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Biographical entry Taylor, John William (1851 - 1910)

MRCS Jan 21st 1873; FRCS Dec 13th 1877; MSc Birmingham 1901; MD Bruxelles 1877.

Melksham, Wiltshire
February 1910
General surgeon and Obstetrician and gynaecologist


Born at Melksham, Wiltshire, the third son of the Rev James Taylor, of Lewes, Sussex. He was educated at Kingswood School and at Charing Cross Hospital, where he was Assistant Demonstrator of Anatomy, Resident Surgical Officer, and Resident Medical Officer. In 1877 he settled in Birmingham as Medical Officer to the Provident Dispensary at Camp Hill, a locality where he also entered into private practice. He early determined, however, to give up general practice for gynaecology, and in 1884 was appointed Surgeon to the Birmingham and Midland Hospital for Women, where he became Chief Assistant to Lawson Tait (qv). There is no doubt that the association with Tait, the contact with his genius and originality, and the chances afforded by association in his vast surgical practice, had an important influence upon Taylor. A striking comparison between Tait and Taylor is instituted by the latter's biographer in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (1910, xvii, 883). Taylor succeeded Tait as Professor of Gynaecology at Queen's College, Birmingham, in 1899, and when the University of Birmingham was instituted in 1900 he became the first Professor of the same subject in that institution.

Two years before his death he began to fail in health, and he died of chronic heart disease at his residence, 22 Newhall Street, Birmingham, on Feb 26th or 27th, 1910. He was buried on March 2nd, in Northfield Cemetery, Worcestershire. In 1889 he married Florence M Buxton, daughter of J Holmes Buxton, MRCS, of London, who survived him, with two sons and three daughters.

Good portraits of Taylor accompany his biographies in the Birmingham Medical Review and British Medical Journal. He was President of the Midland Medical Society in 1897-1898, and in 1904 was Vice-President of the Obstetrical Society of London. He delivered the Introductory Address at the opening of the Medical Session at Charing Cross Hospital in 1901, and was shortly afterwards appointed a Governor of the institution.

"On Pyosalpinx." - Lancet, 1889, ii, 581.
"On Dress in Relation to Certain Diseases of Women." - Med Annual, 1889, 509. "On Concealed Pyosalpinx." - Lancet, 1894, i, 996.
Extra-uterine Pregnancy, a Clinical and Operative Study, 8vo, London, 1899. An authoritative work.
On the Diminishing Birth-rate: Presidential Address delivered before the British Gynaecological Society, 11 Feb, 1904, 8vo, London, 1904.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit Med Jour, 1910, i, 607, with portrait. Birmingham Med Rev, 1910, NS xv, 97, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England