Hillary, William (DNB00)

HILLARY, WILLIAM, M.D. (d. 1763), physician, was a pupil of Boerhaave at Leyden, where he graduated M.D. in 1722, writing a dissertation on intermittent fevers. He settled in practice at Ripon, removed to Bath in 1734, and to Barbadoes in 1752, and returned to London in 1758, where he died 22 April 1763.

Hillary was a systematic observer of the weather and prevalent diseases. His observations began at Ripon in 1726, a year in advance of the corresponding work by Clifton Wintringham at York. They were discontinued during his practice at Bath, but resumed at Barbadoes, and continued until he left the colony, 30 May 1758. The first series is published in the appendix to his second edition of ‘Rational and Mechanical Essay on the Small-pox,’ London, 1740; 1st edition, London, 1735. The Barbadoes records are given in his important work ‘Observations on the Changes of the Air, and the concomitant Epidemical Diseases in Barbadoes, with a Treatise on the Bilious Remittent Fever [Yellow Fever], &c.,’ London, 1759; 2nd edition, 1766; American reprint, with notes by B. Rush, Philadelphia, 1811. His other writings are: 1. ‘An Enquiry into the … Medicinal Virtues of Lincomb Spaw Water, near Bath,’ London, 1743. 2. ‘The Nature, Properties, and Laws of Motion of Fire,’ London, 1759. 3. ‘The Means of Improving Medical Knowledge,’ London, 1761.

[Hillary's writings; Watt's Bibl. Brit.]

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