Lives of the fellows

George Henry (Sir) Savage

b.12 November 1842 d.5 July 1921
MD Lond MRCS FRCP(1885)

The son of a chemist, George Savage was born and educated at Brighton. He received his medical training at the Sussex County Hospital and Guy’s Hospital, winning the Treasurer’s gold medal and qualifying in 1864. Having held resident appointments both at Guy’s and the Bethlem Royal Hospital, he passed the next few years in general practice at Alston Moor, Cumberland. He returned, however, to Bethlem Hospital as assistant medical officer in 1872, and after six years succeeded to the post of resident physician, which he retained till 1888. He was also consulting physician to the Royal Institution for the Mentally Deficient, Earlswood, for twenty years and lecturer on mental diseases at Guy’s. He examined in mental pathology for London University, and was elected to the presidency of the Medico-Psychological Association in 1886. To the Royal College of Physicians he delivered the Lumleian Lectures of 1907 and the Harveian Oration of 1909. With Hack Tuke, he was a joint-editor of the Journal of Mental Science for a time and his textbook on Insanity and Allied Neuroses (1884) met with a favourable reception. Savage’s lectures at Guy’s and his teaching in the wards of Bethlem Hospital drew large audiences of postgraduate students from the Dominions and the United States, and in private practice he achieved notable success, being consulted often by the Home Office in cases of difficulty. He was knighted in 1912. Savage was a big, sociable man of many interests, a strong supporter of medical education for women, and a keen Alpine climber, golfer, botanist and fisherman. When he adopted the dry-fly variety of fishing, it was three years before he caught a trout by this method, but his persistence was rewarded with ultimate success. He married, firstly, in 1867 Margaret, daughter of Jacob Walton of Alston Moor, and, secondly, in 1882 a daughter of H. Gawen Sutton, F.R.C.P, and left a son and a daughter. He died at Devonshire Place, London.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1921; B.M.J., 1921]

(Volume IV, page 306)

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