Lives of the fellows

William Henry Octavius Sankey

b.1814 d.8 March 1889

Like so many Fellows of the Royal College of Physicians, Sankey was himself the son of a doctor. He was educated at Christ’s Hospital, in Brussels, and at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, qualifying in 1834. After a short experience of private practice at Margate, he became resident medical officer at the London Fever Hospital and was largely responsible for the building and organisation of the new Fever Hospital in Liverpool Road, Islington, which was opened in 1849. Here he remained in charge for five years and was closely associated with Sir William Jenner in the work that established the classification of typhus and typhoid fevers as distinct clinical entities. After this, however, Sankey was drawn to the study of mental diseases, and in 1854 became the head of the female side of the Middlesex County Asylum at Hanwell, where he was an advocate of the kindlier treatment of lunatics and an opponent of all unnecessary restraint and harshness. In 1864, largely owing to reasons of health, he went into private mental practice at Sandy-well Park, Gloucestershire, and finally, in 1882, at Boreatton Park, Shrewsbury. From 1864 to 1878, he was lecturer on mental diseases at University College, London.

G H Brown

[B.M.J., 1889]

(Volume IV, page 147)

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