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dermatologist , Ophthalmologist , pathologist , Surgeon , venereologist

Jonathan Hutchinson was an English surgeon, ophthalmologist, dermatologist, venereologist and pathologist.


Hutchinson was born on July 23, 1828 in Selby, England, of Quaker parents, who also belonged to the Society of Friends.


Hutchinson was educated in the local school. Then he was apprenticed for five years to Caleb Williams, an apothecary and surgeon in York. While a student Hutchinson choose a career in surgery from 1854 on, under the influence and help of his mentor, Sir James Paget (1814-1899). In 1851 he studied ophthalmology at Moorfields and practised it at London Ophthalmic Hospital. Other hospitals where he practised in the following years were the Lock Hospital, the City of London Chest Hospital, the London Hospital, the Metropolitan Hospitals and the Blackfriars Hospital for Diseases of the Skin.


He entered St Bartholomew's Hospital in London, and became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1850 (and a Fellow in 1862), and rapidly gained reputation as a skilful operator and a scientific inquirer. He was a member of two Royal Commissions, that of 1881 to inquire into the provision for smallpox and fever cases in the London hospitals, and that of 1889-1896 on vaccination and leprosy. He also acted as honorary secretary to the Sydenham Society. His activity in the cause of scientific surgery and in advancing the study of the natural sciences was unwearying. His lectures on neuropathogenesis, gout, leprosy, diseases of the tongue were full of original observation; but his principal work was connected with the study of syphilis, on which he became the first living authority. He was the founder of the London Polyclinic or Postgraduate School of Medicine; and both in his native town of Selby and at Haslemere, Surrey, he started (about 1890) educational museums for popular instruction in natural history. He published several volumes on his own subjects, was editor of the quarterly Archives of Surgery, and was given the Hon. LL. D. degree by both Glasgow and Cambridge. After his retirement from active consultative work he continued to take great interest in the question of leprosy, asserting the existence of a definite connexion between this disease and the eating of salted fish. He received a knighthood in 1908. After his retirement from active consultative work he continued to take great interest in the question of leprosy. In one of his few scientific errors, he was firmly convinced that there was a link between getting leprosy and eating salted or rotted fish, even after the pathogenic agent, Mycobacterium leprae was discovered in 1873. Hutchinson founded Haslemere Educational Museum in 1888. He died on 23 June 1913, in Haslemere, Surrey.


  • Hutchinson was a British surgeon, pathologist, pioneer in the study of congenital syphilis. He was president of the Hunterian Society in 1869 and 1870, professor of surgery and pathology at the College of Surgeons from 1877 to 1882, president of the Pathological Society, 1879-1880, of the Ophthalmological Society, 1883, of the Neurological Society, 1887, of the Medical Society, 1890, and of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical in 1894-1896. In 1889 he was president of the Royal College of Surgeons.



President of the Hunterian Society (1869, 1870), President of the Pathological Society (1879-1880), President of the Ophthalmological Society (1883), President of the Neurological Society (1887), President of the Medical Society (1890), President of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society (1894-1896). President of the Royal College of Surgeons (1889)


Hutchinson married Jane Pynsent West in 1856; they had six sons and four daughters. The teacher, writer and naturalist Margaret Hutchinson was his granddaughter. His son Jonathan (1859-1933) became an ophthalmic surgeon and was elected F. R. C. S. in 1884.

Jane Pynsent West

Margaret Massey Hutchinson

She was an English educator, naturalist and author.

Jonathan Hutchinson