Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Macalpine, James Barlow (1882 - 1960)

MRCS 9 May 1907; FRCS 8 December 1910; LRCP 1907; MB ChB Manchester 1907; Hon DSc 1943.

11 February 1882
17 March 1960
Grasmere, Westmorland
Urological surgeon


Born on 11 February 1882 one of the four sons of Sir George Watson Macalpine Kt (1850-1920) of Accrington, a colliery owner, brick manufacturer and President of the Baptist Union, and of his wife Arianne, daughter of James Barlow JP of Accrington, he was educated at Mill Hill School and Manchester University. After qualifying with the Conjoint diploma and the degree of Manchester, he held office as house surgeon at Manchester Royal Infirmary and then, for postgraduate study, he went to the London Hospital and to Vienna.

After the first war he was appointed to the surgical staff of the Salford Royal Hospital and founded the genito-urinary department as its first head, which became famous attracting postgraduates from far and wide. He was also consulting urological surgeon to the Christie Hospital and Holt Radium Institute, being a pioneer in the use of radiotherapy for malignant disease of the urinary tract. He was one of the members of the original Urological Club and a founder member of the British Association of Urological Surgeons, being the first recipient of the St Peter's Medal in 1949. He had been President of the Section of Urology of the Royal Society of Medicine in 1934, and was best known for his contribution to the knowledge of the pathology and treatment of bladder tumours, a subject upon which he delivered a Hunterian lecture in 1947.

His book Cystoscopy and Urography first published in 1927, which ran to three editions, being translated into Italian in 1951, is a classic, and he regularly contributed articles to the British Medical Journal and other periodicals on urological subjects.

"Jim" was a gifted attractive personality with a great sense of humour and, being a man of means, was able to devote all his time and energy to the furtherance of urology as a specialty in Manchester and he was appointed honorary lecturer in urology to the University.

In his youth he was a Rugby full back and sprinter, and later enjoyed golf, yachting, the piano and billiards. He retired to the Lake District and died at his home Michael's Nook, Grasmere, Westmorland on 17 March 1960 survived by his wife, a son and two daughters.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 19 March 1960 no memoir; Brit med J 1960, 1, 1059 with appreciations by A Clifford Morson and W R Douglas].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England