Lives of the fellows

Richard Walter Marsden

b.1 April 1868 d.10 July 1949
BSc Manch(1887) MB ChB Manch(1892) MD Manch(1896) DPH Manch(1898) MRCS LRCP(1891) MRCP(1899) FRCP(1929)

Richard Marsden was the son of Henry Marsden, J.P., a wholesale clothing trader, and Mary Bailey, and had his education in his native Manchester at the Grammar School and Owens College. He was well-qualified; by 1898 he had taken his M.B. and D.P.H., and was therefore equipped for his first administrative post as medical superintendent of Monsall Fever Hospital in 1901. Marsden belonged to that disappearing type of general physician with a flair for administration, who could make a large poor-law hospital into a first-class training school for nurses.

Successive generations of residents remembered his excellent tuition, and his capacity to present the patient as a whole individual with his illness in proper perspective, for he had a wide knowledge of medicine and a keen clinical sense. From 1901 to 1904 he was honorary physician for diseases of children at the Manchester Northern Hospital, and from 1923 to 1926 University lecturer in tuberculosis. It was his long service as its chief from 1906 to 1933 that gave Crumpsall Hospital its high reputation for efficient treatment and for its output of well-trained young doctors.

He had retired in 1933, but at the age of seventy-one took charge of an Emergency Medical Service Hospital on the outbreak of war in 1939, and did not retire finally until 1946. He was twice married. His first wife, Mary Sharpe, by whom he had three sons who qualified in medicine, died in 1936; in 1947 he married Iris Beatrice, daughter of the Rev. J. E. Whittaker, of Manchester.

Richard R Trail

[Brit.med.J., 1949, 2, 285 (p); Lancet, 1949, 2, 221-2.]

(Volume V, page 267)

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