Lives of the fellows

James Ross

b.11 February 1837 d.25 February 1892
MB CM Aberd(1863) MD LLD FRCP(1882)

James Ross was born at Kingussie, Inverness-shire, the son of John Ross, a farmer, and educated at the parish school at Laggan and the Normal School in Edinburgh. Giving up his intention to become a teacher, he entered Aberdeen University to read medicine and in 1863 graduated as M.B, C.M, with highest honours. After making two voyages in a Greenland whaler, he began general practice at Knottingley in Yorkshire. Two years later he moved to Burnley and thence, after a few months, to Waterfoot in the Rossendale valley. There he found time to contribute learned articles to the Practitioner. In 1876 he abandoned his successful practice on obtaining the posts of pathologist at the Manchester Royal Infirmary and physician to the children’s department of the Southern Hospital. The latter connection he retained for only two years, but at the Infirmary he became in 1878 assistant physician and in 1888 full physician. Here he rapidly won fame as a neurologist, for which his Treatise on the Diseases of the Nervous System (1881) and his Handbook on the Diseases of the Nervous System (1885) were largely responsible. His study of aphasia in 1887 was perhaps the most comprehensive that had then appeared. He was appointed joint professor of medicine at Owens College in 1887. Ross was an unostentatious and lovable man with an endearing absentmindedness caused by his preoccupation with philosophical problems. He married in 1869 a Miss Bolton, niece of Dr. Crabtree whom he had succeeded at Waterfoot. He died in Manchester.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1892; B.M.J., 1892; Aberdeen University, Roll of Graduates, 1860-1900, 1906, 465]

(Volume IV, page 290)

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