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Dr Jonathan Hutchinson

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Dr Jonathan Hutchinson Famous memorial

Birth
Selby, Selby District, North Yorkshire, England
Death
25 Jun 1913 (aged 84)
Haslemere, Waverley Borough, Surrey, England
Burial
Haslemere, Waverley Borough, Surrey, England Add to Map
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Medical Pioneer. He gained world-wide recognition for his pioneer research of Congenital Syphilis. Living in Victorian England before antibiotics when syphilis had no sure cure, adult patients had a prognoses of insanity from brain damage. This was not the limit of this disease as these female patients also transmitted the disease through the placenta to the newborn giving them Congenital Syphilis. As a surgeon to the London Hospital from 1859 to 1883 and professor of surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons from 1879 to 1883, he became an authority on eye and skin diseases such as leprosy, yet his lifelong study was syphilis. He introduced the “Hutchinson's Triad” for the diagnosis of the inherited disease: first, Hutchinson's teeth or notched, narrow-edged permanent incisors; second, interstitial Keratitis, an inflammation with occlusion of the eye's cornea causing blindness; and third, labyrinthine disease, a disorder of the inner ear involving the 8th cranial nerve and deafness. In this era, nearly half of these infected babies died in the uterus or shortly after birth from failure to thrive. Later, these infants could show abnormal bone structure and mental retardation. Often unexplained deafness, blindness, and mental retardation in children could be traced back to a missed diagnose of Congenital Syphilis. This explains the importance of Hutchinson's research and the only cure he had to offer was abstinence for the adults. Born the second of twelve children, his parents were Jonathan Hutchinson, a wealthy merchant in York, and his wife Elizabeth Massey. Besides him and his father, his great grandfather and his grandfather were named “Jonathan Hutchinson”. With his governess teaching him, he spoke French, German, Latin, and Greek at the age of five. He became a five-year apprentice of Caleb Williams, an apothecary and surgeon in York and attended York Medical School. After receiving his qualification from St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London in 1850, he became involved with several hospitals in Greater London: After studying at Moorefield in 1851, he was an ophthalmologist at the London Ophthalmic Hospital . In 1854, he practiced surgery at St. Bartholomew's Hospital. He was venereologist to Lock Hospital, physician to the City of London Chest Hospital, and general surgeon to London and Metropolitan Hospitals. During his time at London Hospital, he was working at Blackfriars Hospital for Disease of the Skin, where he was elected to staff in 1867 and becoming senior surgeon. He was the first to document that skin lesions occur during renal failure. He studied with Dr. James Paget, which Paget's Disease was named. During his career studying syphilis, he saw, according to sources, at least one million patients infected with the disease living in London. He traveled to Africa and Asia to study medicine. He was a member of the Dermatological Society of London and a fellow at the Royal College of Surgeons from 1862. In 1857, he became a long-time friend with a colleague John Hughlings Jackson, who was also from York. While working in London, they shared a house with two other ophthalmologists, Edward Nettleship, an assistant to Hutchinson, and Waren Tay. His family home was maintained in Haselmere where his wife, Jane West, and their ten children lived. He and Jackson wrote weekly medical articles for the newspaper, “Medical Time and Gazett,” gaining notoriety about the London's medical community. For a brief period of time, he was the editor of the British Medical Journal. His medical bibliography staggeringly consists of between 1,000 and 1,200 published reports, and he published an eleven-volume text, “Archives of Surgery,” which was written in a matter that today's layperson would comprehend. In 1908 at the age of 80, he was knighted for his medical research. Being described as a workaholic, Hutchinson was president of several organizations: Pathological Society from 1879 to 1880, Ophthalmology Society of Great Britain from 1884 to 1885, Royal College of Surgeon in 1889, Neurological Society in 1887, Medical Society of London in 1892, Royal Medical and Chirugical Society from 1894 to 1896 and the International Dermatological Congress in 1896. After his wife's death, he opened a successful museum in a barn in Haselmere and often gave lectures there on a variety of subjects. Of course, Hutchinson did not live to see antibiotics and had no way of knowing that Congenital Syphilis alters the human DNA and causes problems for further generations, but his early research was a stepping-stone. He died at home in Haselmere and was “buried in the old parish churchyard cemetery next to his wife.”
Medical Pioneer. He gained world-wide recognition for his pioneer research of Congenital Syphilis. Living in Victorian England before antibiotics when syphilis had no sure cure, adult patients had a prognoses of insanity from brain damage. This was not the limit of this disease as these female patients also transmitted the disease through the placenta to the newborn giving them Congenital Syphilis. As a surgeon to the London Hospital from 1859 to 1883 and professor of surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons from 1879 to 1883, he became an authority on eye and skin diseases such as leprosy, yet his lifelong study was syphilis. He introduced the “Hutchinson's Triad” for the diagnosis of the inherited disease: first, Hutchinson's teeth or notched, narrow-edged permanent incisors; second, interstitial Keratitis, an inflammation with occlusion of the eye's cornea causing blindness; and third, labyrinthine disease, a disorder of the inner ear involving the 8th cranial nerve and deafness. In this era, nearly half of these infected babies died in the uterus or shortly after birth from failure to thrive. Later, these infants could show abnormal bone structure and mental retardation. Often unexplained deafness, blindness, and mental retardation in children could be traced back to a missed diagnose of Congenital Syphilis. This explains the importance of Hutchinson's research and the only cure he had to offer was abstinence for the adults. Born the second of twelve children, his parents were Jonathan Hutchinson, a wealthy merchant in York, and his wife Elizabeth Massey. Besides him and his father, his great grandfather and his grandfather were named “Jonathan Hutchinson”. With his governess teaching him, he spoke French, German, Latin, and Greek at the age of five. He became a five-year apprentice of Caleb Williams, an apothecary and surgeon in York and attended York Medical School. After receiving his qualification from St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London in 1850, he became involved with several hospitals in Greater London: After studying at Moorefield in 1851, he was an ophthalmologist at the London Ophthalmic Hospital . In 1854, he practiced surgery at St. Bartholomew's Hospital. He was venereologist to Lock Hospital, physician to the City of London Chest Hospital, and general surgeon to London and Metropolitan Hospitals. During his time at London Hospital, he was working at Blackfriars Hospital for Disease of the Skin, where he was elected to staff in 1867 and becoming senior surgeon. He was the first to document that skin lesions occur during renal failure. He studied with Dr. James Paget, which Paget's Disease was named. During his career studying syphilis, he saw, according to sources, at least one million patients infected with the disease living in London. He traveled to Africa and Asia to study medicine. He was a member of the Dermatological Society of London and a fellow at the Royal College of Surgeons from 1862. In 1857, he became a long-time friend with a colleague John Hughlings Jackson, who was also from York. While working in London, they shared a house with two other ophthalmologists, Edward Nettleship, an assistant to Hutchinson, and Waren Tay. His family home was maintained in Haselmere where his wife, Jane West, and their ten children lived. He and Jackson wrote weekly medical articles for the newspaper, “Medical Time and Gazett,” gaining notoriety about the London's medical community. For a brief period of time, he was the editor of the British Medical Journal. His medical bibliography staggeringly consists of between 1,000 and 1,200 published reports, and he published an eleven-volume text, “Archives of Surgery,” which was written in a matter that today's layperson would comprehend. In 1908 at the age of 80, he was knighted for his medical research. Being described as a workaholic, Hutchinson was president of several organizations: Pathological Society from 1879 to 1880, Ophthalmology Society of Great Britain from 1884 to 1885, Royal College of Surgeon in 1889, Neurological Society in 1887, Medical Society of London in 1892, Royal Medical and Chirugical Society from 1894 to 1896 and the International Dermatological Congress in 1896. After his wife's death, he opened a successful museum in a barn in Haselmere and often gave lectures there on a variety of subjects. Of course, Hutchinson did not live to see antibiotics and had no way of knowing that Congenital Syphilis alters the human DNA and causes problems for further generations, but his early research was a stepping-stone. He died at home in Haselmere and was “buried in the old parish churchyard cemetery next to his wife.”

Bio by: Linda Davis


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"A man of hope and forward-looking mind." Wordsworth


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Linda Davis
  • Added: Jun 5, 2018
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID:
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/190368363/jonathan-hutchinson: accessed ), memorial page for Dr Jonathan Hutchinson (25 Jul 1828–25 Jun 1913), Find a Grave Memorial ID 190368363, citing Saint Bartholmew's Churchyard, Haslemere, Waverley Borough, Surrey, England; Maintained by Find a Grave.