Sue Young Histories

Augustus Bozzi Granville 1783 - 1872

November 08, 2009

British Foreign OfficeAugustus Bozzi** Granville** 1783 - 1872 MD, was an Italian orthodox physician, Lecturer in Chemistry at St. George’s Hospital Medical School, Physician to the Westminster General Dispensary, Editor of The Medical Intelligencer, and The London Medical and Physical Journal, Fellow of the Royal Society of Physicians, and he was a founding member of the Athanaeum, and President of the Westminster Medical Society, Vice President of the British Medical Society, living and working in London, who was open minded enough to conduct clinical trials into homeopathy.

Granville was a friend of Frederick Hervey Foster Quin, and he consulted Frederick Hervey Foster Quin about some of his cases:

I have to deal with two obstinate and chronic cases of metritis with ovarian irritation. The usual remedies and external applications have been had recorurse to with ambiguous and at all events tedious good effect.

‘I read in Gerard, Nass and Georg von Necker, and other Hahnemannians, wonderful cures performed in similar instances by strychnine 3, or sulphur 6, or platina 6, or phos ac 9, or conium 30, or pulsatilla 30.

‘The questions arising in my mind on reading these varied agents to combat one and the same disorder, and which (as I am willing to give every medical alleged improvement a fair trial) I would submit to you for information and guidance are these…

‘At your leisure I shall esteem it a favour to receive a reply to my present communication, which I the less scruple to address you, as I feel convinced of your sincerity in working in the field of science of which we are fellow labourers.’ Letter to Frederick Hervey Foster Quin from A B Granville 25.4.1838.

Frederick Hervey Foster Quin wrote fully to Granville, who answered:

I am unwilling to suffer more than a night to elapse without thanking you most sincerely for the very full and elaborate manner in which you have replied to my queries respecting a very troublesome, and I may say often a rebellious, class of female disorders.

‘You have extended your readiness in complying to my wishes for information respecting homeopathic agents themselves already prepared and ready for administration, and for the additional mark of your attention, as well as for the present of your edition of Samuel Hahemann’s Fragmenta, I tender to you my sincere acknowledgments.

‘Thus instructed and thus supplied with means, I shall certainly feel tempted to enter into a course of experiments in the species of disorder above alluded to, and I will think it my duty to acquaint you with the result.’ A B Granville’s Letter to Frederick Hervey Foster Quin April 1838

Granville was born in Milan from an ancient Corsican family related to the Corsican Bonapartes. Augustus was born from an Italian father, Carlo Bozzi, his mother had an English grandmother, and an Italian grandfather.

Granville was educated in Italy against the background of Bonaparte’s occupation of Lomardy, and obtained his MD in Pavia, but had to flee the political situation, travelling to Genoa, Venice, and Corfu, where he met William Richard Hamilton, private secretary to Lord Elgin, and he travelled in Lord Elgin’s party to Constantinople, where he became a Physician to the British Embassy there, where he contracted the plague.

Lord Elgin was a ’passionate advocate of homeopathy’ and set about ’making himself one of its promoters‘. Lord Elgin was a patient of Samuel Hahnemann, who treated him for facial neuralgia, and Lord Elgin recommended his friend Dr. Scott from Glasgow, ‘an ardent student of homeopathy’ to see Frederick Hervey Foster Quin.

Granville then joined the Turkish fleet as a Physician, and travelled to the Holy Land, through the Mediteranean and to Spain, where he passed his Latin and established a practice in Madrid. He then moved to Lisbon and, finding a British Fleet there, he signed on as a surgeon on the HMS Raven and spent six years serving in the Navy in the Caribbean and the Atlantic. He caught yellow fever and recovered using James Currie’s cold water treatment, and in 1813, he resigned on half pay at the full rank of Surgeon.

Granville married Ms. Kerr, an English woman in 1809, and learned English, working as a translator for the British Foreign Office. In 1814, Granville became active in the Italian cause, and with his friend William Richard Hamilton, he travelled to Paris and met Viscount Castlereagh, and trusted with important dispatches he returned to Milan to see his family again after an absence of twelve years, enlisting Henry Palmerston’s support for the cause of Italian patriotism.

He was arrested by the Austrians, visited Madame Stael, met Humphrey Davey and Michael Faraday, and was engaged in intelligence work meeting Antonio Canova.

In 1848, Granville joined the campaign for Italian independence.

From 1813, Granville’s official address was London, first in South Audley Street, and then 16 St. Michael’s Place Brompton, and he worked as a tutor to his friend William Richard Hamilton’s children, and as a Lecturer in Chemistry at St. George’s Hospital Medical School, and he studied medicine at Westminster Hospital under John Ayrton Paris and Anthony Carlisle.

In 1816, his friend William Farquhar advised him to take up  midwifery and he spent some time in Paris studying under some of the great names of medicine at the time including Rene Laennec, and working at the l’Hopital Necker (founded by the mother of Madame Stael).

In London, Granville obtained his MRCS and LRCP in 1817, and set up is practice in 8 Saville Row, becoming the Editor of The Medical Intelligencer, and The London Medical and Physical Journal, and he published a review of Rene Laennec’s treatise on the stethescope De Le Auscultation Mediate, and various other papers.

In 1819, he was appointed Physician to the Westminster General Dispensary, where Samuel Johnson, the Literary Club and The Linnaeum Society met. During this time he continued publishing articles and was appointed to the staff of the Metropolitan Hospital for Sick Children.

His clientelle included Sarah Siddons, Edward VII (when he was Duke of Clarence), Count Simon Woronzov, and the Princess Tczernicheff in St. Petersberg, where he also commented on the health of Tsar Nicholas I.

In 1818, he reported on the research of Guy Lussac on iodine, and he became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Physicians, and he was a founding member of the Athanaeum, and President of the Westminster Medical Society, Vice President of the British Medical Society, and a Freemason.

Granville gave evidence to Parliamentary Committees on quarantine, was concerned with sanitation and sewage, and in 1831, convinced that cholera was a water bourne disease, he published Catechism of Health, and an eager advocate of spas, his Spas of Germany appeared in 1841.

In 1861, Granville’s wife died, and he wrote his autobiography.

In 1872, his Obituary was printed in _The Lancet_.

Granville wrote Autobiography of A B Granville, M.D, FRS, being eighty-eight years of the life of a physician who practised his profession in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, the West Indies, Russia, Germany, France, and England.


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