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

BRANDRETH, JOSEPH, M.D. (1746–1815), physician, was born at Ormskirk, Lancashire, in 1746. After graduating M.D. at Edinburgh in 1770, where his thesis, 'De Febribus intermittentibus,' was published, he exercised his profession in his native town until about 1776, when he succeeded to the practice of Dr. Matthew Dobson, at Liverpool, on the retirement of that gentleman to Bath. He remained at Liverpool for the remainder of his life, and became an eminently successful and popular practitioner. He was a man of wide and various reading, and possessed a most accurate and tenacious memory, which he attributed to his habit of depending on it without referring to notes. He established the Dispensary at Liverpool in 1778, and for thirty years gave great attention to the Infirmary. The discovery of the utility of applying cold in fever is ascribed to him. This remedy he described in a paper 'On the Advantages arising from the Topical Application of Cold Water and Vinegar in Typhus, and on the Use of Large Doses of Opium in certain Cases' (Med. Commentaries, xvi. p. 382, 1791). He died at Liverpool, 10 April 1815.

[Monthly Repository, 1815, p. 254; Gent. Mag. lxxxv. pt. i. 472 (taken from Liverpool Mercury, 14 April 1815); Picton's Memorials of Liverpool, 2nd ed. 1875, pp. 133, 147, 355; Evans's Cat. of Portraits, ii. 49; Watt's Bibl. Brit.]

C. W. S.