Biography of Reginald Southey
Reginald Southey was the fifth son of the physician Henry Herbert Southey (1783-1865) and his wife Clara, and nephew of the poet Robert Southey (1774-1843). He was christened on October 29, 1835, at All Souls, Saint Marylebone.
Southey went to school at Westminster and later attended Christchurch College, Oxford. He graduated B.A. in natural science with 1st class honours in 1855 and M.A. in 1857. He studied medicine at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, and graduated in 1858. In 1860 he won the Radcliffe Travelling Fellowship at the University of Oxford, visiting Berlin, Vienna, Madeira and South Africa
In 1864 he became physician to the City of London Hospital for Diseases of the Chest, Victoria Park, and that year also established a private practice in London. The next year he became an assistant physician at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital and physician in 1868. In 1868 he was also appointed lecturer in forensic medicine and hygiene. In 1866 he received his medical doctorate at Oxford and became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, being its Gulstonian lecturer in 1867.
On January 28, 1864, Southey marries Frances Marianne Thornton at Holy Trinity, Clapham, Surrey. She was the daughter of Reverend Charles Watson Thornton, prebend of Hereford.
Southey resigned in 1883 when he was appointed to the Lunacy Commission, serving in this position until ill health forced him to retire in 1898. He was a quiet, sympathetic man who was painstakingly diligent at the bedside. He had a keen interest in clocks and watches, which he collected and repaired.
Southey was the life-long friend of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898), known as Lewis Carroll. Southey greatly encouraged Dodgson to take up photography; which he then pursued for 24 years, becoming the greatest Victorian photographic portraitist. In the spring of 1860, Dodgson painted his portrait.