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 Bucke (who died at the age of 9 months), Morris Andrew Bucke, Jessie Clara Bucke, William Augustus Bucke, Ina Matilda Bucke, Harold L. Bucke and Robert Walpole Bucke. 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 public school in London before moving on to Upper Canada College. He was at Upper Canada College from 1890-1895. He graduated M.D. from the University of Western Ontario in 1897 and he was registered with the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1900.
Dr. Edward Pardee Bucke began the practice of medicine in Chatham-Kent upon his graduation and he stayed for 2 years. His medical practice was located in Kent Bridge.
When Dr. Bucke left Kent Bridge and he spent the next two years in England studying to specialize in eye, ear, nose and throat. When he returned to Canada in 1902 he practiced in London, Ontario.
On the 2nd of July, 1908, Lieutenant Edward Pardee Bucke was issued a certificate of Military Instruction in Guelph, Ontario.
According to the 1911 census, Dr. Bucke resided at 207 Queens Ave., in London. He enjoyed sports, literature and amateur theatre taking opportunites to be on the stage when possible.
Dr. Bucke died of pneumonia 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 Chatham-Kent. He died in Windsor, Ontario on the 15th of January, 1923 at the age of 41.
*Photo courtesy of Dr. Edwin Seaborn fonds, AFC 20, Western University Archives.