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Biographical entry Brown, John Macdonald (1857 - 1935)

MRCS and FRCS 8 March 1883; FRCS Edinburgh without examination 1883; MB CM Edinburgh 1880; MD 1900; FRS Edinburgh 1885; JP Co London.

28 November 1935
Anatomist, General surgeon and Physician


Born at Dunfermline in 1857, he was educated at the University of Edinburgh, where he held a Grierson bursary, and afterwards at the London Hospital. As lecturer on anatomy at Surgeons Hall, Edinburgh he soon made a name for himself. It is said that he had an extraordinary power of imparting knowledge. Armed with a few coloured chalks and a blackboard he expounded the details of human anatomy with clearness and precision. He confined himself to the essentials and developed a method, which for examination purposes had no rival. Although his incisive style and powerful voice were often reminiscent of the drill-sergeant, he always held the attention of the students and his results, as proved at the examination table, were most successful.

Coming to London he was appointed assistant surgeon to the Northwest London Hospital in 1896 and was physician to the Navy, Army and Royal Air Force Institute. He retired to Leamington in 1926 and became consulting physician to Leamington Spa. He married Caroline Helen Murray, second daughter of Adam Murray, alderman of Manchester. She died in 1928 without children. He died at Leamington on 28 November 1935 and was buried at St Mary's, Lillington, Leamington.

The femoral artery in apes. J Anat. 1881, 15, 523.
Chancroidal bubo and bubonic chancroid. Edinb clin path J. 1884, 1, 889.
The science of human anatomy; introductory lecture. Edinb med J. 1885, 30, 585. Treatment at the Royal Leamington Spa. Prescriber, 1927, 21, 104.
The large intestine, its function and disabilities. Leamington, 1927

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J. 1935, 2, 1134 and 1183].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England