Lives of the fellows

Archibald Donald

b.May 1860 d.17 April 1937
BA Edin(1880) MB CM(1883) MA MD Hon LLD MRCS FRCP(1915) Hon FCOG DL

Archibald Donald was born at Edinburgh, the son of John Donald, J.P, and his wife Mary Smarte, and educated at Craigmount House School and Edinburgh University. Before beginning his medical course, he graduated in arts in 1880. The medical degrees of M.B, C.M, followed in 1883, and he then obtained resident posts at the Royal Maternity and Simpson Memorial Hospital in Edinburgh. Afterwards he made a voyage to India as a ship’s surgeon, and, on his return, in 1885, was appointed a senior resident at St. Mary’s Hospital, Manchester. He was elected to the honorary staff of the Hospital in 1888 and gynaecological surgeon to the Manchester Royal Infirmary in 1895. In 1893 he produced an Introduction to Midwifery for students and nurses, whose popularity was shown by its many editions. He lectured on clinical obstetrics and gynaecology at Victoria University for several years and in 1912 was appointed to the chair of obstetrics and gynaecology. Eight years later he persuaded the authorities to institute a chair of clinical obstetrics and gynaecology, which he then occupied till 1925, receiving the title of emeritus professor on his retirement. During the 1914-1918 War he served as a captain in the 2nd Western General Hospital. Donald was the leader of his own branch of the profession in Manchester for many years. His reputation was founded on his skill as a gynaecological surgeon. He was one of the first in this country to make routine use of sterilised catgut sutures; and certain operating techniques, introduced by him, represented marked advances, although he himself received little credit for them, owing partly to his self-effacing modesty. He was a man of frail physique but tireless energy, and fond of golf and billiards. He was married to Maude Helen, daughter of R. B. Wilkinson, and had four sons and two daughters. He died at his house at Alderley Edge, Cheshire.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1937; B.M.J., 1937]

(Volume IV, page 543)

<< Back to List