The Consultation Letters of Dr William Cullen (1710-1790) at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh


People [PERS ID:4336]

First NameRichard
Middle Name/Initial(s)
Last NameBrocklesby
Maiden Name
Medical Professional?Medical Professional


Birth (year) 1722
Date of death (year) 1797


Richard Brocklesby was born in Minehead, Somerset, 11 August 1722; and was the only son of Richard Brocklesby (d. c.1763), of Cork, and his wife, Mary Alloway, of Minehead, Somerset. Both parents were Quakers and he attended the Quaker school in Ballitore, Ireland. It was here that he began his lifelong friendship with Edmund Burke. Brocklesby studied medicine at Edinburgh before graduating from Leiden in 1745. A series of his papers published in the Philosophical Transactions lead to him being admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1747. His reputation as an established physician and a writer was acknowledged by being admitted to the Royal College of Physicians in 1757. Later he was awarded honorary MDs from Dublin and Cambridge. Samuel Johnson was one of Brocklesby’s most notable patients and he attended Johnston from June 1783 until his death in 1784. They were close friends, founding the Essex Head Club together in 1783. Johnson was described as a difficult patient, prone to self-treatment, and to violent criticisms of Brocklesby’s methods. Brocklesby’s wrote many pamphlets and articles, but is known for his “Essay Concerning the Mortality … Among Horned Cattle in Several Parts of Europe and Chiefly about London” (1746), which brought him to the attention of the medical profession early in his career; and Oeconomical and Medical Observations … From 1758 To 1763 Inclusive Tending To The Improvement Of Military Hospitals And To The Care Of Camp Diseases Incident To Soldiers (1764) leading to improvements of care in military hospitals. Brocklesby died suddenly at his home in London, on 11 December 1797, and was buried in St Clement Danes Church.

Cases that this person appears in:

CountCase IDCase Name
1Case 1686Case of Dr Samuel Johnson who has asthma and dropsy.