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Biographical entry Morland, Egbert Coleby (1874 - 1955)

MRCS 29 July 1897; FRCS by election 7 April 1936; LRCP 1897; FRCP 1941; MB 1898; MD Berne.

26 April 1955
Editor, Journalist and Physician


Egbert Morland was elected a Fellow in recognition of his services as Editor of The Lancet. Born in 1874, the fifth son of Charles Coleby Morland of Croydon, he came of a well-known Quaker family; an elder brother, Harold, a prominent accountant and auditor in the City of London, was Clerk (ie Chairman) of the Society of Friends 1927-32. Egbert was educated at Bootham School and Owens College, Manchester, and won an open scholarship to St Bartholomew's, qualifying in 1897 and winning the gold medal in physiology at the London MD examination in 1898. He held house appointments at St Bartholomew's and at Great Ormond Street.

Adding Swiss qualifications, he practised as a chest physician in Switzerland for eleven years (1903-14) first at Davos and later at Arosa, where he was a pioneer of the English colony and helped to build the church. In the first year of the war he served in France under the Friends Relief Committee, but in 1915 joined the staff of The Lancet. He lived for twelve years in Buckinghamshire, moved into London in 1928, and succeeded Sir Squire Sprigge as Editor in 1937. During the second world war he evacuated The Lancet's office to Aylesbury and lived "over the shop" from 1939 to 1945. He then retired to Holmfirth, Yorkshire where his wife died in 1948. She had been Mary Windsor Latchmore, also a Quaker, and had shared his work and interests. They were married in 1903 and adopted two sons and a daughter. Morland died at York on 26 April 1955 aged 81.

Morland was ideally suited to carry on The Lancet's tradition of sturdy independence and social conscience. He was an amusing and sympathetic companion, and experienced in clinical practice before he became a journalist. Personally he was interested in such humanitarian problems as child welfare, the treatment of tuberculosis, and the care of the aged, but in his editorial work he drew contributions from a very wide circle of acquaintance and was keenly awake to every advance in scientific medicine.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet 1944, 2, 633 tributes on his retirement, 1955, 1, 974 with portrait, and p 1010-1031 by ST and EMC; The Times 16 July 1937 appointment as Editor of The Lancet, 28 December 1948 death of Mrs Morland on 21st, 27 April 1955 p 14 C; Brit med J 1955, 1, 1159; personal knowledge].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England