Dr William Budd: Bristol's most famous physician

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Most people walk past the plaque on 89 Park Street, Bristol without giving a second thought to the man it commemorates. And yet Dr William Budd, who was a true pioneer and was to become Bristol’s most distinguished physician, made an immense contribution to medicine and to the life of the city. Born in Devon, he moved to Bristol in 1841, working at St Peter’s Hospital and the Infirmary where he cared for patients during typhoid and cholera epidemics, for which there was no cure. He was able to identify how these deadly diseases spread, seeing at first hand the insanitary hovels of Lewins Mead and elsewhere in the city, and realising the need for preventive measures. An early director of the Bristol Waterworks Company, William Budd was the moving force behind ensuring a clean water supply, one of the first essentials in combating water-born disease. Several major epidemics of infection diseases swept through nineteenth-century Britain, killing indiscriminately and showing no respect for age or social class. For years Budd fought to change misguided orthodoxies in the medical professional which denied the contagious nature of these killer diseases. When the 1866 cholera epidemic reached Bristol, much reduced death figures showed that he had largely won the grim fight to improve the nation’s health. 230 x 155mm 176pp ISBN 1 904537 48 0 Hardback

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