Dr. William Lister, Bust, St. Thomas Hospital, Lambeth Palace Rd.
At its meeting of 21 September 1869, the minutes record that the Treasurer informed the Grand Committee of St Thomas' Hospital that
a marble Bust of the late Dr. Nathaniel [sic] Lister formerly a Physician at this Hospital had recently been presented to the Governors by his Son ...
The minutes further record that the Committee gratefully accepted the offer and asked the Treasurer to convey its thanks to Dr Lister's son. As there is no known bust of Nathaniel Lister, it is likely that the above minutes are an inaccurate record of the donation by Nathaniel of a bust of his father, William (as recorded in the inscription on the pedestal). However, Nathaniel had himself been dead for six years by the date of the meeting in 1869. Parsons seeks to explain this by suggesting that Nathaniel may have stated in his will that the bust of his father be donated to the Hospital following his death, but that there was some delay in carrying out his instructions. If this is a correct interpretation it nonetheless remains remarkable that the Committee, in instructing the Treasurer to thank Nathaniel on its behalf, should not only have been unaware of the death six years previously of one of their former colleagues, but that such an embarrassing mistake in the minutes should not have been corrected in any subsequent meeting.
Physician (1757 - 1830). He trained at Edinburgh and was appointed Assistant Physician to St Thomas' Hospital in 1790 and Physician in 1795. Following his resignation in 1817, he was made a Governor of the Hospital. His son, Nathaniel, also followed a medical career at St Thomas' Hospital. He was appointed Assistant Physician in 1834 and Physician in 1839, the year before his retirement.
Sources: McInnes, E. M., 19
On column: Wm. Lister M.D. / B. 1757 . D. 1830. / Presented By / His Son / 1870
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