William Adams (oculist)

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Sir William Adams (1783–1827) also known as Sir William Rawson after 1825. He was born at Morwenstow in Cornwall. He was well known as an ophthalmic surgeon and was founder of Exeter's West of England Eye Infirmary. John Nash had built the Ophthalmic Hospital for him on Albany Street, London. For several years Adams gave his services free to soldiers whose eyesight had been affected in the military campaigns in Egypt. The hospital was closed in 1822.

William Adams was a pupil of John Cunningham Saunders. He was one of the central figures in the controversy which raged between 1806 and 1820 over the treatment of Egyptian ophthalmia.

Adams assumed his wife's family name and was known as Sir William Rawson after 1825.


  • G.L. Cantrell's book West of England Eye Infirmary, Exeter, 1808 – 1992 (published Exeter, 1992) describes the history of the Eye Infirmary