Lives of the fellows

Frederick (Sir) Taylor

b.6 April 1847 d.2 December 1920
BART MB Lond(1868) MD MRCS FRCP(1879)

Frederick Taylor was born at Kennington, the son of David Taylor, a general practitioner. He was educated at Epsom and Guy’s Hospital. Having won many honours as a student, he graduated as M.B. in 1868 and was appointed a demonstrator of anatomy at Guy’s two years later. He was elected assistant physician in 1873, physician in 1885 and consulting physician in 1907, jointly edited the Reports from 1874 to 1884, filled the office of dean of the Medical School from 1874 to 1888 with conspicuous success, and lectured successively on hygiene and dermatology, materia medica, and medicine. He was also, for varying periods, on the staffs of the Evelina Hospital for Children, the Seamen’s Hospital at Greenwich, the National Hospital for Diseases of the Heart and the Royal School for Deaf Children. He examined for Cambridge, London, Durham, Birmingham and Belfast Universities and the Conjoint Board, and represented London University on the General Medical Council from 1909 to 1918. To the Royal College of Physicians he gave distinguished service as Lumleian Lecturer in 1904, Harveian Orator in 1907, Censor, and finally President from 1915 to 1918. He also held the presidency of the Royal Society of Medicine. He was created a baronet in 1917.

To the profession at large, Taylor was known as the author of The Practice of Medicine, which, first published in 1890, became a standard textbook for many generations of students, rivalled only in its later years by Osler’s great work. An eleventh edition appeared in 1918, carefully revised, like its predecessors, by Taylor himself. As a teacher, he was inclined to be too discursive and indecisive for the ordinary student; as an examiner, he was exacting but just. He was a fine administrator. Taylor was a keen games player and an accomplished artist. He married in 1884 Helen Mary, daughter of Frederick Manby of East Rudham, Norfolk, and had two sons and one daughter.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1920; B.M.J., 1920; Guy’s Hospital Reports, 1923, lxxiii, 117]

(Volume IV, page 268)

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