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Biographical entry Morgan, William Francis (1800 - 1872)

MRCS Feb 7th 1823; FRCS Dec 11th 1843 one of the original 300 Fellows; LSA 1823.

August 1800
Shepton Mallet, Somerset
7 December 1872
General surgeon


Was born at Shepton Mallet, in Somersetshire, in August, 1800, and received his elementary education under Mr Rogers, of Dursley, and Mr Mules, of Ilminster. He was apprenticed for five years to Richard Smith, Surgeon to the Bristol Royal Infirmary from 1796-1843, for a fee of two hundred guineas. He served as Physician's pupil during the year 1820, and then went to London, attending the lectures of John Abernethy and taking a course at the Moorfields Eye Hospital.

Returning to Bristol, he settled in Bridge Street in 1824, and was elected Apothecary to the Infirmary on July 7th, 1825, being the only candidate who came to the poll. He resigned his office in April, 1833, and received votes of thanks for his services from the medical staff as well as from the Governors. He then began to practise in Park Street and made £150 in the first year.

On Nov 23rd, 1837, he was elected Surgeon in succession to William Haling, when there were eight applicants. He resigned on April 18th, 1854, when he was appointed Consulting Surgeon. In all he retained his close connection with the Infirmary for over fifty years. His great experience, his extensive knowledge of the literature of his profession, and his calm, good judgement, made his opinion highly valued. He was little known beyond Bristol, as he scarcely published anything and was no speaker, owing to a slight stammer. He is described as "a grey-whiskered little man neatly dressed in a long frock coat", who was much beloved for his simple unassuming character, his kindness and irreproachable conduct. Owing to extreme irritability of the heart, which precluded all exertion, he had retired from active duty some years before his death. This occurred suddenly on Sunday, Dec 7th, 1872. He resided and carried on his private practice at 2 Berkeley Square, Bristol.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Munro Smith's History of the Royal Bristol Infirmary, 8vo, Bristol, 1917, 307, with portraits on Figs 62, 63, and 68].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England