'Dr William Stevenson', John Alexander Patterson MacBride

This monument is described below.

Accession number WAG8985

Macbride trained first under William Spence and then in London before returning to Liverpool around 1846. He was a supporter of the Pre-Raphaelites|, and while serving as secretary of the Liverpool Academy he voted for the award of its 1851 prize to William Holman Hunt|.

Dr William Stevenson, who had served in the Peninsular War in his youth, was the first medical man to settle in Birkenhead, well before it expanded into a thriving industrial town in the 1820s. This monument was originally set up in St Mary’s Church, Birkenhead, but was removed to the Oratory when the greater part of the church was demolished in 1977.

Within its elaborate gothic frame (appropriate to the architecture of St Mary’s) the relief carving of Stevenson taking a sick woman’s pulse combines an odd mixture of historical styles: 19th century dress for the doctor, vaguely antique draperies for the women, an almost baroque twist to the patient’s pose, and a Grecian lamp in the background.