Biography of Hamnett Hill, M.R.C.S

One of the oldest medical practitioners in Ottawa is Hamnett Hill, son of John Wilkes Hill, many years a successful physician in the City of London, England, where the subject of this sketch was born, December 15, 1811. The maiden name of his mother was Mary Elizabeth Pinhey. He received his literary education at Albion House, Camberwell, a suburb of London, in the private school of Nicholas Wanostrocht, L.L.D., celebrated for his epitome of Blackstone’s Commentaries; and his medical education at the London Hospital, Whitechapel, receiving his diploma of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1834.

Dr. Hill practiced three or four years at Brighton, County of Sussex; in 1837 left England, crossed the ocean and located in the Township of March, fifteen miles from Ottawa, in the County of Carleton, where he remained three or four years. It was a sparsely settled, healthy district, and the doctor not having faith enough to live on, to avoid starvation, removed in 1841 to Bytown, now Ottawa; here he soon built up a good practice, and has made a comfortable living.

He was surgeon to the County of Carleton Protestant Hospital many years, and is now consulting physician to the same, and of the Protestant Orphans’ Home, and of the Roman Catholic General Hospital; has been for a great number of years Magistrate for the County of Carleton, but does no business in that line; he has been President of the St. George’s Society two or three times.

Dr. Hill delivered the inaugural address at the Tri-Centennial of the Poet Shakspeare, April 23, 1864, and has long been an occasional contributor to Canadian medical periodicals some of his papers on professional subjects being reproduced in foreign medical magazines.

The Doctor is a member of the Medico Chirurgical Society of Ottawa, and of the Medical Association of Bathurst and Rideau Division, holding the office of Treasurer in the latter organization. He is Past-Master of the Dalhousie Lodge of Free Masons, and a member of Manchester Unity Lodge of Odd Fellows. Dr. Hill has always been in general practice, but his favorite branch is surgery, for which he has an especial taste. He can amputate a limb with great dexterity, and takes exquisite pleasure in doing so if he can thereby save human life.

The Doctor has made medicine and surgery, and collateral branches, his life long study; is well posted on all that pertains to the healing art, and has had but little to do with politics. Once in 1873, he was beguiled into running for the office of Chief Magistrate for the City of Ottawa, and would have been elected had he had a few more votes cast for him.

He is classed among the Liberal Conservatives, who are now in power the Dominion; he was in the Municipal Council the second year after the incorporation of the city; he is a member of the Episcopal Church, and his character has always stood well.

May 18, 1844, Mary Anne, second daughter of the late Hon. Hamnett Pinhey, became the wife of Dr. Hill, and they have lost four children and have three living. Hamnett Pinhey Hill, the only son living, has a family and is a barrister, residing near his father on the Richmond road. Emily and Caroline are living with their parents.

Dr. Hill has a disposition sunny enough to have been born in June instead of December; is a well read, very intelligent man, a good converser, full of humor, and a sovereign remedy for the “blues.” Happy the social circle of which he constitutes “a factor.”


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