This lengthy memorial tablet is to the memory of William Oliver (1659-1716), a medical pioneer who was the uncle of William Oliver, also a medical pioneer from the city, who invented the Bath Bun and Bath Oliver. He was buried in Bath Abbey, which is where this tablet remains in place today.
This William Oliver spent some of his time as the surgeon responsible for Lord Monmouth’s army, something which would have rather an innovation at the time.
His tablet reads:
“In memory of William Oliver MD FRS. He was descended from the family of Trevarnoe, in the County of Cornwall. While he was prosecuting the study of physick in foreign universities. The miseries of his country called aloud for a deliverer. He was ambitious of contributing his might to so great a work. He came into England an officer in King William’s Army in 1688. He was appointed physician to the fleet in 1693 and continued in that station till the year 1702. He was appointed physician to the hospital for sick and wounded seaman at Chatham in 1709 and in the year 1714 he had pleasure to have his old fellow sailors committed to his care. He being then appointed physician to the Royal Hospital at Greenwich in which honourable employment he died a bachelor on 4 April 1716. His love to this city, where he practised physick many years appears in his writings”.