Edward Ballard was born at Islington, the son of George Edward Ballard, and sent to Islington Proprietary School. He made his first acquaintance with medicine as apprentice to a local surgeon, at the age of seventeen. He entered University College, London, in 1839 and graduated as M.B. four years later. He then obtained posts at the St. Pancras and Farringdon Dispensaries and lectured on medicine at the Grosvenor Place School. He was also medical tutor and a fellow of University College. In 1846 Ballard and Garrod published a book on Materia Medica and Therapeutics, and six years afterwards Ballard wrote a work on Physical Diagnosis of Diseases of the Abdomen. His main achievements, however, were the outcome of his appointment as medical officer of health for Islington. He wrote, in 1868, a prize essay, On Vaccination, and in 1869 investigated an outbreak of diphtheria at Islington. His first success to attract outside attention was his skilful enquiry, in 1870, into a local typhoid epidemic, which he traced to an infected water supply.
Ballard resigned his office in 1871 to accept employment as a medical inspector, under Sir John Simon, in the Medical Department of the Privy Council, whose functions were later assimilated by the Local Government Board. In his new capacity, he carried out a number of official investigations, subsequently published as Reports, into such questions as the adulteration of butter with animal fats, and the prevalence and cause of summer diarrhoea. Ballard married, firstly, in 1846 Julia Hannah, daughter of Charles Huggons of London, by whom he had two sons and one daughter, and secondly, Emmeline, daughter of John Halse of London, by whom he had a son and a daughter.
G H Brown
[Lancet, 1897; B.M.J., 1897]