Sir Richard, Bart Quain - Encyclopedia

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SIR RICHARD QUAIN, Bart. (1816-1898), Irish physician, was born at Mallow-on-the-Blackwater, Co. Cork, on the 30th of October 1816. He received his early education at Cloyne, and was then apprenticed to a surgeon-apothecary in Limerick. In 1837 he entered University College, London, where he graduated with high honours as M.B. in 1840, and as M.D. (gold medal) in 1842. Six years later he was chosen an assistant-physician to the Brompton Hospital for Diseases of the Chest, and with that institution he retained his connexion until his death, first as full (1855) and subsequently as consulting physician (1875). He became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1851, and filled almost every post of honour it could offer except the presidency, in the contest for which he was beaten by Sir Andrew Clark in 1888. He became physician-extraordinary to Queen Victoria in 1890, and was created a baronet in the following year. He died in London on the 13th of March 1898. Quain, who was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1871, was the author of several memoirs, dealing for the most part with disorders of the heart, but his name will be best remembered by the Dictionary of Medicine, the preparation of which occupied him from 1875 to 1882 (2nd edition, 1894; 3rd, 1902). He sat on the Royal Commission on Rinderpest (cattle plague) in 1865. He was a cousin of Jones Quain (1796-1865), the author of Quain's Elements of Anatomy, and of Richard Quain (1800-1887), who was president of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1868, and left 75,000 to University College, London, with which the Quain professorships of botany, English language and literature, law, and physics were endowed. A half-brother of the last two, Sir John Richard Quain (1816-1876), was appointed a judge of the Queen's Bench in 1871.

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