William Woodville (1752–1805) was famous for his work on the prevention of smallpox. As director of the Smallpox and Inoculation Hospital at St Pancras, London, from 1791, Woodville carried out extensive trials of vaccination. He kept detailed records on thousands of patients. He was also an accomplished botanist, and acquired two acres of ground belonging to the hospital which he maintained at his own expense as a botanical garden. He published 'Medical Botany', a catalogue of plants based on the 'Pharmacopoeia' of the Royal Colleges of Physicians, of which he was a fellow.
The portrait was painted by Lemuel Francis Abbott in the early 1790s. Abbott was an English portrait painter famous for his painting of Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson (Lord Nelson), which currently hangs in the Terracotta Room of 10 Downing Street, and paintings of other naval officers and literary figures of the eighteenth century.
Where to see this painting?
Royal College of Physicians, London
11 St Andrew's Place
Regent's Park, London, Greater London, England, NW1 4LE
If you are planning a visit to see this painting, check with the collection first. Paintings can be moved at short notice.
More on this painting
purchased from St Pancras Inoculation Hospital, 1954