Lives of the fellows

Sir George Burrows

b.28 Nov 1801 d.12 Dec 1887
BA MD Hon LLD Cantab Hon DCL Oxon FRCP (1832) FRS

George Burrows was born in London, the son of George Man Burrows, F.R.C.P, by his wife Sophia, daughter of Thomas Druce of Chancery Lane. He went to school at Ealing, the future Cardinal Newman being among his fellow pupils, and studied at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, before going up to Caius College, Cambridge, in 1820. As an undergraduate he distinguished himself both at work and in sport, being a prominent cricketer and oarsman as well as successively a scholar, Tancred student and tenth wrangler. He was elected a fellow of his College after taking his B.A. degree in 1825. A year later, he graduated as M.B. and resumed his medical studies at St. Bartholomew’s, which were followed by visits to Paris, Pavia and the German universities. Three years after obtaining his Cambridge Licence, he was, in 1832, appointed joint lecturer on medical jurisprudence at St. Bartholomew’s. In 1834 he was made assistant physician and in 1836 joint lecturer on medicine. In 1841 he was promoted to be full physician, an office which he held for twenty-two years, and became sole lecturer on medicine. He was also physician to Christ’s Hospital for many years. His most notable service, however, was given to the Royal College of Physicians, where, having delivered the Goulstonian Lectures in 1834, the Croonian in 1835-36 and the Lumleian in 1843-44, he rose to be Senior Censor and finally, from 1871 to 1876, President. He was appointed Physician-Extraordinary to the Queen in 1870 and Physician-in-Ordinary three years later; he received his baronetcy in 1874.

From its earliest days, he was connected with the B.M.A., whose founder, Sir Charles Hastings, was his cousin. He himself held office as president in 1862. His only contributions to medical literature were a book on The Disorders of the Cerebral Circulation (1846) and articles on measles, scarlet fever and haemorrhage in Tweedie’s Library of Medicine. Both as a teacher and in his practice, he was the thorough, competent exponent of established methods. In appearance, he was a handsome man, grave and impressive.

Burrows in 1834 married Elinor, daughter of John Abernethy, the surgeon, and had eight children, of whom five predeceased him. He died at Cavendish Square, London, and was buried at Highgate.

Lancet, 1887.
B.M.J., 1887.
St. Bart.'s Hospital Reports, 1887, xxiii, p. Xxx.
Biog.Hist.of Caius College, ii, 179.
D.N.B., 1st Suppl., iI, 345

(Volume IV, page 7)

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