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Biographical entry Griffith, Thomas Taylor (1795 - 1876)

MRCS Jan 3rd 1817; FRCS (by election) Aug 26th 1844.

Born
1795
Wrexham, UK
Died
6 July 1876
Wrexham, UK
Occupation
General surgeon

Details

Born in Wrexham, the son of Thomas Griffith, who for many years practised as a surgeon in the town. He was educated at the local Grammar School, and after serving an apprenticeship to his father, received his professional training at Guy's and St Thomas's Hospitals, where he took Sir Astley Cooper's first prize for Anatomy and Surgery in 1816. He then went to St Bartholomew's Hospital and afterwards to Paris.

Settling at Wrexham, he acquired a very large and prosperous practice, and was chiefly instrumental in founding the Wrexham Infirmary in 1832, acting as Hon Surgeon to the Institution until his retirement in 1855, when he was appointed Consulting Surgeon. At the age of 80 he was asked by his neighbours and friends to sit for his portrait, which, painted by Daniel Macnee, afterwards President of the Scottish Academy, was presented to him in 1875, together with a finely illuminated address expressive of the high esteem in which he was held. The presentation was made by Sir William Watkin Wynn, and the portrait was placed in the board-room of the Infirmary.

The Ragged Schools in Wrexham owed their origin to Griffith. He was the largest contributor to their support and acted as their Treasurer. He subscribed largely to the Medical Benevolent Fund, the Royal Medical Benevolent College at Epsom, and all the local church societies and charities. He was also the energetic local treasurer of the British and Foreign Bible Society.

He was one of the oldest members of the British Medical Association, and was mainly instrumental in founding the North Wales Branch, of which he was twice President (1849-1850 and 1861-1862). He was a most regular attendant at the annual and other meetings, and took an active part in the discussions of the Association. The members of the branch presented Mrs Griffith with his portrait in 1873.

He did not seek municipal honours, but, when Wrexham was incorporated, presented the Corporation with £200 to form the nucleus of a fund for useful purposes. He was a staunch Conservative and Churchman, a keen antiquarian, a devotee of the natural sciences, being seldom absent from the meetings of the Wrexham Natural Science Society, of which he was President. He possessed a fine library and many old Welsh manuscripts of unusual interest, which students of history frequently consulted. As a practitioner he was an accurate observer, taking great pains to investigate his cases, and even in advanced old age kept himself abreast of the progress of medicine.

Griffith married in 1827 Anne Mary, eldest daughter of Captain Robertson, of Keavil, Fife. She survived him. Their son, the Rev T Llewelyn Griffith, was Rector of Deal. Griffith died at Wrexham on July 6th, 1876, being then regarded as "the Father of the Profession in North Wales". His photograph is in the Fellows' Album.

Publications:
"Dislocation of Head of Tibia Backwards, and its Reduction." - Prov Med Jour, 1842, 347.
"Tracheotomy Performed Twice Successfully in the Same Subject." - Ibid, 1843, vi, 466.
"Three Cases of Compound Dislocation of the Astragalus with Removal of the Bones." - Brit Med Jour, 1866, ii, 323.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Griffiths in the Fellows' Register].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England