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Biographical entry Shaw, Harold Batty (1867 - 1936)

MRCS 29 July 1895; FRCS 10 December 1896; LRCP 1895; MRCP 1898; FRCP 1905; MB BS London 1895; MD 1897.

13 July 1867
9 May 1936


Born on 13 July 1867 at Thorner near Leeds, the third son and fourth child of Edward Walker Shaw, civil engineer, and Helen Hudson, his wife. The family moved to Australia and Batty Shaw received his early education at King's School, Balmain, New South Wales. Returning to England he studied at the Yorkshire College, Leeds, until he entered University College Hospital in 1893, where he gained the Tuke medal in pathology in 1894 and the Erichsen prize in 1895. At the University of London he won the exhibition and gold medal at the intermediate MB examination and qualified for the medal at the examination for the Bachelor of Surgery. He served as house surgeon at University College in 1896, and was awarded the Atkinson Morley scholarship in surgery in 1897. He then acted as house physician to Dr Sydney Ringer, deserted surgery and devoted himself thenceforward to the medical side of the profession.

He was appointed resident medical officer of the Hospital, and was so assiduous in the pathological laboratory and the post-mortem room that he was elected assistant physician to University College Hospital in 1900 whilst he was still RMO. He succeeded to the full staff in 1907 and retired with the rank of consulting physician in 1932. In the Medical School he lectured on therapeutics, 1903-16, and on the practice of medicine, 1916-17. He was dean of the School 1908-10. Batty Shaw was appointed assistant physician to the Hospital for Consumption and Diseases of the Chest at Brompton on 4 December 1902, physician to the Hospital and to the sanatorium at Frimley on 1 March 1912, and consulting physician on 17 March 1932. Elected FRCP in 1905, he delivered the Goulstonian lectures in 1906, taking as his subject "Autointoxication in relation to disturbances of blood pressure", a theme which he developed further in 1922 in his book of Hyperpiesia and hyperpiesis.

He married on 1 September 1915 Muriel Agnes Ellison, daughter of the Rev Patrick Watson, Vicar of Earlsfield, SW. She survived him with a son and a daughter. He died suddenly at Littlehampton on 9 May 1936, without showing any previous signs of illness. Batty Shaw was characterized by his great energy and by his strict devotion to duty. He was a good teacher of students and was always an influence for good. It was largely due to him that Sir Donald Currie was led to defray the cost of the Medical School buildings attached to University College Hospital.

Organotherapy. London, 1905.
Hypepriesia and hyperpiesis. London, 1922.
GPs and TB, an indictment: the answer. Brit J Tuberc 1934, 28, 49.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times, 11 May 1936, p 17a; Lancet, 1936, 1, 1144, with portrait; Brit med J 1936, 1, 1081, with portrait; Univ Coll Hosp Mag 1936, 21, 77, with portrait; information given by Mrs Batty Shaw and by the secretaries of University College Hospital and Brompton Hospital].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England