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Dr William Robert Moorhead (1846 - 1907):
Physician; surgeon

William Robert Moorhead was born at Smithsborough, County Monaghan, elder brother of James Moorhead and younger brother of John Moorhead. He was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution (RBAI) and studied Arts at Queen’s College, Galway where he graduated BA from the Queen’s University in Ireland in 1865 as a senior scholar with a Gold Medal in metaphysics and economic science. He proceeded MA in 1866 and enrolled at Queen’s College, Belfast to study Medicine, graduating MD in 1869 and becoming in 1869, Licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, and Licentiate in Medicine, also of Edinburgh.

Returning to Ulster he was Superintendant of the Moy and Benburb Dispensary District, Certifying Factory Surgeon, and Medical Officer to the Constabulary. He left Benburb in about 1880 and entered general practice at Bray (7 Goldsmith Terrace, later 1 Prince of Wales Terrace); he was also Medical Visitor in Lunacy to Bray District. He retired to Kingstown (today’s Dun Laoghaire), to 14 Crosthwaite Park East in 1906 and died there the following year.

In 1872 (11 April) he married Amanda Davis Gillman in Dublin and they would have three medical sons. The eldest was James Herbert who practised at Birmingham; the youngest was William St Leger who practised in London. Probably the most remarkable was the second son who achieved national fame as a physician in Dublin despite being totally blind following an accident. Amanda Davis Moorhead died on 7 November 1924.

Born: 3 July 1846
Died: 22 April 1907
Peter Froggatt
Principal source: RSJ Clarke: A Directory of Ulster Doctors (who qualified before 1901), vol II, p 834 (Belfast, Ulster Historical Foundation, 2013)