Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Parker, Rushton (1847 - 1932)

MRCS 20 April 1869; FRCS 13 December 1872; MB BS London 1870.

9 October 1847
25 March 1932
General surgeon


Born 9 October 1847, the son of Edward Parker, LRCS Edinburgh, who practised and was police surgeon at Liverpool, and Mary Rushton, his wife. He was educated at the school kept by John Brunner, father of Sir John Brunner, and afterwards at the Royal Institution School, Liverpool. He received his medical education at University College, London, where he gained the medals in anatomy, physiology, and surgery, and was chosen house surgeon at University College Hospital in 1869. He spent a year in Paris and Vienna, returning to London to act as demonstrator of anatomy at University College for the year 1870-71. He resigned this post on becoming demonstrator of physiology and histology at the Liverpool Royal Infirmary School of Medicine, where he taught from 1871 to 1878, and was appointed surgeon to the Stanley Hospital in Liverpool in 1872. He was elected assistant surgeon to the Royal Infirmary in 1878, and continued to serve on the staff until 1907, when he retired and was made consulting surgeon.

He lectured on surgery, was teacher of operative and practical surgery, and served as dean of the Liverpool School of Medicine 1878-80. In 1882 he was appointed professor of surgery at University College, retaining the position for fifty years, whilst the College became incorporated with the Victoria University in 1884 and was converted into the University of Liverpool in 1903. He took an active interest in the British Medical Association, acting as secretary of the section of surgery in 1883 and president of the section in 1912. He was also president of the Liverpool Medical Institution from 1902 to 1904. He married in 1884 Catherine Elizabeth (d 1924), eldest daughter of Thomas Bickerton, FRCS Edinburgh. There were no children. He died on 25 March 1932 at 59 Rodney Street, Liverpool, aged 84.

In the course of his long career Rushton Parker did much to advance surgery in Liverpool. He was amongst the keenest disciples of Lister and early introduced his methods at the Royal Infirmary. A bold and skilful operator, he was one of the pioneers in the treatment of hernia by the radical operation, and he shares with the surgeons of the Leeds school the introduction of the operation for the removal of tuberculous glands. He was one of the first men of his time to popularize the methods employed by Hugh Owen Thomas in the treatment of chronic disease of the bones and joints. He was a man of wide culture, a good linguist, a lover of books, and a geologist.

Extirpation of enlarged lymphatic glands. L'pool Manch med Burg Rep 1873, p 47, and Brit med J 1902, 2, 1312, and 1908, 2, 192.
Maisonneuve's internal urethrotomy. Lancet, 1874, 1, 162.
Peritonitis, and Diseases of the nose, in Heath's Dictionary of Surgery, 1886, 2, 76 and 198.
Diseases of special joints, in Gould and Warren's International Handbook of Surgery, 1900, 1, 714.
Treatment of fractured femur with Thomas' splints. Trans Int med Congr 7, London, 1881, 2, 452.
Extirpation of carbuncle. Provincial med J 1893, 12, 176.
Modern herniotomy. Provincial med J 1893, 12, 411; 460.
Radical cure of hernia and treatment of hernia in children. Brit med J 1893, 1, 1101; 1895, 2, 700; 1909, 1, 947; and Lancet, 1898, 2, 1398.
On Lord Lister's catgut and disinfection of the skin. Brit med J 1909, 1, 1036. Trephining for focal and traumatic epilepsy. Brit med J 1893, 2, 1037, and 1902, 1, 1257.
Treatment of fractured nose. Clin J 1919, 48, 72.
On the pronunciation of Latin. Liverpool Daily Post and Mercury, 9 September 1913; issued separately as an amended reprint in November 1916.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet, 1932, 1, 806, with portrait; Brit med J 1932, 1, 690, with portrait; The Times, 28 March 1932, p 12d].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England