|Description||Begbie was born in Edinburgh on 19 November 1826, the second son of James Begbie, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh 1854-1856. In 1843 he became a medical student at the University of Edinburgh. He was successful there and was twice elected president of Edinburgh University's prestigious student society, the Royal Medical Society. In 1847 he graduated MD and his dissertation, 'On some of the pathological conditions of the urine', received a special commendation. Begbie then visited Paris, where he continued his medical studies. |
After he settling in Edinburgh, Scotland where he worked as a family practitioner and became one of the medical officers attached to the New Town Dispensary, he was made a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh at the early age of twenty-six. In 1854 he was appointed physician to the (temporary) cholera hospital in Edinburgh, and in 1855 he became physician to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, a post which he held for the statutory period of ten years. During this time he gave clinical lectures in the infirmary and on the practice of physic at the extramural school. He wrote 'A Handy Book of Medical Information and Advice by a Physician', published anonymously in 1860.
After 1865 Begbie ceased to teach or hold hospital appointments, and in 1869, on the death of his father, he decided to limit himself to consulting practice. He also 'inherited' the post of physician to the Scottish Widows' Fund and Life Assurance Society.
By the 1860s Begbie had become one of the most popular and highly esteemed physicians in Scotland, and he made full use of the railway system to build up the largest consulting practice in the country. The effects of heart disease forced Begbie to stop work, and he died at his home at 16 Great Stuart Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, on 25 February 1876, just six years after his father's death from a similar condition.
[Source: Dictionary of National Biography]
Contents: Notebook of prescriptions and treatments, 1863-1869