Exeter Civic Society

Exeter Civic Society

Patch, John

John Patch, 1723 – 1787, Exeter Surgeon

John Patch by J Opie

A slate lozenge, one of several installed by Exeter Civic Society for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, is to be found at Rougement House, Castle Street, Exeter, EX4 3PU.

The inscription reads:

Rougemont House and Gardens. John Patch (1723-87) Exeter surgeon, built this house and created a garden from the moat of Rougemont Castle. Altered to its present Regency style in 1810 by Edward Granger, cloth manufacturer. Purchased in 1911 by Exeter City Council. Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee 1977

The house is situated just outside the entrance to Rougemont Castle and the grounds incorporated part of the moat, which was landscaped.

JOHN PATCH was born on 8 August 1723. He must have been a youth of great promise, because he was appointed as a surgeon at the Devon and Exeter Hospital in 1741 at the age of 18, the same year that his father joined the hospital as senior surgeon. His father sent him to Edinburgh to gain extra proficiency in anatomy, surgery and mathematics.

John Patch was a man of superior learning and kindly disposition. He was trusted by his patients and, in turn, always trusted to their honour for his payment. His portrait by John Opie used to hang in the hospital board room and is now in the art collection of the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

John Patch died on 7 January 1787, aged 64, and was buried with members of his family in the now demolished St. Paul’s Church, on the corner of Paul Street and Goldsmith Street, Exeter.

Rougemont House did not stay for very long in the Patch family  and on the death of John Patch it was leased to a wine and wool merchant, Edmund Granger, who then purchased it in 1798 and turned it into a Regency-style dwelling.

The information above was provided by Sue Ayres, a direct descendant of John Patch.