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Biographical entry Meade, Richard Henry (1804? - 1899)

MRCS April 8th 1830; FRCS Aug 14th 1845; JP.

3 December 1899
botanist, Entomologist and General surgeon


The son of the Rev Richard Meade, of Princes Risboro', Buckinghamshire; served his apprenticeship at the Bedford Infirmary and then went on to St Bartholomew's Hospital. On his 85th birthday he recalled his student days, his teachers, Sir William Lawrence, Earle, P M Latham, and his fellow-student, Sir James Paget, also his frequent successes with class examinations, "but never first when Paget was there". He started practice in London and was a Lecturer on Botany at Middlesex Hospital. All his life he was an ardent naturalist, and from this period became a recognized authority on entomology. In 1840 he succeeded to the practice of Dr William Sharp in Bradford. For sixteen years he was Surgeon to the Infirmary, and for thirty-five years Surgeon to the Lowmoor and Bowling Ironworks Companies.

He was a skilful surgeon, gained a large consulting practice in the West Riding, and was mainly instrumental in starting the Bradford Medical Society, on several occasions acting as its President.

In connection with entomology he was fond of recalling that at a meeting of the British Association at Leeds he read a paper on the nature and habits of certain spiders, which was the only paper ordered, on the motion of the President, Richard Owen, to be printed in extenso in the Transactions. He continued to contribute papers on entomology of great completeness, and such studies, with his books and specimens, and painting in water-colours, formed a congenial occupation and distraction in his declining years. It constituted the subject of bright conversation, together with reminiscences of some professional experience in pre-chloroform days.

A good, sound practitioner and surgeon of the old school, of great experience and considerable acumen - such was his reputation when he retired from practice about four years before the close of his life. Whilst he retained his mental qualities, his general health failed rapidly for the last three months; he was cared for by two unmarried daughters. He died at Mount Royal, Bradford, on Dec 3rd, 1899.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet, 1899, ii, 1864. Brit Med Jour, 1899, ii, 1817].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England