Lives of the fellows

William Senhouse Kirkes

b.1823 d.8 December 1864
MD Berlin(1846) FRCP(1855)

William Kirkes was born at Holker, Lancashire. He was sent as a boy to the Cartmel Grammar School in Lancashire and then, at the age of thirteen, apprenticed to surgeons in partnership at Lancaster. He entered St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in 1841 and distinguished himself as a student, being first in one subject in 1842, first in another in 1843 and first in no less than four in 1844. He remained closely connected with St. Bartholomew’s after he had taken the Berlin M.D. degree in 1846. He was made medical registar and demonstrator of morbid anatomy in 1848, assistant physician in 1854, and physician in 1864, and lectured on botany and medicine. In 1848 he and Sir James Paget published a Handbook of Physiology which, under a succession of editors, passed through numerous editions and remained popular with generations of students. His most original work was a paper in 1852 on embolism—the first English essay on the subject. He gave the Goulstonian Lectures at the Royal College of Physicians in 1856. Shortly before his death, he was nominated to a committee appointed by the Government to enquire into venereal disease.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1864; B.M.J., 1864; Moore, ii, 567; D.N.B., 1st Suppl., iii, 69]

(Volume IV, page 80)

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