Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Toogood, Jonathan (1784 - 1870)

MRCS, May 4th, 1804; FRCS, Dec 11th, 1843, one of the original 300 Fellows; LRCP Lond, 1844.

7 December 1870
Torquay, UK
General surgeon


Was apprenticed to Mr Dawe, of Bridgwater, and was educated at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. He practised for many years at Cornhill, Bridgwater, Somerset, where he founded, and was for thirty-three years Surgeon to, the Infirmary. He also practised at Taunton. He died at Torquay, after his retirement, on Dec 7th, 1870, being then Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons.

Toogood’s Reminiscences are dedicated to Dr Francis Sibson, FRS, who conducted the author safely through a very severe and dangerous illness. Though not a biography, the work contains interesting accounts of West Country practice in the first half of the nineteenth century and of the extraordinary survivals of superstitions. The following letter is quoted by Toogood as a specimen of the familiar correspondence of Abernethy, whom he had consulted in a hopeless case:-

“All I can say to patients situated as yours is, after telling them what treatment seems rational and appropriate to the case, to exhort them not to despond; because we know many obstinately disordered states of the bowels which have continued until they have nearly exhausted the patient, have unexpectedly arrived at a kind of crisis, by the production of morbid discharges, etc. And with regard to local diseases, the proverb of ‘‘tis a long lane that has no turning’, is fully verified, for when least expected, a favourable change often occurs, as I suppose you can testify. In every situation of life our primary enquiry ought to be what is right to be done, and having ascertained as far as we have the power, we must then perform or endure it. I have no objection to opiates when required to soothe pain.”

And he adds, in reference to a second case -
“I hope Miss F - will do well under your care; I know the amendment of the health is the primary object in the cure of all local diseases; ‘tis the removal, in my opinion, of the cause. I feel that I am writing what you know, and that you will think me stupid; I will therefore add no more than that I remain,
“Yours most sincerely,

Publications: -
Hints to Mothers.
Reminiscences of a Medical Life; with Cases and Practical Illustrations,
8vo, Taunton and London, 1853.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England