Lives of the fellows

William Wood

b.16 September 1816 d.27 August 1892
MD St And FRCP(1864)

William Wood’s father was a medical officer in the 79th Light Infantry and his mother the daughter of Sir John Ramsden, Bart. He studied medicine at University College, where he gained many distinctions, including the gold medal for anatomy, and, after qualifying, at Paris. He returned to become in 1845 principal resident medical officer to the Bethlem Royal Hospital, where he adopted the new and more humane methods of treating mental patients advocated by Conolly. Obstruction to his reforms in the female wards, however, led to his resignation in 1852, and he next became part proprietor — later sole proprietor — of a private asylum known as Kensington House, transferred in 1872 to the Priory, Roe-hampton; subsequently he established an adjunct to this at Mendip. Wood carried on a large consulting practice in mental diseases and was physician to St. Luke’s Hospital for the Insane from 1861 to 1891. He was frequently engaged in important legal cases where questions of insanity arose, and exercised a considerable influence on the framing of the Lunacy Act of 1890. He was a president of the Medico-Psychological Association of Great Britain and Ireland. An energetic, kindly man, he was ever a friend to those in trouble and the supporter of numerous charities.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1892; B.M.J., 1892; E. G. O’Donoghue, The Story of Bethlehem Hospital, 1914, 332]

(Volume IV, page 143)

<< Back to List