Edward Parker Charlesworth was born in 1783 in the village of Ossington, Nottinghamshire, the son of John Charlesworth, the local rector. After undergoing initial training at Horncastle under Dr E. Harrison, he studied at Edinburgh University where he graduated as a doctor of medicine in 1807.
In 1805 he married Susannah Rockcliffe, daughter of Dr Rockcliffe of Horncastle.
Dr Charlesworth acquired a large practice in Lincoln and in 1808 he was appointed physician to Lincoln County Hospital, which was then on Michaelgate.
The Lincoln Lunatic Asylum – a private hospital for the mentally ill – opened in November 1819 and Dr Charlesworth was appointed as visiting physician.
His methods were revolutionary – and unpopular – in his work to change the restraint methods employed by medical staff in the majority of mental hospitals. His efforts were soon recognised and an order banning hospital attendants from using restraint or violence was made.
In 1824 he became involved in an argument with Charles Sibthorp of Canwick Hall. Angry words were exchanged at a turnpike meeting which culminated in a duel being fought between the two men. The duel took place on 9th August 1824 in a secluded place between to Carholme and the Burton Plantation. Although shots were fired both men missed and honour was satisfied.
Dr Charlesworth died of paralysis on 20th February 1853, and was buried in St Margaret’s Churchyard, Lincoln.
A statue by Thomas Milnes (1813-1888) was erected in his honour in the grounds of The Lawn and unveiled on 12th July 1854.