Mudge, Henry (DNB00)

MUDGE, HENRY (1806–1874), temperance advocate, son of Thomas Mudge, was born at Tower Hill House, Bodmin, 29 July 1806. He was educated at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London, became a licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries 1828, and a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in the following year. He commenced practice in his native town, where he remained throughout his life. From the first he advocated strict temperance principles, never prescribing wines or spirits for his patients. In his later years he said that he had always been willing to give sick people alcohol had it been necessary for their cure, but such a 'necessity had not arisen in his experience. He also opposed the use of tobacco. He edited 'The Western Temperance Luminary,' 1838, twelve numbers, 'The Bodmin Temperance Luminary,' 1840–1, twelve numbers, and ' The Cornwall and Devon Temperance Journal,' 1851–8, eight volumes. Although so stern an advocate of temperance he did not approve of the Rechabites or the Oddfellows, and attacked their principles in 'Rechabitism: a Letter showing the Instability of the Independent Order of Rechabites,' 1844; 'An Exposure of Odd Fellowship, shewing that the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Manchester Unity, is Unscriptural, and its Constitution unjust in its Finance … and immoral in its Practice,' 1845; and 'Caution and Testimony against Odd Fellowship,' 1846. He was twice mayor of Bodmin, and for many years a class-leader of the Wesleyan Methodist connexion. He died at Fore Street, Bodmin, 27 June 1874, leaving an only child, wife of J. S. Pethybridge, bankmanager.

Besides the works already mentioned, he wrote:

  1. 'Rescued Texts or Teetotalism put under the Protection of the Gospel; being a critical Exposition of Texts of Scripture referring to 'lemperance. … With a Key to the Wine Quest ion for the Unlearned,' 1853; 3rd edit. 1856.
  2. 'Alcoholics: a Letter to Practitioners in Medicine,' 1856.
  3. 'Physiology, Health and Disease demanding Abstinence from Alcoholic Drinks, and Prohibition of their common Sale. A Course of five Lectures,' 1859.
  4. 'Dialogues, &c., against the Use of Tobacco,' 1861.
  5. 'A Guide to the Treatment of Disease without Alcoholic Liquors,' 1863.

[Western Morning News. 29 June 1874, p. 2; Boase and Courtney's Bibl. Cornub. 1874–82, pp. 377–8, 1290.]

G. C. B.