William Long (surgeon)

William Long (surgeon)

William Long FRS, FSA (16 June 1747 – 24 March 1818) was an English surgeon.

Born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, he was the youngest of ten children of Walter Long of Preshaw, Hampshire (1690-1769) (not to be confused with William's nephew Walter Long of Preshaw), and Philippa Blackall. He was eminent in his profession, and for thirty-three years, from 1784 to 1807, was surgeon at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London. He was appointed Master of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1800 and was among those who gave a donation to help fund their new surgical library. He was also on the College's list of first Governors, first Examiners of Surgeons and the first Court of Assistants. [A Treatise on Pleading and Parties to Actions - By Joseph Chitty, Henry Greening, John A. Dunlap, Edward Duncan Ingraham, Jonathan Cogswell Perkins - 1851] He wrote several papers, including one (unpublished) entitled "The Effects of Cancer"."

He lived in London's Chancery Lane, and later at Lincoln's Inn Fields, and developed close friendships with the painter George Romney, sculptor John Flaxman, and writers William Hayley, Isaac Reed and William Blake, who, like Long, were members of the Unincreasable Club, at nearby Queens Head, Holborn, London. Long sat for Romney as his first subject for a portrait [The Letters of William Blake - Page 118 by William Blake, Geoffrey Keynes - 1956] which was done for his friend Hayley. [George Romney by Arthur Bensley Chamberlain - 1910] Subsequently Long acquired many of Romney's paintings, which were eventually sold by Christie's on behalf of the family, in 1890.

William Long purchased Marwell Hall near Winchester, Hampshire about 1798, and between 1812-1816 made considerable alterations, resulting in what is now the house as it stands today. He was a man of compassion and generosity, and when resident at his country seat away from London, he always gave his advice and medicine gratuitously to the poor of the surrounding neighbourhood. [Salisbury and Winchester Journal, March 28, 1818]

He and his wife Alice (daughter of Edmund Dawson of Wharton, Lancaster) had no children, and in his will Long made generous bequests to his nephews and nieces. [The Grove Diaries: The Rise and Fall of an English Family, 1809-1925 By Desmond Hawkins - 1995 ISBN 0874136008] After his death on 24 March 1818 his collections of preserved medical specimens and surgical instruments were donated by his executors to the Royal College of Surgeons Museum in London. [ A Descriptive and Illustrated Catalogue of the Calculi and Other Animal Concretions etc; by Thomas Taylor, Royal College of Surgeons of England Museum] Alice continued to live at Marwell Hall, and during the Owslebury riots of 1830 a mob of rioters, organised by John Boyes, a local farmer, arrived at the house demanding money from Alice and a reduction in the rents of her farm tenants, so they could pay their agricultural labourers higher wages. (Afterwards 245 men were arrested and brought to trial at Winchester. Two of the prisoners were hanged and Boyes was transported to Australia).

William Long is buried in Salisbury Cathedral and his widow erected a monument to 'perpetuate the memory of a much esteemed husband'. Part of the epitaph, written in Latin, says:

Alice died 18 September 1840, leaving numerous charitable bequests.

External links

* [http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/portrait.asp?search=ss&sText=long&LinkID=mp60936&rNo=0&role=sit Portrait in the National Portrait Gallery]


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