[Royal College of Surgeons.] Document with ten Signatures: Thomas Keate, Master; Sir Charles Blicke, Sir David Dundas, Governors; Sir William Blizard; Henry Cline; Sir James Earle; Sir Everard Home; George Chandler; Thompson Forster; Charles Hawkins.

Royal College of Surgeons: Thomas Keate; Sir Charles Blicke; Sir David Dundas; Sir William Blizard; Henry Cline; Sir James Earle; Sir Everard Home; George Chandler; Thompson Forster; Charles Hawkins
Publication details: 
Royal College of Surgeons [London]; 6 July 1810.
SKU: 21546

The document bearing the ten signatures is 1p, 8vo. In good condition, lightly aged, with thin strip of paper from mount adhering to blank reverse of document. Folded twice. A printed form, completed in manuscript, with the ten signatures of leading figures in the medical world of Georgian London in a column at bottom right, the first two grouped as 'Governors' and the other seven as 'Examiners': 'Charles Blicke | David Dundas | C Hawkins | J Earle | G Chandler | T Forster | Everard Home | William Blizard | Henry Cline'. Engraved in copperplate, the document reads (with manuscript parts in square brackets): 'To the Right Honble. the Secretary at War | Sir | We have Examined Mr. [William Williams] and find him qualified to serve as Surgeon [dash] to any [Regiment] in His Majesty's Service | We are | Sir | Your Most Obedt. Servants | [Theatre] Master'. Some details of the signatories are to be found in the 1812 'General List of the Members of the Royal College of Surgeons in London'. Five of the nine have entries in the Oxford DNB: Sir Charles Blicke (1745-1815); Henry Cline (1750-1837); Sir James Earle (1755-1817); Sir Everard Home (1756-1832); Sir William Blizard (c.1744-1835). The other four signatories are: George Chandler (of Stamford Street and a Governor in 1812); Sir David Dundas (1749-1826) (not yet knighted, 'Serjeant Surgeon to his Majesty, Richmond', and a Governor in 1812); Thompson Forster (d.1830), Senior Surgeon to Guy's Hospital (of Southampton Street, Bloomsbury, and Master in 1812); Charles Hawkins (of Sloane Street, Chelsea, and a Governor in 1812). From the distinguished autograph collection of the psychiatrist Richard Alfred Hunter (1923-1981), whose collection of 7000 works relating to psychiatry is now in Cambridge University Library. Hunter and his mother Ida Macalpine had a particular interest in the illness of King George III, and their book 'George III and the Mad Business' (1969) suggested the diagnosis of porphyria popularised by Alan Bennett in his play 'The Madness of# George III'.