John Ash, M.D., was born in Warwickshire in 1723, and educated at Trinity college, Oxford, as a member of which he proceeded A.B. 21st October, 1743; A.M. 17th October, 1746; M.B. 1st December, 1750; M.D. 3rd July, 1754. He settled at Birmingham, where he soon got into extensive business, and was for many years the oracle of the profession throughout a widely-extended district around that town. He was the founder and first physician of the General hospital there. When at the height of his reputation, and in the fullest business at Birmingham, Dr. Ash’s health gave way. He became deranged in mind, and lived miserably under a delusion that he had been reduced to beggary. After a separation from his family of some months, he was advised to resume the study of Euclid, to which he had occasionally dropped hints of his partiality. He did resume it, with great satisfaction to himself and with the happiest effect, and recovered at length so entirely as to be able to recommence business in London, and to continue to practise physic until his death. Dr. Ash was admitted a Candidate of the College of Physicians 22nd December, 1786; in the following year resigned his office at the Birmingham hospital; and then, removing to London, was admitted a Fellow of the College 22nd December, 1787. He was Censor in 1789, 1793; Harveian orator, 1790; Gulstonian lecturer, 1791; and Croonian lecturer, 1793. Dr. Ash died at Brompton-row, Knightsbridge, 18th June, 1798, aged seventy-five, and was buried in Kensington church. A full-length portrait of him, by Sir Joshua Reynolds, was engraved by Bartolozzi in 1791. Dr. Ash was the founder of a social and literary club in London, called in honour of him the Eumelian, from the Greek Еνμϵλίας, though it was warmly contended and put to the vote that it should have the more obvious appellation of Fraxinean, from the Latin. (1) He was a fellow of the Royal and Antiquarian Societies, and the author of—
Experiments and Observations to investigate by Chemical Analysis the Properties of the Mineral Waters of Spa, Aix, &c., &c. 12mo. Lond. 1788.
[(1) Boswell’s Life of Johnson, by Croker. Lond. 1847, p. 798]