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Sir Henry Halford, president of the Royal College of Physicians, with a note on his involvement in the exhumation of King Charles I
  1. John S Morris
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr John S Morris
 84 Park Street, Bridgend, CF31 4 BB, UK; JSMogwr{at}


Henry Halford (formerly Vaughan) (1766–1844) was president of the Royal College of Physicians for an unprecedented 24 years. A successful physician, he had to resign his post at the Middlesex Hospital because of his growing private practice. He was physician to four reigning monarchs and had many famous patients including Geogiana Duchess of Devonshire in whom he correctly diagnosed a liver abscess when other physicians had failed. He was also involved in the exhumation of King Charles I, and the fourth cervical vertebra, through which the King had been executed, came into his possession.

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  • Conflict of interest: none stated