Born in Twyford, Anthony Addington was educated at Trinity College, Oxford, where he took the degree of M.A. on 13 May 1740 and of M.D. on 24 January 1744. He was subsequently admitted a fellow of the College of Physicians, and went into practice in London, but was compelled by bad health to move to the country. His career gained considerable public attention when he appeared as an expert for the prosecution of Mary Blandy for the poisoning of her father Francis Blandy in 1752. He then retired to Reading in Berkshire, where he derived a large income from his profession, until his death in 1790. He devoted his attention particularly to the treatment of insanity, and was one of the physicians called in to see George III when he first showed symptoms of mental aberration.
Anthony Addington wrote An Essay on the Sea Scurvy, wherein is proposed an easy method of curing that distemper at sea, and of preserving water sweet for any cruise or voyage. Reading, 1753. In this work, he describes the disease from accounts of others, rather than from his own observation. As treatment he recommended depletion, with the employment of seawater as a purgative, and drinks acidulated with muriatic acid. He conceives meat to be injurious, but regards biscuit as food suitable to persons affected with scurvy. He asserted that the addition of an ounce and a half of muriatic acid to a tun of water, will prevent its putrefaction, and preserve it sweet for any length of time.
An authentic Account of the Part taken by the late Earl Chatham in a Transaction which passed in the beginning of the year 1778 is no longer attributed to Addington.
In 1745, Dr. Anthony Addington married Mary, daughter of the Rev. Haviland John Hiley, who was headmaster of Reading grammar school.
- Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1804.
- John Hiley Addington
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