Lives of the fellows

Frederick Henry Horatio Akbar Mahomed

b.April 1849 d.22 November 1884
MD Brux MB Cantab(1881) MRCS FRCP(1880)

Frederick Mahomed’s grandfather was an Indian who married an Englishwoman and lived to the age of 101; his father, Frederick Mahomed, was a proprietor of Turkish baths at Brighton. He first studied medicine at the Sussex County Hospital and then entered Guy’s Hospital in 1869. Second prizeman in 1870 and first prizeman in 1871, he was noted as a student for his experiments with the sphygmograph and published, in 1872, a paper which did much to re-establish its credit with physicians. In the same year he qualified and obtained a minor post at the Highgate Infirmary. From 1873 to 1875 he held a resident appointment at the London Fever Hospital. In this period he prepared his most important paper, The Etiology of Bright's Disease and the Pre-albuminuric Stage. Two years at St. Mary’s Hospital intervened before he returned in 1877 to Guy’s as medical registrar. Realising that his lack of a good English degree would handicap his future promotion, he now matriculated at Cambridge and, after daily work at the Hospital, would journey to Cambridge in the evening to record the necessary residence at Caius, returning to London in the early morning. His enterprise was rewarded by his graduation as M.B. in 1881 and the appointments of assistant physician and demonstrator of morbid anatomy at Guy’s.

As well as holding several other appointments, including those of physician to the London Fever Hospital and Western General Dispensary, Mahomed took a keen interest in the affairs of the Royal College of Physicians and of medical societies, and contributed papers on a variety of subjects, including further reports on Bright’s disease (1879, 1881), to their journals. Enthusiasm was the keynote of his character — a restless, unabashed, enthusiasm which sometimes drove him into impulsive actions or over-hasty conclusions, but which nevertheless so impressed its intellectual purpose upon his fellows that he was regarded as one of the most promising physicians of his generation, when his career was cut short by typhoid at the early age of thirty-five. He had been invited to deliver the Bradshaw Lecture at the Royal College of Physicians in 1885. Mahomed was twice married and left several children.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1884; B.M.J., 1884; Wilks and Bettany, 306; D.N.B., xxxv, 333; Biog.Hist.of Caius College, ii, 428]

(Volume IV, page 276)

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