Boxwell, William (1875–1943), physician, was born 6 February 1875 in Bengal, India, second of four sons of Henry Boxwell, chief commissioner in the Indian civil service, and Elizabeth Boxwell (née Stokes). William was educated at Shrewsbury School, Shropshire, and at TCD, where he was awarded a classical scholarship (1896), a senior moderatorship in classics, and a gold medal (1897). After graduating BA (1897), he embarked on a medical degree in TCD, graduating MB, B.Ch., BAO (1903), and MD (1912). After appointments as a clinical assistant and assistant pathologist (1904–10) he was elected physician at the Meath Hospital, Dublin (1911–43), and served in France during the first world war, rising to lieutenant-colonel in the RAMC. Elected fellow of the RCPI (1908), he was subsequently appointed censor and examiner, and later elected president (1937–40). In 1918 he was appointed professor of pathology and bacteriology at the RCSI. He also lectured in medicine at TCD, where he influenced the early research career of Dorothy Stopford Price (qv), Ireland's leading authority on childhood tuberculosis. Open to new ideas, Boxwell successfully proposed in September 1940 that W. J. E. Jessop (qv), professor of physiology at the RCSI and biochemist, be elected physician to the Meath Hospital, which was deemed highly unorthodox in view of Jessop's lack of clinical experience. Boxwell, however, saw the potential benefits in the application of biochemistry and physiology to clinical problems. Co-author with F. C. Purser (qv) of An introduction to the practice of medicine (1924), he published papers on clinical medicine and clinical pathology and wrote a ‘Historical sketch of the Meath Hospital and County Dublin Infirmary’ (The Medical Press and Circular, ccvii, 1, 8 April 1942). Boxwell served as PRCPI in the same year that his cousin Henry Stokes (qv) was PRCSI; both were physicians at the Meath Hospital, great-grandsons of Whitley Stokes (qv), and grandsons of William Stokes (qv). Boxwell was also a member of the British Medical Association, and fellow and council member of RAMI. He died 22 May 1943 at his home at 2 Upper Hatch St., Dublin, and is buried at St Fintan's Cemetery, Sutton, Co. Dublin. The Boxwell Memorial Laboratory at the RCSI. was named in his honour. Boxwell, who delighted in literature, music, and the outdoor life, married (1912) Edith de Vere French, a distinguished pianist, who was prominent in Dublin musical life; they had no children.
RCPI, roll of presidents 1915– ; ibid., T. P. C. Kirkpatrick archive; The medical directory (1940); R. J. R., ‘William Boxwell: an appreciation’, Ir. Times, 24 May 1943; Ir. Press, 25 May 1943; W[illiam] D[oolin], ‘In memoriam William Boxwell’, Ir. Jn. Med. Sc., 6th ser., no. 210 (June 1943), 184–6 (photo); Burke, IFR (1976); J. B. Lyons, Brief lives of Irish doctors (1978); J. D. H. Widdess, The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and its medical school, 1784–1984 (3rd ed., 1983); Peter Gatenby, Dublin's Meath Hospital, 1753–1996 (1996)