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Biographical entry Stafford, Richard Anthony (1801 - 1854)

MRCS Oct 3rd 1823; FRCS Dec 11th 1843 one of the original 300 Fellows.

Cropredy, Oxfordshire
15 January 1854
General surgeon


Born at Cropredy, Oxfordshire, the third son of Egerton Stafford, Rector of Chacombe and of Thenford in Northamptonshire, and through his mother was of kin to William of Wykeham. He was educated privately at Tamworth and apprenticed to two noted practitioners of Cirencester, William Lawrence, father of Sir William Lawrence (qv), and Warner. He came to London in 1820 and entered St Bartholomew's Hospital, where he soon attracted the notice of John Abernethy, who appointed him House Surgeon in 1823-1824. He then spent a year in Paris, returned to London in 1826, and began to practise as a surgeon. He was awarded the Jacksonian Prize in 1826 with an essay "On Spina Bifida and Injuries and Diseases of the Spine and the Medulla Spinalis". He was appointed Senior Surgeon to the St Marylebone Dispensary, which had 320 beds, in 1831, and subsequently became Surgeon to HRH the Duke of Cambridge.

At the Royal College of Surgeons he was elected a Member of Council in 1848, but retired on account of ill health in 1852. He was Hunterian Orator in 1851, but, although illness prevented him from delivering the Oration which he had prepared, it was afterwards printed and circulated privately.

He died unmarried at 28 Old Burlington Street, W, on Jan 15th, 1854. There is a half-length portrait painted by William Salter and engraved by J Cochran. A copy of it is prefixed to the account of him in Pettigrew's Medical Portrait Gallery.

Stafford was a skilful surgeon whose work was always conducted upon a basis of sound anatomical knowledge.


A Series of Observations on Strictures of the Urethra, 8vo, London, 1828.
Further Observations on Lancetted Stylettes, 8vo, London, 1829. He advocated in this work cutting through the third lobe of an enlarged prostate with a sharp stylet in place of the usual and rough custom of 'tunnelling the prostate' by forcing a catheter through it into the bladder or elsewhere. The third edition appeared in 1836.
On Perforation of Strictures of the Urethra, 8vo, London, 1834.
An Essay on the Treatment of Some Affections of the Prostate Gland, 8vo, London, 1840; 2nd ed, 1845.
On the Treatment of Haemorrhoids, 8vo, London, 1853.
The Jacksonian Prize Essay was revised and published, 8vo, London, 1832.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Dict Nat Biog, sub nomine et auct ibi cit. Pettigrew's Medical Portrait Gallery, 1840, iv, No 12].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England