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O'Higgins - Ó hUigin - d'Eguino

Uí hUigin - Ó hUigin - O'Higgins - Higgins

History 2b

Sir John Higgins of Monteige, Physician

John Higgins was the son of Dr. Patrick Higgins of Limerick City and his wife Mary Loftus of Annacotty and was a descendent of the O’Higgins of Montiagh in Sligo. He was born in 1678 and left Ireland after the Treaty of Limerick in 1691 to live with his family at the Court of James II in France. In 1700 he graduated as a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Montpellier and went to Spain where he served as medical officer to the combined French and Spanish forces. Having married in 1712 he worked unsparingly for the relief of the soldiers in 1714 at the Siege of Barcelona. In 1717 he received the highest medical post in Spain, the office of Proto-médico de Camera. The following year he was elected President of the Royal Academy of Medicine and Surgery of Seville. Higgins remained a good friend of Ireland and the Irish in Spain and when war was declared on England in 1718 he was instrumental in preventing the confiscation of the goods and property of the Irish merchants. In 1721 the Duc de Saint-Simon fell ill with smallpox while he was French Ambassador to Spain. The King sent Higgins to care for him and the Duc recovered. The following year Higgins received the title Councillor of Castille from Philip V of Spain, and in 1724 James III made him a Knight and Baronet for his services to France. John Higgins died in Seville at the age of 51 but his descendents continued in Spain.