Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/15

This page needs to be proofread.


H


Holyoke, Edward Augustus (1728-1829).

Edward Augustus Holyoke, first pres- ident of the Massachusetts Medical Society, was born in Marblehead, Mass- achusetts, August 1, 1728, and died in Salem, March 31, 1829, thus living to the great age of one hundred years and eight months. His ancestors emi- grated from England in 1638 and settled in Lynn, Massachusetts. His father, Edward Holyoke, minister at Marblehead, was born in Boston and graduated from Harvard College in 1705, was elected president of the col- lege in 1737, and presided over its des- tinies for thirty-two years until his death in 1769. His mother, Margaret Appleton, of Ipswich, was descended from John Rogers, the first Smithfield martyr. Edward Augustus was the eldest son and the second of eight children. When nine years old his father moved to Cambridge to take up his duties of president of the college, and here the boy received his educa- tion, finally graduating from the college with the class of 1746.

In 1747 he began to study medicine with Dr. Berry, of Ipswich, and remain- ed with him nearly two years, settling in Salem in 1749 to pass the rest of his life practising there. At first patients were few and far between — a liveli- hood hard to gain — but in the course of time it was said that there was not a single house in town to which he had not been called as physician.


In business he was most methodical and during a professional life of near- ly eighty years was never once at a greater distance than thirty miles from Salem.

Dr. Holyoke was twice married, first to Judith, daughter of Benjamin Pickman, who, with her only child, died in 1756; and second, to Mary, daughter of Nathaniel Viall, a Boston merchant. They had twelve children. Mrs. Holyoke died in 1802, and all but two of the children died before their father.

Dr. Holyoke was below the middle height in statiue, tough and wiry in build. In demeanor he was dignified, mild, placid and agreeable.

He was essentially a family practiti- oner and was not ambitious for public distinction. However, he was instru- mental in organizing the Massachusetts Medical Society and was its first pres- ident (1782-84), also the first person to receive from Harvard College the honorary M. D. This was in 1783. In 1815 Harvard conferred upon him her LL. D. He was president at vari- ous times of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

His health was good until the last years of his life. He habitually gave much time to theological inquiries, espe- cially during the last forty years of his life, and he was a constant observer of the external rites of Christianity.

Dr. Holyoke's practice was based