- David S. Shields
Killpatrick, James (1692–1770), physician and poet, was born in Carrickfergus, Ireland, into a commercial family. (Later in his life he used the name “Kirkpatrick.”) He matriculated at the University of Edinburgh in 1708 but returned to Ireland before earning a degree to set up as a medical practitioner. He had scant success. To improve his fortune he immigrated in 1717 to South Carolina, where an uncle, David Killpatrick, resided. The voyage to America was troubled by pirates, who relieved Killpatrick of his small stock of valuables. He established a practice in Charleston with a clientele in the merchant and official classes. In 1727 he married Elizabeth Hepworth, the daughter of the colony’s secretary. He was hired as attending physician to the St. Philip’s Hospital, where his principal task was treating the poor. Early in the 1730s he established a pharmacy, which was the principal local source for medicines until Dr. ...