Beatty, William (DNB00)


BEATTY, Sir WILLIAM, M.D. (d. 1842), surgeon on board the Victory at the battle of Trafalgar, entered the service of the navy at an early age, and saw much service in it in various districts of the globe. In 1806 he was appointed physician to the Greenwich Hospital, an office which he retained till 1840. He attended Lord Nelson after he received his mortal wound, and published 'An Authentic Narrative of the Death of Lord Nelson, with the Circumstances preceding, attending, and subsequent to that Event; the Professional Report of his Lordship's Wound; and several Interesting Anecdotes,' 1807, 2nd edition, 1808. He gives in the book a representation of the ball which killed Nelson, with the pieces of the coat, gold lace, and silk pad which remained fixed in it. The ball Beatty retained in his possession in a crystal case mounted in gold. Beatty obtained the degree of M.D. from the university of St. Andrews on 14 Oct. 1817, was made licentiate of the College of Physicians on 22 Dec. of the same year, and was elected F.R.S. on 30 April 1818. On 26 May 1831 he received the honour of knighthood from William IV. He died in York Street, Portman Square, on 25 March 1842.

[Gent. Mag. (N.S.) xviii. 209; Annual Regster for 1842, p. 260; Nicholas's Despatches and Letters of Nelson; Munk's Coll. of Phys. (1878), iii. 177.]

T. F. H.