v 6.30.00
28 Jan 2022
updated 28 Jan 2022

Dr William Maxwell Little
(b 1857)

The narrative that follows is transcribed from Alexander (Sandy) Waddell's invaluable summary in his biographical documentation of the Little and Martin families.

Summary transcript

Born 1857. Elder son of Dr Robert Little and his first wife Sarah Sophia Whittle, qualified MB Master Surgeon, Edinburgh University 5 Aug 1885, when he was living at 47 York Place, Edinburgh.

From 1887-94 he served at the Norfolk County Asylum, Thorpe, Norwich. Thereafter his name no longer appears in the Medical Register. He married one Ella Schroeder, the Governess to the children of the then Governor of Norwich Prison.

The marriage broke up and she took as her portion an elegant set of Georgian silver spoons inherited from his grandfather William Maxwell Little, amongst other heirloom pieces. She overlooked one spoon, now in the possession of Michael Andrew Wilson (grandson of Matthew Little, twin brother of Col William Little, who settled in Canada).

He is then thought to have gone to Singapore in the hopes of establishing a practice, based on his father's reputation. This did not succeed, and he moved up into Malaya to die in straitened circumstances.

His step-brother Matthew Little's reminiscence of Dr John Wishart Little should more properly be accorded to Dr William Maxwell Little:

"He had obtained an appointment with the civil service in Singapore where he clashed with the 'Powers that be' and was fined for insulting the Malay ruler (either the Tumongong or the Sultan), On being denied a public enquiry he appealed to the Singapore Council, invoking the promise made by that body to his father Dr Robert Little for his years of service to the community, to assist any of his children who returned to Singapore and became in need. He was thereby accorded a public enquiry where he was able to prove that at the time when the alleged insult was supposed to have occurred he was not even in the city. He was vindicated and re-instated. He then resigned."