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Dalrymple, William (1772-1847) (DNB00)

DALRYMPLE, WILLIAM (1772–1847), surgeon, was born in 1772 at Norwich, where his father, a native of Dumfriesshire, and relative of the Stair family, had settled. He was educated at Norwich School, under Dr. Parr, and among his school friends was Edward Maltby, afterwards bishop of Durham. After an apprenticeship in London to Messrs. Devaynes & Hingeston, court apothecaries, and studying at the Borough hospitals under Henry Cline and Astley Cooper, he returned to Norwich in 1793 and opened a surgery in his father's house. His ardent advocacy of liberal opinions retarded his progress for some years, and it was not till 1812 that he became assistant-surgeon of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, being elected a full surgeon in 1814. This position he held till 1839, when he retired on his health giving way. In 1813 he attracted great attention by his successful performance of the then rare operation of tying the common carotid artery. He attained great success as an operator, especially in lithotomy. He formed a valuable collection of anatomical and pathological preparations, which he gave to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital on his retirement from practice in 1844. His last years were passed in London, where he died on 5 Dec. 1847.

Dalrymple's many operative successes were won in spite of feeble health. His sense of responsibility and honour was high, his character and conversation were elevated, and his teaching judicious. He married in July 1799 Miss Marianne Bertram, by whom he had a family of six sons and three daughters, who survived him [see Dalrymple, John, 1803–1852]. Besides a few papers in medical journals, Dalrymple made no contribution to literature. Among his papers may be mentioned ‘A Case of Trismus,’ in ‘Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal,’ vol. i. 1805; and ‘A Case of Aneurism cured by Tying the Left Common Carotid Artery,’ in ‘Medico-Chirurgical Transactions,’ vol. vi. 1815.

[Gent. Mag. 1848, i. 314–16.]

G. T. B.