Famous British Surgeons

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Find out more about the greatest British Surgeons, including James Herriot, Joseph Lister, Magdi Yacoub, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Sid Watkins.
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 1 
John Snow
(Physician)
John Snow
6
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 
James Barry
(military physician, Surgeon)
James Barry
4
Birthdate: November 9, 1795
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Belfast
Died: July 25, 1865

Military surgeon James Miranda Steuart Barry is most noted for making medical reforms and performing one of the first known successful Caesarean sections in Africa. Although during adulthood Barry lived as a man, at birth Barry was named Margaret Ann Bulkley and was known as a girl-child. Barry's birth sex became public after a post-mortem examination.     

 3 
Joseph Lister
(British Medical Scientist and a Pioneer in the Field of Antiseptic Medicine and Surgery)
Joseph Lister
6
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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 4 
Hasnat Khan
(Heart & Lung Surgeon widely known for his Romantic Relationship with Diana, Princess of Wales from 1995 to 1997)
Hasnat Khan
4
Birthdate: April 1, 1958
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Jhelum, Punjab, Pakistan

Better known as former lover of Princess Diana, British-Pakistani cardiac surgeon Hasnat Khan was once described by the late princess as “Mr Wonderful.” He had first met Diana at the Royal Brompton Hospital, where the princess had gone to visit a friend. Hasnat is a distant relative of Imran Khan.

 5 
Magdi Yacoub
(Heart Surgeon)
Magdi Yacoub
3
Birthdate: November 16, 1935
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Belbin, Ashraqya, Egypt

Magdi Yacoub is a retired professor who worked at Imperial College London. He is best known for his work in repairing heart valves, a procedure which came to be known as the Ross-Yacoub procedure. In 1983, he performed the United Kingdom's first combined lung and heart transplant. Also a humanitarian, Yacoub co-founded the Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Foundation in 2008.

 6 
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson
(Mayor of Aldeburgh)
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson
5
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.

 7 
Sid Watkins
(Neurologist, Surgeon, Neurosurgeon, Physician)
Sid Watkins
5
Birthdate: September 6, 1928
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Liverpool
Died: September 12, 2012

Eric Sidney Watkins or Professor Sid, as he was known within the Formula One fraternity, wanted to become a doctor since his childhood. An experienced neurosurgeon and academician, he later became Formula One's trackside consultant and safety adviser. He concentrated on creating sophisticated medical back-up necessary for providing timely treatment, thus saving many lives through prompt actions.

 8 
James Parkinson
3
Birthdate: April 11, 1755
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Shoreditch
Died: December 21, 1824

The man who lent his name to Parkinson’s disease, which he described as paralysis agitans in Essay on the Shaking Palsy, James Parkinson was a leading English surgeon. An avid paleontologist and geologist too, he often collected specimens and fossils. He and his son also offered the first description of appendicitis.

 9 
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. 

 10 
George Bass
(Former Explorer, Surgeon known as one of the first people to explore the interior of Australia)
George Bass
2
Birthdate: January 30, 1771
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom
Died: 1803 AD

British naval surgeon George Bass is best remembered for his exploratory voyage to Australia, aboard the Reliance. He explored areas such as the Sydney coastline, Tasmania, and New South Wales. However, he was declared lost at sea after disappearing on a commercial voyage to South America.

 11 
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
 12 
Gideon Mantell
(British Geologist and Palaeontologist)
Gideon Mantell
2
Birthdate: February 3, 1790
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lewes, England
Died: November 10, 1852

Gideon Mantell was a British geologist, obstetrician, and palaeontologist. Mantell's attempt to reconstruct the structure of Iguanodon started the scientific study of dinosaurs. He is also credited with discovering the first fossil teeth of Iguanodon. Subsequently, Gideon Mantell went on to discover and identify much of the skeleton of Iguanodon.

 13 
Percivall Pott
2
Birthdate: January 6, 1714
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 22, 1788
 14 
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
 15 
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. 

 16 
Patrick Steptoe
(Obstetrician and Gynaecologist)
Patrick Steptoe
2
Birthdate: June 9, 1913
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oxford, England
Died: March 21, 1988
 17 
R. Austin Freeman
2
Birthdate: April 11, 1862
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Marylebone, London, England
Died: September 28, 1943
 18 
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.

 19 
Astley Cooper
(Surgeon)
Astley Cooper
2
Birthdate: August 23, 1768
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooke, England
Died: February 12, 1841
 20 
Jonathan Hutchinson
2
Birthdate: July 23, 1828
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Selby, Yorkshire, England
Died: June 13, 1913
 21 
Goldsworthy Gurney
1
Birthdate: February 14, 1793
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Treator, Padstow, England
Died: February 28, 1875
 22 
Ann Redgrave
(Physician, Rower)
Ann Redgrave
1
Birthdate: March 8, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sussex, England
 23 
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.

 24 
William Hewson
1
Birthdate: November 14, 1739
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hexham, England
Died: May 1, 1774

Widely regarded as the father of hematology, Copley Medal-winning British physiologist William Hewson studied blood coagulation, the lymphatic system, and red blood cells, and isolated fibrin, which he named coagulable lymph. He was made a Royal Society member and was also named to the American Philosophical Society.

 25 
Wilfred Trotter
1
Birthdate: November 3, 1872
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Coleford, Gloucestershire, England
Died: November 25, 1939
 26 
Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, 1st Baronet
(British Physiologist and Surgeon Who Pioneered Research Into Bone and Joint Disease)
Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, 1st Baronet
1
Birthdate: June 9, 1783
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: West Winterslow, England
Died: October 21, 1862

Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, 1st Baronet, was an English surgeon and physiologist best remembered for his pioneering research into joint and bone disease. He was elected a member of the Royal Society in 1810 where he published many papers describing investigations in physiology. From 1858 to 1861, Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie served as the 29th President of the Royal Society.

 27 
Godfrey Huggins, 1st Viscount Malvern
(Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia from 1933 to 1953)
Godfrey Huggins, 1st Viscount Malvern
1
Birthdate: July 6, 1883
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bexley, England
Died: May 8, 1971

Godfrey Huggins, 1st Viscount Malvern was a Rhodesian physician and politician. He is best remembered for his service as the Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia from 12 September 1933 to 7 September 1953. He also served as the first Prime Minister of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland from 7 September 1953 to 2 November 1956.

 28 
Alexander Monro
1
Birthdate: September 19, 1697
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 10, 1767

The son of surgeon John Munro, Alexander Monro followed in his father’s footsteps and became a leading surgeon and anatomist of his day. He, his son, and then his grandson held the Edinburgh University Chair of Anatomy for a collective 126 years. He was also named a Fellow of The Royal Society.

Sir William Bowman, 1st Baronet
1
Birthdate: July 20, 1816
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nantwich, England
Died: March 29, 1892
 30 
William Cheselden
1
Birthdate: October 19, 1688
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Somerby, England
Died: April 10, 1752
 31 
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
 33 
John Simon
(Surgeon)
John Simon
1
Birthdate: October 10, 1816
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 23, 1904
Peter Chamberlen the elder
0
Birthdate: 1560 AD
Birthplace: England
Died: 1631 AD