John Williams (d.1914) President 1887

Alice Mills
Sepia portrait photograph of Dr. John Williams as an elderly man, depicting his face and upper torso. Dr. Williams was President of the British Medical Associaiton in 1887. The photographer was Alice Mills. The photograph was originally framed (has tack indentations on the back).

The Argus, Wed 22 April 1914 p.14
Dr John Williams, one of Melbourne's most noted physicians, died at Dr. Moore's hospital in Flinder's Lane, yesterday. Dr.Williams had during the past few months been suffering from a serious internal complaint…Dr. Williams was born in Wales, and there served what was then termed his apprenticeship under Dr. Imidge. He took the degree of doctor of medicine of Edinburgh. He practised in London for a time, and also in Suffolk (England). His health breaking down he went to America and practised in Chicago. He did not remain there long, but came to Victoria in 1870. He was soon elected resident medical officer at the Bendigo Hospital. After a short term there he became resident medical officer at the Melbourne Hospital in 1876, and ever since that time until he retired about ten years ago he was a guiding personality on the medical side of the Melbourne Hospital. He resigned that office and became outdoor physician,and then indoor physician of the hospital. He was beyond doubt the greatest teacher of clinical medicine who has ever been in Melbourne. When at his best he was a remarkably good teacher, very broadminded and yet very precise in
detail. About 1877 he commenced practising in Collins street east, and soon gained a very extensive clientele. He was a practical physician of the highest rank. On the medical side of the Melbourne Hospital he occupied a position corresponding to that which the late Sir Thomas Fitzgerald occupied on the surgical side . All generations of students have been under his influence and rejoice to call him their master. He finally retired from the Melbourne Hospital in 1904, and was made consulting physician to the institution…He was in his time president of the medical section of the first medical congress of Australasia, held in Adelaide in 1887. He was for four years joint editor of the "Australian Medical Journal". He was lecturer at the University of Melbourne on materia medica and therapeutics for several years.He had an enormous consulting practice until his health failed. He was greatly beloved, and his manner was remarkably genial and pleasant. During the early days of the medical school at the University he instilled all the best traditions which have characterised it to the present day. He carried out his principles of teaching in the
most level-headed and masterly way…

This item was originally collected by the British Medical Association (which later became the Victorian Branch of the Australian Medical Association). The A.M.A. donated its historical collection of documents and artifacts to the University of Melbourne's Medical History Museum in 1994.
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Object detail

sepia photograph and ink, mounted
44.3 x 58 cm
Accession Number
Credit line
Gift of AMA Victoria, 2011
maker's mark ▫ in ink within image: 'Alice Mills'
name/inscriptions ▫ written verso: 'John Williams President 1887'
verso: 'L42'
Named Collection
Medical History Museum Category


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