Famous 19th Century British Physicians

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Alexander Fleming

Alexander Fleming.
4
Famous As: Biologist, Pharmacologist, Discovered Penicillin
Birthdate: August 6, 1881
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lochfield, Ayrshire, Scotland
Died: March 11, 1955

Alexander Fleming was a Scottish microbiologist and physician. He is credited with discovering penicillin, the world's first effective antibiotic substance; a discovery that changed the course of history. He also discovered lysozyme, an antimicrobial enzyme which forms part of the innate immune system. In 1999, Fleming was named in Time magazine's 100 Most Important People of the 20th century list.

 2 Joseph Lister

Joseph Lister.
4
Famous As: Surgeon and Scientist
Birthdate: April 5, 1827
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Upton House, West Ham, England
Died: February 10, 1912

British surgeon Joseph Lister was a pioneer of antiseptic medicine usage and made a huge contribution to the development of preventive medicine for bacterial infection. His achievements have been honored by many, such as the makers of Listerine antiseptic and mouthwash, who named their product after him.

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 3 John Snow

John Snow.
4
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: March 15, 1813
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: York, United Kingdom
Died: June 16, 1858

Best known as the father of modern epidemiology, British doctor John Snow revolutionized medical science with his study of London’s Broad Street cholera outbreak of 1854. His research contributed to the development of London’s sewage and water systems and led to the reduction in cholera cases.

 4 Henry Gray

Henry Gray.
3
Famous As: Anatomist and surgeon
Birthdate: 1827 AD
Birthplace: Belgravia
Died: June 13, 1861

Best known for his iconic medical textbook Gray's Anatomy, surgeon Henry Gray, who was a skilled anatomist, was made a Fellow of The Royal Society at the tender age of 25. His untimely death at 34 due to small pox, while treating his nephew, cheated him of an illustrious career.

 5 John Bodkin Adams

John Bodkin Adams.
3
Famous As: Physician, Serial killer
Birthdate: January 21, 1899
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Randalstown
Died: July 4, 1983

Not many suspected physician John Bodkin Adams of being a serial killer till it was revealed that his name had appeared in the wills of at least 132 of his patients who had died, while 163 died in coma. Though never convicted of the killings, he faced punishment for forgery.

 6 Ronald Ross

Ronald Ross.
3
Famous As: Medical doctor
Birthdate: May 13, 1857
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Almora
Died: September 16, 1932

Nobel Prize-winning British doctor Ronald Ross is best remembered for his pathbreaking work on malaria, which proved that the disease was caused by the Anopheles variant of mosquitoes. After his extensive research in India, he went back to London, where he was knighted. He also wrote poetry and songs.

 7 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson.
3
Famous As: Mayor of Aldeburgh
Birthdate: June 9, 1836
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Whitechapel
Died: December 17, 1917

The first female doctor and surgeon of Britain, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was initially denied admission to medical schools because of her gender and had thus started studying privately. Soon after joining the Marylebone Dispensary as an attendant, she contributed to the formation of the New Hospital for Women.

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 8 Hudson Taylor

Hudson Taylor
3
Famous As: Missionary
Birthdate: May 21, 1832
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Barnsley, Yorkshire, England
Died: June 3, 1905

Hudson Taylor was one of the most popular Christian missionaries in China. His 51-year stint in China witnessed him baptizing over 50,000 people. Apart from converting people, he also mingled with the Chinese at a personal level, adopting their clothing habits, contrary to what other missionaries practiced.

 9 Havelock Ellis

Havelock Ellis.
3
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: February 2, 1859
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Croydon
Died: July 8, 1939

Havelock Ellis co-wrote the first English textbook on homosexuality. Initially a teacher in Australia, he later moved to London to study medicine. His seven-part Studies in the Psychology of Sex is a first-of-its-kind study on human sexuality. He also believed in eugenics and the importance of smell in sexual behavior.

 10 Ludwig Guttmann

Ludwig Guttmann
4
Famous As: Neurologist
Birthdate: July 3, 1899
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Toszek
Died: March 18, 1980

Born in Germany, neurosurgeon Ludwig Guttmann fled the country during the Nazi regime and later settled in the UK. What started as his effort to rehabilitate injured soldiers, materialized into the launch of the Paralympic Games to encourage sports among the disabled. He also worked extensively on paraplegia.

 11 Thomas Neill Cream

Thomas Neill Cream
3
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: May 27, 1850
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Glasgow
Died: November 15, 1892

Thomas Neill Cream, or the Lambeth Poisoner, was a Scottish-Canadian doctor who offered illegal abortions to sex workers in Chicago. He was later executing for poisoning scores of women and blackmailing others for their murders. It is believed he had claimed to be Jack the Ripper just before his execution.

 12 Wilfred Bion

Wilfred Bion
3
Famous As: Psychiatrist, Psychanalyst, Psychologist
Birthdate: September 8, 1897
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mathura
Died: November 8, 1979

Born in British India, Wilfred Bion grew up to be a prominent psychoanalyst. He had fought during World War I. He is best remembered for his work on group dynamics and the object relations theory. He was also part of the Tavistock group of psychologists who founded the Tavistock Institute.

 13 John Langdon Down

John Langdon Down
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Famous As: Physician, Psychiatrist, Neurologist
Birthdate: November 18, 1828
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Torpoint
Died: October 7, 1896

British doctor John Langdon Down was pushed to assist at his father’s shop at 14. He gained an interest in medicine after apprenticing with a London surgeon. A pioneer in the treatment of mentally challenged patients, he is remembered for his study of what is now known as Down syndrome.

 14 William Worrall Mayo

William Worrall Mayo
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Famous As: Chemist, Politician, Gynaecologist, Editor
Birthdate: May 31, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Salford
Died: March 6, 1911

Part of the renowned Mayo family of doctors of the U.S., William Worrall Mayo played a key role in establishing the Mayo Clinic. He and his two sons built the St. Mary’s Hospital, along with the Sisters of St. Francis, after the deadly tornado of 1883 destroyed Rochester.

 15 Axel Munthe

Axel Munthe
3
Famous As: Medical Doctor
Birthdate: October 31, 1857
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Oskarshamn, Sweden
Died: February 11, 1949

 16 Edward Adrian Wilson

Edward Adrian Wilson
3
Famous As: Explorer, Ornithologist, Painter, Scientist
Birthdate: July 23, 1872
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cheltenham
Died: March 29, 1912

 17 William Farr

William Farr
2
Famous As: Medical doctor
Birthdate: November 30, 1807
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kenley, England
Died: April 14, 1883

 18 Charles Bell

Charles Bell
2
Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: November 12, 1774
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: April 28, 1842

Charles Bell was a Scottish surgeon, physiologist, anatomist, and neurologist. He was also an artist and philosophical theologian. He discovered the difference between sensory nerves and motor nerves in the spinal cord. He is also known for describing Bell's palsy. He played a key role in the creation of the Middlesex Hospital Medical School. 

 19 William Palmer

William Palmer
3
Famous As: physician, serial killer
Birthdate: August 6, 1824
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rugeley
Died: June 14, 1856

Physician William Palmer, also known as Palmer the Poisoner, was hanged in public for the murder of his friend John Cook. He had apparently poisoned Cook with strychnine and had also killed several others, eventually gaining from their insurance. He has been loosely referred to in many literary works.

 20 W. H. R. Rivers

W. H. R. Rivers
2
Famous As: Anthropologist
Birthdate: March 12, 1864
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chatham, Kent, England
Died: June 4, 1922

English anthropologist and psychologist W. H. R. Rivers is best remembered for his work on the Todas of the Nilgiri Hills. A qualified physician, he also taught at Cambridge and worked extensively on medical psychology. One of his best-known works is Kinship and Social Organisation.

 21 William Gull

William Gull
2
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: December 31, 1816
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Colchester, England
Died: January 29, 1890

 22 William Thornton

William Thornton
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Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: May 20, 1759
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Died: March 28, 1828

British-American William Thornton was initially trained in medicine and that is when he began drawing and sketching as part of his medical notes. He later won a contest for the design of the Library Company of Philadelphia's new hall. He also designed the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

 23 Henry Hallett Dale

Henry Hallett Dale.
2
Famous As: Physiologist & Pharmacologist
Birthdate: June 9, 1875
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Islington
Died: July 23, 1968

 24 Edward Bach

Edward Bach
2
Famous As: Physician, Writer, Homeopath
Birthdate: September 24, 1886
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Birmingham
Died: November 27, 1936

 25 Gideon Mantell

Gideon Mantell
2
Famous As: Obstetrician
Birthdate: February 3, 1790
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lewes, England
Died: November 10, 1852

 26 George Crabbe

George Crabbe
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: December 24, 1754
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Aldeburgh, England
Died: February 3, 1834

George Crabbe was an English surgeon, poet, and clergyman. He began his career as a doctor's apprentice in the 1770s and later become a surgeon. After a few years, he pursued a living as a poet and also served as a clergyman in various capacities. He wrote poetry mainly in the form of heroic couplets. He was also a coleopterist. 

 27 Sophia Louisa Jex-Blake

Sophia Louisa Jex-Blake
2
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: January 21, 1840
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hastings, Sussex, England
Died: January 7, 1912

 28 Wilfred Grenfell

Wilfred Grenfell
2
Famous As: Missionary
Birthdate: February 28, 1865
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Parkgate, England
Died: October 9, 1940

English medical missionary to Newfoundland Sir Wilfred Thomason Grenfell KCMG, is noted for his years of service to the people of the colony. His relentless efforts in such pursuit led him to form the philanthropic organization Grenfell Mission and the International Grenfell Association to provide different services, including medical, social, educational, religious, and rehabilitation to the people there.

 29 Henry Faulds

Henry Faulds.
2
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: June 1, 1843
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Beith
Died: March 19, 1930

 30 James Paget

James Paget.
2
Famous As: Founder of scientific medical pathology.
Birthdate: January 11, 1814
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Great Yarmouth, England
Died: December 30, 1899

 31 Graham Wallas

Graham Wallas
2
Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: May 31, 1858
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Monkwearmouth, Sunderland, England
Died: August 9, 1932

Political scientist and Fabian Society leader Graham Wallas is best known for his iconic work Human Nature in Politics. He contributed to the development of the London School of Economics and was one of its first professors. He also proposed one of the first models of the creative process.

 32 R. Austin Freeman

R. Austin Freeman
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 11, 1862
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Marylebone, London, England
Died: September 28, 1943

 33 John Hughlings Jackson

John Hughlings Jackson
2
Famous As: Neurologist
Birthdate: April 4, 1835
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Green Hammerton, England
Died: October 7, 1911

John Hughlings Jackson was an English neurologist best known for his research on epilepsy. He attended the York Medical and Surgical School and became the house physician to the York Dispensary. He later established his reputation as a neurologist and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.  He was one of the founders of the important journal Brain. 

 34 Jonathan Hutchinson

Jonathan Hutchinson
4
Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: July 23, 1828
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Selby, Yorkshire, England
Died: June 13, 1913

 35 Victor Horsley

Victor Horsley
2
Famous As: British surgeon
Birthdate: April 14, 1857
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 16, 1916

 36 Astley Cooper

Astley Cooper
2
Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: August 23, 1768
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooke, England
Died: February 12, 1841

 37 Christopher Addison, 1st Viscount Addison

Christopher Addison, 1st Viscount Addison
2
Famous As: Medical Doctor
Birthdate: June 19, 1869
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hogsthorpe, England
Died: December 11, 1951

 38 Richard Bright

Richard Bright
2
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: September 28, 1789
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bristol, England
Died: December 16, 1858

 39 Edgar Adrian, 1st Baron Adrian

Edgar Adrian, 1st Baron Adrian.
2
Famous As: Electrophysiologist
Birthdate: November 30, 1889
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hampstead
Died: August 4, 1977

 40 Edward Bancroft

Edward Bancroft
2
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: January 20, 1745
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Westfield, Massachusetts, United States
Died: September 7, 1821

 41 William Prout

William Prout
2
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: January 15, 1785
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Horton, England
Died: April 9, 1850

 42 Goldsworthy Gurney

Goldsworthy Gurney
1
Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: February 14, 1793
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Treator, Padstow, England
Died: February 28, 1875

 43 John Boyd Orr

John Boyd Orr
1
Famous As: Teacher
Birthdate: September 23, 1880
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kilmaurs, Scotland
Died: June 25, 1971

 44 Charles Gabriel Seligman

Charles Gabriel Seligman
1
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: December 24, 1873
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 19, 1940
Charles Gabriel Seligman was a British physician and ethnologist whose main ethnographic work described the culture of the Vedda people of Sri Lanka and the Shilluk people of the Sudan. He was a proponent of the Hamitic hypothesis and promoted scientific racism through his work. Considered to be a highly influential teacher, Seligman was also a Professor at the London School of Economics.

 45 John Richardson

John Richardson
1
Famous As: Surgeon and Explorer
Birthdate: November 5, 1787
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dumfries, Scotland
Died: June 5, 1865

 46 Sir William Jenner, 1st Baronet

Sir William Jenner, 1st Baronet
2
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: January 30, 1815
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chatham, England
Died: December 11, 1898

 47 Thomas Lovell Beddoes

Thomas Lovell Beddoes
1
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: June 30, 1803
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Clifton, Bristol, England
Died: January 26, 1849

 48 Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, 1st Baronet

Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, 1st Baronet
1
Famous As: Physiologist
Birthdate: June 9, 1783
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: West Winterslow, England
Died: October 21, 1862

 49 James Cowles Prichard

James Cowles Prichard
1
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: February 11, 1786
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ross, England
Died: December 23, 1848

 50 Wilfred Trotter

Wilfred Trotter
1
Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: November 3, 1872
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Coleford, Gloucestershire, England
Died: November 25, 1939