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Biographical entry Doyne, Robert Walter (1857 - 1916)

MRCS July 27th 1880; FRCS Dec 8th 1892; LSA 1883; Hon MA Oxon 1902.

Monart, County Wexford, Ireland
30 August 1916
Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK
Ophthalmic surgeon


Born at Monart, Co. Wexford, the second son of the Rev Philip Walter Doyne. He was educated at Marlborough and matriculated from Keble College, Oxford, Oct 18th, 1875, but was prevented by illness from remaining at the University, on leaving which he entered the Bristol Medical School and then St George's Hospital.

He was for a short time in practice at Bristol, where he was Clinical Assistant at the Eye Hospital. He was also at one time Clinical Assistant at the Royal Albert Hospital and Eye Infirmary, Devonport, and Surgeon to the Hambrook Hospital, near Bristol. He was a Surgeon in the Royal Navy from 1833-1885, and left the service in the latter year, when he married and settled in Oxford. From the outset of his life in Oxford he made a special study of ophthalmology. Beginning in a very small way, with an Eye Dispensary in a builder's yard, he worked on steadily, encouraged by the loyal support of many good friends, among whom were Sir Henry Acland, Dr Liddell of Christ Church, Bishop Paget, Dr Talbot, the Warden of Keble, and others. From these small beginnings grew the Oxford Eye Hospital, to which Doyne was Senior Surgeon till 1912, when he resigned after more than twenty-five years' continuous service, and became Consulting Surgeon. An excellent marble bust of him with an inscription commemorating his services was placed by his friends and admirers within the walls of the institution. A 'Doyne Memorial Lecture' is delivered at the Ophthalmological Society.

Doyne held a number of other posts. He kept a London address at 30 Cavendish Square, and was at one time Senior Surgeon to the Royal Eye Hospital, Southwark. At Oxford he was Consulting Ophthalmic Surgeon to the Radcliffe Infirmary, first Reader in Ophthalmology to the University - a post which he held for eleven years (1902-1913) - and Ophthalmic Surgeon to St John's Hospital, Cowley, to Bourton-on-the-Water Cottage Hospital, and Hon Surgeon to Moreton-in-the-Marsh Cottage Hospital. It was due to his energies that there was started in Oxford for the first time a congress of ophthalmologists. He was also a designer of instruments for stereoscopy, tonometry, and retinoscopy.

He died at his residence in Woodstock Road, Oxford, on Aug 30th, 1916, leaving a widow and two sons, of whom one - Philip Geoffrey Doyne, FRCS, - was then serving in Mesopotamia as a Captain RAMC(T), and had recently been Ophthalmic House Surgeon at St Thomas's Hospital.

Notes on the more Common Diseases of the Eye, 16mo, test plate, London, 1890. "Conjunctivitis." - Lancet, 1910 i, 1674.
"Visual Sensation, Perception, Appreciation and Judgment." - Ophthalmoscope, 1910, viii, 474.
"Retinitis Pigmentosa." - Ibid., 623.
"Value and Misuse of Spectacles in Treatment of Headache, Migraine and other Functional Troubles of the Eyes." - Brit. Med. Jour., 1910, ii, 361.
"Description of hitherto Undescribed Forms of Iritis, Family Choroiditis and Con
junctivitis." - Trans. Ophthalmol. Soc., 1910, xxx, 93, 190, 274.

The Royal College of Surgeons