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Sir Charles Nourse (1714–1789)


Charles Nourse or Nurse was born in 1715, the ninth child of the Oxford surgeon Edward Nourse and his wife Elizabeth Towersey of Oxford (1680–1740). His parents were married at Whitchurch on 27 August 1700, and at first they lived at Holywell in Oxford.

Nourse was apprenticed to his elder brother Edward at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. His father Edward died in August 1838, and Nourse returned to Oxford, probably to take over his practice, and was matriculated as “Chirurgus” on 4 May.

On 10 October 1744 part of the Mitre in St Martin’s parish (probably the shop at the corner which was a separate holding), described as being “now in the occupation of Charles Nourse, surgeon” was leased to John Ledwell; and in 1753 Nourse paid the rent directly.

On 22 June 1761 Nourse’s brother Edward was buried at St Giles’ Church.

Nourse was appointed one of the original surgeons of the Radcliffe Infirmary in 1770. He resigned in 1780, and became a Life Governor.

Nourse was knighted when the Prince Regent visited Oxford on 15 August 1786, and was granted the freedom of the City of Oxford on 20 October 1786.

Nourse’s wife Elizabeth died in 1772 and was buried at St Giles’ Church on 17 October. She was described as being of St Michael’s parish.

After the death of his brother John in 1780, Nourse took over his bookshop at 138 The Strand, but it was managed by Francis Wingrave.

Nourse died on 19 April 1789, aged 73, and was buried at St Giles’ Church nine days later.

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