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Biographical entry Travers, William (1838 - 1906)

MRCS April 17th 1860; FRCS June 9th 1864; LSA 1859; LRCP Lond 1861; LM 1861; MRCP Edin 1876; MD Durham 1879.

23 August 1838
17 December 1906
Obstetrician and gynaecologist


Born at Abingdon on Aug 23rd, 1838, the son of Frederic Travers, of Poole, Dorset. He was not related apparently to the family of Benjamin Travers. He was privately educated, served an apprenticeship to Thomas Salter (qv), of Poole, and received his professional training at Charing Cross Hospital, where he was House Surgeon in 1859 and then succeeded the Founder as Resident Medical Officer, holding the office for six years.

Travers settled in private practice in 1866 at 19 Lower Phillimore Place, and then at 2 Phillimore Gardens. From 1883 until 1894 he was Physician to the Chelsea Hospital for Women. He was a very busy and successful practitioner, was one of the founders of the British Gynaecological Society and was for several years its Hon Treasurer, though he was compelled by reasons of health to decline the Presidency. He was at one time President of the West London Medico-Chirurgical Society and was on the Council of the Anthropological Society, which he assisted in founding. In Freemasonry he was a Past Master of St Mary Abbot's Lodge No 1974, and one of the founders of the Cavendish Chapter No 2620 and of the University of Durham Lodge No 3030.

In 1869 he married Miss Annie Pocock, daughter of a London solicitor, by whom he had six sons and a daughter. Of the sons, one is Professor Morris Travers, DSc, FRS, a well-known chemist, a second Frederick T Travers, OBE, MB, MRCS, Surgeon to the West Kent General Hospital, and a third, Ernest Frank Travers, MRCS, was partner of the second.

Failing eyesight compelled Travers to curtail his exertions not long before his death, which occurred, after a brief illness from pneumonia following influenza, at Phillimore Gardens on Dec 17th, 1906. He was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery. His portrait is in the Fellows' Album.

"Case of Strychnia Poisoning Successfully Treated by Chloroform." - Lancet, 1861, ii, 347.
"Syphilitic Psoriasis in an Infant Successfully Treated by Mercury." - Ibid, 1866, ii, 691.
"Ovariotomy (Twisted Pedicle) in Fourth Month of Pregnancy." - Ibid, 1894, i, 146.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England