Dr. James KIRKPATRICK, ,M.D,FRS,of South Carolina and Hollydale,Kent

Male Abt 1690 - 1770  (~ 80 years)


Personal Information

  • Name James KIRKPATRICK 
    Prefix Dr. 
    Suffix ,M.D,FRS,of South Carolina and Hollydale,Kent 
    Born Abt 1690  Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 1770  Hollydale, Keston Common, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • Dr James Kilpatrick(c1696-1770),M.D,FRS,the father of Colonel James "the Handsome" was supposedly the son of a Dr. Kilpatrick,surgeon ,who died 16th Dec 1721 in South Carolina. It is uncertain when James actually arrived in South Carolina, but he was residing there in 1724,when he was appointed administrator of his uncle David's estate.(Ref:Waring-"Medicine in South Carolina 1670-1825" p42-43)

      According to "A Sketch of the Kirkpatrick Family collected by Lady Richard Strachey" the Colonel's father was a Dr. James Kirkpatrick,a man who owned a plantation in the Carolinas and reputedly cohabited with a Creole slave . This James was born in c1690 in Carrickfergus ,Ireland, educated in Edinburgh,returning then to Carrickfergus before emigrating to South Carolina ,practicing medicine and dispensing drugs . In his book Civil Tongues & Polite Letters in British America,page 293 ,David S. Shields wrote that James attended Edinburgh University in 1708 ,but left before he gained a degree.He tried operating as a medical practitioner in the Irish towns , before moving to South Carolina c1717.(another James also attended, but in years 1717-1721,according to Slavery, Disease, and Suffering in the Southern Lowcountry By Peter McCandless )His uncle David Kilpatrick was already established in South Carolina, and on arrival in South Carolina,James required his uncles immediate assistance as he had lost his store of portable wealth to pirates*.After Davids death in 1724 ,James fortunes were looking up,and this enabled him to marry Elizabeth Hepworth,daughter of the province secretary.The marriage also allied James with the Imperial placeholders rather than the local native born gentry.

      ( *The pirate,Edward Teach,known as Blackbeard , and his flotilla of ships blockaded the port of Charles Town, South Carolina in May 1718 . All vessels entering or leaving the port were stopped.Teach eventually released the captured ships and his prisoners,albeit relieved of their valuables, including the fine clothing some had worn.)

      After marrying Elizabeth Hepworth,the daughter of Thomas Hepworth,Secretary of the State of South Carolina,they had three sons ,William , James and Thomas (who died of smallpox in 1738),and a daughter Anne(died in 1730). James and his sons ,later returned to England, where James built the family seat at Hollydale,near Bromley,in Kent.Of Elizabeth ,there is no trace but it is plausible that James took his two surviving sons with him back to England after Elizabeth's death.


      During a Smallpox epidemic in 1738 in Charleston , Dr. James Kilpatrick,M.D,FRS, introduced variolation (a method of inoculating or immunizing an individual against the smallpox virus (Variola) through deliberate exposure to a mild form of the virus in order to create a localized infection and thus generate immunity against further infection), with great success .Only 4% of the people innoculated died. Of 1,675 infected naturally, 295 died. Of 437 inoculated, 16 died. In his book ,"Charleston! Charleston!: The History of a Southern City",Walter J. Fraser writes that James left Charles Town after the yellow fever epidemic devastated the colony in 1739.

      In 1743 ,whilst residing in London, Dr James Kilpatrick,M.D,FRS, would write "An Essay On Inoculation, Occasioned By The Small-Pox Being Brought Into South Carolina In The Year 1738."

      The book roused the ire of Rector of St Mildred and all Saints, in the city of Canterbury ,who preached that inoculation was an "indefensible practice".This was despite further inoculations in Ireland and Scotland being an outstanding success, with only10 deaths after 4257 cases were treated.(reported in the Bulletin of the British Museum -Natural History) James eventually secured the patronage of Admiral Charles Thomson,of the West Indies fleet,who engineered his return to London. In 1753, he was still domiciled in England, and making arrangements to sell off his properties in Charles Town ,South Carolina..After receiving a Doctor of Medicine degree,he won acclaim in 1754 for "Analysis of Inoculation".

      James also wrote a long poem,"The Sea Piece", and one old theory as to why he changed his name from Kilpatrick/Killpatrick to Kirkpatrick was to overcome the unfortunate association with death but those of us who share the Kirkpatrick surname are completely reconciled with the fact that our name is continually being misspelt.

      Ref:Oracles of Empire: Poetry, Politics, and Commerce in British America, 1690-. By David S. Shields
    Person ID I11769  Kirkpatrick Family Archives
    Last Modified 7 Mar 2017 

    Family Elizabeth HEPWORTH, ,of Charles Town,South Carolina,   b. Abt 1705, South Carolina , USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 4 May 1727  Charles Town, South Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • A record of the marriage is found on page 157 of the Register of the St. Phillips Parish,Charles Town,South Carolina-Some records list 1725 as the year of marriage , but the Register is clearly 1727.
      Their children were recorded as : William Kilpatrick- b 25th Nov1727; Anne Kilpatrick, -b 5th Jan 1729, died 14th May 1730(William and Anne were both christened on 2nd April 1730.They are both referred to as "child of James and Elizabeth Kilpatrick").

      Other Registry entries include
      Thomas Kilpatrick, "a child"-was buried 8th July 1738,Mary Killpatrick-was buried 23rd Sep1746,Charles Killpatrick- was buried 23rd May 1748.(these are not listed as "child of James and Elizabeth Kilpatrick")

      James and Elizabeth lost a son to the epidemic in 1738, which indicates that young Thomas Kilpatrick,buried on 8th July 1738,was possibly the child .(Ref:The great Charlestown Smallpox Epidemic of 1760 ,by Suzanne Krebsbach)
      The different spelling of the surname in these notes are as they appear in the Register.
    Children 
     1. William KILPATRICK,   b. 25 Nov 1727, Charles Town, South Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Anne KIRKPATRICK,   b. 5 Jan 1729, Charles Town, South Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 May 1730, Charles Town, South Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 1 years)
     3. Colonel,later Maj.General James KIRKPATRICK, "The Handsome",Commander of Horse, the Madras Army,   b. 1731,   d. 28 Mar 1818, Hollydale, Keston Common, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years)
     4. Thomas KILPATRICK,   b. Abt 1732,   d. 1738, Charles Town, South Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 6 years)
    Last Modified 7 Mar 2017 
    Family ID F5844  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart




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