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Biographical entry Solomon, James Vose (1817 - 1899)

MRCS Oct 11th 1839; FRCS Oct 12th 1854; LSA 1888.

20 September 1899


The son of a Birmingham physician, served an apprenticeship, then studied at the Birmingham General Hospital and at St Bartholomew's Hospital. He began practice as a general surgeon, was Surgeon to the King's Norton Union near Birmingham, to the General Dispensary, the Birmingham Orthopedic Hospital, and to the Birmingham Police. He directed his attention to ophthalmology, was appointed Surgeon to the Birmingham and Midland Eye Hospital, Professor of Ophthalmology at Queen's College, Birmingham, and from 1862 onwards made a number of contributions on ophthalmology to the medical journals.

He was one of the founders of the Birmingham Branch of the British Medical Association, and was President of the Branch in 1869 and 1870. At the Birmingham Meeting in 1882 he was President of the Ophthalmic Section. He was a member of the Ophthalmological Society of the United Kingdom, and of the International Ophthalmological Congress. In 1886-1887 he was President of the Birmingham Medical Institute, and at one time he was Surgeon to the Birmingham Licensed Victuallers' Association.

Solomon was distinguished as a lecturer who attracted the attention of his audience; as a debater by his incisive argument and command of language. He described abuses of hospital, club, and parochial practice, whilst advocating rightly directed relief on the sublime model exemplified in the Parable of the Good Samaritan; he urged legislation by which abuses of medical charities might be prosecuted in County Courts for all expenses and fees incurred. To the proposal that every hospital patient should pay something for his relief, he replied that such a plan was impracticable, believing that it would demoralize people well able to pay a private surgeon and would ruin one half of the profession.

He was a keen rider to hounds, being marked by his habit on horseback of wearing a long cloak. Beyond the vigorous support of his professional and special duties he took no part in public life. He outlived his contemporaries, except Edwin Chesshire (qv). For some years before his death he failed both in body and mind, being carefully tended by his family, and died at Villa Franca, Handsworth, Birmingham, on Sept 20th, 1899. He married Miss Collyns, daughter of William Collyns, surgeon, of Kenton, Devonshire.


Epiphora, or Watery Eye, 8vo, London, 1859.
Tension of the Eyeball; Glaucoma, etc, 8vo, London, 1865.
Progress of Ophthalmology, 8vo, Birmingham, 1877.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England