Lives of the fellows

Charles Alexander Lockhart Robertson

b.4 April 1825 d.18 May 1897
MB Cantab(1856) BM Oxon(1857) MD St And MD Cantab LRCS Edin FRCP Edin FRCP(1868)

Lockhart Robertson was born at Edinburgh, the son of John Argyll Robertson, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Having qualified at Edinburgh in 1845, he joined the army in 1846 and was appointed assistant surgeon to Yarmouth Army Lunatic Asylum. In 1850, however, he resigned in order to be free to resume his medical studies at Caius College, Cambridge, where he took the degree of M.B. in 1856. Settling in London, he became secretary of the newly-formed Medico-Psychological Association and an editor of the Journal of Mental Science. In 1859 he moved to Haywards Heath to take up the post of medical superintendent of the Sussex County Asylum, where during the next eleven years his adoption of the non-restraint system attracted visitors from all parts of Europe. In the year 1860 he was also Linacre demonstrator of anatomy at Oxford, where he had been admitted ad eundem to the degree of B.M. three years earlier. Robertson’s last appointment, which he held from 1870 to 1896, was as a Lord Chancellor’s visitor in lunacy. He was a man of strong opinions, the uncompromising opponent of any treatment of lunatics that seemed inhuman, and, although he wrote little, his practical work was of considerable formative influence. He was sociable by nature, and few men of his time belonged to so many clubs. Robertson married in 1884 Mabel, daughter of Colonel Rochfort of the Madras Army. He was a brother of Argyll Robertson, a leading ophthalmologist. He died at Exmouth.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1897; B.M.J., 1897; Roll of Army Medical Service, 4898; Biog.Hist.of Caius College, ii, 299; Al.Oxon., iii, 1210]

(Volume IV, page 165)

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