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Biographical entry Higgins, Charles Hayes (1811 - 1898)

MRCS Sept 12th 1834; FRCS (by election) Aug 26th 1844; MRCP Lond 1859; LSA 1834; FRS Edin.

14 January 1898
General surgeon and Physician


Born on board the flagship of Admiral Hayes, off the island of Java, the eldest son of Colonel Charles Thomas Higgins of the HEIC, then on shore at the time, leading his regiment in the storming of Batavia when it was taken from the French. Hence his second name Hayes. After a succession of schools he studied medicine at Bristol, Edinburgh, Paris, and Guy's Hospital. He first practised at Taunton, where he was Surgeon to the Taunton and Somerset Hospital. In 1850 he moved to Birkenhead, where he was Surgeon to the Hospital, Consulting Physician to the Wirral Children's Hospital, to the Birkenhead Eye and Ear Hospital and Dispensary, and Surgeon Major in the 1st Cheshire Engineer Volunteers.

A paper of his published in the Monthly Journal of Medical Science (1848-9, ix, 889), on a "Case of Inversio Uteri induced by Polypus in which Extirpation was Successfully Performed with the Knife," excited the interest of Sir James Y Simpson, and through him Higgins was elected FRS Edin and a Fellow of the Edinburgh Obstetrical Society. He was twice President of the Birkenhead Medical Association, as well as twice of the Birkenhead Literary and Scientific Society, for he had marked literary interests. As a devoted student of Shakespeare he refuted the Baconian theory in a way which drew a favourable notice from Gladstone. For half a century he was a familiar and respected figure in Birkenhead, and at his death was the senior medical man there. His health failed for some time before his death on Jan 14th, 1898.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England