Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Gordon, William (1800-1849)

GORDON, WILLIAM, M.D. (1800–1849), philanthropist, born at Fountains Hall, near Ripon, 2 Aug. 1800, studied medicine at London and Edinburgh, where he took the degree of M.D. 1841. Before this he had been engaged in medical work, chiefly at Welton in Northumberland. He also published in 1828 a small work on the practice of surgery, and in 1832 'A Critical Enquiry concerning a New Membrane in the Eye,' besides various fugitive scientific contributions. In 1832 he was elected a member of the Linnean Society. Upon taking his degree he settled in Hull, where he soon acquired considerable reputation by his active exertions in various philanthropic directions. He delivered a great number of popular scientific lectures, was president of the Hull Christian Temperance Society, and a strenuous temperance advocate. He also promoted such political measures as he conceived to be for the interests of the working classes, with whom he was specially popular. He devoted to them gratuitously much of his professional time. He died at Hull 7 Feb. 1849. Gordon was married and had one child, who married the Rev. Newman Hall. A work entitled 'The Christian Philanthropist triumphing over Death, a narrative of the closing scenes of the Life of the late William Gordon, M.D., F.L.S.' (1849), was published by his son-inlaw. It had a very large sale, was translated into Italian (1854) and republished in an abridged form (5th ed. 1851).

[Memoir referred to, Gent. Mag. April 1849, p. 431.]

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