Lives of the fellows

Robert (Sir) Armstrong-Jones

b.2 December 1857 d.30 January 1943
CBE MD Lond Hon DSc Wales LSA FRCS(1885) FRCP(1907) DL JP

Robert Jones (later Armstrong-Jones) was born at Ynyscynhaiarn, Caernarvonshire, one of the ten children of a Congregationalist minister, the Rev. Thomas Jones of Criccieth, and his wife Jane Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Jones of Criccieth. As a schoolboy he went to Portmadoc Grammar School, the University College of Wales at Aberystwyth, and Grove Park School, Wrexham. After a six months’ apprenticeship to a Portmadoc doctor, he entered St. Bartholomew’s Hospital as a student in 1876. Four years later he qualified, having gained the Wix essay and Hichens prizes; he became an F.R.C.S. in 1885. Devoting his career to work in mental hospitals, he obtained junior appointments at the Royal Earlswood Institution (1880-82) and the Colney Hatch Asylum (1882-88). He then returned to Earlswood as its medical superintendent. In 1893 he received the same appointment at the new L.C.C. Asylum at Claybury. It was here that his most fruitful work was done. While Frederick Mott, as pathologist, was making important researches in the laboratory, Armstrong-Jones instituted special training for mental nurses and occupational therapy for patients. Claybury, under his management, was also the first L.C.C. asylum to accept private patients.

On retiring from Claybury in 1916, Armstrong-Jones was made the first consulting physician in mental diseases to London Command. After the War, in 1921, he was appointed one of the Lord Chancellor’s visitors in lunacy, an office which he held till 1931. For many years he lectured on mental diseases at the Westminster and St. Bartholomew’s Hospitals and, from 1917 to 1927 he was Gresham professor of physic. He gave the Henderson Trust lecture at Edinburgh in 1929. He was the author of a Textbook of Mental and Sick Nursing (1907) as well as articles in Quain’s Dictionary and Allbutt’s System of Medicine and on his visits to mental hospitals abroad. He married in 1893 Margaret Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Owen Roberts, and had a son and two daughters. He died at his home in Caernarvon.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1943; B.M.J., 1943]

(Volume IV, page 480)

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