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Biographical entry Annandale, Thomas (1838 - 1907)

MRCS July 15th 1859; FRCS (elected as Member of twenty years' standing) April 12th 1888; MD Edin (Highest Honours) 1860; FRCS Edin 1863; DCL Durham; FRSE; Regius Professor Clin Surg Univ Edin.

20 December 1907
General surgeon


Born at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the second son of Thomas Annandale, surgeon, [1] by his wife E Johnstone. Educated at Bruce's Academy, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and apprenticed to his father. Matriculated at Edinburgh in 1856 and graduated MD in the University in 1860, gaining the highest honours and winning the Gold Medal for his thesis "On Injuries and Diseases of the Hip-joint". Acted as House Surgeon to James Syme (qv) at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and as Syme's private assistant from 1861-1870. Appointed a Junior Demonstrator of Anatomy in the University by Professor John Goodsir.

He was a lecturer on the principles of surgery in the extramural school at Edinburgh in 1863, and gave a yearly course of lectures until 1871, when he began to lecture on clinical surgery at the Royal Infirmary. In 1864 he won the Jacksonian Prize at the Royal College of Surgeons of England with his dissertation on "The Malformation, Diseases and Injuries of the Fingers and Toes with their Surgical Treatment". The essay was published at Edinburgh in 1865.

Annandale was elected Assistant Surgeon to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in 1865, and became Acting Surgeon in 1871. He was appointed Regius Professor of Clinical Surgery in the University in 1871 [2] in succession to Joseph, Lord Lister (qv), who migrated to King's College, London. He was made an honorary DCL of the University of Durham in April, 1902. He joined the Royal Archers, His Majesty's Bodyguard in Scotland, as an Archer in 1870, and was Surgeon-General to the corps from May 27th, 1900, until his death.

He married in 1874 Eveline, the eldest daughter of William Nelson, the publisher, of Edinburgh, and had by her three sons and three daughters. He died suddenly on Dec 20th, 1907, having operated as usual on the previous day.

A bust executed by W G Stevenson, RSA, is in the lecture theatre of the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, and there is a small portrait of him in the collection at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Annandale lived through the revolution in surgical practice. He kept himself abreast of all the varying phases and combined the good parts of each. He was keenly interested in University matters, and more especially in the welfare of the students. He was prominent at the Students' Union and in the Athletic Club. The 'Annandale Gold Medal' for Clinical Surgery commemorates him at the University of Edinburgh.

Surgical Appliances and Minor Operative Surgery, Edinburgh, 1866.
Abstracts of Surgical Principles, 6 Parts, 1868-1870. 3rd ed., 1878.
Observations and Cases in Surgery, 1875.
On the Pathology and Operative Treatment of Hip Disease, 1876.

[Amendments from the annotated edition of Plarr's Lives at the Royal College of Surgeons: [1] to the Newcastle infirmary 1854-66; [2] '1871' is deleted and '1877 see BMJ 1938, 2, 436' added]

Sources used to compile this entry: [Scottish Med. and Surg. Jour., 1908, xxii, 68 (with portrait). Brit. Med. Jour., 1908, i, 60 (with portrait). Dict. Nat. Biog., Supplement 2, sub nomine et auct. ibi cit].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England