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"To do something to instruct, but more to undeceive, the timid and admiring student;-
Fragment on Government.
JANUARY TO DECEMBER INCLUSIVE.
Printed for the Editor, by George Smallfield.
PUBLISHED BY SHERWOOD, NEELY AND JONES,
Memoir of the late Dr. Cogan.
HOMAS COGAN, of whom a portrait faces the present volume, was born at Rowell, in Northamptonshire, in 1756, of a respectable Dissenting family, who had been long seated in that place. His father was an apothecary of considerable reputa. tion, who possessed a great fondness for metaphysical studies, and employed his leisure in publishing in several pamphlets the result of his inquiries. The subject of this memoir was placed under the care of Mr., afterwards Dr. Aikin, who kept a flourishing school at Kibworth, in Leicestershire; and the pupil always spoke of the tutor with affectionate respect, and expressed regret that he had not longer enjoyed his valuable instructions. He was accustomed to speak with peculiar pleasure of the familiar theological lectures which the preceptor was in the habit of delivering to his scholars on the Sunday evening; declaring, that he always looked forward to them with delight, and, though educated in the strictest Calvinism, owed to them his first religious impressions.
At fourteen years of age he left school, and passed the two succeeding His years under his father's roof. views were now turned towards the Christian ministry, and he entered the Dissenting Academy, at Mile End, of which Dr. Conder was the Divinity Tutor; but being dissatisfied with the conduct of the institution, he, with one or two others, removed to the academy at Hoxton.
Little is now known, even in his
own family, of this period of his life. From some of his manuscript sermons it appears, that he was in Holland, in 1759, officiating as a preacher: it is conjectured, that he was assistant to the Rev. Benjamin Sowden, minister of the English Church, on the Dutch establishment, at Rotterdam.
We next trace him by his papers to Southampton, where he seems to have exercised his ministry in the years 1762 and 1763. The high tone of opinions, held by the congregation, did not accord with his own state of mind. On original sin and some other points, he was more than suspected of heresy. The consequence was, his withdrawment.
He returned to Holland, with the prospect of being junior minister in one of the English churches established in that country, and for a considerable period filled this situation with high credit; but for reasons which cannot at this distance of time be fully ascertained, he at length determined to quit the profession of divinity for that of medicine. He was subject to pulmonary complaints, which might alarm him for the consequences of continuing to exert himself as a public speaker. He had, always, besides, a strong inclination to the medical profession, and whilst he was minister at Southampton had walked the hospitals in London.. The change was certainly not owing to any dereliction of faith or decay of religious feeling.
Before he commenced his new studies he paid a short visit to England, where, after delivering a few sermons with no small reputation, he dropt the character of a preacher. Returning to Holland, he entered himself of the University of Leyden,
then the most celebrated school of medicine in Europe. Having completed his course, he delivered for his degree, a Thesis "On the Influence of the Passions in causing and healing Diseases." This inaugural dissertation may be considered as the first draught of his work on the Passions.
Having graduated, he began to practise as a physician in Holland; led, probably, to the choice of this country for his residence by his having obtained in marriage the daughter of an opulent merchaut, of the name of Groen, of Amsterdam, with whom he received a considerable fortune. He resided successively at Amsterdam, Leyden and Rotterdam. His growing reputation induced him to try his profession in his own country, and he accordingly came to London and took up his abode in Paternoster-Row. He devoted himself chiefly to midwifery, in which he had, for some years, an extensive practice. The severe duties of his profession, and the confinement of the metropolis brought on a liver complaint; and in the year 1780, he resigned his connexion to Dr. John Sims, who is still a practitioner in high repute.
While he was a physician in London, Dr. Cogan had the satisfaction and honour of being instrumental in the establishment of the Royal Humane Society. The idea of such an institution was first conceived in Holland, where accidents by water are frequent. In the year 1767, was formed at Amsterdam, a society, which offered premiums to such as should save the life of a citizen in danger of perishing by water: it also proposed to publish the methods of treatment, and to give an account of the cases of recovery. The first publication of these memoirs excited great and universal interest, and in 1773, Dr. Cogau translated them into English, "in order to convince the British public of the practicability, in many instances, of recovering persons who were apparently dead, from drowning. No sooner were they translated, than they engaged the humane and benevolent mind of Dr. Hawes. His very soul was absorbed with the animating hope of saving the lives of his fellow-creatures: but, in making the attempt, he had to encounter both with ridicule and oppo
sitton. The practicability of resuscitation was denied. He ascertained its practicability, by advertising to reward persons, who, between Westminster and London bridges, should, within a certain time after the accident, rescue drowned persons from the water, and bring them ashore to places appointed for their reception, where means might be used for their recovery, and give immediate notice to him. Many lives were thus saved by himself and other medical men; which would otherwise have been lost. For twelve months he paid the rewards in these cases; which amounted to a considerable sum. Cogan remonstrated with him on the injury which his private fortune would sustain from a perseverance in these expenses; he therefore consented to share them with the public. They accordingly agreed to unite their strength, and each of them to bring sixteen friends to a meeting at the Chapter Coffee-house, with the express intention of establishing a Hu mane Society in London: this was happily accomplished in the summer of 1774. The object of this Society was then, like that at Amsterdam, confined to the recovery of persons who were apparently dead from drowning.
"For the first six years Dr. Cogan prepared the Reports of the Society from year to year; nor was Dr. Hawes less attentive in aiding the designs and promoting the views of this Institution.'
The Royal Humane Society has, since this period, grown to a pitch of usefulness and prosperity which its wise and benevolent projectors could have scarcely hoped.† Whilst he lived, Dr. Cogan took a lively interest in its proceedings, and, when oppor tunity permitted, failed not to attend the annual meetings, where he of all others must have been gratified by the procession of the persons restored to life by the Society's methods. By
* Annual Report of the Royal Humane Society, 1818, pp. 2-4.
+ It is stated in the Monthly Magazine, XIV. p. 136, that in the period of ten years, that is from 1774 to 1784, about three thousand persons had been rescued by the Society's means from premature death.