William Bain was born at Harpsdale, Caithness, and went to school at Thurso Academy. His basic medical studies took place at Edinburgh, where he obtained the qualifying diplomas in 1881, and were supplemented at Owens College, Manchester, and St. Thomas’s Hospital in London. After holding resident appointments at the Kent County Ophthalmic Hospital and the St. Mary’s Hospitals in Manchester, he passed some twelve years in general practice at Heaton Chapel. He then began a seasonal consulting practice at Harrogate, spending the winter months of each year in research work with Brodie and Halliburton in London. He published his observations on various problems, among them the pathology of gout, high blood pressure and gall-stones, and edited, in 1904, a Textbook of Medical Practice. With W. Edgecombe he wrote, in 1905, The Physiology and Therapeutics of the Harrogate Waters. He continued his researches at Cambridge after retiring in 1930, and published a book on The Pharmacological Action of the Harrogate Drinking Waters as late as 1936. He married Ellen, daughter of John Curtis of Manchester, and was followed in consultant practice at Harrogate by his son C. W. Curtis Bain, F.R.C.P. He died at Cambridge.
G H Brown
[Lancet, 1936; B.M.J., 1936]