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Journal of the Pembrokeshire Historical Society


Vol. 6 1994-1995

Pioneers of public health : Dr. Timothy Richard Lewis, M.B., C.M., F.R.S.(elect) /

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Pioneers of Public Health:
Dr. Timothy Richards Lewis M.B.c.M.F.R.s.(eiect).
by J.H. Thomas.
On learning as a medical student that Trypanozoma lewisii was the cause of
Sleeping Sickness in the tropics I wondered whether Lewis had been a
Welshman. Little did I expect that later in life I would appreciate that fact in
a rather unusual manner.
In 1993 a mend showed me a hand written letter, dated August 29 1876, addressed to
'My dear Bessie' from her brother TRTewis, The General Hospital, Calcutta. It stated
that a crossed cheque for twenty guineas was being enclosed as a wedding present
and pointed out that he had gained weight and would have to put himself on 'bara-
dwfr for a few weeks'.1 Another comment was also relevant
1 have been busily concocting
reports since my return from
Almora, getting odds and ends into
shape, but I am sorry to say the
materials are far from being ready
for the printers I have a lot of work
to arrange figures things that I am
not at all good at managing
however one must shuffle through
On realising that the Lewis, who
had written the letter was the
illustrious Dr. Lewis I enquired
about Bessie and was told that she
was my friend's grandmother. On
further questioning I learnt that she
was none other than Mrs Owen,
Tycoed farm, Glogue, whom I had
known when I was a child. The
circumstances were such that it
seemed imperative that I should find
out more about Dr. Lewis.
Timothy Richards (Lewis) was bom
on 31 October, 1841, at Hafod,
Llangan, Carmarthenshire. His
mother, a farmer's daughter,
Britannia Richards (1820 1881),
married William Lewis (1821
1901) at Uanboidy (Carms.) on 10
October, 1843, and later moved to
Timothy Richards Lewis from a photogravure
plate produced after his death apparently from
an earlier photograph.
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