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Biographical entry King, Thomas Wilkinson (1809 - 1847)

MRCS Nov 19th 1830; FRCS Dec 11th 1843 one of the original 300 Fellows.

26 March 1847


The son of a medical man practising at Dover, he entered Guy's Hospital in 1824 after an education in London and Paris. He practised in Bedford Square, and at the time of his death was Lecturer on Pathological Anatomy at Guy's Hospital, where he contributed much to the Guy's Hospital Reports, writing especially on cancer. He married in 1841 Anne Best, who survived him, and died of phthisis at his residence in Bedford Square on March 26th, 1847. Sir Samuel Wilks says of him, "He had not lived long enough to be famous, but the few who were acquainted with him personally or by his writings knew him to be a very remarkable man. He gave a few lectures on pathology, but they were not practical and were badly delivered. Some of them were published in the London Medical Gazette for 1843 and are well worthy of perusal on account of their highly philosophic character."

Of some of the First General Laws or Fundamental Doctrines of Medicine and Surgery, 8vo, London, 1840.
"The Safety-valve Function of the Heart." - Guy's Hosp Rep, 1837, ii, 104. This is one of the most valuable and best known of his papers.
"On Disorders which are Variable, and on the Practical Inferences which are Deducible from the Character of Changeableness," 8vo, London, 1840; reprinted from Guy's Hosp Rep, 1840, v, 215.
In January, 1847, shortly before his death, King published a paper in the Lancet, 1847, i, 89, "On the Nature of Cancer, and a Simple Mode of Examining the Structure of Tumours", in which he refers to another paper published by him in the Lond Med Gaz, 1845, xxxvi (NS i), 597, "On the Frequency of Cancer in the Two Sexes, and at Different Ages, as a Point of Diagnosis and Practice". He refers also to his own customary teaching on tension and to an analysis of his papers, published "at the museum of Guy's Hospital", with interesting conclusions by Charles King, "an able friend".

Sources used to compile this entry: [Wilks and Bettany's Biographical History of Guy's Hospital, 378].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England