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Biographical entry Woodman, Samuel (1841 - 1886)

MRCS April 22nd 1863; FRCS Dec 11th 1873; LSA 1863; MD Durham 1884; LRCP Lond 1864; JP for the Cinque Ports Division.

15 September 1886
General surgeon


The son of William Woodman, who practised at 16 Bedford Circus, Exeter. He was educated at the Grammar School, and received his professional training at St Mary's Hospital, which he entered in 1861, and was House Surgeon for a year. He entered into partnership with G Silvanus Snowden (qv), of Ramsgate, about the year 1866, and for many years carried on a large general practice in that town, his bent being towards surgery. He began to work for, and finally obtained, the College Fellowship whilst in full general practice. He was a skilled operator, especially in cases of lithotrity.

As an advocate of municipal reform he worked hard, in conjunction with his friend, the Rev E G Banks, to introduce much-needed changes in his town. Opposition was great, but was met by him with characteristic energy and fearlessness. He was extremely active and energetic and of a warm, impetuous temperament. He believed that language was given to express, not to conceal, one's thoughts; and thus as an opponent he was free and hard-hitting - as a friend chivalrous and endeared. His local colleagues regarded him as a leader. He did notable work as Chairman of the High School for Girls, was Presiding Councillor of the Primrose League, and a Justice of the Peace.

He believed that no obituary notice was complete if it lacked some account of a man's religious opinions. It should, therefore, be stated that he was brought up a Nonconformist, but eventually joined the Church of England and became a Churchwarden. Sir Moses Montefiore, whom he attended in several illnesses, was his close friend, and spurred him on to the attainment of his medical degree at Durham.

At the time of his death he was Consulting Surgeon to the Ramsgate and St Lawrence Royal Dispensary, Surgeon to the Board of Trade (Ramsgate Harbour) to the Trinity Corporation, and Surgeon to the 5th (East Kent) Rifle Volunteers. He died of typhoid fever (probably contracted at Nuremberg, where he had been on a visit), at his residence, 5 Prospect Terrace, Ramsgate, en Sept 15th, 1886. He left a widow and four children, of whom the eldest was a boy at Winchester College.

Samuel Woodman was 5 feet 9 or 10 inches, strongly built, with a high forehead, cleanly cut features, and a prominent nose. No one could converse with him without observing that he was a man of unusual mental capacity, whilst his bright and cheerful manner gave assurance of excellent social parts.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Med-Chir Trans, 1887, lxx, 27. Lancet, 1886, i, 655].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England