Lives of the fellows

Thomas Claye Shaw

b.1841 d.14 January 1927
BA Lond(1860) MB(1862) MD MRCS LSA FRCP(1880)

Thomas Claye Shaw was born at Stockport, the son of a chemist. He was educated at King’s College. London, taking the B.A. degree in 1860 and qualifying in 1864. After graduating as M.B. with distinction two years later, he turned to the study of insanity and obtained a junior post at Colney Hatch Asylum. He then became medical superintendent, first, of a temporary hospital for relapsing fever at Hampstead, then of the Metropolitan Asylum, Leavesden, and finally of the Middlesex County Asylum at Banstead. His reputation at Banstead grew to be such that the L.C.C. enlisted his services as its principal adviser on the construction of the new asylum at Claybury and accepted his recommendation of Robert Armstrong-Jones as its first director. He lectured on psychological medicine at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, becoming eventually emeritus lecturer, and on clinical insanity at St. Luke’s Hospital. He examined both for London University and for the Board of Army Medical Studies.

Claye Shaw was a popular lecturer, outspoken and dogmatic. His writings, such as Ex-Cathedra Essays on Insanity (1904), were remarkable for their originality. He was in advance of his time in advocating the establishment of mental clinics in general hospitals, and he was active in founding the After-Care Association. Yet he would satirise modern developments in thought and dress and the treatment of women. An amateur actor of ability, a keen musician and a good linguist, he was rugged and fearless, but at the same time kindly and quaintly humorous. He married Hannah Gratrix, daughter of J. Ridgway of Leavesden, and had two daughters. In retirement, he lived at Cheltenham.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1927; B.M.J., 1927; Lyle, 159; Presidential Address to R.C.P., 1927, 40]

(Volume IV, page 277)

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