WEBSTER, William Henry Bailey

1792 - 1875

William Henry Bailey Webster was born in London in 1792, the family originally came from Witnesham in Suffolk. William studied medicine and surgery at St Bartholomew’s and St George’s Hospital, London and became a LSA on 18 April 1816 having entered the navy some three months previously. A member of the Meteorology Society of London but was not employed until 1827, when the Navy sent the 'Chanticleer' on a scientific voyage on which Webster published an account. In October 1834 he commenced a medical practice at Ipswich and in 1839, after being declared unfit for further naval service, was superannuated, and retired. A member of the Ipswich Society of Professional & Amateur Artists from 1835, where he was tutored by Henry Davy. He gave frequent scientific lectures for the benefit of the various associations in the town and was secretary of the Ipswich Mechanics’ Institute taking out a patent in 1840 for 'improvements for preparing skins...for tanning'. William was living in Carr Street, Ipswich but by 1861 had moved to 14 St Helens Street and in 1868 was at 142 Woodbridge Road, Ipswich where, as William Henry Bayley Webster, he died on 24 November 1875, aged 83, and buried in Ipswich Cemetery five days later. By his Irish born wife Mary (1796-April 1874), he had at least three sons including John who was his sole executor. Webster was the doctor who exposed the sham case of the fasting of Elizabeth Squirrell at Shottisham, Suffolk, on which several books were published.