John Rowland Wright’s place of birth is a little unclear, since he gives different answers on different census returns. He was probably born in Small Heath, near Birmingham in Warwickshire, but his family then moved to Leicester very shortly afterwards, where he was baptised in 1845. His father was a banker with a typical large Victorian family. John can be seen with his family in Leicester aged 6 on the 1851 census, then aged 16 on the 1861 census.
I’ve not yet found him on the 1871 census, but it seems likely that he was somewhere in London, since he qualified MRCS that same year, from St Mary’s. This was at a time when it was no longer compulsory to obtain the LSA qualification from the Society of Apothecaries, but not yet compulsory to obtain a medical qualification to go with the surgical MRCS, so that was the only qualification he ever obtained (see The history of medical treatments, training, qualifications and regulations for more background on these qualifications etc.). Unfortunately there aren’t therefore any LSA examination records for John Rowland Wright, so aside from his training at St Mary’s in London we don’t know whether he was apprenticed elsewhere. However, it is known that after qualifying he was a House Surgeon at the Male Lock Hospital in London for a short period.
John Rowland Wright is first mentioned in practice at Newmarket in March 1872, as the assistant of Robert Fyson. He appears to have been a replacement for Samuel Gamble, Robert Fyson’s longstanding business partner, who had married and moved on to Torquay that same year. John Wright also got married later that year as well, to Edith Gilpin from Cannock in Staffordshire. They went on to have two children baptised at Newmarket, Cecil Rowland Wright in 1873 and Josephine Helen May Wright in 1876, quite a small family for the period, in contrast to the one he’d come from.
John Wright was only an assistant to Robert Fyson, perhaps because he was newly qualified, but likely also because Robert Fyson’s nephew (Ernest Last Fyson) was to join him in partnership later during the 1870s, which might have been planned. However, Ernest seems to have come and gone a bit initially (see the page on Ernest Fyson for details), which is perhaps why John Wright appears to have stayed on as an assistant in the Fyson practice until 1877/8.
It’s not known exactly when he ceased to be Robert Fyson’s assistant, but in 1878 Ernest Fyson seems to have returned to Newmarket more permanently, John Wright recorded himself as being in partnership with Richard Faircloth from a rival practice (see image on the right), Richard Faircloth’s longstanding assistant Charles Wing moved back to Bury St Edmunds from where he came, and Richard Faircloth retired to London (so it was a brief handover partnership, like many others in the medical history of Newmarket). It seems that perhaps Richard Faircloth’s retirement led to his practice becoming available, John Wright took it on (with Charles Wing not doing so for some unknown reason) and Ernest came back to Newmarket to fill John Wright’s shoes, which perhaps was planned anyway. So a neat reshuffle took place. In fact John Wright took on Richard Faircloth’s vaccinator role for District 2 of the Newmarket Union in September 1877, which is perhaps when the brief handover partnership began. This covered the parishes of Brinkley, Borough Green, Westley Waterless, Dullingham, Stetchworth and Snailwell. In March 1878 he took on all of the District 2 role duties, not just the vaccination part.
Oddly John Wright’s entry in the Medical Directory continued to mention his partnership with Richard Faircloth for a couple of years, even though the latter had definitely retired to London. Perhaps that was partly to emphasise the continuity? Then his entry changed in 1881, to ‘Wright and Hutchinson’, but a paper published in The Lancet in 1880 appears to mention them having been partners since May 1879 at least. Walter Hutchinson, who published the article, was a few years younger than John Wright, and had qualified in 1875 from King’s in London, but had been working as a ship’s surgeon (see the page on Walter Hutchinson for details). He can be seen living in John Wright’s household on the 1881 census, which was Richard Faircloth’s old residence on the High Street (see the page on Walter Hutchinson for an image of that census entry). However, Hutchinson and Wright were mentioned in partnership for only a few years, and certainly by 1884 they’d become separate practices, Walter Hutchinson and John Wright being rivals that year for the District 2 medical officer role of the Newmarket Union, when it came up for renewal (which went to Walter Hutchinson). That was a key juncture in the medical history of Newmarket. Through a chain of successors, Walter Hutchinson’s practice evolved into today’s Oakfield Surgery and John Wright’s eventually became Orchard House Surgery (see The Oakfield practice chain and The Orchard House practice chain for details).
Somewhat surprisingly, it was the junior Walter Hutchinson who stayed on in Richard Faircloth’s old house/surgery, and he can be seen there on the 1891 census rather than John Wright (again see the page on Walter Hutchinson for an image). However, other records show that John Wright appears to have remained on the High Street until 1888 at least, so presumably there were a few years when he lived and worked from somewhere else on the High Street, at a location not yet known. Then some time after 1888 but before 1891 he moved to Rous Villa in Rous road (much later Rous Villa was used by Walter Hutchinson’s successors before they moved to Oakfield Surgery, but there was a gap of more than 20 years in between John Wright’s successor moving out and Walter Hutchinson’s successor moving in – see the page on Rous Villa for details, and below).
Interestingly, at least one patient followed John Wright from practice to practice, and even more interestingly it was the famous jockey Fred Archer, who was recorded in 1886 as having been his patient for 14 years, so from John Wright’s arrival in Newmarket until a couple of years after his split from Walter Hutchinson. Fred Archer’s tragic death, which is still well known to many in Newmarket and the racing industry, was recorded in the Newmarket Journal and much further afield. Some accounts (including The Journal’s article) mention John Wright’s role and what he said at the inquest, which provides some interesting insights into medical practice at the time (see the references below). It’s also known that Fred Archer used a potent ‘wasting mixture’ to lose weight known as ‘Archer’s Mixture’, and that it was Dr Wright who prepared it for him (see the page on William Sandiver 2 for more on that subject). It’s an interesting quirk of history that Orchard House Surgery, which as mentioned above evolved from John Wright’s practice, is in Fred Archer Way!
Regarding John Wright’s other medical activities, the usual sporadic accounts in the press mention cases of suicide, murder and riding accidents etc. (things that tend to get reported in the press). Of particular interest is the case published in the Lancet mentioned above, involving bowel obstruction, in which various fascinating medical treatments from the period are mentioned in the context of Wright and Hutchinson working together (again see the references below). Also of interest are a case from 1882 in which he’s recorded as being called out on a night visit at 3.30am, and another on a Saturday afternoon in 1883, for whom someone attended the surgery later in the day on behalf of the patient to collect ‘two pills’.
Sadly John Wright also died relatively young, aged 47 in March 1893. The Newmarket Journal reported at the time that he ‘was well known among the inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood and the principal visitors who come to the races, and he was highly respected by a large circle of friends’, and ‘his bonhomie and his kindness and courtesy to all with whom he came into contact… made him very popular in the town. Tradesmen closed their shops and private residents drew down their blinds and a very large number of sympathising friends assembled at the cemetery as a mark of the esteem in which the deceased was held by them’. It’s of note, given the history above, that these included Ernest Fyson and Walter Hutchinson amongst other Newmarket medics of the time. The account also mentions his role as a medic for a local voluntary regiment, which is recorded in other references below too. He’s buried in Newmarket Cemetery under a stone cross (see image on the right).
John Wright was succeeded by John Hansby Maund, who’s first mentioned in Newmarket in April 1893 as ‘Dr. Wright’s successor’, the month after John Wright’s death. Dr Maund gave Rous Villa as his address in the Medical Register from 1894 (so likely he was not in Newmarket at the start of 1893). John Maund practised from Rous Villa for a while it seems, but lived in Brackley House, which is also in Rous Road. Interestingly however, John Wright’s widow and daughter were still living in Rous Villa on the 1901 census, so perhaps John Maund used just the surgery part and that’s why he lived in a different property in the same road? Nevertheless, exactly how long he practised from Rous Villa is unclear (see the pages on John Hansby Maund, Rous Villa and Brackley House for further details).
By the time of the 1911 census, John Wright’s daughter Josephine (known as May) had married a Newmarket local and was living in the Icewell Hill / Exning Road area, Edith her mother living with them. It’s not known what became of Cecil their son. He does not appear to have become a medic though (on the 1901 census he was a 17 year old ‘pupil’ in the household of a ‘Clerk in Holy Orders’ in Haydor/Heydour, Lincolnshire).
Regarding contemporaries, when John Wright arrived in Newmarket it was dominated by four practices: the Grays’ (Clement would just have joined his father Frederick), George Borwick Mead’s, Richard Faircloth’s and Robert Fyson’s (who he had joined as an assistant as described above). Regarding the Grays, John Wright would have seen Frederick pass away in 1888 and Clement continue with a series of assistants (John Wright died well before Clement’s sons sons Gilbert and Norman Gray came on board). He would have seen George Owen Mead join his father George Borwick Mead. Obviously, as described above, he would have seen Ernest Fyson succeed to and continue his uncle Robert Fyson’s practice, and John Wright himself then succeed to Richard Faircloth’s practice, where he took part in the divergence of the Oakfield practice chain in the form of Walter Hutchinson from his own Orchard House chain in about 1882/3. From today’s perspective, that must be regarded as the key feature of John Wright’s story, having a significant impact on the configuration of Newmarket medical services to this day.
Image 1: From a copy of the Medical Directories at The Society of Apothecaries Archives, London; reproduced with kind permission of The Society of Apothecaries Archives. [Note: for further details regarding this publication see the references and other sources consulted sections below.]
Image 2: From a copy of the Medical Directories at The Society of Apothecaries Archives, London; reproduced with kind permission of The Society of Apothecaries Archives. [Note: for further details regarding this publication see the references and other sources consulted sections below.]
Image 3: From an original Vanity Fair print, 28th May 1881; reproduced with kind permission of Devonshire Fine Art, www.antique-prints.co.uk. [Note: click here for the specific Fred Archer image on their website.]
Image 4: Photograph taken in 2018, by the author of talkingdust.net.
Note: see comments regarding images and copyright © etc. on the Usage &c. page as well.
1845, 24th March: John Rowland Wright, son of Judith and Thomas Tyr[h/w?]itt Wright (banker’s clerk) baptised, Leicester. Reference: Online image of the Leicester district of St George in the parish of St Margaret register of baptisms held at the Leicestershire County Record Office, Leicester, www.findmypast.co.uk (accessed 6th April 2018 and 27th July 2019). [Note: his father’s middle name is unclear in this record – see the 1872 reference below though, where it is clearly Tyrwhitt, but here the middle looks like an h or w, not both, but the writing is very unclear.]
1851, 30th/31st March: John A. [sic] Wright, aged 6, born in Leicester, with his older sister Louisa, aged 7, born in Birmingham/Leicester (Leicester overwriting a ditto for Birmingham), younger sister Josephine H, aged 1, born in Leicester, and four other siblings, with their parents Thos T. Wright, a ‘Clerk in Bank of England’, his wife Judith, an aunt, and three servants, living in Leicester. Reference: The National Archives, 1851 census. [Note: the significance of Louisa is that she shows the inconsistency of place of birth also displayed by John through subsequent censuses, but basically the family seems to have gone from Small Heath, near Birmingham in Warwickshire to Leicester around about the time of John and Louisa’s birth. Josephine H later lived with John Wright in Newmarket – see 1881 and 1891 censuses below.]
1861, 7/8th April: John R Wright, aged 16, born in Leicester, with his older sister Louisa, aged 17, born in Warwickshire, younger sister Josephine H, aged 11, born in Leicester, and three other siblings, with their parents Thos T. Wright, a ‘Sub agent Bank of England’, his wife Judith, and two servants, living in Leicester. Reference: The National Archives, 1861 census. [Note: the significance of Louisa is that she shows that the family had been Warwickshire (and see comments 1851 above as well); Josephine H later lived with John Wright in Newmarket – see 1881 and 1891 censuses below.]
1871, 2nd/3rd April: I have not yet been able to find John Rowland Wright on the 1971 census, but presumably he was in London as a student. Reference: The National Archives, 1871 census.
1872, 19th March: ‘Mr. Robert Fyson Medical Officer of no. 1 District of the Union rescinded his nomination of Mr. Samuel Gamble his late Partner and in his stead named his assistant Mr. John Rowland Wright a legally qualified medical practitioner to whom application for medicine or attendance may be made in the case of his absence from home or other hindrance to his personal attendance’. Reference: 611/28, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: John Rowland Wright qualified in 1871 and joined the Medical Register on 27th March 1872 – a week after this, so he was very new.]
1872, 1st August: Marriage of John Rowland Wright, bachelor, surgeon, of Newmarket, son of Thomas Tyrwhitt Wright, gentleman, to Edith Gilpin, spinster, of Cannock, daughter of Frederick Gilpin, gentleman. Reference: Online image of St Luke’s church, Cannock, Staffordshire marriage register held at the Staffordshire County Record Office, Stafford, www.findmypast.co.uk (accessed 23rd March 2018 and 26th July 2019).
1873: ‘WRIGHT, JNO. ROWLAND, Newmarket. Cambs – M.R.C.S. Eng. 1871; (St. Mary’s); late House Surg. Male Lock Hosp. Lond.’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1873. [Note: this is his first entry in the Medical Directory.]
1873, 29th August: Cecil Rowland Wright, son of Edith and John Rowland Wright (surgeon), baptised at All Saints’, Newmarket. Reference: Microfiche of Newmarket All Saints’ parish register (fiche 12), (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1874: ‘Wright John Rowland, surgeon, High street’ listed in Newmarket. Reference: History, gazetteer and directory of Suffolk… . Sheffield: William White; 1874, pg 389. [Note: Gray Clement, surgeon, High street, Gray Frederick Clement, M.D. physician, High street, Faircloth Richard, surgeon, High street, Fyson Robert, surgeon, High street, Mead George Borwick, M.D. surgeon, High street, are listed separately.]
1874: ‘Mr. Fyson deposed to a scarcity of lymph while the small-pox raged, and was confirmed by his assistant, Mr. Wright… Mr. C. L. [sic] Wing, assistant to Mr. Faircloth, was ex amined [line break without hyphen] at this point on behalf of Dr. Mead, and spoke of the difficulty of getting good lymph.’ Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Tuesday Sept 8 1874: 6. [Note: this shows not only that Charles Wing was Richard Faircloth’s assistant, but also that at this stage John Rowland Wright was still working with Robert Fyson.], [Note also, this was part of a report regarding an investigation by the Newmarket Union into alleged problems with the way in which Dr Mead had vaccinated some patients and some other issues.]
1876, 1st August: ‘Mr. J. R. Wright, surgeon’ reported as having attended a patient who’d committed suicide in Newmarket. Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Tuesday Aug 1 1876: 8.
1876, 30th November: Josephine Helen May Wright, daughter of Edith and John Rowland Wright (surgeon), baptised at All Saints’, Newmarket. Reference: Microfiche of Newmarket All Saints’ parish register (fiche 12), (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1877, 11th September: ‘Mr John Rowland Wright was appointed Public Vaccinator of No. 2 District in the room of Mr Richard Faircloth resigned and a contract entered into upon the same terms as his predecessor…’ Reference: 611/30, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: this might have been the point at which John Rowland Wright entered a handover partnership with Richard Faircloth – see below.]
1878: ‘WING, CHARLES EDWD., 71, Guildhall-st. Bury St. Edmunds – L.R.C.P. Edin. 1869; M.R.C.S. Eng. 1868; L.S.A. 1869; (Guy’s).’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1878. [Note: this was his first Bury entry in The Medical Directory.]
1878: ‘FAIRCLOTH, RICHARD, Newmarket, Cambs – F.R.C.S. Eng. 1852, M. 1832; L.S.A. 1831; (Guy’s).’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1878. [Note: this was his last Newmarket entry in The Medical Directory (see 1879 below).]
1878: ‘WRIGHT, JOHN ROWLAND, Newmarket. Cambs (Faircloth and Wright) – M.R.C.S. Eng. 1871; (St. Mary’s); late House Surg. Male Lock Hosp. Lond.’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1878. [Note: this is the first mention of Faircloth and Wright. His 1879 Medical Directory entry continued to mention ‘Faircloth and Wright’, even though Richard Faircloth had moved to London (see 1879 below, and the page on Richard Faircloth for more details), presumably to emphasise the continuity of the business. In 1880 his entry was the same, but marked with a *, indicating that it had not been updated, then in 1881 it was updated to ‘Wright and Hutchinson’ – see below, and see images above.]
1878, 5th March: ‘A letter from Mr. Richard Faircloth Medical Officer of the second District of the Union tendering his resignation of that appointment was read.’ Reference: 611/30, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: see the page on Richard Faircloth for more details from this reference.]
1878, 26th March: ‘Mr. John Rowland Wright of High Street Newmarket’ elected Medical Officer of District 2 ‘in the room of Mr. Richard Faircloth… his residence being beyond the boundary of the District and there being no Medical Practitioner resident in any of the Parishes comprised in that District’. Reference: 611/30, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: the parishes referred to were Brinkley, Borough Green, Westley Waterless, Dullingham, Stetchworth and Snailwell.], [Note also, he was periodically reappointed to this role (which was not permanent) on several occasions ‘having filled the office… to the entire satisfaction of the Board’ until 1884 – see below.]
1879: ‘FAIRCLOTH, RICHARD, South Lodge, Camp-den-hill, Kensington, W. – F.R.C.S. Eng. 1852, M. 1832; L.S.A. 1831; (Guy’s and N’hamp.).’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1879. [Note: this was his first London entry in The Medical Directory (see 1878 above); in the Medical Register his address changes from Newmarket to 3 Inverness Gardens in 1880 (see also the 1881 census on the page about Richard Faircloth), and in the Directory it changes to 3 Inverness Gardens in 1880 too – it’s not known whether this was in fact the same as South Lodge.], [Note also, obviously this is in the separate London section of the Directory.]
1880: ‘HUTCHINSON, WALTER, Surg. P. and O. Co.’s Serv.– M.R.C.S. Eng. 1875; (King’s Coll.). Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1880. [Note: this is in the separate ‘Medical Officers of the Army and Navy, Indian Medical Service, and mercantile marine’ section.]
1880, 3rd January: Walter Hutchinson, M.R.C.S., Newmarket, published a paper in the Lancet entitled, ‘Rare case of intestinal obstruction of thirty-nine days’ duration; recovery.’ He stated that the case was ‘a short time ago’, but also mentions 11th May, so it was likely May 1879. Interestingly it states, ‘My partner, Mr. J. R. Wright, saw the lad.’ The initial treatment for right iliac fossa pain with diarrhoea and vomiting was ‘a mixture containing one drachm of chloro-dyne, a sixth part to be taken every two or three hours, and a pill of calomel and opium (one grain to a quarter)’ and ‘hot formentations to be applied over the seat of the pain.’ Later treatment largely involved enemas of various forms, including ‘soap-and-water’. Something called Dover’s powder was also employed, which he thought was helpful, but ‘a mixture containing ammonia and bark… was soon discontinued, as he seemed much better not taking it, and nature having done so much for him, I thought I could not leave him in better hands.’ Reference: The Lancet 1880;115(2940):11-12. [Note: Dr Latham from Cambridge was consulted in this case – see 1886 below also.]
1881: ‘HUTCHINSON, WALTER, Newmarket, Cambs.– M.R.C.S. Eng. 1875; (King’s Coll.). Mem. Brit. Med. Assoc.; late Surg. U.S. Mail Line, and P. and O. Co.’s Serv. Contrib. “Rare Case of In-testinal Obstruction of 39 days’ duration – Re-covery,” Lancet, 1880. Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1881.
1881: ‘WRIGHT, JOHN ROWLAND, Newmarket. Cambs (Wright and Hutchinson) – M.R.C.S. Eng. 1871; (St. Mary’s); late House Surg. Male Lock Hosp. Lond.’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1881. [Note: see image above], [Note also, he mentions Wright and Hutchinson up to and including 1883 (although his 1883 entry is marked as not having been updated), after which Hutchinson is not mentioned in John Wright’s entry – see 1884 below.]
1881, 3rd/4th April: John R. Wright, aged 35, ‘Surgeon + general practitioner M.R.C.S.’, born in Small Heath, Warwick, and Walter Hutchinson, aged 28, ‘M.R.C.S. + General Practitioner’, with his wife Edith Wright, aged 31, born in Cannock, Staffordshire, son Cecil R, aged 7, daughter Josephine H. M., aged 4 (both born in Newmarket), unmarried sister Josephine H. Wright, aged 30, born in Leicester, and three servants, living in the High Street, Newmarket All Saints’ parish. Reference: The National Archives, 1881 census. [Note: see the page on Walter Hutchinson for an image.], [Note also, by comparing sequential census details, it can be seen that this was Richard Faircloth’s old house (see the page on the next door Grosvenor House) – see also the page on Richard Faircloth for a later image of this building.]
1882, 7th March: In a report about an attempted murder trial ‘Mr. J. R. Wright deposed: I am a surgeon residing and prac-tising in Newmarket. On the morning of 19th inst, about half-past three o’clock, I was called…’. Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Tuesday Mar 7 1882: 8. [Note: two of the other witnesses referred to him as Dr. Wright.]
1882, 1st April: Following a fight in Dullingham, someone reported that on walking back to Newmarket he was ‘picked up by a cart and taken to Dr. Wright’s. I saw Dr. Hutchinson (his partner)’. Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Tuesday Oct 24 1882: 6. [Note: see the page on Walter Hutchinson for more details from this reference.]
1883, 13th January: Regarding a patient who died after a face injury from a horse, his landlady reported, ‘Dr. Wright came to see him on Saturday, between three and four o’clock in the afternoon… I went to the surgery at nine o’clock, and received two pills for the deceased… Deceased brother came to see him, and sent for Mr. Geo. O. Mead, surgeon [this was the Sunday]’. Reference: The Bury Free Press. Saturday Jan 13 1883: 8. [Note: this is included partly to illustrate that patients were not registered with a practice, but could call on whoever they wanted whenever they wanted. No doubt many patients habitually frequented one particular practice though, as illustrated by Woodward Mudd and Robert James Peck’s notices and William Henry Day’s case notes.]
1883, October: On 2nd October it was minuted ‘that Mr. John R. Wright, Public Vaccinator in the second District had not attended the Vaccination station at Brinkley at the times entered in his contract with the Guardians during the month of September’ and on 9th October ‘the Clerk read a letter from him explaining that the child to whom he trusted for lymph in the first instance had failed and upon the second occasion he was prevented from attending by urgent private business.’ Reference: 611/32, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: it’s interesting that he was relying of a child for his supply of ‘lymph’ – see the page on Newmarket and smallpox.], [Note also, this is presumably what they were referring to when they gave the contract to Walter Hutchinson in 1884 – see below.]
1884: ‘WRIGHT, JOHN ROWLAND, Newmarket. Cambs – M.R.C.S. Eng. 1871; (St. Mary’s); Med. Off. and Pub. Vacc. 2nd Dist. Newmarket Union; Act. Asst. Surg. W. Suffolk R.V.; late House Surg. Male Lock Hosp. Lond.’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1884. [Note: he first mentioned the Newmarket Union role in 1882, although he had been in the role since 1877/8 – see above; also it was his last year in the role (see below). 1882 was also the first year that he mentioned the ‘Act. Asst. Surg. W. Suffolk R.V.’ role, which presumably stood for ‘Acting Assistant Surgeon to the West Suffolk Rifle Volunteers’? – see other references below.]
1884, 11th March: ‘This being the day fixed for the appointment of a Medical Officer for the second District of the Union the Clerk read a letter from Mr John R. Wright the present officer offering himself for re-election Also a letter from Mr Walter Hutchinson of Newmarket Surgeon applying for the appointment in the event of the Guardians being desirous of a change.’ Someone then brought up ‘instances of neglect of duty’ presumably referring to October 1883 above, so Walter Hutchinson was elected to the role, including that of vaccinator. Reference: 611/32, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: there are no further mentions of John Wright in the Newmarket Union minutes aside from some routine payments in arrears, that last of which was minuted on 22nd April 1884.]
1885: ‘Wright John Rowland, surgeon, High street’ listed in White’s Directory under Newmarket. Reference: White’s history, gazetteer and directory of Suffolk. Sheffield: White Wm; 1885, pg 519. [Note: ‘Fyson Ernest’, ‘Fyson Robert’, ‘Gray Clement’, ‘Gray Frederick Clement’, ‘Mead Geo. Borwick’, ‘Mead Owen’, and ‘Hutchinson William’ [sic] are listed separately.]
1886, 10th November: Following the death of the famous Jockey Fred Archer, it was reported in the press that ‘John Rowland Wright, surgeon, of Newmarket, deposed: I have been [the] deceased’s medical attendant for 14 years’. Reference: The Newmarket Journal. Saturday Nov 13 1886: 5. [Note: it’s interesting that he had been his medical attendant for 14 years, which not only shows continuity of care, but also it covers John Wright’s time with Robert Fyson, Richard Faircloth, Walter Hutchinson and beyond.], [Note also, the account describes the sequence of events, which is revealing regarding medical practice at this time. He was initially called to see the patient at 7.30am on a Friday morning. He prescribed something for fever and left, returning at 2.00pm. The patient being no better, and after discussion with a friend (presumably medical) he called in Dr Latham (see the 1880 Lancet article above also), a consultant physician from Cambridge, who it appears turned up the same day. John Wright visited the patient again at 7.00am the next morning (i.e. the Saturday) and the consultant came back that day as well. It seems that John Wright saw him twice more on the Sunday and again on the Monday morning. The diagnosis was typhoid fever, which unfortunately affected the patient’s state of mind such that he shot himself.], [Note also, the account mentions, ‘He told me the medicine I was giving him would do him no good, a dose of his wasting mixture would cure him.’ – see the page regarding the interview William Sandiver 2 gave in 1805 on this subject as well. Apparently Fred Archer was in the habit of using a ‘terrible amount of strong medicine which he was constantly taking to get off a pound or half a pound in weight’. Reference: Humphris E.M. The Life of Fred Archer. London: Hutchinson & Co.; 1923, pg 12. According to his contemporary, the racehorse trainer George Lambton, Dr Wright was the source of this medicine, ‘he [Fred Archer] used some medi-cine which went by the name of “Archer’s Mixture,” prepared by a clever doctor at Newmarket, called Wright. I tried it myself when I was riding races, and from my own experience I should say it was made of dynamite.’ Reference: Lambton G. Men and horses I have known. London: Thornton Butterworth Ltd.; 1924, pg 41. (Thanks to David Yates, Chief Racing Writer for the Daily Mirror, for drawing my attention in 2018 to the existence of Archer’s Mixture and the Humphris and Lambton references. He contacted me whilst making a documentary on Fred Archer to see whether I knew what was in Dr Wright’s mixture, which unfortunately I didn’t.)]
1888: ‘Wright John Rowland, surgeon & acting surgeon to the West Suffolk (6th) Rifle Volunteers (H Co)’ listed in the Commercial section and unfortunately just his name rather than address is listed in the Private Residents section of Kelly’s Directory. Reference: Kelly’s directory of Cambridgeshire… . London: Kelly & Co.; 1888, pgs 117&119 (114-119 Newmarket section). [Note: Fyson Ernest Last, Fyson Robert, Gray Clement Frederick, Gray Frederick Clement, Hutchinson Walter, Mead George Borwick, and Mead George Owen are listed separately.]
1890: ‘WRIGHT, JOHN ROWLAND, High-st, New-market. Cambs – M.R.C.S. Eng. 1871; (St. Mary’s); Act. Asst. Surg. W. Suffolk R.V.; late House Surg. Male Lock Hosp. Lond.’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1890. [Note: this was the last year that he mentioned his address as in the High Street, it first having been mentioned in his 1887 entry (before that no address was given). Note however, this 1890 entry is marked with a * indicating that it had not been updated from the previous year. In fact it had last been updated in 1888. Oddly, from 1891 onwards his entry is marked as ‘Address uncommunicated’, right up to his last entry in the main section in 1893 (see 1894 obituary section below).]
1891, 5th/6th April: John R. Wright, aged 46, ‘General Medical Practitioner’, born in Birmingham, with his wife Edith, aged 41, born in Cannock, Staffordshire, daughter May, aged 14, unmarried sister Josephine, aged 40, born in Leicester, and two servants, living in Rous Villa, Newmarket. Reference: The National Archives, 1891 census. [Note: Walter Hutchinson can be seen in Richard Faircloth and John Rowland Wright’s old house on the High Street – see the page on Walter Hutchinson for details and an image], [Note also, Cecil can be seen age 17 as a ‘pupil’ in the household of a ‘Clerk in Holy Orders’ in Haydor/Heydour, Lincolnshire.]
1892: ‘Wright John Rowland, surgeon & acting surgeon to the 2nd Volunteer Battalion Suffolk Regiment (H co.), Rous road’ listed in Kelly’s Directory. Reference: Kelly’s directory of Cambridgeshire… . London: Kelly & Co.; 1892, pg 133 (126-133 Newmarket section). [Note: Fyson Ernest Last, Fyson Robert, Gray Clement Frederick, Hutchinson Walter, Mead George Borwick, and Mead George Owen are listed separately.]
1893, 2nd March: ‘DEATH OF DR. WRIGHT.– Our readers will regret to hear of the death of Dr. J. R. Wright, which took place at his residence, on Thursday afternoon, after a painful illness. The deceased was well known among the inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood and the principal visitors who come to the races, and he was highly respected by a large circle of friends. He was surgeon to our local company of volunteers…’ Reference: The Newmarket Journal. Saturday Mar 4 1893: 5.
1893, 2nd March: Memorial ‘IN LOVING MEMORY OF / JOHN ROWLAND WRIGHT / WHO DIED MARCH 2ND 1893 / IN HIS 47TH YEAR / [followed by a not completely readable line, but which includes the word ‘MERCY’].’ Reference: Memorial stone cross in Newmarket Cemetery. [Note: see image above.], [Note also, his wife is on the lower part of this memorial, which is not all readable, but it’s possible to see that she died much later, aged 87.], [Note also, he must have been aged 47, not in his 47th year, judging from his ages on other references, and as described on his coffin below.]
1893, 6th March: ‘Funeral of Dr. Wright / … on Monday last… had for a number of years practised in the town as a medical man, was surgeon to the H Company 2nd Volunteer Battalion Suffolk Regiment, and was therefore entitled to a military funeral, but his relatives were anxious that the obsequies should be carried out as quietly as possible, and there was no military display. In other ways every possible respect for the deceased was shown by the inhabitants of the town generally, his bonhomie and his kindness and courtesy to all with whom he came into contact having made him very popular in the town. Tradesmen closed their shops and private residents drew down their blinds and a very large number of sympathising friends assembled at the cemetery as a mark of the esteem in which the deceased was held by them. The chief mourners were the deceased’s son and two other relatives’. The account mentions that Dr. Ernest Last Fyson, Dr. Clement F. Gray, Dr. George O. Mead and Dr. W. H. Hutchinson were at the graveside, and that the brass plate on the coffin read ‘John Rowland Wright, died 2nd March, 1893, aged 47 years’. Reference: The Newmarket Journal. Saturday Mar 11 1893: 9. [Note: this is the only reference to Dr Hutchinson having a middle initial H, so likely is an error.]
1893, 17th April: ‘SERIOUS ACCIDENT TO A STABLE LAD.– On Monday morning last… the animal he was riding reared and threw him to the ground, the result being that one of his legs was broken. He was conveyed to the Rous Memorial Hospital, and was seen by several medical men, who arrived at the conclusion that there was no alternative but to amputate the injured part of the leg, the fracture being a very serious one. The operation was skilfully performed by Dr. Maunde [sic] (Dr. Wright’s successor), and the lad is now making satisfactory progress towards recovery.’ Reference: The Newmarket Journal. Saturday Apr 22 1893: 5. [Note: ‘Mr. J. H. Maund, surgeon, Newmarket’, also attended a patient who’d been accidentally hit by a train at Kennett on 20th April, although unlike this article it does not point out that he was Dr Wright’s successor. Reference: The Bury Free Press. Saturday Apr 29 1893: 6.]
1894: In the obituary section of the Medical Directory: ‘WRIGHT, JNO. ROWLAND, M.R.C.S. on March, 1893.’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1894. [Note: this does say ‘on March’ without giving a date.]
1894: ‘MAUND, John Hansby… Rous Villa, Newmarket…’ Reference: The Medical Register. London: General Medical Council; 1894. [Note: this continued to be his address in the Medical Register until 1902, when it changed to Brackley House (see also the pages on John Hansby Maund, Rous Villa and Brackley House for more details and discussion).], [Note also, before this he was in London.]
1901, 31st March / 1st April: Edith Wright, aged 51, born in Cannock, Staffordshire, shown living in Rous Villa with her unmarried daughter May aged 24, and a servant. Reference: The National Archives, 1901 census.
1911, 2nd/3rd April: Edith Wright, aged 61, born in Cannock, Staffordshire, shown living in the household of Frederick Chennell from Newmarket described as a ‘Jobmaster?’ as his mother in law, and May Chennell his wife aged 33 (obviously May Chennell née Wright, her daughter). They were living in Mill House, Newmarket. Reference: The National Archives, 1911 census. [Note: this census records that they had been married 9 years.], [Note also, Mill House appears to have been in the Icewell Hill / Exning Road part of Newmarket.], [Note also, Frederick P. Chennell of the firm Griffiths & Chennell ‘auctioneer, valuer, house & estate agent’ is listed in the Newmarket Commercial section of Kelly’s Directory in 1900, so before they were married. Reference: Kelly’s directory of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk & Suffolk. London: Kelly’s Directiries Ltd.; 1900, pgs 168-176 Newmarket section.]
Newmarket Union Minutes 1872-1884. Reference: 611/28-32, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: not all entries regarding John Wright in these minutes have been detailed above. Those not recorded are largely about routine payments.]
Shops History Newmarket. http://www.newmarketshops.info/index.html. [Note: newmarketshops.info has been supplied with information regarding the medical history of Newmarket by the author of talkingdust.net since August 2013 (see footnotes on some of the pages). Both websites continue to be developed, and in this sense are mutually symbiotic.]
Suffolk Medical Biographies. Profile for Wright, John Rowland. http://www.suffolkmedicalbiographies.co.uk/Profile.asp?Key=3167 (originally accessed pre October 2013). [Note: at the time of writing (April 2018), this website had only two references relating to John Rowland Wright.], [Note also, see comments regarding this website on the Francis Greene page.]
The Deeds of Rous Villa, kindly lent to me in 2014 by the then owners. [Note: they make no mention of John Rowland Wright. It appears that during the time that John Rowland Wright lived in the property it was owned by John Russell Denson, a builder from Cambridge, on a 99 year lease (starting from when it was built in 1886). John Denson presumably sublet it to the Wrights – see the page on Rous Villa for more details.]
The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1871-1894. [Note: see above references for full 1873, 78, 81, 84, 90 and 94 entries (and 1878 for Charles Wing, 1878 & 79 for Richard Faircloth, and 1880 & 81 for Walter Hutchinson.], [Note also, this publication has been known by various titles over the years. Initially it just covered London, but from 1847 it had a wider remit, being variously known as the London and Provincial Medical Directory, The Medical Directories, The Medical Directory, etc., essentially the same work with minor variations and developments. It is usually referred to as The Medical Directory (as opposed to The Medical Register), so that is how it’s consistently referred to on talkingdust.net.]
The Medical Register. London: General Medical Council; 1872-1894. [Note: John Rowland Wright first appeared in the 1873 edition and his last appearance was in 1893. His entries simply state that he qualified MRCS in 1871, was registered on 27th March 1872, and lived in Newmarket.]
The Society of Apothecaries, Apothecaries’ Hall, Black Friars Lane, London EC4V 6EJ. [Note: personal correspondence with the archivist revealed that they had no records relating to John Rowland Wright.]
Note: For published material referenced on this website see the ‘Acknowledgements for resources of published material’ section on the ‘Usage &c.’ page. The sources used for original unpublished documents are noted after each individual reference. Any census records are referenced directly to The National Archives, since images of these are so ubiquitous on microfilm and as digital images that they almost function like published works. Census records are covered by the ‘Open Government Licence’ as should be other such public records (see the ‘Copyright and related issues’ section on the ‘Usage &c.’ page for which references constitute public records, and any other copyright issues more generally such as fair dealing/use etc.).