Lives of the fellows

Sir Charles Mansfield Clarke

b.28 May 1782 d.7 Sept 1857
MD Lambeth Hon DCL Oxon Hon MA Cantab MRCS FRS FRCP(1836)

Charles Mansfield Clarke was the son of a surgeon, John Clarke of Chancery Lane, London, and brother of a well-known obstetrician, John Clarke (1758-1815). After leaving St Paul’s School, he received his medical training at St George’s Hospital and the Hunterian School of Medicine. Having qualified, he spent two years as assistant surgeon in the Hertfordshire Militia. After a further period as surgeon with the 3rd Foot Guards, he left the army and, on his brother’s persuasion, specialised in midwifery and in women’s and children’s diseases. Between the years 1804 and 1821, he delivered regular courses of lectures on these subjects. He was surgeon to Queen Charlotte’s Lying-In Hospital until about 1821. In 1814 and 1821 he published, in two parts, his only work of note, Observations on those Diseases of Women which are attended by Discharges. His reputation as a practitioner during these years reached great heights and numerous honours were bestowed on him, including the Fellowship of the Royal Society in 1825, the appointment of Physician to Queen Adelaide in 1830, a baronetcy in 1831, and honorary degrees at Cambridge and Oxford in 1842 and 1845. Highly esteemed within the profession, he was the personal friend of its leading celebrities, but would go out of his way to attend the families of unknown doctors. He was president, and an enthusiastic supporter, of the Society for the Relief of the Widows and Orphans of Medical Men.

G H Brown

[References:Lancet,1857;DNB,x,419]

(Volume IV, page 12)

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