Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Hunt, Edmund Henderson (1874 - 1952)

MRCS 8 November 1900; FRCS 11 June 1903; LRCP 1900; BA Oxford 1897; MA BM BCh 1900; MCh 1903.

23 November 1874
15 December 1952
Anthropologist, Archaeologist and General surgeon


Born 23 November 1874 the fourth child and second son of John Mortimer Hunt, a business man, and his wife, née Henderson. He was educated at Harrow, at Balliol College, Oxford, where he took first-class honours in the final school of physiology and worked for a year with Professor J S Haldane, and at St Bartholomew's Hospital where he served as house surgeon to W Harrison Cripps and Sir Francis Champneys. During 1902-03 while he was working at the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford he contracted serious blood-poisoning from a patient, and was the only one of four so infected who survived.

He went to India in 1903 as chief medical officer to HEH the Nizam of Hyderabad's state railways, intending to return before long; but he made it his life's work, retiring only in 1931. Besides his busy official work at the Lallagunda Railway Hospital, he built up a very large private practice in the great capital city of Secunderabad. For his services he received the Kaisar-i-Hind medal. He was president of the Hyderabad branch of the British Medical Association 1925-26.

Hunt was a man of intellectual distinction, splendid physique, and sterling character. He achieved pre-eminence even in his side interests. He took a leading part in the work of the Hyderabad Archaeological Society, promoting the exploration of urn burials and burial mounds, and presented an important collection of finds to the Pitt-Rivers Museum at Oxford. He was no less interested in Indian anthropology, was a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, and wrote an interesting study of the clinical aspects of black magic. He collected old Hyderabad china, presented notable pieces to the Victoria and Albert Museum, and wrote the standard monograph on this ware, in the Journal of the Hyderabad Archaeological Society, January 1916. His photographs of the early Indian paintings in the famous caves of Ajanta and Ellora were uniquely successful. He was prominent in freemasonry both in India and in England.

Hunt returned to England in 1932 and settled at Cheniston, Farnham, Surrey. He took up bee-keeping so successfully that he became chairman of the local association, and a committee member of the National Honey Show.

Hunt married in 1904 Laura Mary, daughter of Colonel Sir James Buckingham, secretary of the Indian Tea Association, who survived him with three sons, three daughters, and many grand-children, and died on 19 July 1955. Two of his sons were already distinguished in the medical profession: John Hunt DM MRCP and Alan Hunt FRCS. He died at Farnham on 15 December 1952 aged 78.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 22 December 1952 p. 8 F by Sir Stuart Fraser KCSI, and 21 July 1955 death of Mrs Hunt; Nature, 1953, 171, 198 by Professor K de B Codrington; Brit med J 1953, 1, 108; information from his son, Dr John Hunt].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England