William Beatson was born at Peckham and received his medical education at Guy’s Hospital. After qualifying in 1846, he made three voyages round the Cape of Good Hope as ship’s surgeon of an East India passenger vessel. In 1852 he received a Guy’s prize nomination to a commission in the Bengal Medical Service, and a year later, served in the Burmese War. Much of his service was done at Nagpur, where he was superintendent of the lunatic asylum, medical officer of the Central Gaol, and, after 1878, principal of the School of Medicine. His final position was as deputy surgeon-general of the Lahore Division of the Indian Army and inspector-general of hospitals. He retired with the rank of surgeon-general in 1883 and thereafter lived first at Bath and latterly at Eastbourne, where he died. He was the author of The Indian Medical Service, Past and Present (1902).
G H Brown
[B.M.J., 1911; Times, 29 Apr. 1911; Roll of I.M.S., 139; Plarr, i, 73]