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Biographical entry Godson, Charles (1819 - 1904)

MRCS Dec 18th 1840; FRCS (by election) May 10th 1860; LSA 1840.

June 1819
Heckington, Lincolnshire, UK
6 February 1904
London, UK
General practitioner and General surgeon


Born in June, 1819, at Heckington, Lincolnshire, and was apprenticed for the sum of £294 for five years in 1834 to Wilson Wade, of the Westminster Dispensary, Gerrard Street, Soho. His indenture stated that he was apprenticed for the purpose of being instructed in the arts, business, or professions of a surgeon, apothecary, accoucheur, or man midwife, and that he was to be allowed good and sufficient meat and drink at the table of the said William Wade. Besides dissecting and attending lectures and practice at his own dispensary, he went through a similar course of instruction at St George's Hospital.

After qualifying in 1840, and acting as House Surgeon at the Lying-in-Hospital, he married in 1842, and bought the practice of a Mr Morison at Barnet, Middlesex, and in time became very well known as one of the kindest-hearted and most genial of general practitioners.

Godson held many local appointments, and was at one time Medical Officer to the Barnet Union Infirmary and Enfield Districts of the Edmonton Union, Divisional Surgeon to the 'S' Division, Metropolitan Police, Surgeon to the 2nd Middlesex Royal Rifle Regiment of Militia, Surgeon to the Great Northern Railway, and Surgeon to the Leather Sellers' Company.

He sold his practice at Barnet in 1878, and continued his medical career in South Kensington till his final retirement some years later. He went, about 1884, to enjoy well-earned leisure at Ealing, where in those days he was able to live the life of a country gentleman. There he enjoyed the same popularity as of old.

The best evidence of his professional work will be found in the Transactions of the Obstetrical Socicty of London (1876, xviii, 223), in which there is a paper entitled, "Midwifery Statistics of Thirty-five Years' Practice compiled by Clement Godson from the records of his father, Charles Godson, FRCS." It contains a record of 3223 confinements conducted by Charles Godson with only 7 deaths, or 1 in 460. The way in which the details of the cases are recorded shows clearly the care and scientific acumen which Godson brought to bear upon his work, and fully accounts for the position he occupied while in general practice at Barnet.

His death occurred at his residence, The Gables, North Common, Ealing, on Feb 6th, 1904. Dr Clement Godson, sometime Assistant Physician-Accoucheur at St Bartholomew's Hospital, was his son.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England