Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry McCraith, James (1810 - 1901)

MRCS Oct 8th 1833; FRCS (by election) May 15th 1865; MD Glasgow 1835.

15 July 1901
General surgeon


Was of an Irish family and practised at Smyrna. During the Crimean War the Turkish Barracks at Smyrna were converted into a hospital with a staff of men holding hospital appointments in London. The country around was infested by bandits under the leadership of one Symiar, who had formerly been in McCraith's employ and entrapped him by a false message as from a country patient. He was carried off, and the rescue party formed by Colonel (later Sir Henry) Storks, members of the Medical Staff, and a company of Turkish soldiers failed. He was liberated after a week on the payment of £400 by the Turkish Government. On representations by our Ambassador at Constantinople vigorous measures were taken, the band was broken up two months later, and Symiar and two or three companions were beheaded, their heads being exposed over the Pasha's gate.

McCraith was later Surgeon to the British Seamen's Hospital there, and was a Corresponding Member of the Anthropological Society. He died at Smyrna on July 15th, 1901, being succeeded by his son, Dr Jeremiah McCraith.

The district of Smyrna from early times has been noted for the frequency of stone in the bladder, and McCraith contributed to the history of lithotomy by his papers in the Medical Times and Gazette for 1864, ii, 6, 32; 1866, i, 387; and 1872, ii, 33.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England