Lives of the fellows

John Hall Davis

b.1811 d.19 March 1884
MD Lond MRCS FRCP(1863)

John Hall Davis was born in Sheffield. His father, D. D. Davis, a distinguished obstetrician who attended the birth of Queen Victoria, sent him to St. Paul’s School for his education. He pursued his medical studies at University College, where his father was professor of midwifery, and at Heidelberg, and qualified in 1837. For some time he acted as a clinical clerk at University College Hospital and also as assistant to his father but, after the latter’s death, he obtained recognition in 1842 by the examining boards as a private lecturer on midwifery — the last lecturer to be so recognised. At the same time, he succeeded to his father’s appointment as physician to the Royal Maternity Charity, which he held for no fewer than forty years, being made consulting physician on his retirement. He was consulting physician also to the St. Pancras Infirmary. In 1863, Hall Davis became lecturer on midwifery and obstetric physician to the Middlesex Hospital, posts which he retained until a short time before his death. He acted as an examiner for the University of London and the Royal College of Physicians. He was an original fellow of the Obstetrical Society of London and held the office of president from 1867 to 1869. For its Transactions, he wrote several articles. His main work, however, was a book, Parturition and its Difficulties (1858). At the height of his career, he enjoyed a large consulting practice. As an obstetrician, he was at his best when faced by difficulties. As a gynaecologist, he was strictly orthodox and valued by his colleagues as a good diagnostician.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1884; B.M.J., 1884]

(Volume IV, page 134)

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