Physician Augustus Bozzi Granville was born Agostino Bozzi in Milan on 7 October 1783 (Granville was the name of his Cornish grandfather on his mother’s side which he assumed in 1805). He entered the University of Pavia to study medicine in 1799, by then already an ardent republican. Bozzi next set out to travel around the Mediterranean.
In 1806 he arrived in Lisbon, where he obtained an appointment as surgeon to the British Navy, a position he filled until 1813. He converted to Anglicanism about 1809. During 1814/5 he lectured on chemistry at the School of Medicine, Great Windmill Street, losing his sense of smell as a result of an accident with chlorine gas. He closely followed the political situation in Italy writing reports for L’Italico (1813/4), a journal he managed in London.
In 1818 he established a practice in Savile Row and became physician to the Westminster General Dispensary. He is credited with carrying out the first medical autopsy on an Egyptian mummy which he described to the Royal Society in 1825. In 1836/7 he advocated a plan for purifying the River Thames, and his Catechism of Health, or, Simple Rules for the Preservation of Health and the Attainment of Long Life (1832) was aimed at the prevention of cholera. He published several books on spas and sea-bathing resorts, of which The Spas of Germany (1837) and The Spas of England (1841) were the most famous. He died in March 1872. A catalogue of the contents of his library is held at the Bodleian Library, Oxford.