Dr. Edward “Pardee” Bucke was born in June of 1875, the 5th of 8 children born to Dr. Richard Maurice Bucke and the former Jessie Maria Gurd. His father was a pioneer in psychology. Dr. Richard M. Burke became the Medical Superintendent of the Hamilton Insane Asylum on the 1st of January 1876. By 1877 Dr. Richard Bucke was transferred to the London (Ontario) Lunatic Asylum, as it was called then and the Bucke family lived on the grounds of the asylum. Dr. Richard M. Burke wrote a number of books on the inner workings of the mind including “Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind”, “Man’s Moral Nature” and a biography of his friend, Walt Whitman.
Dr. Edward Pardee Bucke had 7 siblings; Clare Georgina (died at the age of 9 months) Morris Andrew, Jessie Clara, William Augustus, Ina Matilda, Harold L. and Robert Walpole. Dr. Bucke was named after a good friend of his father, Timothy Blair Pardee. (Mr. Pardee represented the riding of Lambton County in the Legislative Assembly from 1867 to 1874 and from 1875 to 1889).
Dr. E. Pardee Bucke attended Upper Canada College from 1890-1895. Dr. Bucke graduated M.D. from the University of Western Ontario in 1899. He was registered with the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1900.
Dr. Edward Pardee Bucke practiced in Kent County in the early 1900’s. Dr. Bucke had a medical practice in Kent Bridge. Dr Bucke’s name appears on death records and birth records in Camden Twp, Howard Twp, Chatham Twp and in the Village of Thamesville.
According to the 1911 census, Dr. Bucke resided at 207 Queens Ave., in London, Ontario. Dr. Bucke died in London on the 15th of February, 1913. He was buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in London.
Dr. Bucke’s brother, Robert also became a physician but he was not known to practice in Kent County.
*Photo courtesy of Dr. Edwin Seaborn fonds, AFC 20, Western University Archives.