical student, but he obtained the degree of B.Sc. in addition to the M.B. in 1864 and went on to take the LL.B. in 1866. He completed his medical training with a visit to Dublin, where he took the qualification of F.R.C.S. (Ireland) in 1866. A year later he made his permanent home in Liverpool. He was elected, first, to the staff of the North Dispensary, and then, in 1871, to the Royal Southern Hospital, which he served as physician for thirty-six years. He was also connected with the Ear and Eye Infirmary and for some years acted as medical officer of health for West Derby. From his earliest days in Liverpool, he was associated with the city’s academic life. He lectured on chemistry at Liverpool College and on botany at the Royal Infirmary School of Medicine; he was professor of physiology at Queen’s College. He became professor of materia medica at University College, Liverpool, and assumed the same chair on the foundation of Liverpool University. He played an active role in the inauguration and development of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. He was Bradshaw Lecturer in 1888 at the Royal College of Physicians.

Outside his strictly professional activities, Carter made a name for himself as a social reformer. A puritan in the best sense of the word, he campaigned on behalf of such causes as slum improvement, the higher education of women, and temperance. But he was never a bigot, and his practice embraced every class of patient. He attended Mr. Gladstone in his last illness. He retired to Deganwy in North Wales in 1908. He married Sarah Humphreys and had two daughters. He died at Liverpool.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1913; B.M.J., 1913]

(Volume IV, page 299)

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