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Biographical entry Parker, Samuel William Langston (1803 - 1871)

MRCS April 25th 1828; FRCS Dec 11th 1843 one of the original 300 Fellows; LSA 1829.

27 October 1871
Anatomist and General surgeon


The son of William Parker, Medical Officer of Health for the Aston Union, who practised in Aston Road, Birmingham, where he was born. He was educated at Heathfield Road School, Handsworth, under the Rev Daniel Walton, and afterwards attended the medical and surgical practice of the Birmingham General Hospital, his more strictly scientific training being obtained in the School of Medicine at the corner of Brittle Street, Snow Hill, where lectures were given by W Sands Cox, FRS. He then came to London and entered at St Bartholomew's Hospital whilst John Abernethy was Surgeon and Lecturer, after which he completed his studies in Paris.

He assisted his father for a short time, but in 1830 he married and began to practise on his own account in St Paul's Square, Birmingham. Parker took a keen interest in the development of Queen's College, Birmingham, becoming at an early period of its history Professor of Comparative Anatomy, and of Descriptive Anatomy and Physiology - posts which he held for a quarter of a century. His services to the associated hospital date from its foundation in 1840 to 1865, and on his retirement he was given the title of Consulting Surgeon. He was also Consulting Surgeon to the Leamington Hospital for Diseases of the Skin. He was, too, an active promoter of the Birmingham Philosophical Institution in Cannon Street, where in 1835-1836 he delivered a remarkable course of lectures "On the Effects of Certain Mental and Bodily States upon the Imagination".

Langston Parker began life as a general practitioner of medicine, became a surgeon, and ended as a syphilographer. He had a cultivated musical taste, was an enthusiastic playgoer, an accomplished French and a competent Italian scholar. His love of the theatre led to his exchanging his Independent Nonconformist views for those of the Church of England. He married as his first wife Mary Adams, of Derbyshire, and left a son, S Adams Parker, LDS, RCS. He died in Paradise Street, Birmingham, on Friday, Oct 27th, 1871, and was buried at Aston. There is a lithograph portrait of him by Maguire in the College collection.

The Stomach in its Morbid States, 8vo, 1837. This was evidently inspired by the teaching of John Abernethy, whose pupil he had been. The work was condensed and appeared as Digestion and its Disorders, 8vo, 1849.
The Modern Treatment of Cancerous Diseases, 4to, 1857.
Clinical Lectures on Infantile Syphilis, 1858.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England