Samuel Gamble was born on Christmas Day 1818, likely in Strabane, County Tyrone, in the north of Ireland. The census records indicate that he was born in Ireland, and he had a younger brother James who was born in Strabane. Also, according to his later LSA examination records at the Society of Apothecaries in London (see below), from about 14 years of age Samuel was apprenticed to William Leney, a surgeon and apothecary of Strabane, the typical age to start such an apprenticeship (see The History of medical treatments, training, qualifications and regulations). Little is known at this stage about his family, except that he appears to have had another brother who pre-deceased him.
After the 7 year apprenticeship Samuel Gamble qualified from the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh in 1841, at the age of 22 (a few days short of his 23rd birthday). It’s possible that he’d spent a year or so in Edinburgh after the apprenticeship in Strabane, but he gained a midwifery (obstetrics) qualification from Dublin in 1841 too, and that year he’s also mentioned as an assistant at the Markethill and Mountnorris Dispensary in County Armagh, also in the north of Ireland, so perhaps his only involvement with Edinburgh at that stage was for the examination? Interestingly, it’s of note that he didn’t actually take the English LSA examination until a decade later, in 1851, well after he’d arrived in Newmarket (hence Robert Fyson’s appearance on it).
Samuel Gamble came to Newmarket some time after 1841, first mentioned in 1845, when he attended a head injury case who he treated with ‘leeches to the temple’ (see image on the right, and William Henry Day on the use of leeches under similar circumstances in 1881). The patient died and he perfomed a post mortem with Robert James Peck (the norm for generalist medics at this time). There are occasional mentions of Samuel Gamble of Newmarket in the press from that point, usually with reference to cases that required coroner’s inquests or court trials etc., as would be expected. Probably he was working as some form of assistant/apprentice to Robert Fyson at that time since a press report on a manslaughter trial from 1852 regarding an incident that took place in 1850 mentions ‘Messrs. Fison [sic] and Gamble’s surgery’, and it would explain Robert Fyson’s appearance on his 1851 LSA examination records too. Also, he’s not mentioned in an 1850 trade directory for Newmarket, although clearly he was well established in the town by then, likely because he was part of Robert Fyson’s practice, which was listed. He couldn’t officially practice until gaining his LSA qualification in 1851 (see The History of medical treatments, training, qualifications and regulations as above), and from that point he’s listed in the Medical Directory. (However, it’s of note that there must be a small possibility, given the 1845 case, that Samuel Gamble was with Robert James Peck’s practice for a few years, rather than just seeking his second opinion, perhaps from 1844 until 1847/8, whilst Floyd Peck was away?)
1855 saw Fyson & Gamble listed in a trade directory, and in 1856 Robert Fyson described Samuel Gamble as his business partner, when naming him as substitute in case of absence from his Newmarket Union poor law duties. Although Samuel Gamble hardly features in the Newmarket Union minutes, as Robert Fyson’s partner and deputy in the role he would have had some involvement in that institution’s work. Since he’d apparently been working with Robert Fyson for years he’d likely had involvement with poor law patients for years too. There’s an example from 1852 when he’s recorded helping with a post mortem on a case from the workhouse. Interestingly, Samuel Gamble seems to feature in a disproportionate number of post mortem reports generally, so perhaps he had a special interest in those. Perhaps related to that, he seems to have had a leaning towards surgery too, assisting George Borwick Mead with surgical cases in 1866 and 1870 (the Meads were a separate practice – see The Page-Meads-Crompton practice chain). Given that Robert Fyson did not have an MRCS qualification, just the LSA, and at least at the start of their working together the converse was true, perhaps this slight differentiation of interests worked well in their business as surgeon and apothecary general practitioners together (although Robert Fyson did perform surgical procedures too – see the page on Robert Fyson for details.)
Samuel Gamble was single throughout his time in Newmarket, and lived with the Fysons at their surgery, the last house on the north-east end of the High Street at that time, on the junction with Exeter Road (see the page on Robert Fyson for more details). He can be seen there on the 1861 and 1871 censuses (the 1851 census for that part of Newmarket is missing). Interesting examples of Fyson and Gamble working together include unsuccessfully treating a rabies case in 1865, but containing a smallpox outbreak in 1867 with the help of other non-medics. Some other cases mentioning just Samuel Gamble include reports regarding a sudden likely cardiac death and an injured jockey in 1867. See the references below for more details.
After well over 20 years working together, the Fyson & Gamble partnership was dissolved in 1872. This seems to have been related to the fact that Samuel Gamble married very shortly afterwards and moved to Torquay. His wife was from Scotland and they married in Edinburgh. Samuel’s brother James was a church minister there, so perhaps that’s how they met. Quite why they didn’t stay in Newmarket but moved to Torquay is not yet known. He was replaced in Newmarket by John Rowland Wright, who became an assistant to Robert Fyson at that time, then by Ernest Last Fyson, Robert’s nephew, who became a partner (see the pages on John Rowland Wright, Robert Fyson, Ernest Last Fyson, the Fysons, and The Fyson practice chain for more details). Regarding contemporaries, Samuel Gamble would have known Richard Faircloth’s practice, have seen George Borwick Mead succeed Frederick Page, and known both generations of Peck and their successors William Henry Day followed by Frederick Clement Gray and even the start of Clement Frederick Gray’s career in Newmarket.
In Torquay Samuel Gamble (who by that stage was 53 years of age) apparently continued to practise until his death at the age of 68 in 1887. He can be seen on the 1881 census in Torquay aged 61 (although he would have been 62) and his wife aged 47. They had no children.
Image 1: From The Society of Apothecaries’ Court of Examiners Candidates’ Qualification Entry Book 1849-1852, reference MS8241/16 (cropped); image ©, reproduced with kind permission of The Society of Apothecaries Archives, London.
Image 2: The Cambridge Independent Press. Saturday Sept 13 1845: 3 (cropped); image © The British Library Board, all rights reserved, reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive, www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk. [Note: clicking here leads to the specific page on their website, but requires logging in to it.]
Image 4: The 1871 census, reference RG10/1596 (cropped); image ©, reproduced with kind permission of The National Archives.
Note: see comments regarding images and copyright © etc. on the Usage &c. page as well.
1841: The Markethill Dispensary medical report from 1st May 1841 to 30th April 1842 mentions the Mountnorris branch and ‘SAMUEL GAMBLE, L.R.C.S.E., Assistant’. Reference: The Dublin Medical Press 1842; VII (CLXXX):390. [Note: see his 1852 Medical Directory entry below.]
1845, September: The earliest mention of Samuel Gamble in practice at Newmarket, in which he’s reported attending a head injury case and treating him with ‘leeches to the temple’. Reference: The Cambridge Independent Press. Saturday Sept 13 1845: 3. [Note: see image above.], [Note also, interestingly he called in Mr Peck for help – the patient subsequently died and they performed a post mortem together – this would have been Robert James Peck, his son Floyd Minter Peck being in Folkestone at this time.], [Note also, this incident was reported quite widely in other Newspapers too.]
1846, 1st April: A coroner’s inquest in the press regarding a death from alcohol intoxication mentioned that, ‘Mr Gamble, surgeon, of Newmarket’ reported on the case. Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Saturday Apr 01 1846: 2.
1849, 17th March: ‘Mr. Gamble, surgeon, of Newmarket’ gave evidence in a court case regarding an assault that took place at Newmarket on 8th November 1848. Reference: The Cambridge Independent Press. Saturday Mar 17 1849: 4.
1850: Samuel Gamble not listed, but ‘Fyson Robert, High st’ listed under ‘Surgeons’ in Newmarket. Reference: SLATER’S (LATE PIGOT & CO.)… DIRECTORY… of… CAMBRIDGESHIRE; London: Isaac Slater; 1850, pg 36. [Note: Faircloth Richard, High st, Page Frederick, High st and Peck Ffloyd Mentor [sic], High st are listed separately – it’s interesting that Samuel Gamble is not mentioned separately, suggesting that he was part of one of these practices, so presumably the assistant/(apprentice) of Robert Fyson at this stage, before gaining his LSA qualification. cf. 1851 and 1855 below.]
1851, 20th March: Samuel Gamble passed his LSA examination. The record mentions that he was born on 25th December 1818, that he had served a 7 year apprenticeship to William Leney of Strabane, County Tyrone [Ireland], a surgeon and apothecary, the indenture being dated 10th November 1832, and that he had already been a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh since 21st December 1841. Testimonials of moral character came from Robert Fyson, surgeon, Newmarket and a Dr John H Power. Reference: Court of Examiners Candidates’ Qualification Entry Book, The Society of Apothecaries Archives, Apothecaries’ Hall, Black Friars Lane, London EC4V 6EJ. [Note: see image above.]
1852: ‘GAMBLE, SAMUEL, Newmarket – L.R.C.S. Edin. 1841; Lic. Midw. Dub-lin, 1841; L.S.A. 1851; late Med. Off. of Mt.-hill and Mt.-Norris Disp. Ireland.’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1852. [Note: this is his first mention in The Medical Directory, likely representing his gaining the LSA qualification the year before – see above, which mentions Robert Fyson.], [Note also, see 1841 above re: ‘late Med. Off. of Mt.-hill and Mt.-Norris Disp. Ireland.’]
1852, 23rd March: Gave evidence at a manslaughter trial regarding an incident that took place on 9th November 1850. After being struck on the head the patient was taken ‘into Messrs. Fison [sic] and Gamble’s surgery’. ‘Samuel Gamble, surgeon, Newmarket’ recalled the patient ‘being brought to his surgery; he was insensible at the time, and appeared to be labouring under some injury to the brain. He died while I was examin-ing his head… I made a post mortem examination’, which is described. Reference: Supplement to the Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Mar 31 1852: 5. [Note: the actual newspaper was four pages long and supplement two pages, this being on the first page of the supplement, hence page 5.]
1852, July: Mr Gamble performed a post mortem with Richard Faircloth on a case from the workhouse who had died from apoplexy (a stroke), but suffered from scalding caused by putting the patient in a hot bath in an attempt at treatment – done by Mr Bay(e)s, assistant to Mr Faircloth the workhouse medical officer. Reference: 611/19, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). Also reported in: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Jul 07 1852: 3. [Note: entries regarding this case appear in the 9th, 16th and 30th July Newmarket Union minutes.]
1855: ‘Fyson & Gamble’ and ‘Fyson Robert’ listed under ‘Surgeons’ in Newmarket. Reference: HISTORY, GAZETTEER, AND DIRECTORY OF SUFFOLK…; Sheffield: William White; 1855, pg 820. [Note: Faircloth Richard, Page Frederick and Peck Floyd M are listed separately.], [Note also, it’s interesting that there is one entry for the business partnership and one for Robert Fyson as a separate line – perhaps Samuel Gamble was responsible for one entry and put it like that as the junior partner?]
1856, 4th April: ‘Mr Rob [the b is crossed like a t] Fyson Medical Officer of District No 1 named to the Guardians his partner Mr Samuel Gamble being a legally qualified Medical Practitioner to whom application for medicines and attendance may be made in his absence’. Reference: 611/21, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1858, 20th August: Robert Fyson was requested to attend a Newmarket Union meeting to explain why his deputy Mr Gamble had admitted a patient to the Suffolk General Hospital deemed to be an inappropriate admission. Reference: 611/22, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: the following week an explanation was given and ‘deemed satisfactory’.]
1861, 7/8th April: Samuel Gamble, aged 40, born in Ireland, ‘M.R.C.Sur. Edin., & Lic S. ap. London / Gen Practitioner’ in the household of Robert Fyson, aged 53, ‘Sur. & Lic. of apothecaries Hall. London / Gen Practitioner’, and Robert Fyson’s wife and family. He’s defined as a partner to Robert Fyson, the head. Also in the household were two servants (a cook and a page), living in Newmarket St Mary’s parish on the High Street. Reference: The National Archives, 1861 census. [Note: unfortunately the 1851 census for Newmarket St Mary’s is missing, but likely he was in the household of Robert Fyson then as well (see 1851 above); he was not in Robert Fyson’s household in 1841, which would have been before he came to Newmarket – see 1841 above.], [Note also, aside from here and on his LSA examination records above his qualification is recorded as LRCS not MRCS.]
1865, September: ‘Messrs. Fyson and Gamble’ dealt with a case of ‘HYDROPHOBIA’, an old word for rabies, and despite their unspecified efforts the patient died. He had been bitten ‘while giving some physic [i.e. medicine] to his dog’. Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Tuesday Sept 19 1865: 6.
1866, 24th February: It was reported in the press that someone who got their hand trapped in a ‘steam chaff cutting machine’ ‘was at once conveyed to Dr. Mead’s surgery, at Newmarket, where the hand, with the exception of the forefinger and thumb, was amputated by Drs. Mead and Gamble.’ Reference: The Cambridge Chronicle and University Journal. Saturday Feb 24 1866: 8.
1867, February/March: ‘NEWMARKET. SMALL POX.- This disease was brought into the town a week or two ago by some tramps, who have been in a bad state, but under the treatment of Messrs. Fyson and Gamble they are recovering; and by the care and discretion of the occupiers of the Lamb public-house, where they were lodging, and the inhabitants of that part of town, the further spread of the disease has been, we hope, prevented.’ Reference: The Bury Free Press. Saturday Mar 02 1867: 5.
1867, 2nd April: A report on the sudden death of a patient from Snailwell, who died suddenly at Exning on his way home from Newmarket (oddly, as it seems in the wrong direction?) recorded ‘Mr. Gamble, of Newmarket, was sent for, but before he could get to the house [the] deceased expired’. At the coroner’s inquest, ‘Mr. Gamble, surgeon, of Newmarket, said he found no external marks of violence upon the body. He had every reason to believe that [the] deceased had had disease of the heart for some time, and had no doubt that that was the cause of death.’ Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Tuesday Apr 02 1867: 8. [Note: it’s not clear whether he performed a post mortem? He might have done, in the light of other examples from his practice, but it reads more like he just made an external examination? It’s possible that his opinion regarding the cause of death was based upon him being the patient’s regular doctor, and perhaps that’s why Samuel Gamble specifically was called for?]
1867, 21st September: ‘S. Gamble, Esq., surgeon’ attended an injured jockey ‘near the Tollgate, upon the London and Cambridge road’ who was unconscious for nearly 3 hours. Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Tuesday Sept 24 1865: 6.
1869, 12th March: A Meeting reported in the press which included discussions regarding ‘the desirability of Cottage Hospitals…’ Dr Mead reported that ‘in all cases of need, he, and Messrs. Faircloth, Fyson and Gamble were unremitting in their attention [indirectly revealing the four practices in 1869, i.e. Mead, Gray, Faircloth, and Fyson & Gamble – Frederick Gray being the one proposing the cottage hospital]… As a proof that cases of emergency were properly dealt with under the present system, he (Dr. Mead) adverted to two instances of a recent date – cases in which he was desirous of having the patients near him. In the first, a very serious one, he requested his man-servant to allow him to use his bedroom, where the patient had every attention paid to him – having two or three visits daily from him and Mr. Gamble, as well as from a medical gentle-man staying with him. The patient died notwithstanding. The other case was one of a serious accident, in which, after performing the operation with Mr. Gamble, there was danger of haemorrhage, and this patient was also placed in that room, and frequently attended by himself and Mr. Gamble until he was able to return to his home…’ Reference: The Bury Free Press. Saturday Mar 20 1869: 7. [Note: see the pages on Frederick Clement Gray and George Borwick Mead for more details with specific relevance to them.]
1870, 1st February: Mr Samuel Gamble, surgeon, reported as having assisted Dr. G. B. Mead in a midwifery case which required ‘a series of operations’. Reference: 611/26, Newmarket Union Minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1871, 2nd/3rd April: Samuel Gamble, aged 50, born in Ireland, described as ‘Surgeon &c’ and defined as ‘Partner’ in the household of Robert Fyson, aged 65, ‘Surgeon &c’, and Robert Fyson’s wife and children. Also in the household there were three servants, all living in Newmarket St Mary’s parish on the High Street. Reference: The National Archives, 1871 census. [Note: see image above.], [Note also, comparing this census record with the 1861 census it’s possible to identify their residence on both as three down from the Crown heading towards the clock tower. This was in fact the end building in the High Street at that time. The Fysons were in the same house on the 1881 and 1891 censuses, after Samuel Gamble had moved on to Torquay.]
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).
1872, 2nd April: Rebekah Monteith Pattison married Saml. Gamble, Edinburgh, Scotland. Reference: Scotland Select Marriages 1561-1910 (online database, not image), ancestry.co.uk. (accessed 30th January 2018).
1872, 2nd April: Under marriages: ‘GAMBLE – PATTISON – At Edinburgh, Mr. S. Gamble, to Rebekah M., daughter of the late Mr. J. Pattison, Glasgow, April 2.’ Reference: Pall Mall Gazette. Saturday Apr 06 1872: 5.
1874: ‘GAMBLE SAMUEL, Cotswold, Torquay – L.R.C.S. Edin. 1841; L.M. Dub. 1841; L.S.A. 1851; (T. Coll. Dub. And Univ. Edin.).’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1874. [Note: in the 1873 Directory he was still recorded in Newmarket, but the entry was marked with a *, indicating that he had not updated the entry since 1872. See also Ernest Fyson’s entry below and comments.]
1874: ‘FYSON, ERNEST LAST, Exning, Newmarket, Suffolk – L.R.C.P. Edin. (exam) and L.M. 1871; – M.R.C.S. Eng. 1864; L.S.A. 1865; (Guy’s).’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1874. [Note: this was his first appearance in the Newmarket area. So he appears to have replaced Samuel Gamble who had moved on – see above.]
1878: ‘Gamble Samuel, surgeon, Cotswold, Warren hill’ in Torquay, Devonshire. Reference: HISTORY, GAZETTEER AND DIRECTORY OF THE COUNTY OF DEVON…; Sheffield: William White; 1878, pg 807. [Note: 1878 is the last year that Cotswold is given as his address in the Medical Directory, it being Villa Alexandra from that point – see 1887 below.]
1881, 3rd/4th April: Saml. Gamble, aged 61, ‘Genl. Practitioner. R.C.S [illegible]’, born in Ireland, together with his wife Rebecca Montieth Gamble, aged 47, born in Scotland, and three servants, living in Villa Alexandra, Abbey Road, Tormoham, Torquay, Devon. Reference: The National Archives, 1881 census.
1882: ‘Gamble, S., Surgeon, Villa Alexandra’ listed under ‘MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS.’ Reference: The Torquay Times and South Devon Advertiser. Friday Jun 9 1882: 6.
1887: ‘GAMBLE, SAMUEL, Villa Alexandra, Torquay – L.R.C.S. Edin. 1841; L.M. Dub. 1841; L.S.A. Lond. 1851; (T. C. Dub. And Univ. Edin.).’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1887. [Note: this was his last entry in the Medical Directory, and marked with a *, suggesting that he had not updated his entry – it’s identical to 1886, which does not have a *.], [Note also, his address is given as Villa Alexandra from 1879 onwards – see 1878 above.]
1887: Under deaths: ‘GAMBLE. – On the 31st ult., at Villa Alexandra, Torquay, Samuel Gamble, Esq., aged sixty-eight.’ Reference: The Morning Post. Thursday Aug 4 1887: 1.
1887, 22nd September: The probate record for ‘Samuel Gamble late of Villa Alexandra Torquay in the County of Devon Surgeon who died 31 July 1887’ aside from mentioning his wife, mentions his brother ‘the Reverend James Gamble of 8 Mayfield-terrace in the City of Edinburgh in North Britain’. Reference: Online image of National Probate Registry entry, ancestry.co.uk (accessed 30th January 2018). [Note: it also mentions a ‘Caroline Anne Gamble of Normount in Torquay Widow, who presumably was likely a sister in law, but not married to James since he was still alive.], [Note also, presumably this gives a clue as to how Samuel Gamble met his wife – visiting his brother?]
1888: In the obituary section of the Medical Directory: ‘GAMBLE, SAMUEL, L.R.C.S. Edin., L.S.A., of Torquay, in August.’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1888. [Note: as would be expected in the light of this, he is not in the main section for 1888.], [Note also, the other references above stated that he died on 31st July, so not quite in August.]
1901: James Gamble, aged 70, a retired minister, born in ‘Strabarn’ [sic], Ireland, living in ‘Edinburgh Mayfield’. Reference: 1901 Scotland Census (online database, not image), ancestry.co.uk (accessed 30th January 2018). [Note: obviously this is Samuel Gamble’s brother, mentioned in the September 1887 probate record above, and is included here to prove that Samuel was likely born in Strabane therefore too (see his 1851 apprenticeship record above also).]
Newmarket Union Minutes 1852-1872. Reference: 611/19-28, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: the dates given here refer to the period during which Samuel Gamble is mentioned in the minutes. Robert Fyson was a medical officer of the union throughout Samuel Gamble’s time in Newmarket, so likely he was involved with some cases from the 1840s, without being officially recorded.]
Suffolk Medical Biographies. Profile for Gamble, [at the time of writing his name Samuel was not specified]. http://www.suffolkmedicalbiographies.co.uk/Profile.asp?Key=1637 (originally accessed pre October 2013). [Note: at the time of writing (January 2018), this website had only two references relating to Samuel Gamble.], [Note also, see comments regarding this website on the Francis Greene page.]
The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1851-1888. [Note: see above references for full 1852, 1874, 1887 and 1888 entries (and 1874 for Ernest Last Fyson).], [Note also, as would be expected, Samuel Gamble was not in the 1889 directory, and he is not in the 1851 directory, 1852 being his first appearance, see comments above], [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; 1859ff. [Note: this began in 1859 – Samuel Gamble’s entries simply record his LRCS Edinburgh 1841 and LSA London 1851; his address changes lag behind those in the Medical Directory.]
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.).