Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/347

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Body.' which he wrote in conjunction with his brother, Dr. Edward Ledwich, and published in 1852. This book did not contain any remarkable discoveries or new views, but it was a sound and trustworthy compendium of anatomy as then taught, and therefore has value as a landmark, For many years it was a favourite students' text-book, and it remains a popular work in Dublin.

In July 1868 his rapidly rising reputation was recognised by his appointment to the post of surgeon to the Meath Hospital, Dublin, in succession to Sir Philip Crampton [q. v.] On 29 Sept. in the same year he died rather suddenly of pulmonary apoplexy at his residence, York Street, Dublin, and was buried in the Mount Jerome cemetery. From early youth he suffered from heart disease and asthma, and his health was always bad. Not long before his death Ledwich married Isabella, daughter of Robert Murray of Dublin. The teaching body with which he had been connected changed the name of their school from the 'Original' to the 'Ledwich School of Medicine' in his honour shortly after he died. This title it retained till its amalgamation in 1887 with the school of the College of Surgeons. The personal influence and popularity of Ledwich were undoubtedly great.

[Sir G. Cameron's Hist, of Coll. of Surgeons in Ireland; Ormsby's Hist, of Meath Hospital; notices and papers in Dublin Quarterly Journal of Medical Science.]

C. N.

LEDYARD, JOHN (1761–1788), traveller, was born at Groton in Connecticut, U.S.A., in 1761. His father, master of a merchantman in the West India trade, died young, leaving a widow, with four children poorly provided for. She found a home with her father in Long Island, but soon married again, and John, the eldest boy, was brought up at Hartford by his paternal grandfather, was educated at first with a view to following the legal profession ; afterwards, in 1772, he spent a year at a college at Dartmouth in Massachusetts, training as a missionary to the Indians ; next he was for some time a divinity student, and early in 1733 entered as a sailor on board a ship bound from New London to Gibraltar. At Gibraltar he enlisted in a line regiment, but on his captain's representations he was allowed to return to his ship, in which he went to the West Indies and thence back to New London. He was at this time more than twenty-two, with no means of livelihood and no inclination to earn one. He determined to travel, and to that end made his way to New York, worked his passage to Plymouth in England, and tramped to London, where he arrived destitute. He had some wealthy relations, collaterally descended, it would appear, from his great-grandfather, but when he called on them he was disgusted to be met with a request for some proof of his story. He therefore enlisted in the marines, was made a corporal, apparently by Captain Cook's interest, and embarked on board the Resolution, which sailed from Plymouth in July 1776 [see Cook, James].

During the voyage Ledyard kept a journal, which, on the return of the ships to England, was, with all other journals, lodged with the admiralty, to prevent the official history of the expedition being forestalled. For two years longer Ledyard continued serving as a marine, but in 1782, being embarked on board a ship sent out to North America, he took an opportunity of deserting and returned to his family at Hartford. He was pressed to publish his journal of Cook's voyage, and as it was still at the admiralty, he wrote an account from memory, filling it in with help from a short sketch that had been published in England. His book was issued in Hartford as 'A Journal of Captain Cook's last Voyage to the Pacific Ocean,' 8vo, 1783, and though it cannot rank with accounts transcribed from strictly contemporary journals, it is of value as the story of events from the point of view of a corporal of marines, and supplies the only account of Cook's death by an eye-witness.

After this Ledyard made a vain endeavour to obtain the support of some capitalist in opening up the trade to the north-west coast of America. He imagined that the furs would find a ready and extremely profitable market at Canton. Makinghis way to Cadiz and thence to L'Orient and Paris, he appealed to the French government to support his project, and at one time had agreed on a scheme of co-operation with Paul Jones [see Jones, John Paul], who was then in France. His plan included a pedestrian expedition with a couple of dogs, from Nootka Sound, across North America, to Virginia. When the negotiations with Jones broke down, he went to London, resolved to travel on foot to the East of Asia as a preliminary to his walk through America. He was penniless, but, with some few pounds advanced him by Sir Joseph Banks [q. v.], he landed at Hamburg, went on to Copenhagen, and thence to Stockholm in December 1786. Unable to cross the Gulf of Bothnia owing to the mildness of the season, Ledyard walked round the head of the gulf, a distance of about fifteen hundred miles. It was in the depth of winter. He had no companion and made no special provision either for lodging or feeding. He arrived at St.