Williams, John Hargreaves Harley (1901-1974)

  • Williams, John Hargreaves Harley (1901-1974), OBE, MD
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


The following is an interim description which may change when detailed cataloguing takes place in future:

Papers of J. H. Harley Williams, relating to his career as a medic, lawyer and writer, including manuscript drafts of books (including At Cape Faithful, Locusts and Wild Honey, and The Physicians Spell); notebooks, journals and diaries; press cuttings of book reviews; material relating to publishers; personal and family photographs and slides; correspondence including some relating to the National Association for Prevention of Tuberculosis; MD thesis (Edinburgh) on 'The Rise of State Medicine, with special reference to tuberculosis' 1930; ephemera, photographs, etc., relating to Edinburgh University; miscellaneous personal correspondence, ephemera and personalia.



Physical description

6 transfer boxes, 1 oversize folder

Acquisition note

The material was donated to the library at Wellcome Collection by Timothy Platts-Mills, the son of the heir of Harley Williams, 20/01/2002 (Acc.1012) and additional material was sent to the Library 10/12/2004.

Biographical note

(John Hargreaves) Harley Williams was a physician, author and barrister-at law. He studied medicine in Edinburgh and Paris and qualified MB ChB 1923, DPH 1924 and MD 1930 (Edin).

Harley Williams was a prolific author of medical related books. Some of his publications include: A Century of Public Health, 1929, Northern Lights and Western Stars, 1938, The Inheritors, 1939, Fingal's Box, 1941, At Cape Faithful, 1943, Doctors Differ, Five Studies in Contrast: John Elliotson, Hugh Owen Thomas, James Mackenzie, William Macewen, R W Phillip, 1946, Men of Stress, 1948, The Healing Touch, 1949, Between Life and Death, 1951, The Conquest of Fear, 1952, Don Quixote of the Microscope; an Interpretation of the Spanish Savant, Santiago Ramon y Cajal (1852-1934), 1954, Masters of Medicine, 1954, A Doctor Looks at Miracles, 1959, Great Biologists, 1961, The Will To Health, 1961, Living With Your Heart, 1970. He also wrote numerous articles published in medical journals such as The Lancet.

Williams was a member and one time Director-General of the Chest and Heart Association (later the Stroke Association) and in the 1960s and 1970s wrote many of their public information booklets including: Enjoy Your Food, Preserve Your Heart; Coming to Terms with Chronic Bronchitis; Coping with 'stroke' Illness; Learning to Live with Angina; Overcoming Your Coronary; Requiem for a Great Killer: The Story of Tuberculosis; You and Your Blood Pressure; Your Heart.

Medical posts held by Harley Williams included Medical Officer of Health for the Island of Lewis and Physician at the Lewis Red Cross Sanatorium.

Terms of use

This collection is currently uncatalogued and cannot be ordered online. Requests to view uncatalogued material are considered on a case by case basis. Please contact collections@wellcomecollection.org for more details.

Appraisal note

Books received with the archives, where copies were not already held by the Wellcome Library, were transferred to the library's general collections.

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Accession number

  • 1012
  • 1316