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Biographical entry Hall, John Charles (1816 - 1876)

MRCS Jan 11th 1839; FRCS (by election) June 14th 1866; FRCP Edin 1848.

December 1816
Nottingham, UK
26 October 1876
Sheffield, UK
Anatomist, General surgeon and Physician


Born at Nottingham in December, 1816, and received his preliminary education in Doncaster. He was then apprenticed to Mr Carrick, of Kensington, and proceeded, after serving his time, to St George's Hospital, where he became Assistant and afterwards House Surgeon under Brodie and Keate. From St George's he went to Paris, and on his return settled in practice at Retford, and in 1848 migrated to Sheffield as a physician. He soon became attached to the School of Medicine there, and in 1854, with Drs Law and Elam, was elected Physician to the Dispensary. He laboured during four years, till 1858, to attach a hospital to this institution, and despite much opposition succeeded in doing so with the assistance of S Parker and others. Twenty-five beds were opened in 1858, and in 1872 this number had increased exactly fourfold. In 1858 he was presented with a handsome piece of plate in recognition of his untiring exertions on the hospital's behalf. He was Hon Secretary as well as Physician to the institution, his management was admirable and impressed his colleagues.

Hall was one of the pioneers of improved conditions of labour. He studied the occupational diseases of Sheffield, and by protest and toil endeavoured to get them remedied. He wrote to The Times, contributed letterpress descriptions which accompanied the sketches of the Sheffield Halls in the Illustrated London News, and gave evidence before a Royal Commission on the special diseases of grinders and other workmen. The Times at last acknowledged his efforts in the following words: "Dr J C Hall, by his persistent efforts for years on behalf of these poor men, has at last forced the public to listen to him." Largely through his efforts, 'Hospital Sunday' was established in Sheffield, and at the time of his death he was a member of the Hospital Sunday Committee. He was of great service to Friendly Societies, particularly to the Oddfellows.

He was President of the Yorkshire Branch of the British Medical Association in 1866-1867, and at its meeting at Sheffield when Vice-President of the Section of Medicine, read a paper on the "Sheffield Diseases of Occupations". He was a Member of the General Council of the Association, and in 1872-1873 was President of the Sheffield Medico-Chirurgical Society. He was an eloquent and pointed speaker, able to quote the poets admirably. Well read in the literature of his profession, he kept himself abreast of the progress of the day, was a skilful physician and a remarkably rapid and ardent worker.

He died at his residence, Surrey House, Sheffield, on Oct 26th, 1876, and was buried in the General Cemetery. He had been two years a widower at the time of his death. By his marriage with Miss Orridge he left two sons and two daughters. At the time of his death, besides being Senior Physician to the Sheffield Public Hospital and Dispensary, he was Lecturer on the Practice of Physic at the Sheffield Medical School, having been previously Lecturer on Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, and Botany. He was also Consulting Physician to the Midland Railway Company, and Medical Referee to a number of Assurance Societies.

Interesting Facts connected with the Animal Kingdom, with some Remarks on the Unity of our Species, 8vo, London, 1841.
Clinical Remarks on Certain Diseases of the Eye, and on Miscellaneous Subjects, Medical and Surgical, including Gout, Rheumatism, Fistula, Cancer, Hernia, Indigestion, etc., etc., 8vo, London, 1843.
On the Nature and Treatment of some of the More Important Diseases, Medical and Surgical, including the Principal Diseases of the Eye, 2nd ed., 8vo, London, 1844.
Facts which prove the Immediate Necessity for the Enactment of Sanitary Measures to remove those Causes which at Present Increase most fearfully the Bills of Mortality, and Seriously Affect the Health of Towns, 8vo, London, 1847.
"On the Pathology, Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment of Thoracic Consumption; Bed-side Sketches," 8vo, London, 1850; reprinted from Lond. Med. Gaz., 1850, xlv, 494, etc.
A Letter to the Chairman of the Board of Guardians of the Sheffield Union on the Pre-vention of Cholera, 8vo, London, 1853.
"Analytical Synopsis of the Natural History of Man" prefixed to Bonn's edition of Charles Pickering's Races of Man, 8vo, London, 1854.
Hints on the Pathology, Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment of Thoracic Consumption, with Microscopic Illustrations of Tubercle, 3rd. Ed., 12mo, London, 1856.
Medical Evidence in Railway Accidents, 8vo, London, 1868.
Pathology and Treatment of the Sheffield Grinders' Disease, 1857.
The Trades of Sheffield as influencing Life and Health, 1866.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit. Med. Jour., 1876, ii, 607].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England