A. P. Beddard was born at Nottingham, the son of James Beddard, F.R.C.S., and educated at Shrewsbury and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took a first class in both parts of the natural sciences tripos and graduated as B.A. in 1890. He was a medical student and Beaney research scholar at Guy’s Hospital, and, after qualifying in 1895, became demonstrator of physiology and lecturer on pharmacology in the Medical School. He was elected in 1900 to the staff of the West London Hospital and in 1902 assistant physician to Guy’s, where he retired as consulting physician twenty-five years later.
Beddard excelled as a teacher with an incisive wit and a gift for anecdote and aphorism. He put his trust in physiology rather than pathology as a basis for the study and teaching of medicine but wrote little, apart from contributions to Pembrey and Ritchie’s General Pathology and Allbutt’s System of Medicine. He did valuable work, however, as chairman of the British Pharmacopoeia Commission appointed in 1928, in preparing the sixth Pharmacopoeia (1932), the Addendum of 1936, and a major part of the seventh Pharmacopoeia. He was a Censor of the Royal College of Physicians and delivered the Bradshaw Lecture in 1919.
Of an independent turn of mind, debonair in dress, brusque in manner, Beddard was the enemy of circumlocution and subterfuge in every form and no respecter of tradition perse. Outside medicine, his chief interest was in music. He married Evelyn, daughter of Lord Allerton, and had a son and a daughter. He died at Sandiway, Cheshire.
G H Brown
[Lancet, 1939; B.M.J., 1939; Al.Cantab., I, 212]