Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Clayton, Sir Oscar Moore Passey (1816 - 1892)

Knight Bachelor Nov 30th 1882; CB; CMG; MRCS May 11th 1838; FRCS Oct 13th 1853; MD Erlangen 1882.

27 January 1892
General surgeon


The eldest son of James Clayton, of Percy Street, Bedford Square, by Caroline, daughter of Edward Kent, of Kingston, Surrey. He was educated at Bruce Castle School, Tottenham, and proceeded thence to University College and to the Middlesex Hospital, in which institution he remained greatly interested throughout life. He first practised at 3 Percy Street, Tottenham Court Road, WC, but for the greater part of his life he is identified with No 5 Harley Street. A courtier as well as a fashionable physician, at the time of his death he had been for many years the personal attendant of the younger members of the Royal Family, and received numerous honours in recognition of his services. He was amongst the first to realize the nature of the illness when HRH The Prince of Wales, afterwards King Edward VII, sickened with typhoid fever in 1872. The disease was contracted at Scarborough, and Clayton was in attendance upon some of the Prince's fellow-guests at the house party. He was thus able to confirm the diagnosis made by Dr John Lowe, of King's Lynn, the private medical attendant at Sandringham.

Sir Oscar Clayton was Extra Surgeon-in-Ordinary to the Prince of Wales and Surgeon-in-Ordinary to the Duke of Edinburgh. He was a Knight of the Order of Leopold of Belgium and a Deputy Lieutenant for Middlesex and the Tower Hamlets. He was Surgeon to the Police, to the St Pancras School for Female Children, to the Charity of St George-the-Martyr, and to the London Philanthropic Society.

He died on Jan 27th, 1892, and his will was proved at upwards of £150,000. His country house was Grove Cottage, Heathbourne, Bushey Heath, Herts. A characteristic portrait by 'Ape' (A Pellegrini) appeared in Vanity Fair. It is dated Sept 12th, 1874, and bears the legend 'Fashionable Surgery'. A copy is preserved in the College Library.

The successful career of Sir Oscar may have aroused some jealous comment amongst his contemporaries, but he was a staunch friend, a good colleague, and a supporter of the medical profession.

"Account of a Hysterical Affection of the Vocal Apparatus with several cases." - Med.-Chir. Trans., 1843, xxvi, 115.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The circumstances relating to the illness of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales are told in the Brit. Med. Jour., 1892, i, 302].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England