Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Tatum, George Roberts (1808 - 1892)

MRCS March 5th 1830; FRCS Dec 11th 1843 one of the original 300 Fellows; LSA 1829; MRCP Lond 1845 but never received the Diploma.

18 January 1892
General surgeon


Born at Salisbury, the son of Captain Thomas Tatum, of the South Wales Militia, grandson of John Tatum, first Physician to the Salisbury Infirmary, and great-grandson of Thomas Tatum, MD, of Salisbury, who died at Mere in Wiltshire. George Roberts Tatum's brother was Thomas Tatum (qv), Surgeon to St George's Hospital, and another brother was the Rev William Tatum, at one time Rector of St Martin's, Salisbury.

Tatum was educated at St George's Hospital, and in 1830 went to Paris, where he attended Dupuytren's lectures at the Hôtel-Dieu. He used to recount how well he remembered Dupuytren drinking his bowl of milk and walking off with a long loaf of bread under his arm, with a proud air. Such was the primitive fare they then used to provide for the medical lecturers. In Paris he witnessed the sacking of the Archbishop's palace and saw the priests' robes floating down the Seine. He entered the palace with the mob, and picked up a leaf from Procopius' Wars of the Vandals when they were destroying the library.

Tatum was for long connected with the Salisbury Infirmary. He acted as House Surgeon from November, 1883, to March, 1841, when he was elected a Surgeon, and retained the post until 1860, when he was elected a Consulting Surgeon.

After a long period of failing health he died in advanced old age at his residence in the Close, Salisbury, on Jan 18th, 1892.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England