Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Adams, Joseph

ADAMS, JOSEPH, M.D. (1756–1818), was the son of an apothecary in Basinghall Street. After attending Hunter's lectures at St. Bartholomew's, he began business as an apothecary; but in 1796 obtained the M.D. degree from Aberdeen and settled at Madeira as a physician. In 1805, after a successful career, he was elected physician to the Small-pox Hospital. He was for some years editor of the ‘Medical and Physical Journal.’ He was admitted a licentiate of the College of Physicians in 1809 on the special recommendation of the president, Sir Lucas Pepys, without passing through the ordinary formalities, and died from a broken leg on 20 June 1818. He was a warm admirer and defender of John Hunter, and published: 1. ‘Observations on Morbid Poisons, Phagedæna, and Cancer,’ 1795. A second edition of this, his chief book, appeared in 1796. 2. ‘Observations on the Cancerous Breast,’ 1801. 3. ‘A Guide to the Island of Madeira,’ 1801. 4. ‘Answer to Objections against the Cow-pox.’ 5. ‘A Popular View of Vaccine Inoculation,’ 1807. 6. ‘An Inquiry into the Laws of different Epidemic Diseases,’ 1809. 7. ‘A Philosophical Dissertation on Hereditary Peculiarities of the Human Constitution,’ 1814. 8. ‘Memoirs of the Life and Doctrines of the late John Hunter, Esq.,’ 1816. Also a few pamphlets, and many contributions to the ‘London Medical and Physical Journal’ (cf. xii. 141, 193, 332, 552).

[Munk's College of Physicians, iii. 76; London Medical and Physical Journal, xxii. 87, xl. 85.]