Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Pollock, Sir Edward James (1841 - 1930)

KB 1922; MRCS 30 July 1863; FRCS 11 June 1868; Barrister at Law, Inner Temple.

1 April 1841
14 April 1930
General surgeon and Lawyer


Born 1 April 1841, one of the twenty-four children of Lord Chief Baron Pollock. In this large family he was the ninth son of his father and the second son of the second wife Sarah, daughter of Captain Richard Langslow, of Hatton Cross near Bedfont, Middlesex. He was thus closely related to the legal and medical members of the Pollock family. He was half brother of Baron Charles Edward Pollock (1823-97); uncle of Ernest Murray Pollock, Baron Hanworth, Master of the Rolls (1861-1936), of Sir Frederick Pollock, KC (1845-1937), Judge of the Admiralty Court of the Cinque Ports 1914-36, of the Right Rev Bertram Pollock, Bishop of Norwich, and of Sir Adrian Donald Wilde Pollock, Chamberlain of the City of London; and a first cousin to George Pollock assistant surgeon St George's Hospital, and to Arthur Julius Pollock (1835-90), physician to Charing Cross Hospital.

Edward James Pollock was educated at a small preparatory school kept by the Rev Samuel Moses Marcus in Caroline Street, Bloomsbury, and amongst his schoolfellows were Richard Garnett, afterwards Principal Librarian of the British Museum, Linley Sambourne the Punch artist, Millais the painter, and Brodribb the classical scholar. The Pollocks lived at this time in the house at the north end of Queen Square looking into Guilford Street, and their garden was used as a playground for the boys attending Marcus' school. Pollock proceeded from this school to King's College, London, entered King's College Hospital and served as house surgeon during the year 1863-64. He was then elected surgeon to the Farringdon General Dispensary and Lying-in Hospital at Bartlett's Buildings, Holborn, having as his surgical colleagues Robert William Dunn and Charles Matthews, both of whom had been students at King's College Hospital. Pollock at this time was living at 6 Old Cavendish Street, and was acting as private assistant to George Critchett in his ophthalmic practice.

He visited the United States about 1869, remained there a few months and on his return determined to devote himself to the study of the law. He was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1872 and soon obtained a fair Common Law practice, which he had to relinquish twenty-five years later on account of an operation upon his larynx which reduced his voice to a hoarse whisper and prevented him from acting as an advocate. Lord Halsbury appointed him in 1897 one of the three official referees of the Supreme Court of Judicature in the place of Sir Edward Ridley, who had been promoted to the High Court Bench. Pollock soon showed that he was quick in seizing the essential facts and figures of a case whilst his geniality made it a pleasure to appear before him. He resigned his office in 1927, having received the honour of Knighthood five years previously. He married in 1871, Alice Georgina (d 1929), daughter of Warren de la Rue, FRS, and was the recipient of a presentation from the Bar when he celebrated with her the fiftieth anniversary of their wedding. He died on 14 April 1930, at 20 York Terrace, Regent's Park, survived by two sons and three daughters. He is known as a great lawyer and a great gentleman, who was remembered with respect and affection.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times, 16 and 19 April 1930; Brit med J 1930, 1, 833; The Law Journal, 1930, 69, 275].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England