Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Stuart-Low, William (1857 - 1935)

MRCS 13 May 1897; FRCS 8 December 1898; LRCP Edinburgh 1884.

5 September 1857
Burntisland, Fife
5 June 1935
Northwood, Middlesex
ENT surgeon


Born at Burntisland, Fife on 5 September 1857 the fourth child of David Low, Fellow of the Educational Institute of Scotland, a schoolmaster, and Elizabeth, his wife. He was educated at Madras College, St Andrews, at Edinburgh University, and at the University of Freiburg. He acted for some years as an unqualified assistant, until he had made sufficient money to pay the fees for the LRCP at Edinburgh. During this period he used to say that he worked so hard that on more than one occasion he had not gone to bed for three successive nights. He then acted for a time as a ship's surgeon, and came to London in 1887 and established himself in two practices both in East Dulwich. In 1896 he determined to become a consultant, and for this purpose took out courses of anatomy and physiology at St Thomas's Hospital to prepare himself for the primary Fellowship examination, and a course of surgery at St Bartholomew's for the final examination. He passed successfully, without interrupting his general practice.

He intended to specialize in urological surgery but an opening occurring at the Central London Throat, Nose, and Ear Hospital he was appointed registrar, becoming in due course surgeon and consulting surgeon, whilst at the Post-graduate College he lectured on rhinology and upon practical otology. He was honorary secretary of the British Laryngological Associa-tion and a member of the council of the laryngological section of the Royal Society of Medicine. He married on 1 September 1894 Mary, daughter of William Smith of Hill House, Dulwich, who survived him with a son and a daughter. He died at Northwood, Middlesex on 5 June 1935. Stuart-Low's career is typical of many a lowland Scot. He fought his way from a comparatively humble position by sheer hard work, indomitable courage, and a burly self-confidence. He owed something to the wise counsel and encouragement of his wife. He was fertile in original ideas, and was especially interested in the therapeutic effects of mucin.

Mucous membranes normal and abnormal, including mucin and malignancy. London, 1905.
The role of the mucous membranes in diseases of the nose, throat, and ear. Lancet, 1924, 1, 326.
The care of the nose and throat. London, 1919; 2nd edition, 1929.
Nasal catarrh. London, 1930.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet, 1935, 1, 1414, with portrait, a good likeness; Brit med J 1935, 1, 1242; personal knowledge; information given by Mrs Stuart-Low].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England