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Biographical entry Salter, Thomas (1786 - 1856)

MRCS April 6th 1810; FRCS (by election) Aug 26th 1844; JP.

20 February 1856
General surgeon


Came of highly respectable Quaker stock in Somersetshire. He was early apprenĀ¬ticed to Thomas Bell, of Poole, and in 1809 entered at St Thomas's Hospital. He practised for over forty-five years in Poole, where his circle of patients was extensive and he was greatly respected. His biographer in the Lancet says:
'Mr Salter found time to furnish many valuable contributions to the literature of his profession; to make himself a complete and critical master of that literature; to accumulate a mass of unpublished cases and commentaries; to form an anatomical and pathological museum; to lay the foundation of sound professional knowledge and a love of their art in the minds of numerous pupils - some twenty of whom are now scattered over the country and hold a high position in the ranks of their profession; and to exercise a powerful influence on all social questions in his town and its neighbourhood.'

He is said to have read all important medical works as they appeared, and left at his death one of the largest medical libraries in Dorsetshire. He prepared his anatomical and pathological specimens with his own hands throughout the whole of his career. In early life he devoted his scanty leisure to the study of geology, botany, and chemistry, and then made and eventually left behind him a fine collection of fossils. He was elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society in 1824.

Salter was for many years a Justice of the Peace for the town and county of Poole. He died on Feb 20th, 1856, leaving three sons - medical men. The fourth and youngest, Morgan Salter, was Surgeon to HMS Prince, and was drowned in that vessel off Balaklava on Nov 14th, 1854.

'Case of Carditis' 8vo London 1839; reprinted from Med-Chir Trans, 1839, xxii, 72.
Retrospect of the Progress of Surgical Literature for the Year 1838-9 (with William Newman and W Wickham), 8vo London 1839. Read June 18th, 1839, before the Annual Meeting of the Southern Branch of the Provincial Medical Association, and published at its request.
'On the Use of Arsenic in the Cure of Chorea'- Med-Chir Trans, 1819, x, 218.
'Cases of Fracture of the Thigh from Disease of the Bone occurring in Cancer'- Ibid, 1829, xv, 186.
'On the Use of the Cotyledon Umbilicus in Epilepsy' - Lond Med Gaz, 1850, xlv, 1025.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet, 1856, i, 247].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England