Lives of the fellows

Howard Henry Tooth

b.22 April 1856 d.13 May 1925
CB(1918) CMG(1901) BA Cantab(1877) MA MD Hon MD Malta MRCS FRCP(1888)

Howard Tooth was born at Hove, the eldest child of Frederick Tooth. He went to school at Rugby and read natural sciences at St. John’s College, Cambridge, graduating as B.A. in 1877. He did his clinical training at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, qualifying in 1880, and held a number of junior appointments there before his election as assistant physician in 1895. He became full physician in 1906 and consulting physician in 1921. Tooth was also connected throughout his career with the Metropolitan Hospital, to which he was appointed assistant physician in 1881, physician in 1889 and consulting physician in 1896, and with the National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic, where he became assistant physician in 1887, physician in 1907 and consulting physician in 1921. During the Boer War he served as physician to the Portland Hospital in South Africa, and after his return he commanded the Medical Unit of the London University O.T.C. During the first half of the 1914-1918 War he was in charge of the 1st London General Hospital and after 1916 he acted as consulting physician, with the rank of colonel, firstly at Malta and latterly with the forces in Italy. He was created C.M.G. in 1901 and C.B. in 1918. His writings, like his Goulstonian Lectures of 1889, dealt mainly with neurology. He became a Censor of the Royal College of Physicians, and examiner on medicine for the Universities of Cambridge and Durham. He was a cheerful and popular figure, but his lack of incisiveness, as well as the handicap of ill health, contributed to his failure to achieve the success promised by his early career. He was a talented musician, an accomplished worker in metal and wood, and a keen cyclist and fisherman, and in retirement acquired a taste for gardening. Tooth was twice married: firstly, in 1881 to Mary Beatrice, daughter of Edward Price, by whom he had a daughter, and, secondly, in 1907 to Helen Katherine, daughter of Rev. Charles Chilver of Midhurst, by whom he had a daughter and two sons. He died at his home at Hadleigh, Suffolk.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1925; B.M.J., 1925; Presidential Address to R.C.P., 1926, 23]

(Volume IV, page 331)

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