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BADGLEY, FRANCIS, doctor and professor; b. 14 June 1807 at Montreal, son of Francis Badgley*, merchant and member of the House of Assembly of Lower Canada, and Elizabeth Lilly; brother of William*, judge and attorney general for Canada East; d. 24 Dec. 1863 at Great Malvern, England.

Francis Badgley came from a London family of fur dealers who had set up in business at Montreal around 1785. He received his early education at Montreal, and then spent three years training in medicine under the famous Dr William Robertson*. He obtained his license to practise on 19 May 1826. A year later Badgley received his diploma from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Edinburgh, and went to Belfast and Paris to complete his studies. He carried on his profession first in Kensington (now a district of London), then in London, before coming back to Montreal in 1843.

On his return Badgley concentrated on teaching medicine, giving close scrutiny to what was being done at the Montreal General Hospital and the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University. These institutions, fearful of competition, excluded a number of doctors, including Badgley, François-Cornélius-Thomas Arnoldi, son of the celebrated Dr Daniel Arnoldi*, William Sutherland. Pierre-Antoine-Conefroy Munro, and Horace Henry Nelson, son of Wolfred Nelson. This group joined to found the Montreal School of Medicine and Surgery. The school, incorporated two years after its founding in 1843, sought to teach the medical sciences in French and English. Badgley was its secretary from 1843 to 1845, and from 1843 to 1849 he taught materia medica (the art of treatment by medicaments) and forensic medicine.

In 1844 Badgley and his colleague William Sutherland started the first medical journal in Montreal published in English, the Montreal Medical Gazette. It was replaced on 1 April 1845 by the British American Journal of Medical and Physical Science. This second periodical was begun and edited by Drs Archibald Hall and Robert Lea MacDonnell*; Dr Badgley was one of its regular contributors. He loved controversies and contributed his share to those current in hospital and university circles. In his editorials he campaigned against those in charge of McGill University and the Montreal General Hospital, and against the Montreal Board of Medical Examiners, since in his opinion they all gave proof of chauvinism and discrimination.

As secretary of the Montreal Medico-Chirurgical Society (founded in 1843) from 23 Sept. 1843 to 1 Feb. 1845, Dr Badgley recommended that an association comprising all the doctors in the united Province of Canada be formed to bring together the existing medical societies of Montreal, Quebec, the Eastern Townships, and Toronto. This plan was put forward again by Badgley in 1849, but it was not realized until 1867, when the Canadian Medical Association was founded at Quebec [see Joseph Painchaud*].

Dr Badgley also took an active part in setting up the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Lower Canada, and in securing official recognition for it by the legislature in 1847. The bill was not passed without argument. Drs Badgley and Joseph Emery-Coderre* worked with the members of the Frontier Medical Society of Clarenceville, Canada East, to ensure that future governors of the college would be elected on a basis of representation in proportion to the number of doctors in each region, and not be nominated by the medical societies. They maintained, with reason, that doctors in the towns, who did not know what a rural practice was like, were ill equipped to establish a law and regulations to conform with the aspirations, rights, and privileges of non-university doctors and country practitioners. Badgley and Emery-Coderre succeeded in getting the bill amended before it became law.

In 1849 Drs Badgley, Arnoldi, Sutherland, and Nelson broke with their Francophone colleagues of the Montreal School of Medicine and Surgery, which had been affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine of McGill since 1847. These colleagues were dissatisfied with the agreement concluded with the Anglophone Montreal university, and proposed in fact to bring before the legislature a bill which would give them university privileges so that they could grant to their students licences to practise. Badgley, Arnoldi, and Sutherland then accepted chairs at McGill. Badgley taught forensic medicine there for a year before going to Toronto, where he both practised his profession and gave some courses in internal medicine at the Upper Canada School of Medicine which became the faculty of medicine of Trinity College. In 1860 he left Toronto for England because of his wife’s ill health. He practised at Cheltenham Spa, then at Great Malvern, where he died in December 1863.

Édouard Desjardins

Founder of and contributor to the Montreal Medical Gazette, which was published from 1844 to 1845, Francis Badgley also published several articles in the British American Journal of Medical and Physical Science (Montreal) between 1845 and 1850. ANQ-M, État civil, Anglicans, Christ Church, 26 June 1807. Can., prov. du, Statuts, 1844–45, c.81; 1847, c.26. Abbott, History of medicine, 56, 63–65, 67–70. E. A. Collard, Montreal yesterdays (2nd ed., Toronto, 1963). H. W. Cushing, The life of Sir William Osler (2v., Oxford, 1925). Heagerty, Four centuries of medical history in Can. D. S. Lewis, The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, 1920–1960 (Montreal, 1962); Royal Victoria Hospital, 1887–1947 (Montreal, 1969). H. E. MacDermot, History of the Canadian Medical Association, 1867–1921 (Toronto, 1935), 18–25, 116, 140, 154–56; A history of the Montreal General Hospital (Montreal, 1950), 64.

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Cite This Article

Édouard Desjardins, “BADGLEY, FRANCIS (1807-63),” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 9, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed April 18, 2024, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/badgley_francis_1807_63_9E.html.

The citation above shows the format for footnotes and endnotes according to the Chicago manual of style (16th edition). Information to be used in other citation formats:

Permalink:   http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/badgley_francis_1807_63_9E.html
Author of Article:   Édouard Desjardins
Title of Article:   BADGLEY, FRANCIS (1807-63)
Publication Name:   Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 9
Publisher:   University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication:   1976
Year of revision:   1976
Access Date:   April 18, 2024