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Biographical entry White, Charles Powell (1867 - 1930)

MRCS 10 May 1894; FRCS 11 June 1896; MB BCh Cambridge 1896; MA MD 1900; LRCP 1894.

21 April 1867
26 September 1930


The fourth son of the Rev L Borrett Powell White, DD, Canon and Prebendary of St Paul's and Rector of St Mary Aldermary in the City of London, was born 21 April 1867. He entered St Paul's School in 1878 and left in July 1886, being then in Math VIII and having been elected a foundationer in 1879. He matriculated with first-class honours at the University of London in January 1884, but went to Cambridge where he had gained a scholarship at Sidney Sussex College in 1886 and a Lovett exhibition in 1887. He graduated BA after being placed a Senior Optime in part 1 of the Mathematical Tripos in 1889. He then entered St Bartholomew's Hospital, where he gained the Burrows and Skynner prizes in 1893 and, after acting as house surgeon, held the Treasurer's research scholarship in pathology for the year 1894-95 and, coming under the influence of A A Kanthack, determined to devote himself to pathology. In 1898 he was appointed pathologist to the Birmingham General Hospital, and in 1900, after making a voyage as surgeon in the SS Patroclus, was elected demonstrator of pathology in the Yorkshire College at Leeds. He filled this post for two years, delivered the Erasmus Wilson lectures at the Royal College of Surgeons "On the pathology of tumours", and in 1902 was appointed demonstrator of morbid anatomy and pathology at St Thomas's Hospital, when S G Shattock was lecturer; in 1904 he was advanced to the post of demonstrator of pathology, and in 1905 he became assistant pathologist in the Medical School.

White moved to Manchester in 1906 on becoming the first holder of the research studentship of the Pilkington fund, a position he held for the rest of his life. In 1910 he was appointed pathologist to the Christie Hospital for Cancer, and in 1915 he was created special lecturer in pathology at Manchester University. He was also director of the Helen Swindell Cancer Research Laboratories in the University and histologist to the Manchester Committee on Cancer. He married in 1918 Lettice Mary, daughter of Horace Lamb, FRS, professor of mathematics in the University of Manchester. She survived him with a son and a daughter. He died on 26 September 1930, after being paralysed and confined to his bed for two years.

White did much good work at a time when pathology was developing from morbid anatomy and was fortunate in working under the two great teachers of his generation, Kanthack and Shattock. He was throughout his life more a pathologist for pathologists than a teacher of undergraduate students. He was treasurer of the Pathological Society of Great Britain, and took an active part in forming a committee of pathologists to watch their interests and secure for them adequate emoluments. Of a shy and retiring disposition, he was widely read in general literature and had a very great knowledge of natural history.

General pathology of tumours, Erasmus Wilson lectures. Lancet, 1902, 1, 423 and 491.
Lectures on the pathology of cancer. Manchester, 1908.
Experiments on cell proliferation and metaplasia. J Path Bact 1910, 14, 450.
The pathology of growth tumours. London, 1913.
The principles of pathology. Manchester, 1927.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet, 1930, 2, 768; Brit med J 1930, 2, 622; personal knowledge].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England