GODFREY HOWITT, M.D., Edinburgh
The First President of the Nottingham Medico-
1828 to 1839
Godfrey Howitt, (1800-
Godfrey Howitt was one of the six sons of Thomas Howitt of Heanor in Derbyshire, who resuscitated the fortunes of an old but generously spendthrift county family by marrying Phoebe Tantum, an heiress of the Society of Friends, and, as required by the regulations, became a Quaker. Another brother of Godfrey was William (1795-
Godfrey Howitt was physician to the Nottingham General Hospital from 1829 to 1839 and was keenly interested in science and literature. He wrote the standard work The Flora of Nottinghamshire, and discovered a new species of catchfly which grew on the Castle Rock. Professor John Wilson ("Christopher North," of Edinburgh) made the "Ettrick Shepherd" in Blackwoods Magazine described his as "Ane o' the best botanists in England an' a desperate beetle hunter." His ardent love for collecting accompanied him to Australia and he bequeathed his natural history collection and library to the Melbourne Museum (The Howitt Collection). He also gave £1,000 to found scholarships in Natural History in the University. In 1847 he became one of the first physicians to the Melbourne Hospital and had the experience of being paid his fees in gold dust by miners who consulted him professionally.
Centenary of the Nottingham Medico-