William Rowley, M.D., was of Irish extraction, but was born in London on the 18th November, 1743. He was bred a surgeon; and in that capacity was in the king’s service from 1760 to 1765; and was present at the siege of Belleisle, and the taking of Havannah. He commenced practice in London as a surgeon and accoucheur, but after a few years, viz., on the 23rd April, 1774, obtained a degree of doctor of medicine from the university of St. Andrew’s; and was admitted a Licentiate of the College of Physicians 25th June, 1784. He had some time previous to this entered himself at St. Alban’s hall, Oxford, with the view of qualifying himself for admission to the Fellowship of the College of Physicians; and as a member of that house he proceeded A.B. 9th June, 1784; A.M. 24th May, 1787; M.B. 17th July, 1788. Some objections on account of non-residence, or some deviation from the statutes of the university, were opposed to his further progress; and he was not allowed to complete his doctors degree. Dr. Rowley was physician to the Marylebone infirmary, and consulting physician to the Queen's Lying-in hospital. He died at his house in Savile-row 17th March, 1806, and was buried with much pomp in St, James's chapel. Hampstead-road.
Dr. Rowley was a determined opponent of vaccination, and obtained an unenviable notoriety by his association with Dr. Moseley in opposing every conceivable obstacle to the reception and progress of that invaluable discovery. His writings, which were numerous, are most of them popular in style, addressed to the public rather than to the profession ; and were calculated to promote his own private interests rather than to advance the science and art which it was his province to cultivate and practise. They have long fallen into complete and deserved oblivion. Neither his character nor career were of a kind we delight to dwell on. I hasten, therefore, to the following list of his writings:—
A Treatise on the Causes and Cure of Swelled Legs, on Dropsies, and on the Modes of retarding the Decay of the Constitution in the Decline of Life. 8vo. Lond. 1770.
Essay on Ophthalmia, or Inflammation of the Eyes and the Diseases of the Transparent Cornea. 8vo. Lond. 1771.
Essay on the Cure of Gonorrhoea, or fresh contracted Venereal Disease, without the use of internal medicines. 8vo. Lond. 1771.
Practical Essay on the Disease of the Breasts of Women. 8vo. Lond. 1772.
A Course of Lectures on the Theory and Practice of Midwifery. 8vo. Lond. 1773.
A Letter to Dr. William Hunter, occasioned by the Death of the late Lady Holland. 8vo. Lond. 1774.
A Second Letter to Dr. Hunter. 8vo. Lond. 1775.
Medical Advice for the Army and Navy in the present American Expedition. 8vo. Lond. 1776.
Seventy-four Select Cases, with the Manner of Cure, and the proportion of the Remedies. 8vo. Lond. 1778.
An Essay on the Malignant Ulcerated Sore Throat. 8vo. Lond. 1778.
The Gout and Rheumatism cured or alleviated. 8vo. Lond. 1780.
A Treatise on Female, Nervous, Hysterical, Hypochondriacal, Bilious, Convulsive Diseases, Apoplexy, and Palsy. 8vo. Lond. 1789.
A Treatise on Regular, Irregular, Atonic, and Flying Gout. 8vo. Lond. 1792.
Observations on the Causes of the great number of Deaths in Putrid Scarlet Fevers and Ulcerated Sore Throats. 8vo. Lond. 1793.
Schola Medicinæ Universalis Nova, historiam, anatomiam, physiologiam atque pathologiam specialem continens, cum 68 tabulis æneis. 2 tom. 4to. 1793.
The New Universal History and School of Medicine, translated into English from the original Greek and Latin edition. 4to. Lond. 1793.
The Rational and Improved Practice of Physic, &c. 4 vols. 8vo. Lond. 1793.
The most Cogent Reasons why Astringent Injections, Caustic, Bougies, and violent Salivations in Venereal Affections should be banished for ever from practice. 8vo. Lond.
A Treatise on the Hydrocephalus, or Watery Head of Children. 8vo. Lond.
Truth Vindicated; or, the Specific Differences of Mental Diseases ascertained. 8vo. Lond. 1790.
A Treatise on the Plague, Putrid, Malignant, Infectious Fevers of Spain, Gibraltar, Hot Climates, &c. 8vo. Lond.
Cow-pox Inoculation no Security against Small-pox Infection. 8vo. Lond.