Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Parsons, James St John Gage ( - 1905)

MRCS May 15th 1843; FRCS (by election) Nov 18th 1858; PhD Hon MD Chicago 1871; LRCP Edin 1859.

9 June 1905


Born in Bristol and was educated at the Bristol Royal Infirmary and at St Bartholomew's and Guy's Hospitals. He held the appointment of Class Director of the Bristol School of Anatomy and Medicine from 1887-1842, and after qualifying he was temporary House Surgeon to the Bristol General Hospital. He practised at 78 Old Market Street and was Surgeon to the Bristol Dorcas Society. In 1849 he made the discovery of cholera then raging in the slums of St Philip's, and was appointed Special Cholera Medical Officer to combat the disease. Later he was appointed Sanitary Medical Officer to the City of Bristol, and received a testimonial from the Mayor and Corporation. He published a pamphlet entitled The Reproduction of Cholera and Typhoid Germs external to the Human Body, which attracted much attention at the time. Later he became Physician to the Wellington Assurance Society.

A keen theologian, botanist, and bacteriologist, Parsons devoted himself to the study of his pet sciences after his retirement in 1888. He was a member of the Bristol Natural History Society, and as a theologian he published a Translation and Commentary on the Proem of St John's Gospel. He was also a picture collector.

Somewhat late in life he married a Canadian lady, who with four daughters and a son survived him. At the time of his father's death, the son, James Parsons, BSc, FGS, was engaged on the Government Mineral Survey in Ceylon. Parsons died peacefully at his residence, Hillside, Cotham, Bristol, on June 9th, 1905, being then probably the oldest of the Bristol medical men.

In addition to the works above mentioned, Parsons published:-
"Poisoning by Gelseminum." - Lancet, 1878, i, 953.
"Toxic Effects of Linseed-meal." - Brit Med Jour, 1879, i, 773.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit Med Jour, 1905, ii, 50].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England