Lives of the fellows

Robert Elliot

b.1812 d.31 December 1882
MD Edin FRCP(1873) JP

Robert Elliot was the son of a Carlisle doctor. After qualifying at Edinburgh in 1836, he spent three years in extending his studies at Paris and Heidelberg. In 1839 he started a practice at Gateshead, and was soon appointed lecturer on materia medica and hygiene at the Newcastle School of Medicine, a post that he held until his removal to Carlisle in 1847. Here he was quick to establish himself as a leading consultant. He became senior physician to the Carlisle Dispensary and the Carlisle Fever Hospital. It was, however, in connection with public sanitation that he was known outside the locality. A pioneer of public hygiene, he contributed to the Transactions of the Social Science Congress several papers on such subjects as The Effects of Trades upon Health and The Utilisation of Sewage. His interest in municipal improvement extended to the educational field. He was largely responsible for the erection in Carlisle of working men’s reading rooms and libraries, whose management he was, on principle, careful to place in the hands of the men themselves. His services to Carlisle led to his election as mayor in 1856 and to his appointment as coroner in 1873 and as medical officer of health in 1874. Elliot was also a member of the council of Edinburgh University.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1883; B.M.J., 1883]

(Volume IV, page 213)

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