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Histoire de la médecine

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Account on unknown doctors during the Empire who later became famous (3rd part)

by Xavier Riaud*, FINS, medal of honor from INS

Husson Henri Marie Husson (1772-1853) became a doctor in 1799. He was assistant librarian in the Bibliothèque de l'Ecole de médecine. He created the Société Médicale d'Émulation (the Competitive Medical Society) with Bichat. In 1800, he held the position of secretary in the Vaccinia Committee. Thoured had recommended him. He vaccinated in Paris during twenty years. He signed numerous reports about vaccinia. He was Elisa Bonaparte's personal doctor in Italy. In 1811, he vaccinated the King of Rome. Then, he became doctor in the Hôtel-Dieu. In 1821, he was elected in the Royal Academy of Medicine that he chaired in 1839. The author of numerous works, he published Essai sur une nouvelle doctrine des tempéraments (Essay on a new doctrine about temperaments) in 1799, Bichat's biography, Traité des membranes (Treatise on membranes) in 1802 and Recherches historiques et médicales sur la vaccine (Historical and medical research on vaccinia) in 1803 (Dupont, 1999 BIUS, 2012).

Articles - HUSSON

Henri Marie Husson (© National Academy of Medicine).


Leroy Alphonse Leroy (1742-1816) ended his medical studies in Paris. He graduated as regent doctor in 1768. In the maternity ward of the Paris Faculty of Medicine, Sigault and him carried out their first symphysiotomy on a parturient who was going through her fifth pregnancy. According to some authors, Sigault should be the only one to be given credit for this operation. Leroy was said to make it his own which developped a loathing for him from his colleagues such as Piett, Lauverjat or Baudelocque. To thank them, the Paris Faculty of Medicine had a medal striken in their honor and appointed them professors of delivery. When the Ecole centrale de santé was founded in 1794, he was made professor of delivery for his brilliant eloquence. In 1798, he received one of the two chairs of obstetrics which had just been created, the second was given to one of his major rivals, Baudelocque, with whom he was frequently quarrelling. He was stronly opposed to vaccinia. However, when the Faculty of Medicine was associated with the Imperial University in 1808, he continued to hold the same position nearby Baudelocque. A prolific author, he published many works on motherhood and pregnancy. He was murdered by a servant whom he had fired a few days earlier (Kottek, 1996 ; Dupont, 1999). Here are his major works (, 2012) : - Recherches sur les habillements des femmes et des enfants ou Examen de la manière dont il faut vêtir l'un et l'autre sexe [Researches on women's and children's clothing or Examination on the way one shall dress this sex or the other], Paris, 1772 ; - La Pratique des accouchements [Practice of deliveries], Paris, 1776 ; - Recherches historiques et pratiques sur la section de la symphyse du pubis [Historical researches and practices on the section of pubic symphysis], Paris, 1778 ; - Consultation médico-légale sur la question : l'approche de certaines femmes nuit-elle à la fermentation des liqueurs ? [Forensic consultation on the topic: is some women's approach detrimental to the liquor fermentation], Paris, 1780 ; - Essai sur l'histoire naturelle de la grossesse et de l'accouchement [Essay on the natural history of pregnancy and delivery], Paris, 1787 ; - De la nutrition et de son influence sur la forme et la fécondité des animaux sauvages et domestiques, accompagné d'un Mémoire sur l'influence de la lumière sur l'économie animale [Account on nutrition and its influence on wild and domesticated animals' shape and fertility, along with a Dissertation on the influence of light on animal economy], Paris : Crapelet's printing, C.-F. Maradan, 1798, in-8°, p. 4-95; - Leçons sur les pertes de sang pendant la grossesse, lors et à la suite des accouchements, des fausses couches, et sur toutes les hémorragies [Lessons on blood loss during pregnancy, during or after deliveries, miscarriages or on all sorts of bleeding], Paris, 1803 ; - Manuel des goutteux et des rhumatiques [Manual on gouty and rheumatic diseases], Paris, 1803 ; - La Médecine maternelle, ou l'Art d'élever et de conserver les enfants [Infant medicine or the Art to bring up and to preserve children], Paris, 1803 ; - Manuel de la saignée [Manual on bleeding], 1807, in-8° ; - De la conservation des femmes [About women's preservation], Paris, 1811, in-8° ; - De la Contagion régnante sur les vaches, sur les bœufs et sur l'homme, en quelques contrées de la France, des causes des contagions… [About contagion on cows, oxen and men in French lands, about the reasons of contagions], Paris : Janet et Cotelle, 1814, in-8°, IV-184 p.; - De la contagion sur l'homme, sur les vaches et sur les bœufs ; de ses moyens préservatifs et curatifs ; considérations sur les maladies des armées ; aperçu des avantages des Abattoirs dans les grandes villes [About contagion on men, cows and oxen; about protective and curative means, about considerations on diseases in armies; insight into the advantages of slaughterhouses in cities], Paris : Méquignon father, 1815, in-8°, ou in-16, 15 p.

Alphonse Leroy - Articles Xavier Riaud

Alphonse Leroy (© Musée Fabre).


He studied in Val-de-Grâce. He became regent doctor in the Paris Faculty of Medicine. Then, he left the capital with the Compagnie des Indes (the French East India Company) and only returned in France in 1792. Back in the capital, he worked as professor of surgery. He reached Bordeaux during the Reign of Terror and embarked for America in 1796. In 1798, upon his return to France, he taught in the Ecole centrale de santé as professor of surgical clinic. After a short stay in Italy in 1812, he died in Paris in 1815. He wrote many works such as Dictionnaire de chirurgie (Dictionary on surgery) in 1790, Coup d'œil sur la poésie érotique (A glimpse on erotic poetry) in 1802, De amoribus Pancharitus and Pyretologia medica in 1806, Cours des maladies syphilitiques (Lesson on syphilitic diseases) in 1812 and finally, Voyage en Italie (Travelling in Italy) on the same year (Dupont, 1999).

Philippe Petit-Radel (1749-1815) - articles Xavier Riaud
Philippe Petit-Radel (1749-1815) (© BIUS).

Anthelme Balthasar Richerand (1779-1840) held the position of professor in the Paris Faculty of Medicine in 1808. He was in charge of the external pathology. He remained so until 1807. In 1814, he shone during the battle of Paris. Assistant surgeon of the Saint-Louis hospital, he was elected in the Royal academy of surgery. In 1824, Louis XVIII appointed him as his official surgeon. A prolific author, he dwelt on medical physiology in addition to surgery. In 1801, he published Traité élémentaire de physiologie (Basic treaty on physiology) and in 1805, a book entitled Nosographie et thérapeutique chirurgicales (Surgical nosography and treatment). In 1807, he published Des erreurs populaires (Popular mistakes) and in 1825, he wrote Histoire des progrès récents de la chirurgie (History of recent progress in surgery) (Dupont, 1999 ; BIUS, 2012).

Anthelme Balthasar Richerand (Corlieu, 1896, © BIUS). - Xavier Riaud
Anthelme Balthasar Richerand (Corlieu, 1896, © BIUS).


Bibliothèque interuniversitaire de Santé, personal communication, Paris, 2012.
Dupont Michel, Dictionnaire historique des médecins dans et hors de la Médecine [Historical dictionary of the Doctors inside and outside Medicine], Larousse (ed.), Paris, 1999., Duméril, 2012, pp. 1-5., Alphonse-Louis Leroy, 2012, pp. 1-2.
Kottek S., « A. LeRoy et la protopédiatrie du début du 19e siècle » ["A. LeRoy and proto-pediatrics of the beginning of the 19th century"], in Vesalius, 1996 ; II (1) : 26-33.
Musée Fabre, personal communication, Montpellier, 2012.

(*) Dental Surgeon, PhD in Epistemology, History of Sciences and Techniques, Laureate and national associate member of the French Dental Academy.

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