Lives of the fellows

William Tilbury Fox

b.1836 d.14 June 1879
MB Lond(1857) MD FRCP(1871)

William Tilbury Fox, the son of Luther Owen Fox, F.R.C.S, of Broughton, Hampshire, received his medical qualifications at University College, London. A brilliant student, he won the gold medal and scholarship in medicine, graduated as M.B. in 1857, and became house surgeon to Quain and house physician to Jenner. He also obtained a junior appointment at the Lambeth Lying-In Hospital. In 1859 he began general practice in Bayswater but soon decided to specialize in midwifery. He obtained the post of physician-accoucheur to the Farringdon General Dispensary and wrote papers for the Transactions of the Obstetrical Society. Becoming interested in the study of microscopical fungi attacking the skin and hair, his attention was diverted to the research on skin diseases which was to be his life’s work. In 1863 he published Skin Diseases of Parasitic Origin and in 1864 a Treatise on Skin Diseases which, progressively improved in subsequent editions, was regarded as a standard work. In 1864 he accompanied the Earl of Hopetown on a tour of the East which seriously undermined his health. On his return he wrote pamphlets on the spread of cholera in the East and on the dermatology of Egypt.

Fox’s reputation as a specialist on skin diseases grew steadily. He became lecturer on diseases of the skin at Charing Cross Hospital and physician to the skin department of University College Hospital, where he prevailed upon the authorities to provide a well-equipped outpatient department and baths. He was on the editorial staff of the Lancet and delivered the Lettsomian Lectures of 1869-70 before the Medical Society of London. In 1875 he re-edited Willan’s Atlas of Skin Diseases. Recognised as a leading authority on his subject both abroad and at home, Fox played an important part in raising dermatology to its present status as a specialized branch of medicine. He was married and was the brother of T. C. Fox, F.R.C.P. He died in Paris.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1879; B.M.J., 1879; D.N.B., xx, 139]

(Volume IV, page 193)

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