b.1808 d.14 August 1883
MRCS(1830) MD Edin(1831) FRCP(1852)
Robert Boyd qualified as M.R.C.S. in 1830 and graduated as M.D. of Edinburgh in 1831. His first employment was as resident physician to the Marylebone Workhouse Infirmary. In 1848 his aptitude for work on insanity was recognised by his appointment as physician and superintendent of the Somerset County Lunatic Asylum. After retiring from this post, he managed his own private asylum at Southall Park, and it was in an attempt to save his patients from a disastrous fire at this institution that he and his second son lost their lives. Boyd was known to the profession for his numerous contributions to the literature of pathology and psychological medicine rather than for any reforms in the treatment of the insane such as those which brought fame to Conolly and his disciples. The majority of his papers were statistical in content and included Tables of the Weights of the Human Body and Internal Organs (1861), Tumours of the Brain (1865), and The Weight of the Brain at Different Ages and in Various Diseases (1875). In 1870 he was president of the Medico-Psychological Association and, in his address, strongly advocated the admission of students to infirmaries to gain both a knowledge of insanity and experience of morbid anatomy. Thorough in all his work, Boyd was reserved and taciturn in disposition. He was survived by his eldest son and four daughters.
G H Brown
[Lancet, 1883; B.M.J., 1883; Medical Times and Gazette, 1883; D.N.B., vi, 100]
(Volume IV, page 65)
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