62 Pages

James Parsons, Human Physiognomy Explain’d

James Parsons (1705-70) was a medical doctor and writer who received his education in Ireland and France before settling in London in 1736, where he enjoyed a successful career as an obstetrician, ‘appointed physician to the public in rmary of St. Giles’,1 antiquary and amateur artist (which earned him the friendship of William Hogarth). According to John Nichols’s Literary Anecdotes (1812), ‘Dr. Parsons resided for many years in Red Lion-square, where he frequently enjoyed the company and conversation of Dr. Stukeley, Bp. Lyttelton, Mr. Henry Baker, Dr. Knight, and many other of the distinguished of the Royal and Antiquarian Societies, and of that of Arts, Manufacturs, and Commerce; giving weekly an elegant dinner to a large but select party. He enjoyed also the literary correspondence of D’Argenville, Bu on, De Cat, Beccaria, Amb. Bertrand, Valltravers, Ascanius, Turbeville, Needham, Dr. Garden, and others of the most distinguished rank in science’.2