Dr. John Coakley Lettsom

Dr. John Coakley Lettsom (1744-1815) attended John Eccles during his final illness. Lettsom founded the medical society of London in 1773, the oldest medical society in the UK. Originally from the British Virgin Islands, he was a Quaker and was educated in Lancashire. He came to London in 1766 and studied at St Thomas’s Hospital. He received his MD from Leyden in 1769. He became a good friend of Benjamin Franklin. He was also involved with Hawes in the founding of the Humane Society in 1774. In 1780 he was the doctor hired by the Hays family in Gainsford Street, Southwark (members at the Gainsford Street Baptist chapel in the Blackfields) during the fatal illness of John Eccles, to whom Mary Hays was engaged. He built his spacious home at Grove Hill, Camberwell, in 1779. Previously he had worked out of Aldergate Street.