Bradford People: Dr John Beddoe

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Dr John Beddoe, from his autobiographyJohn Beddoe (1826-1911) was a physician and anthropologist.

He was born in Bewdley, Worcestershire, became a Doctor of Medicine in 1853 and served as a surgeon in the Crimean War and then travelled widely in Asia Minor and Europe before settling into a practice in Clifton, Bristol in 1857. He was Physician to the Bristol Royal Infirmary from 1862 to 1873. He retired from his Clifton practice in 1891 and moved to The Chantry, Bradford on Avon. As an anthropologist he published “The races of Britain” in 1862; his views on the shapes of skulls have been largely discredited now. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1873, President of the Bristol Naturalists’ Society 1883-4, President of the Anthropological Society in 1868 and President of the [Royal] Anthropological Institute 1889, of Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society 1890, of the Wiltshire Archaeological & Natural History Society in 1909.

He is chiefly remembered in Bradford as the author/editor  of “Bradford-on-Avon” in 1907, the book that reprinted Canon Jones’ historical papers with his own additions. It is still the main reference for Bradford’s history and has recently been reprinted.

He died in Bradford on 19th July 1911 and his wife Agnes Montgomerie Cameron, daughter of Rev Alexander Christison died on 6th November 1914; they are both buried in Edinburgh. They had a son, John Cameron Christison Beddoe, who was born in 1865 and a daughter, Hilda Montgomerie Beddoe who was born in 1867, married Hugh Henry Darby Tothill (1865-1927) and inherited The Chantry and property on Tory and Middle Rank.

Photograph: Wikipedia

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