Lives of the fellows

John James Pringle

b.17 June 1855 d.18 December 1923
MB CM Edin(1876) FRCP(1891)

J. J. Pringle, the son of Andrew Pringle, M.D, of Borgue, Kirkcudbrightshire, was educated at Merchiston School and Edinburgh University. Having graduated as M.B, C.M. in 1876, he acted as house physician at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and then completed his training with visits to the Dublin, Vienna, Paris and Berlin schools. He settled in London in 1882, becoming clinical assistant at the Moorfields Ophthalmic Hospital and physician to the Royal Hospital for Diseases of the Chest. In 1885, after two years as registrar, he was elected assistant physician to the Middlesex Hospital. He lectured on practical medicine from 1892 till his promotion to full physician in 1895 and was in charge of the skin department from 1888 until his retirement in 1920. It was as a dermatologist that he made his name — not so much by his few writings, although these included articles in Quain’s Dictionary and Allbutt’s System of Medicine, as through his influence on the Dermatological Society of London, which he helped to found, and as a teacher. Five of his assistants at the Middlesex Hospital themselves became heads of dermatological departments in other hospitals. During the 1914-1918 War, he took charge of the department for diseases of the skin at the 3rd London General Hospital and served as a consultant to military hospitals. Under a cover of wit, insouciance and elegance, Pringle concealed a great capacity for hard work and much kindness of heart. He was a lover of music, art and good living, and a fine linguist in French and German. He died at Christchurch, New Zealand, where he had gone for the sake of his health.

G H Brown

[Times, 5 Jan. 1923; Personal memoirs, in R.C.P. Library]

(Volume IV, page 352)

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