William Addison qualified as L.S.A. in 1824 and as M.R.C.S. in 1825. He practised at Malvern, London, Maidstone, and finally Brighton, where he was elected physician both to the Kent County Ophthalmic Hospital and to the Brighton and Hove Dispensary. He was also physician to the Duchess of Kent. Elected F.R.S. in 1846, he published researches on the structure of the blood, inflammation, nutrition, healthy and diseased structure, cell therapeutics, and pneumonia, and gave the Goulstonian Lectures on Fever and Inflammation at the Royal College of Physicians in 1859. Although he was acknowledged in his own day as the discoverer of the part played by vessels and leucocytes in inflammation, his pioneering work as a haematologist and on the lungs was largely ignored until published by H. A. McCallum, writing in the Lancet twenty-five years after his death. For it was Addison who " first recognised leucocytes as a separate blood cell in man and the mammals " and who " gave the first accurate description under the microscope of lung structure". A man of retiring habits and afflicted with gout, Addison retired from practice some years before his death.
G H Brown
[Lancet, 1907; Presidential Address to R.C.P., 1882 (MS)]