Lives of the fellows

William Cayley

b.14 December 1836 d.17 December 1916
MD Lond FRCP(1872)

William Cayley was born at Stamford in Lincolnshire, the fifth son of Edward Cayley, banker and cadet of an old Yorkshire family. He was educated at Shrewsbury and King’s College, London, where he qualified in 1859. After postgraduate study of pathology at Vienna, he was appointed, in 1863, demonstrator of morbid anatomy at the Middlesex Hospital and, in 1870, assistant physician. He lectured on pathological anatomy from 1866 until his promotion to full physician in 1876, and then on medicine. He was also physician to the London Fever Hospital for twenty years and to the North-Eastern Hospital for Children for fifteen years. At the Royal College of Physicians, he was Senior Censor, and delivered the Croonian Lectures in 1880. Cayley’s abilities as a physician were recognised by his colleagues as being of the highest order. But he was reticent to a fault and lacking in the bedside manner and the capacity for small talk that often contribute to popular success. A lover of flowers and the classics he was an expert mountaineer, spending his annual holidays in Switzerland and the Tyrol. A bachelor, non-smoker and teetotaller, he died in retirement at Richmond.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1916; B.M.J., 1916]

(Volume IV, page 200)

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