Lives of the fellows

James Kingston (Sir) Fowler

b.11 March 1852 d.3 July 1934
KCMG KCVO MB Cantab(1879) BA(1880) MA MD Hon DSc Sheff MRCS FRCP(1886)

Kingston Fowler was born at Woburn, the fifth son of James Fowler and his wife Frances, daughter of Henry Sargeant of Bedford. He went to King’s College, London, for his initial medical training, winning a Warneford resident scholarship in 1871. After qualifying in 1874, he remained at the Hospital for two years as a house physician, and then obtained the same appointment at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. He took advantage of his residence at Cambridge to enter Caius College as an undergraduate, and graduated as M.B. in 1879 and B.A. in 1880. A brief appointment as pathologist at the Westminster Hospital followed, in 1880, before he was elected to the staff of the Middlesex Hospital as assistant physician. In 1891 he became physician and in 1899 joint lecturer on the practice of medicine—offices which he held until his election as consulting physician and emeritus lecturer in 1913. In 1880 Fowler began a similar association with the Brompton Hospital, and he later joined the staff of the King Edward VII Sanatorium, Midhurst. Diseases of the chest were perhaps his chief clinical interest and formed the main subject of his writings. After editing a successful Dictionary of Practical Medicine in 1890, he published in 1898, with R. Godlee, Diseases of the Lungs, which demonstrated the interdependence of the physician and surgeon in this sphere, and in 1921 a monograph entitled Pulmonary Tuberculosis.

Fowler was also keenly interested in medical education. As a member of the Senate of London University who was to become dean of the faculty of medicine, he played a leading part in the reorganisation of 1900. He himself examined in medicine for Cambridge University and the Conjoint Board and served as Censor at the Royal College of Physicians. His activities in the educational field embraced the Colonies: he was one of the first members of the Colonial Advisory Medical Committee and chairman of the Colonial Medical Appointments Board. He was also a trustee and honorary secretary of the Beit memorial fellowship and chairman of the Yellow Fever Commission for West Africa. During the War of 1914-1918 he served with the 3rd London Territorial General Hospital as consulting physician, with the rank of colonel, at the Rouen base and in the Queen Alexandra Military Hospital, Millbank.

Fowler was an able, well-equipped teacher. Elegant and distinguished in appearance, he had a wide circle of friends in all walks of life. One of these, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, persuaded him to write A History of Beaulieu Abbey in 1911. As warden of the Abbey, he spent part of his retirement in his official residence. His zeal as an antiquary was further shown by the publication of Hayles and Beaulieu in 1928. His other interests included falconry and the Beefsteak Club, of which he was one of two medical members. He died, unmarried, at Beaulieu.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1934; B.M.J., 1934; Lyle, 148; D.N.B., 1931-40, 292; Biog.Hist.of Caius College, ii, 423]

(Volume IV, page 313)

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