Outram, Benjamin Fonseca (DNB00)

OUTRAM, Sir BENJAMIN FONSECA (1774–1856), naval surgeon, son of Captain William Outram, was born in Yorkshire in 1774 and educated as a surgeon at the United Borough hospitals in London. He was first employed in the naval medical service in 1794, and was promoted to the rank of surgeon in 1796. He served in the Harpy, La Nymphe, and Boadicea. He was surgeon in the Superb in her celebrated action off Cadiz, when Sir James Saumarez [q. v.] obtained a victory over the French and Spanish fleets on 12 July 1801. He received war medals and clasps for his services under Sir Richard Goodwin Keats [q. v.] during the war. Subsequently for many years he was surgeon to the Royal Sovereign yacht.

In 1806, with a view to entering upon civil practice, he went to Edinburgh, and there graduated doctor of medicine on 24 June 1809, after presenting his inaugural thesis, 'De Febre continuâ.' He was admitted a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians of London on 16 April 1810, and then commenced practice as a physician at Hanover Square in London, where he lived more than forty years. He also acted as physician to the Welbeck Street Dispensary. On 3 May 1838 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London, but he was not the author of the geological paper published in the 'Transactions' of the society for 1796 with which his name is associated in the list of fellows. He also became one of the earliest members of the Royal Geographical Society.

In 1841 Outram became medical inspector of her Majesty's fleets and hospitals. He was nominated a K.C.B. on 17 Sept. 1850. He was admitted a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London on 9 July 1852. He died at Brighton on 16 Feb. 1856, and was buried at Clifton, near Bristol. He was twice married.

He was author of: 1. 'De Febre continuâ,' Edinburgh, 1809, dedicated to his uncle, Sir Thomas Outram of Kilham in Yorkshire. 2. 'Suggestions to Naval Surgeons previous to, during, and after a Battle,' a pamphlet of which no copy seems accessible.

[Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of London, 1806, i. 126; Munk's Coll. of Phys. 2nd edit. iii. 90; Gent. Mag. 1856, pt. i. p. 429.]

D’A. P.