Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Trove Tuesday: Edward Wardley MRCS

This Trove Tuesday post is also a Wardley One-Name Study post!

Edward Wardley was born about 1813 in Bermondsey, Surrey, England to William Waldegrave Wardley and his wife Mary.

His father, William Waldegrave Wardley, was a government official – holding eminent positions such as secretary for excise in Ireland, and collector of Sallop. William Waldegrave Wardley died on 16 February 1853.

Edward Wardley qualified as a Member of Royal College of Surgeons in 1842, after completing a Certificate in Midwifery in Dublin in 1841.

Edward Wardley, his brother Waldegrave, and their sisters Lydia and Nancy, appear in a shipping notice in the SMH on 3 November 1853 arriving per the Windsor on 2 November 1853.

1853 'SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVALS.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 3 November, p. 4, viewed 20 August, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12950083

In 1857, he was declared by the New South Wales Medical Board as a qualified medical practitioner. I suspect that he was practicing in Victoria in the intervening period, but I am yet to confirm this. 

1857 'CORRESPONDENCE.', Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932), 18 July, p. 2, viewed 20 August, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115560827

He held a number of key positions in the New South Wales medical community – including Assistant Medical Officer at Tarban Creek Asylum and Superintendent of the Parramatta Lunatic Asylum. (See 1867 'LOCAL NEWS.', The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893), 4 June, p. 3, viewed 20 August, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18729896; 1868 'GOVERNMENT GAZETTE[?].', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 8 February, p. 5, viewed 20 August, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13155675; 1868 'GOVERNMENT GAZETTE NOTICES.', Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875), 8 February, p. 5, viewed 20 August, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60850225)

He wrote to the newspapers often defending the asylums or the inmates, and appears in court records giving evidence, and later in his life, he published four books, or pamphlets, including the fictional (but semi-biographical) Confession of Wavering Worthy in 1864, Abolition of Capital Punishment Considered in 1869, 'Lectiones Tarbanae' or Tall Talk at Tarban in 1870, and Some Phases of Insanity and its Treatment: Popularly Considered in 1871. (See 1870 'NOTICES OF NEW BOOKS.', Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875), 9 March, p. 4, viewed 20 August, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60891989; 1870 'NOTICES OF NEW BOOKS.', Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), 7 March, p. 4, viewed 20 August, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article107128647)

Edward Wardley was an advocate for the inmates of lunatic asylums, making recommendations to the Colonial Secretary for improvements and new treatments. (See 1870 'DEPUTATIONS TO THE COLONIAL SECRETARY.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 23 July, p. 5, viewed 20 August, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13213421;  1870 'ENLGARGED ACCOMMODATION FOR THE INSANE.', The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893), 28 July, p. 4, viewed 20 August, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18746996)

Edward Wardley died on 20 May 1872 at his home The Vineyard at Parramatta. With his death the colony lost “a good and faithful servant”. 

1872 'No title.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 22 May, p. 5, viewed 20 August, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13257863

One day I hope to write a much more complete biography of this man, and I look forward to being able to read his books in the State Library when I can find some time.

I wonder if his insights from almost 150 years ago will have any relevance today.