Conquest, John Tricker (DNB00)


CONQUEST, JOHN TRICKER, M.D. (1789–1806), man-midwife, was born in 1789. He graduated M.D. at Edinburgh in 1813, and became a licentiate of the College of Physicians of London in December 1819. In 1820 he published 'Outlines of Midwifery,' of which a second edition appeared in 1821. He used to give four courses of lectures on midwifery in each year at his own house, 4 Aldemanbury Postern, London, and charged three guineas to each student attending. The lectures included remarks on the diseases of children and on forensic medicine. In a few years he moved into Finsbury Square, became lecturer on midwifery in the medical school of St. Bartholomew's Hospital (1825), and attained considerable practice. In 1830 he published an address to the Hunterian Society on puerperal inflammation (16 pp. 8vo), and in 1848 'Letters to a Mother on the Management of herself and her children in Health and Disease.' This work reached a fourth edition in 1852, but is written in a sickly style, and has no scientific or practical merit. A physician who remembered the men-midwives of Conquest's period of practice used to relate that they were divided into two classes by their conversation: one section quoted texts whenever they spoke, the other section poured forth stories which were more indecent than the drama of the Restoration. Never was midwifery, as a special branch of practice, less worthily represented. Conquest did not rise above the level of his fellows, but it must at least be admitted that his 'Letters to a Mother,' if tainted with cant, are free from indecency. He retired from practice, and after several years of a melancholy decay died at Shooter's Hill on 24 Oct. 1866.

[Conquest's Prospectus of Lectures, 1820; Musk's Coll. of Phys. 1878, iii. 204.]

N. M.