Edward Nathaniel Bancroft

1772 - 18th Sep 1842

Claimant or beneficiary


Born in London in 1772, eldest son of Edward Bancroft (1744-1821) and his wife Penelope nee Fellows. His father was a physician and scientist and acted as a spy for the British during the American Revolution. Lived in Paris for a large portion of his childhood; boarded at Dr Rose's Academy from 1783. Corresponded with Benjamin Franklin in French and English 1783-4. Matriculated St John's College, Cambridge, 1789. Graduated with a bachelor of medicine in 1794; attended Edinburgh University Medical School but didn't graduate.

1795-1799: army physician in the West Indies. Then working in hospitals in Portugal, the Mediterranean and Egypt. Returned to London in 1802, set up in private practice. Gained an MD at Cambridge 1804. Member of the Medical Society of London in 1805 and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1806. Moved to Jamaica in 1811 following ill-health, worked as an army physician for a year or so. Married Ursula Hill Hoseason in Jamaica in 1812. Ursula died in 1830 giving birth to their seventh child. Remained in Jamaica for the rest of his life except a visit to London c. 1817 (when their son Edward Nathaniel was baptised in St George's Hanover Square and parents' abode was given as Alfred Place). Army physician again briefly from 1840. Died in Kingston 18/09/1842; memorial in Kingston Cathedral Church.

Author of two polemical pamphlets regarding the management of the army medical department in 1808. Major work, An essay on the disease called yellow fever in 1811.

Awarded slave compensation for the ownership of 11 enslaved people in St Catherine and 4 in Kingston.


Thomas J. Schaeper, Edward Bancroft: Scientist, Author, Spy (2011); Charles Creighton, revised by Jeffrey S. Reznick, 'Bancroft, Edward Nathaniel (1772–1842), physician', ODNB Online.

We are grateful to Richard Simmons for his assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Ursula Hill Hoseason
7 children
Oxford DNB Entry

Associated Claims (2)

£77 14s 10d
£100 6s 8d

Legacies Summary

Historical (3)

A letter to the commissioners of military enquiry, containing animadversions on some parts of their fifth report... 1808 
Exposure of misrepresentations by Dr McGrigor and Dr Jackson to the commissioners of military... 1808 
An essay on the disease called yellow fever, with observations concerning febrile contagion, typhus fever, dysentery, and the plague, partly delivered as the Gulstonian lectures before the College of... 1811