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Biographical entry Weeks, Henry (1814 - 1894)

MRCS July 1st 1836; FRCS March 2nd 1871; JP.

20 July 1894
General surgeon


Born at Barnstaple, the younger son of an old Devonshire family. He studied medicine at University College Hospital and was contemporary with Erichsen, Viner Ellis, and Morton. He gained a medal in physiology, and afterwards went to the Hôpital de la Charité. He was appointed Surgeon to the New Zealand Company in medical charge of an emigrant ship which sailed for New Plymouth in 1841; after a long voyage the full quota of passengers were landed.

Weeks lived for a year or two at Taranaki, returned to England and married, then again went out and bought property near Auckland, including an island which continued to be known as Weeks' Island.

The discovery of gold in California drew Weeks to Los Angeles in 1848, where he had a large practice, especially among the miners wounded by arrows in conflicts with Indians. Weeks journeyed about with his surgical instruments and a loaded revolver. After five years he returned to New Zealand by way of England, and settled some miles from Auckland, at Onehungar, for the following ten years.

He was Surgeon to the Auckland Militia and in that capacity served through the Maori War, 1863-1865; he was also an energetic Justice of the Peace. Weeks acted as Senior Surgeon to the Thames Hospital when a gold rush occurred along the New Zealand Thames River.

In 1871 he again came to England, obtained the FRCS, practised in Southampton for a few years, then at Melksham, Wiltshire, where he was Medical Officer of Health. But the English winter drove him to practise at Barcelona among the English Colony until 1889, when he retired to his native town, Barnstaple, and died after a lingering illness on July 20th, 1894, leaving a widow and two children.

He was a gifted man, a skilful surgeon, a fine musician and draughtsman.

Weeks published many articles on climate in the medical journals.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Weeks in the Fellows' Register; in Directories Weekes].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England