Lives of the fellows

Archibald Edward (Sir) Garrod

b.25 November 1857 d.28 March 1936
KCMG(1919) CMG(1916) BA Oxon(1880) MA DM Hon MD Dubl Malta Hon LLD Glasg Aberd Hon Doctor Padua MRCS FRCP(1891) FRS Hon FRFPS Glasg Hon FRCP Edin

Archibald Garrod was born in London, the fourth son of Sir Alfred Garrod, F.R.C.P, F.R.S, by his wife Elizabeth Ann, daughter of Henry Colchester of Ipswich. His education took place at Marlborough, Christ Church, Oxford, where he took a natural science degree, with first-class honours, in 1880, and St. Barthol-mew’s Hospital. After qualifying in 1884, he spent a winter in Vienna, returning to become a house physician at St. Bartholomew’s. He was for a time physician to the Marylebone General Dispensary and assistant physician to the West London Hospital. He was elected assistant physician to the Hospital for Sick Children in 1892 and physician in 1899, but it was not until 1903 that he was made assistant physician to St. Bartholomew’s, having previously held a series of junior appointments; he had charge of the children’s department from 1904 to 1910, lectured on chemical pathology, and became full physician in 1912. During the War of 1914-1918, after serving in the 1st London General Hospital, he was sent out as a consultant, with the rank of colonel, to Malta, where he remained until 1919. He was created C.M.G. in 1916 and raised to K.C.M.G. in 1919. In the latter year he returned to St. Bartholomew’s as director of its newly-formed medical unit, but in 1920 accepted an invitation to succeed Osier as Regius professor of medicine at Oxford. There he took an active part in University affairs and was appointed a Statutory Commissioner for the University in 1922. He was a member of the Medical Research Council from 1923 to 1928. Garrod examined for the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester, and for the Conjoint Board, and at the Royal College of Physicians delivered the Bradshaw Lecture in 1900, the Croonian Lectures in 1908 and the Harveian Oration in 1924.

In his early years Garrod wrote papers on chorea, rheumatism and rheumatoid arthritis. As a result of his work at the West London Hospital, he published in 1890 A Treatise on Rheumatism and Rheumatoid Arthritis which was intended to present a consistent picture of rheumatism as a systemic disease affecting not only the joints but all tissues of the body. He wished to confine the term rheumatism to a definite set of phenomena which he believed depended upon a specific morbid process. He also contributed articles to Allbutt’s System of Medicine, in which he drew the historic distinction between rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis for the first time. However, he will probably be chiefly remembered for his original work on chemical pathology, reported in scientific journals and in lectures. He was a born investigator and devoted much time to original laboratory research. As a result of his early interest in children’s diseases, he joined his colleagues F. R. Batten and Hugh Thursfield in editing a large work on Diseases of Children (1913). A more general work was The Inborn Factors in Disease (1931).

Garrod married in 1886, Laura Elisabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Smith, Bart, K.C.V.O, F.R.C.S, surgeon to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. They had three sons, all of whom lost their lives in the 1914-1918 War, and one daughter. On resigning his chair at Oxford in 1927, he lived at Melton in Suffolk till 1930 and thereafter at Cambridge, where he died.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1936; B.M.J., 1936; D.N.B., 1931-40, 308; Biog. details left by Dr. Garrod, in R.C.P. Library; Al.Oxon., ii, 511]

(Volume IV, page 347)

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