Lives of the fellows

Stephen (Sir) Mackenzie

b.14 October 1844 d.3 September 1909
MB CM Aberd(1873) MD MRCS FRCP(1879)

Stephen Mackenzie was born at Leytonstone, the seventh child of Stephen Mackenzie, a surgeon, and his wife Margaret Frances, daughter of Adam Harvey, wine merchant, of Lewes. He went to school at Christ’s Hospital, and began his medical training as an apprentice at Wellingborough. The London Hospital was his medical school, but, after qualifying in 1869 and holding resident appointments there, he studied at Aberdeen, graduating as M.B, C.M, with highest honours, in 1873, and at Berlin, where Osier was among his colleagues. He became assistant physician to the London Hospital, with charge of its skin department, in 1874, lecturer in pathology in 1877, physician and lecturer on medicine in 1886 and consulting physician in 1905. He was physician also to the London Ophthalmic (Moorfields) Hospital from 1884 to 1905. Mackenzie was one of the first to make routine use of the ophthalmoscope, by means of which he recognised certain diagnostic changes in the retina and its blood vessels, such as albuminuric retinitis; and his knowledge in this field was of great assistance to Hughlings Jackson in his work on cerebral tumours. Mackenzie was an authority, too, on skin diseases and the various forms of anaemia, as well as a highly competent general physician. His all-round experience and teaching ability helped to revive the London Hospital Medical School after a period of relative stagnation. He delivered the Lettsomian Lectures to the Medical Society of London in 1891 and contributed to Quain’s Dictionary of Medicine and Allbutt’s System of Medicine. In middle age he developed an increasing liability to asthma which compelled him to spend the winter months in Egypt, and he retired soon after receiving his knighthood in 1903. He married in 1879 Helen, daughter of Dr. Benjamin Dulley of Wellingborough, with whom he had served his apprenticeship, and had three sons and one daughter. Sir Morell Mackenzie, physician to the London Hospital, was his elder brother.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1909; B.M.J., 1909; D.N.B., 2nd Suppl, ii, 529]

(Volume IV, page 266)

<< Back to List