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Budd, George (1808-1882) (DNB00)

BUDD, GEORGE, M.D. (1808–1882), professor of medicine in King's College, London, was born at North Tawton, Devonshire, in February 1808. He was the third son of Mr. Samuel Budd, a surgeon, who practised at that place, and who brought up seven of his nine sons to the medical profession. Five of them went to Cambridge, all of whom were wranglers, and four won fellowships. After being educated at home, George Budd entered at St. John's College in 1827, subsequently migrating to Caius, and becoming fellow of his college after taking his degree (third wrangler, 1831). He pursued his medical studies in Paris and at the Middlesex Hospital, London, graduating M.D. at Cambridge in 1840. He came into notice by writing a valuable article on the stethoscope as an acoustic instrument (Medical Gazette, 1837), and in the same year, while still a bachelor of medicine, he was appointed physician to the Dreadnought seamen's hospital ship at Greenwich. Here, in conjunction with Mr. Busk, he made extensive researches on cholera and scurvy, and accumulated a great store of pathological facts relating to diseases of the stomach and liver. In 1840, Budd was elected professor of medicine in King's College, London, and in 1841 he became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, being censor 1845–7. In 1863 Budd retired from his medical professorship in King's College, of which he was then made an honorary fellow, and in 1867, owing to weakness of health, he gave up his large practice in London, and took to a life of rural ease at Barnstaple, in his native county.

He was elected F.R.S. so early as 1836, and in 1880 he was made an honorary fellow of Caius College, Cambridge, having ceased to be a fellow many years before, on his marriage. He died 14 March 1882, aged 74. Budd was a very able physician and medical teacher. He made many valuable contributions to medical literature. Of his treatise on ‘Diseases of the Liver,’ 1845, Dr. Wilson Fox wrote: ‘He may fairly be said to be the first writer who, for nearly half a century, had systematised the practical knowledge of liver diseases, and he for the first time gave this knowledge the form which it has retained for nearly forty years. This he did through the fact that he impressed on nearly every statement his own careful clinical observation, and reinvestigated the pathology of the subject in the light of the then recent anatomical works of Kiernan and Bowman. The result has been that his book remains, and must remain, an original work of the highest value, and marking a period.’ His treatise on ‘Diseases of the Stomach,’ 1855, is full of valuable observations, careful descriptions of cases, and ingenious argument. His report on cases of cholera in the Dreadnought during 1837 (Medico-Chirurgical Transactions, xxi. 152), written in conjunction with Mr. Busk, and his statistical account of cases collected from the records of the same hospital in the epidemic of 1832 (ibid. xxii. 110), are standard contributions to the subject. Their principal results are included in the essay on ‘Cholera,’ which Budd contributed to Tweedie's ‘Library of Practical Medicine,’ vol. iv.; vol. v. of the same work contains a valuable essay on ‘Scurvy’ from the same pen. To the ‘Medico-Chirurgical Transactions’ for 1837–8 Budd contributed papers on ‘Concentric Hypertrophy of the Heart’ and on ‘Emphysema of the Lung.’ He also published numerous brief papers and lectures in medical journals, especially the ‘Medical Gazette,’ where may be found his Gulstonian Lectures (1843) and Croonian Lectures (1847) at the College of Physicians. Budd was an original thinker, he was lucid in writing and speaking, and drew his information from a large fund of close personal observation.

[Personal knowledge; manuscript notes of Lectures, &c.; obituary notices in Transactions of Medical and Chirurgical Society, lxvi. 8, and in Roy. Soc. Proc. xxxiv. i–ii, by Sir James Paget.]

S. J. A. S.