As published in the periodical "European Magazine" in 1805 (courtesy of Mrs. Barbara Seelaus):


Francis Joseph Pahud de Valangin

M.D. COL. Reg. Med.



The subject of this memoir was born at Berne in Switzerland about the year of 1719 or 1720 and studied medicine at Leyden under the celebrated Hermann Boerhaave.  Though educated, however, in this line of life, it was not originally his intention to follow it as a profession.  his connections, his mother stood in some degree of relationship to the Prince of Orange, having bid him to look for advancement in a different career.  Towards the end of of George the Second's reign, he kissed that King's hand on receiving some diplomatic appointment to the Court of Madrid, but on the retreat of his patron from administration about the same time, Mr. de Valangin declined the intended honor, and soon after returned to medicine, which he thence forward adopted as a profession, and fixed his abode in Solio Square.  In 1769, he published a treatise on diet or the Management of Human Life, by physicians call the Six Non Naturals &c, 8 vols.

Having removed to Fore Str. Cripplegate, he soon acquired a very extensive addition to his practice.  About 1772, he purchased some ground near White Conduit Fields, and erected thereon a house, extensive in its conveniences, but fanciful enough in construction, being built on a plan laid down by himself.

To this spot he gave the name Hermes Hill.  Pentonville had not then begun to be built, and this was almost the only dwelling near the spot except White Conduit House.  His pursuit of all branches of knowledge connected with his profession was sedulous in the extreme, and the result was the discovery of several simple preparations which he found of great service in particular cases, one of which he named the Balsam of Life, he presented to Apothecarie's Hall, where it is still sold with his name.

Beside his diploma from the Royal College of Physicians of London, Dr. de Valangin had, unsolicited, received  others from Scotland, Holland, and Switzerland.

For some favor conferred (but what we do not learn) he was presented by the Worshipful Company of Loviners with the livery of that corporation, and twice served the office of Master.

By his first wife he had three children, of whom two sons are still living, and a daughter died at nine years of age, who was buried by her father's directions, in his garden at Herme's Hill.  He married a second time about twenty-three years since, a Mrs. Hillier, (widow of an architect) who survives him, by by whom he had no issue.

Dr. de Valangin had a particular taste of music and painting.  In the former art, he was not an unsuccessful performer, and , if we mistake not, has left behind him some remarks on the theory of composition. His paintings which formed a very choice collection, have been dispersed by sale, according to the directions of his will.  Though far advanced in years, Dr. de Valangin's end was hastened by an accident. On the 2nd of January last, alighting from his carriage at Hampstead the ground being frosty, he slipped and fell, and though not immediately confined in consequence, sustained an injury that he predicted would shorten his life.  This prediction was verified on the first of March, after four days confinement to his bed, on the third of which he ruptured a blood vessel.  He was interred in a family vault in Cripplegate church, to which the remains of his daughter, before mentioned, had been removed the preceding day.

As a physician he was kind and consolatory in the extreme, and beloved by his patients of every class and degree.  To those in the humbler walks of life, it was his constant custom to regulate the acceptance of his fees by their presumed ability to afford them, and the poor was always welcome to his gratuitous assistance.  He had been for several years physician to the Royal Free Masons Charity.

In a word Dr. de Valangin was the friend of mankind and an honor to his profession.

European Magazine, August, 1905.


Editor's Notes:

Article copied 4/10/1907.

Dr. de Valangin's vault can still be viewed at Cripplegate church.

In the transposition of the article,  it is labeled "Herne's Hill",  but research of streets in London have shown a Herme's Hill in Cripplegate,  where Dr. de Valangin is buried.  However,  there is also a section of London called "Herne Hill".  Need to get a map to sort it out.

No sign of the Worshipful Company of Loviners.  Loviner is a surname,  but no sign of the Worshipful Company.

White Conduit House was a popular resort in the late 1700's and early 1800's.  Quite a few ditties written about it.  The owner was quite the marketeer.