Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1815-1829 - Not traced

Physician Bartolomeo de Sanctis (details of his birth or background are lacking) was a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Rome until 1813 when French troups occupied the city. With the help of his friend, the German scientist Baron von Humboldt, he secured a position as military physician to the Dutch army. He moved to England in 1815 and was admitted to the Royal College of Physicians a year later. De Sanctis showed interest in a wide range of scientific developments (galvanism, electricity, magnetism, heat, light, and sound), but he was as much a literary man as a scientist. He wrote poetry in Italian, translated Anacreon into Italian, wrote Latin pieces in the style of Horace and Catullus, and supplied Latin inscriptions for medals and monuments. In 1817 the London publishers Schulze & Dean published his Lusus naturae Londini observatus descriptus. He also edited the periodical L’ape italiana a Londra (the Italian bee). In 1825, his friend Thomas Joseph Pettigrew, surgeon to the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Kent (he vaccinated the future Queen Victoria), successfully recommended de Sanctis for Royal Literary Fund assistance. In May 1829, Pettigrew received a letter from George Leman Tuthill, physician at Bethlem Hospital, in which the latter discussed De Sanctis’s attempted suicide and insanity. He suggested that admission to Bethlem might be necessary. It is the last known recording of him. A regular user of the British Museum library since his arrival in London, he last renewed his reader’s ticket in March 1829.

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