Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Permewan, William (1865 - 1926)

MRCS July 22nd 1886; FRCS Dec 12th 1889; LSA 1886; MB Lond (Honours in materia medica) 1886; MD 1888; DPH Cantab 1892; JP.

9 March 1926
ENT surgeon, General surgeon and Politician


Born at Redruth, the son of John Permewan, and nephew of A E Permewan, both medical practitioners; studied at University College Hospital, and was then Resident Surgeon to the Miners' Hospital, Redruth.

In 1887 he went to Liverpool, where he became Surgeon to the David Lewis Northern Hospital and Northern Dispensary. Later he took up laryngology, and was Surgeon to the Throat and Ear Department of the Southern Hospital and to the Southport Infirmary. In 1914 he was appointed Lecturer in Laryngology to the University of Liverpool, and he wrote much on diseases of the nose, throat, and ear.

He practised at 31 Rodney Street, but he became chiefly known as a politician on the City Council, representing the Abereromby Ward from 1901-1907. In 1910 as a Liberal and Home Ruler he fought one of the keenest political battles in the history of Liverpool against the Unionist Candidate, F E Smith, later Lord Birkenhead. He wrote articles in the Fortnightly Review, and failed in a second attempt to enter Parliament. Later as an old-fashioned Liberal he supported Conservative candidates against Socialists.

Permewan was a brilliant conversationalist and debated with a splendid voice which, if he had trained, might have gained him a reputation as a singer. During the War (1914-1918) he served as Captain RAMC (T) at the Western General Hospital.

After six months of ill health he died on March 9th, 1926, and his funeral was attended by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool and other dignitaries. He was survived by his widow, a sister of Sir Max Muspratt, whom he married in 1901. They had one son, and a brilliant daughter who died seven weeks before her father.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet, 1926, i, 627. Brit Med Jour, 1926, i, 551].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England