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Leopold I (Belgium)

The Stamp

This stamp was first issued in Belgium on 6 August 1863. It was designed by Charles Baugniet (1814 - 1886) and engraved by John Henry Robinson of Lancashire (1796 - 1871) who, incidentally, also engraved the figure of Britannia used on English bank notes from 1873 to 1957.

The stamp is blue/green and has the value of one centime.

The Subject

The stamp shows Leopold I, King of the Belgians, who reigned from 1831 to 1865. He was Queen Victoria’s favourite uncle.

Urology Connections

Leopold suffered from bladder stones. When, in 1872, Leopold was taken ill whilst visiting his niece in England, Queen Victoria’s doctors diagnosed a bladder stone. Henry Thompson was consulted, he advised the King to return to the continent and call for Jean Civiale, the inventor of lithotripsy.

After both Civiale and the famous German surgeon Bernhard von Langenbeck had both failed to rid Leopold of his stone, Thompson travelled to Brussels and successfully operated on the King.

He was subsequently knighted by Queen Victoria ...

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