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Biographical notes for Joseph Fox Jr.



Munk's "Roll of the Royal College of Physicians" tells us that this second Joseph, after practising in Falmouth for some years as an apothecary, "acquired by marriage and his profession a small independence" and decided to try his fortune in London as a physician. He studied at Edinburgh and in 1783 graduated M.D. at St. Andrews (His brother Edward Long graduated 1784 at St. Andrews). Settling in London, he was admitted L.R.C.P. in 1788, and in 1789 was elected physician to the London Hospital. In 1792 the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh made him a fellow.

When he settled among them, London Friends were helpful; and it was through the influence of Thomas Smith (one of our ancestors through the Tregelles family), and other wealthy men, that he became Physician to the London. "He set up his carriage on 600 pounds a year." - (info Cathy Stevenson-Fox)

In 1800 he was compelled by his "increasing private engagements" to resign his office at the London Hospital; and, having by that time accumulated a fortune fully adequate to the supply of all his wants, he soon afterwards quitted London.

He had conceived, and partly compiled, "A New Medical Dictionary Containing a Concise Explanation of all the Terms Used in Medicine, Surgery, Pharmacy , Botany, Natural History, and Chymistry;" and the publishers, who had the. manuscript, arranged for its  revision and completion by Thomas Bradley, physician to the Westminster Hospital and long editor of the Medical and Physical Journal. This workmanlike little book appeared in 1803, and in 1804 Joseph gave a copy to his nephew Richard Hingston Fox.

In retirement, he lived first in his cottage at Mylor, across the water from Falmouth.

"But there he was soon found out and drawn into practice, working very hard as a country doctor."

George Alexander Fox, grandfather of Cathy Stevenson-Fox, recalled that this Joseph (his great-uncle) carried in a waistcoat pocket little slips of paper on which were written the symtoms of certain diseases, with which to refresh his memory as he rode to his patients.

His last years were spent in Plymouth. (T.F. Fox 1977)

From Bulloch, W (1933) Roll of members of the Staff of the London Hospital from its foundation.
In possession of the Medical College Library.

"In the 18'th century, medical degrees were offered at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, but these were mainly in humanities and dialectics but no clinical medicine. At best a surgeon or apothecary had years of practical experience under a single master. A licence to practice as a physician in England could be obtained by passing the examination for licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians of London."
 
Unlike England, the University of Edinburgh medical school taught clinical medicine and especially clinical anatomy. It was far ahead of medicine in England as was Leiden and Vienna. There was and is still no thesis involved in becoming a doctor of medicine. There is no original work upon which to write a thesis, since their training is entirely practical knowledge and skills.

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