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Dr George Pinckard

George Pinckard was born the son of Henry Pinckard of Handley near Towcester, and baptised in Towcester Parish Church 27 Feb 1768. He studied medicine first at the hospitals of St. Thomas's and St. Guy's, then at Edinburgh, and finally at Leyden, where he graduated M.D. on 20th June 1792. becoming a licentiate of the college of Physicians of London on 30th Sept 1794. In October 1795 he was appointed as an army doctor, and in that capacity he accompanied an expedition to the West Indies led by Sir Ralph Abercromby. On 15th Nov.1795 he

sailed in the Ulysses, but after a fortnight of storms had to return to

Portsmouth, finally sailing for the West Indies in the Lord Sheffield on 31st Dec 1795. He reached Carlisle Bay, Barbados, on 13th Feb 1796.


He later wrote a book 'Notes on the West Indies' (1806) which were originally written as letters to a friend. In this he describes at length what he saw in the West Indies and Guiana, including the horrible incidents of slavery which he saw.


He was promoted to the rank of deputy inspector-general of hospitals. On leaving the Army he established the Bloomsbury Dispensary, and was physician to it for thirty years. In 1808 he published 'Dr. Pinckard's Case of Hydrophobia,' an account of a sawyer at Chipping Barnet who died of hydrophobia.


In the early spring of 1824 he began the process of setting up what was to become Clerical Medical Insurance Company. From the modest beginnings of 52 life assurance policies in the first year of business, Clerical Medical now has over 1.7 million policy holders and over 4,000 staff.


He died of an attack of angina while writing a prescription for a patient in his consulting room on 15 May 1835.