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Biographical entry Pick, Thomas Pickering (1841 - 1919)

MRCS July 29th 1862; FRCS Dec 13th 1866; LSA 1862.

13 June 1841
6 September 1919
Anatomist and General surgeon


Born on June 13th, 1841, the son of Thomas Pickering Pick, merchant, of Liverpool. After going to the Royal Institution School, Liverpool, he entered St George's Hospital in 1857, at a time when the staff numbered such men as Caesar Hawkins, Prescott Hewett, the Lees, and George David Pollock; Timothy Holmes was then Curator and Surgical Registrar.

Pick became House Surgeon in 1863, was Surgical Registrar and Demonstrator of Anatomy from 1864-1866, and Curator of the Museum, 1866-1869. He shone as Demonstrator of Anatomy, being rapid and correct, with a full knowledge of Gray's Anatomy, of which he edited the 10th edition, 1883; the 11th, 1887; the 12th, 1890; the 13th, 1893; the 14th, 1897; the 15th, with Professor Robert Howden, 1901; the 16th, also with Howden, 1905. For many years he was HM Inspector of Anatomy for England and Wales.

In 1869 he was elected Assistant Surgeon to St George's Hospital, became Surgeon in 1878, and after the customary twenty years in that office, Consulting Surgeon in 1898. He was also Surgeon to the Belgrave Hospital, to the Victoria Hospital for Children (1886-1891), and to the Home for Incurables.

Pick as a surgeon passed through the great epoch of surgical development instituted by Lister, accepting the new order without enthusiasm, not denying the aim for asepsis, yet not joining in the advance. He edited the 5th edition of the previous standard text-book, the Treatise on Surgery, its Principles and Practice, by Timothy Holmes, 1888. He himself was the author of Fractures and Dislocations, excluding Fractures of the Skull, 1885, which was translated into German (Leipsic, 1887), and Surgery, a Treatise for Students and Practitioner's, 1899.

At the Royal College of Surgeons he served as Examiner in Anatomy from 1876, and upon the Court of Examiners in Surgery from 1884-1894. In 1894 he was Hunterian Professor of Surgery and Pathology, when he dealt with "Diseases of the Ends of the Long Bones in Children", displaying a knowledge of the surgery of children's diseases, published in the Lancet (1894, i, 1543, etc.) of that year. The subject of his Bradshaw Lecture in 1898 was "Union of Wounds".

He was elected to the Council of the College in 1888, and was Vice-President in 1898 and 1899. In 1900 he wrote the Souvenir of the Centenary - 1800-1900, a copy of which, finely illustrated, together with Sir William MacCormac's Address of Welcome, was given to the guests at the Centenary Dinner in Lincoln's Inn Hall. Pick retired from the Council on the election of Sir Henry Howse as President in succession to Sir William MacCormac.

He was a handsome man, of polished manners; his head, finely held, was covered with thick, curling hair, which became white. Warned by a slight paralytic stroke, he retired some years before his death to The Nook, Great Bookham, Surrey, and found recreation in photography. He died on Sept 6th, 1919. A half-length oil painting is in the possession of the Royal College of Surgeons. He married Adeline, daughter of John Lawrence, of Liverpool. Two of his sons entered the medical profession, one at the time of his death being Surgeon Lieutenant-Commander in the Royal Navy.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet, 1919, ii, 499. Brit Med Jour, 1919, ii, 399. St George's Hosp Gaz, 1898, vi, 29, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England