Edward Hare

Edward Hare (27 December 1812 – 13 February 1897) was a British surgeon and former Director-General of Hospitals in Bengal, India. Hare is best known for his medical work in using quinine for treatment of malaria fevers. He was also a vegetarianism activist.

Edward Hare
Born27 December 1812
Stanhoe, Norfolk, England
Died13 February 1897 (1897-02-14) (aged 84)
Occupation(s)Surgeon, writer


Hare was born in Stanhoe. He was educated at King's College London and Middlesex Hospital.[1] He took the M.R.C.S in 1837. He became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1938.[2] He was commissioned as Assistant Surgeon in Bengal in 1839. In March 1853, he became Surgeon and Surgeon Major in 1859.[1]

He served during the First Anglo-Afghan War (1840-1842) at Kabul and under General Robert Sale at Jalalabad.[1] He received Afghan and Jalalabad medals. In 1852, during the Second Anglo-Burmese War he was in medical charge of the First European Bengal Fusiliers.[1] He was present at the recapture of Pegu and received the medal. He also served in medical charge of the Second European Bengal Fusiliers during the siege of Delhi and received the medal.[1] Hare was Inspector-General of Hospitals, Bengal in the Indian Medical Service until 1865.[3]

He married Mary Ann Wood in 1863.[4] Hare's daughter, Dorothy Christian Hare was a physician.[3][5] His letters and notes were edited into Memoirs of Edward Hare by his son and published in 1900.[2][6][7] Hare died in Bath on 13 February 1897.[1]


Hare experimented with quinine for treatment of malaria fevers.[7] Hare who had observed military action with the British forces in Afghanistan in 1839, used quinine to treat soldiers near the Nepal border.[7] In 1847, Hare published his findings in a pamphlet which caused a great sensation throughout the medical community in India.[8][9] The Calcutta Medical Board obtained a sanction from Lord Dalhousie to bring Hare to Calcutta and place him in charge of a wing at the General Hospital. In a year, Hare had reduced the death-rate from fevers to one-twelfth of its average rate for the previous twenty years. Hare's system of using quinine to treat fever in malaria was supported by the Medical Board and was used throughout India.[8] Over a period of nine years, he treated 7,000 European soldiers with quinine and recorded a mortality rate of less than 0.5 percent.[10]


Hare was a vegetarian, not a vegan. He was a Vice-President of the Vegetarian Society.[11] Historian James Gregory has noted that Hare's diet consisted of "two daily meals of toasted or unleavened bread, weak tea, vegetables cooked in butter, farinaceous puddings and fruit."[12]

In 1873, Hare authored a biography of vegetarian physician William Lambe.[11][13]

Selected publications


  1. Crawford, Dirom Grey. (1914). A History of the Indian Medical Service: 1600-1913, Volume 2. London: W. Thacker & Co. pp. 368-369
  2. Reviewed Work: Memoirs Of Edward Hare, C.S.I., Late Inspector-General Of Hospitals, Bengal by E. C. Hare. (1901). The British Medical Journal 1 (1901): 217.
  3. Munk, William. (1982). The Roll of the Royal College of Physicians of London: Continued to 1975. The Royal College. p. 220
  4. Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles. (1895). Armorial Families: A Complete Peerage, Baronetage, and Knightage. Edinburgh: T. C. & E. C. Jack. p. 466
  5. Dorothy C. Hare, C.B.E., M.D. F.R.C.P., D.P.H. (1967). The British Medical Journal 4 (5578): 559.
  6. Memoirs of Edward Hare, Inspector-General of Hospitals. (1901). The Indian Medical Gazette 36 (1): 25–26.
  7. Riddick, John F. (1989). Glimpses of India: An Annotated Bibliography of Published Personal Writings by Englishmen, 1583-1947. Greenwood Press. p. 38. ISBN 978-0313256615
  8. Annual Address. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1916.
  9. Warshaw, Leon J. (1949). Malaria: The Biography of a Killer. Rinehart. pp. 197-198
  10. Greenwood, David. (2008). Antimicrobial Drugs: Chronicle of a Twentieth Century Medical Triumph. Oxford University Press. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-19-953484-5
  11. Forward, Charles W. (1898). Fifty Years of Food Reform: A History of the Vegetarian Movement in England. London: The Ideal Publishing Union. p. 181
  12. Gregory, James. (2007). Of Victorians and Vegetarians: The Vegetarian Movement in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Tauris Academic Studies. p. 126. ISBN 978-1-84511-379-7
  13. Vegetable Diet. (1874). The Medical Times and Gazette 2: 263–264.

Further reading

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