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Joshua Ward

Joshua Ward, celebrated "quack" doctor, is buried in the south transept of Westminster Abbey, near the monument to William Camden. There is no gravestone for him and the statue intended to be erected was too large for the Abbey and is now in the Victoria & Albert Museum collection in London.

He was born about 1684, son of William Ward of Guisborough, and his brothers were John and William. In 1715 he fled to France due to his sympathy with the Jacobite cause. George II pardoned him and he settled in London in 1734. Reputable doctors severely denounced his so-called medicines and pills but he had royal patronage and many wealthy patients. He was the inventor of 'Friar's Balsam' and was the first person to manufacture sulphuric acid in England. Some of his remedies were lethal. He lived in Westminster and founded a hospital for the poor. Samuel Johnson said he was the dullest man he had ever known. He died on 21st December 1761 and had a magnificent funeral.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography


21st December 1761


Physician; doctor


South Transept

Memorial Type


Joshua Ward
Joshua Ward

By Thomas Bardwell (1704-1780) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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