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Biographical entry Goodeve, Henry Hurry Iles (1807 - 1884)

MRCS Oct 31st 1828; FRCS (by election) Aug 26th 1844; MD Edin 1829; FRCP Lond 1869; JP for Gloucestershire.

Portsmouth, UK
17 June 1884
Anatomist and Obstetrician


Educated at St Bartholomew's Hospital and at the Universities of Edinburgh and Dublin. He was born at Portsmouth and was the scion of a Norfolk family, his father being John Goodeve, banker, latterly of Bury Hall, Hants. Through his mother, Elizabeth Hurry, he claimed kindred with Sir John Hurry, the famous champion of Montrose. His father, John Goodeve, was thrice married, leaving male issue by each marriage. Of the first family William James Goodeve, surgeon in Clifton and lecturer on anatomy, was father, by Lady Frances Jemima Erskine, of the Earl of Mar, who had been a claimant for the dormant peerage. Of the third family was Dr Edward Goodeve, well known in Calcutta, and British Commissioner of the Constantinople Cholera Conference.

Henry Goodeve made an early start in life, and before he was 22 had assisted his elder brother as a Lecturer on Anatomy, had taken part in conducting the Athenaeum with his cousin, Frederick Denison Maurice, had graduated at the University of Edinburgh, and had married Miss Isabella Barlow, who was his devoted helpmeet till her death in 1870. He obtained an appointment in the East India Company's service and was stationed at Rampoor for four years, during which time while out tiger-hunting he received a gunshot wound in the cheek. It was a frightful injury, and divided the facial nerve, producing permanent facial paralysis. He was appointed Professor of Anatomy to the Calcutta Medical College on its first establishment in 1835. Subsequently for some ten or eleven years he devoted himself to obstetrics and had the largest practice in Bengal. He became friends with men of high distinction such as Sir Ranald Martin and Dr O'Shaughnessy (later Sir William Brook), pioneer of Indian telegraphy.

Incessant labour, involved especially by his overwhelming practice, began to tell on him. He obtained leave, returned to England, and after one short visit to India, retired and was granted a special pension for distinguished merit by the HEIC. This retirement he utilized for the development of a scheme he had already conceived - namely, the extension to high-caste and other Hindus of the benefits of English education. He brought with him to London four young Brahmins, placed them at University College, and superintended their career. Some of them highly distinguished themselves, notably Dr Soojoocoomar Chuckerbutty.

In 1845 he was deputed to England, taking with him four students to complete their education at University College, London. S C Chuckerbutty, one of these students, after serving as an uncovenanted Medical Officer, passed first into the IMS at the first competitive examination, which was held in January, 1855, and held the Chair of Materia Medica in the Calcutta Medical College from 1864 until his death on Sept 29th, 1874.

In spite of his heavy duties Goodeve found time to start reforms and to found charitable and medical institutions in Calcutta, which, as his biographer in the Medical Times points out (1884, ii, 65), "still bear testimony to his zeal, benevolence and judgment".

The Crimean War breaking out after Dr Goodeve had been resident for some years in London, he volunteered for service and was appointed Inspector of Civil Hospitals. At the Renkioi Hospital, where he now acted, his colleagues were Sir Spencer Wells (qv), William Robertson, and Holmes Coote (qv), under the superintendence of Edmund Parkes. On his return to England after the war, he realized an early project and built himself a house from his own designs on one of the finest sites in southern England, overlooking the Avon Valley near Bristol. Here he spent many happy and laborious years as County Magistrate, Visitor of County Lunatic Asylums, Reformatories, and Industrial Schools. He was for many years Captain of the Bristol Rifles, a Director of the Avonmouth Docks and Port and Pier Railway, and President, after 1870, of the Bristol Boarding-out Society, in the principles of which he took a strong interest. He died after a short illness on June 17th, 1884.

Hints for the General Management of Children in India in the Absence of Professional Advice. This went through seven editions and was very popular with Anglo-Indian mothers in more or less remote stations (2nd ed, Calcutta, 1844). The 8th edition of the Hints was brought out in 1886 by EDWARD A BIRCH (8vo, Calcutta) under an altered title.
General Introductory Lecture addressed to the Students of the Calcutta Medical College at the opening of the Session, 15th June, 1848.
As joint Secretary with W B O'Shaughnessy of the Calcutta Medical and Physical Society he edited the six volumes of the Quarterly Journal of that Society which appeared in 1837-8.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Crawford's History of the Indian Medical Service, I, 504; ii, 438, 441, 456].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England