Seen in the grounds of St Mary’s, Killarney, County Kerry: the tombstone of William Wadd who, as the carving explains, acted as Surgeon Extraordinary to George IV. Wadd is remembered for being one of the first doctors to advocate a sensible approach to diet, in 1810 publishing his Cursory Remarks on Corpulence which explored the history and causes of obesity, concluding that it was due to ‘an over-indulgence at the table’ (such as that practiced by his royal patient). The work went through four editions, the last appearing in 1829, the year of its author’s death: Wadd had come to Ireland on holiday and was killed instantaneously outside Killarney after leaping from a runaway carriage. Hence his interment at St Mary’s.
Thanks Robert. It’s just after the anniversary – the accident happened on the 19 August at Ballyspillane. Wadd was with an elderly friend, Arthur Taggert, Esq. of Pall Mall, London. They had taken several wrong turns and the coachman, remounting the chaise having asked for directions, fell, startling the horses. They bolted, Wadd jumped but banged his head and died almost instantaneously from a brain haemorrhage. The horses ran for about a mile and a half until blocked / brought up by a lumber waggon; a blacksmith had to be brought to free Taggert – unhurt – from the chaise.
Wadd’s father was an apothecary under whom he initially trained. An ancestor, Sir William Wadd was governor of the Tower of London at the time of James I. Taggart was for many years Apothecary to the King’s Household.
Never heard that before. Very interesting, thank you!