Friday, September 6, 2013

Ladies Man

In 1809 a young man named James Barry began his medical studies at the University of Edinburgh.  He graduated in 1812 and went on to train at the combined hospitals of St Thomas and Guy's, going on to pass his exams and recieve admittance to the Royal College of Surgeons.  Following this he joined the Army, qualifying as a regimental assistant.

Barry was described as irascible and prickly.  Standing only five foot tall, with a high pitched voice, he responded angrily to the frequent taunting that was a part of Army life.  In fact he fought at least two duels over insults - shooting an opponent in one and being injured in the other.  He was also quite eccentric, travelling with his Jamaican manservant, John, his dog and a goat for milk.  He also was always dressed in full regimentals, including cavalry sword and was noted for wearing 3 inch lifts in his shoes. 

John Barry, his servant John and his dog, circa 1850
(public domain image sourced from Wikipedia)