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William Somerville (physician)

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Title: William Somerville (physician)  
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William Somerville (physician)

William Somerville c. 1840

William Somerville (1771 – 25 June 1860) was a Scottish physician and inspector of the Army Medical Board. He was the husband of eminent mathematician and scientist Mary Somerville.


Somerville was descended from the ancient family of Somerville of Cambusnethan, a branch of the Somervilles of Drum, who were ennobled in 1424. He was the eldest son of the Rev. Thomas Somerville, minister of Jedburgh.[1]

He was educated as a surgeon, in which capacity he entered the army. He was sent to the Cape Colony, and present at the taking of the Cape of Good Hope. He later served in Canada and in Sicily under his friend Sir James Craig.[1] He graduated doctor of medicine at Aberdeen 27 June 1800, and about 1813 was appointed head of the Army Medical Department in Scotland, when he settled in Edinburgh. In 1816 he was appointed one of the principal medical inspectors of the Army Medical Board of England. He was admitted a Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians in 1817 was elected a fellow of the Royal Society.[1]

Together with his wife, Mary Somerville, a cousin whom he had married in 1812, he went to live in Italy in 1838. He died at Florence on 25 June 1860, aged ninety-two. His wife survived him, and died at Naples in 1872.


  1. ^ a b c Munk, William (1878). The Roll of the Royal College of Physicians of London, 2nd edition, Vol III. London: Royal College of Physicians. p. 169. 

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