William Higgins appears to have been a man of peculiar habits, possessing very great abilities, and singularly comprehensive views upon science, but totally deficient in energy, and in the ambition of working out to the end any happy idea in science which might strike him, and in that peculiar tact of putting his opinions forward in such a manner as to call immediate attention to them, without which the most important discoveries may remain for many years neglected and barren. He was incapable of making his age comprehend him. His style of lecturing was very quaint, and a number of laughable anecdotes are still remembered of circumstances the result of this quaintness, but which our space, and our respect for his memory, forbid us dwelling upon.
Memoir of Bryan Higgins, M.D., and of William Higgins, Professor of Chemistry to the Royal Dublin Society, with a Short Notice of Irish Chemists and the State of Chemistry in Ireland before the Year 1800, by William K. Sullivan, First Chemical Assistant to the Museum of Irish Industry, and Chemist to the Royal Agricultural Society, in Dublin Quarterly Journal of Medical Science, 1849, vol. 8, p. 465-495. This passage may be found on page 488.