Lives of the fellows

Richard Payne Cotton

b.1820 d.26 December 1877

Born in Kensington, Richard Cotton trained for the medical profession at St. George’s Hospital and also studied in Paris. Having qualified in 1841, he started a London practice and seven years later was appointed to the staff of the Brompton Hospital. In twenty-seven years’ association with the Hospital until his appointment as consulting physician in 1875, Cotton, with Quain, raised the reputation of its outpatient department to a high level. He wrote widely on the subject of consumption. Among his publications were a handbook, Phthisis and the Stethoscope (1851) which passed through several editions, and an essay on The Nature, Symptoms, and Treatment of Consumption, which won the Fothergillian gold medal in 1852. The Medical Circular, in a brief and contemptuous assessment of his career in 1853, mentioned a recent unsuccessful attempt by Cotton to "raise an opposition to the Medical Circular" itself. Geology was his lifelong hobby. At the age of nineteen, he formed a valuable collection of mammalian remains discovered at Ilford. Cotton was twice married.

G H Brown

[Medical Times and Gazette, 1878; Medical Circular, 1853, iii, 72]

(Volume IV, page 78)

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