Famous 19th Century British Physicians

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

Vote for Your Favourite 19th Century British Physicians
 1 
John Snow
(Physician)
John Snow
4
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.

 2 
Joseph Lister
(British Medical Scientist and a Pioneer in the Field of Antiseptic Medicine and Surgery)
Joseph Lister
4
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.

 3 
Henry Gray
(Anatomist and surgeon)
Henry Gray
3
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.

Recommended Lists:
 4 
Ronald Ross
(Medical doctor)
Ronald Ross
3
Birthdate: May 13, 1857
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Almora, India
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.

 5 
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson
(Mayor of Aldeburgh)
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson
3
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.

 6 
Hudson Taylor
(Missionary)
Hudson Taylor
3
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.

 7 
Havelock Ellis
(Physician)
Havelock Ellis
3
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.

 8 
Ludwig Guttmann
(Neurologist)
Ludwig Guttmann
4
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.

 9 
Thomas Neill Cream
3
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.

 10 
John Langdon Down
(Physician, Psychiatrist, Neurologist)
John Langdon Down
4
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.

 11 
William Worrall Mayo
(Chemist, Politician, Gynaecologist, Editor)
William Worrall Mayo
3
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.

 12 
Charles Bell
(Scottish Surgeon Known for Discovering the Difference Between Sensory Nerves and Motor Nerves in the Spinal Cord)
Charles Bell
2
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. 

 13 
William Palmer
(physician, serial killer)
William Palmer
3
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.

 14 
Axel Munthe
(Swedish-born Psychiatrist and Medical Doctor)
Axel Munthe
3
Birthdate: October 31, 1857
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Oskarshamn, Sweden
Died: February 11, 1949

Axel Munthe was a Swedish-born psychiatrist and medical doctor. He is best remembered for writing an autobiographical work titled The Story of San Michele. Munthe often risked his own life to offer medical help during war, plague, and disaster. He also treated the poor without charge. Axel Munthe was also a well-known animal rights activist.

 15 
William Gull
(Physician)
William Gull
2
Birthdate: December 31, 1816
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Colchester, England
Died: January 29, 1890
 16 
Dean Mahomed
(Traveller, surgeon, entrepreneur, and one of the most notable early non-European immigrants to the Western World)
Dean Mahomed
0
Birthdate: 1759
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Patna, Bihar, India
Died: February 24, 1851
 17 
Thomas Hodgkin
(Former Physician best known for the first account of Hodgkin's disease, a form of lymphoma and blood disease, in 1832)
Thomas Hodgkin
2
Birthdate: August 17, 1798
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pentonville, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom
Died: April 5, 1866
 18 
W. H. R. Rivers
(British Anthropologist, Neurologist, Ethnologist and Psychiatrist, Best Known for His Work Treating First World War Officers)
W. H. R. Rivers
2
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.

 19 
Edward Adrian Wilson
(Explorer, Ornithologist, Painter, Scientist)
Edward Adrian Wilson
3
Birthdate: July 23, 1872
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cheltenham
Died: March 29, 1912
 20 
William Farr
(Medical doctor)
William Farr
2
Birthdate: November 30, 1807
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kenley, England
Died: April 14, 1883
 21 
John Bodkin Adams
(Physician, Serial killer)
John Bodkin Adams
3
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.

 22 
John Scott Haldane
(Former Physician, Physiologist known for Black Veil Respirator, Haldane effect in haemoglobin)
John Scott Haldane
2
Birthdate: May 2, 1860
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Died: March 14, 1936

Copley Medal-winning Scottish physiologist John Scott Haldane is best remembered for his research on the physiology of respiration. He also contributed significantly to mine safety regulations and developed a method to help deep-sea divers. It is believed, he would often lock himself in sealed rooms, inhaling gases, to observe their effects on him.

 23 
William Thornton
(British-American Physician, Inventor, Painter and Architect Who Designed the 'United States Capitol')
William Thornton
2
Birthdate: May 20, 1759
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Jost van Dyke, British Virgin Islands, England
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.

 24 
Sophia Jex-Blake
(English Physician, Feminist and the First Practising Female Doctor in Scotland)
Sophia Jex-Blake
2
Birthdate: January 21, 1840
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hastings, Sussex, England
Died: January 7, 1912

Sophia Louisa Jex-Blake was an English teacher, physician, and feminist. A pioneer of medical education for women, Jex-Blake was the first woman to practise medicine in Scotland. She was also involved in the establishment of two medical schools for women in Edinburgh and London at a time when no medical schools were training women.

 25 
Henry Faulds
(Scientist)
Henry Faulds
2
Birthdate: June 1, 1843
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Beith
Died: March 19, 1930
 26 
George Crabbe
(British Poet, Surgeon and Clergyman Best Known for His Early Use of the Realistic Narrative Form)
George Crabbe
2
Birthdate: December 24, 1754
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Aldeburgh, Suffolk, England
Died: February 3, 1832

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 
James Paget
(Founder of scientific medical pathology.)
James Paget
2
Birthdate: January 11, 1814
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Great Yarmouth, England
Died: December 30, 1899
 28 
Wilfred Grenfell
(British Medical Missionary)
Wilfred Grenfell
2
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 
Graham Wallas
(British Psychologist, Sociologists and Political Scientist)
Graham Wallas
2
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.

 30 
R. Austin Freeman
2
Birthdate: April 11, 1862
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Marylebone, London, England
Died: September 28, 1943
 31 
Victor Horsley
(British surgeon)
Victor Horsley
2
Birthdate: April 14, 1857
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 16, 1916

British neurosurgeon Victor Horsley created history when he conducted the first spinal tumor operation. His research also included studies on thyroid and rabies. He was also knighted for his achievements but died of a heat stroke while serving the British army’s medical team during World War I.

Christopher Addison, 1st Viscount Addison
2
Birthdate: June 19, 1869
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hogsthorpe, England
Died: December 11, 1951
 33 
John Hughlings Jackson
(British Neurologist Best Known for His Research on Epilepsy)
John Hughlings Jackson
2
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 
Astley Cooper
(Surgeon)
Astley Cooper
2
Birthdate: August 23, 1768
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooke, England
Died: February 12, 1841
 35 
Goldsworthy Gurney
1
Birthdate: February 14, 1793
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Treator, Padstow, England
Died: February 28, 1875
 36 
Richard Bright
(Physician)
Richard Bright
2
Birthdate: September 28, 1789
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bristol, England
Died: December 16, 1858
 37 
Edward Bancroft
(Double Agent Who Worked for Both Great Britain and America During the American Revolution)
Edward Bancroft
2
Birthdate: January 20, 1745
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Westfield, Massachusetts, United States
Died: September 7, 1821

Edward Bancroft was a Massachusetts-born chemist and physician. He played an important role during the American Revolution, working as a double agent for both Great Britain and the United States. Edward Bancroft's activity as a double agent wasn't disclosed until 1891, when diplomatic papers were made public knowledge by Great Britain.

 38 
William Prout
(Chemist)
William Prout
2
Birthdate: January 15, 1785
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Horton, England
Died: April 9, 1850
 39 
Jonathan Hutchinson
4
Birthdate: July 23, 1828
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Selby, Yorkshire, England
Died: June 13, 1913
Sir William Jenner, 1st Baronet
2
Birthdate: January 30, 1815
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chatham, England
Died: December 11, 1898
 41 
Charles Gabriel Seligman
(British Physician and Ethnologist Known for His Detailed Ethnographical Work Races of Africa)
Charles Gabriel Seligman
1
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.
 42 
John Richardson
(Surgeon and Explorer)
John Richardson
1
Birthdate: November 5, 1787
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dumfries, Scotland
Died: June 5, 1865

Apart from being a naval surgeon, John Richardson also made a named for himself as an explorer of the Canadian Arctic coast. He was also a talented author of natural history. His accurate surveys eventually got him knighted. Various species of reptiles and mammals have been named in his honor.

 43 
James Cowles Prichard
1
Birthdate: February 11, 1786
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ross, England
Died: December 23, 1848
 44 
Wilfred Trotter
1
Birthdate: November 3, 1872
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Coleford, Gloucestershire, England
Died: November 25, 1939
Thomas Lovell Beddoes
1
Birthdate: June 30, 1803
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Clifton, Bristol, England
Died: January 26, 1849
 46 
Morell Mackenzie
(Physician)
Morell Mackenzie
1
Birthdate: July 7, 1837
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Leytonstone, England
Died: February 3, 1892
 47 
Matthew Baillie
(British Physician and Pathologist Who First Identified Transposition of the Great Vessels and Situs Inversus)
Matthew Baillie
1
Birthdate: October 27, 1761
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Shots Manse, Scotland
Died: September 23, 1823

The man who penned the first published study of pathology in English, Matthew Baillie was an Oxford-educated physician who was later also named a Fellow of The Royal Society. He also inherited the estates of his physician uncle William Hunter and taught at his medical school for a while.

Sir William Bowman, 1st Baronet
1
Birthdate: July 20, 1816
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nantwich, England
Died: March 29, 1892
 49 
William Henry Flower
(English Museum Curator, Surgeon, and Comparative Anatomist Who was a Leading Authority On Mammals)
William Henry Flower
1
Birthdate: November 30, 1831
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Stratford-upon-Avon, England
Died: July 1, 1899

William Henry Flower was an English museum curator, surgeon, and comparative anatomist. A leading authority on mammals during his time, Flower went on to serve as the director of London's Natural History Museum. Although he is best remembered for his work on the primate brain, William Henry Flower was also an expert on the Cetacea.

Berkeley Moynihan, 1st Baron Moynihan
1
Birthdate: September 2, 1865
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Malta
Died: September 7, 1936