Lives of the fellows

Arthur Ernest Sansom

b.13 May 1838 d.10 March 1907

Arthur Sansom, the son of William Sansom, farmer, and his wife, Maria Sophia, was born at Corsham in Wiltshire, and educated at Queenwood College, Stockbridge, and privately in Chippenham. His medical studies at King’s College, London, were distinguished by the award of a Warneford scholarship in 1855 and the Leathes prize in 1857. Having visited Paris, he graduated in 1859 and then received junior appointments at King’s. He was elected assistant physician to the London Hospital in 1874 and physician in 1890 and lectured in its Medical School on medical jurisprudence and public health. Other hospitals at which he held appointments were the North-Eastern Hospital for Children, the Royal Albert Orphan Asylum and the Royal Hospital for Diseases of the Chest. In 1865 he wrote a highly practical book on Chloroform; its Action and Administration. Another publication, The Antiseptic System (1871), stressing the significance of Pasteur’s work, although received coldly at the time, gained ample confirmation from Lister’s work in due course. Subsequently he was recognised as an authority on diseases of the heart and his Diagnosis of Diseases of the Heart and Thoracic Aorta (1876) was regarded as a standard work. He also contributed on this subject to Allbutt’s System of Medicine. He delivered the Lettsomian Lectures to the Medical Society of London in 1886. Sansom was a prominent freemason. He married Agnes, daughter of Henry Weaver of Devizes, county surveyor of Wiltshire, and had six children. He died at Bournemouth.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1907; B.M.J., 1907; Lyle, 86]

(Volume IV, page 260)

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