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Biographical entry Marriage, Herbert James (1872 - 1946)

MRCS 11 February 1897; FRCS 12 June 1902; MB London 1899; BS 1901; LRCP 1897.

17 January 1872
12 January 1946
Woldingham, Surrey


Born on 17 January 1872, the third son of James Marriage of Beckenham, Kent, merchant, and his wife Patience Jane Hayward. He was educated at the City of London School and St Thomas's Hospital, which he entered with a scholarship in 1891 and later served as house surgeon and house physician. After postgraduate study at Halle, Vienna, and Berlin, he was appointed surgical registrar at St Thomas's under Charles Ballance, and also surgical tutor. In 1904 he was appointed the first regular aural surgeon in the new ear department of St Thomas's, becoming consulting aural surgeon on his retirement in 1932, when the department merged into the new ear, nose, and throat unit; in 1924 a special aural house surgeon had been appointed to Marriage's department. He was also aural surgeon to the London Fever Hospital.

During the 1914-18 war he continued to work at St Thomas's in its role as a general military hospital with the rank of captain, RAMC(T), gazetted 20 September 1915. He served for many years as clinical teacher of otology at the Royal Army Medical College, Millbank.

Marriage was that rare specialist, a pure otologist. He worthily carried on the great tradition of aural surgery created at St Thomas's by Sir Charles Ballance, and was particularly successful in improving the details of the radical mastoid operation; he evolved a special method of applying skin-grafts by suction in mastoid operations. He served as secretary of the section of otology at the British Medical Association meeting in 1910, and was president of the section of otology of the Royal Society of Medicine in 1915. He was an examiner for the Diploma in Laryngology and Otology, Part 2, at the College in 1923-26.

He married in 1910 Amy Grace, daughter of E W Richardson of Eastbourne, who survived him with two sons and a daughter. Marriage died on 12 January 1946 at Woldingham House, Woldingham, Surrey, five days before his seventy-fourth birthday. The funeral was at St Agatha's Church, Woldingham. Before retiring Marriage lived and practised at 109 Harley Street.


A case of attempted division of the eighth nerve within the skull for the relief of tinnitus, with Cuthbert Wallace. Lancet, 1904, 1, 1192.
Case of cerebellar abscess; operation; during the performance of artificial respiration. Trans Otol Soc 1907, 8, 41.
Skin-grafting in mastoid operations. Proc Roy Soc Med 1915, 9, otol sect, pp 8-24; Practitioner, 1916, 96, 174-181; J Laryng. 1916, 32, 73-80.
War injuries and neuroses of otological interest. J Laryng. 1917, 32, 186.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet, 1946, 1, 146; Brit med J 1946, 1, 148; St Thos Hosp Gaz. 1946, 44, 55, with portrait; information from Mrs Marriage].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England