Humphry Rolleston

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the English physician. For the New Zealand businessman of the same name, see Humphry Rolleston (businessman).
Humphry Davy Rolleston in 1916

Sir Humphry Davy Rolleston, 1st Baronet, GCVO, KCB (21 June 1862 – 23 September 1944), was a prominent English physician. He was the son of George Rolleston and Grace Davy, daughter of John Davy and niece of Sir Humphry Davy, Bt.

On his death aged 82 Rolleston's baronetcy became extinct.

Education, public service and honours[edit]

Rolleston was educated at Marlborough College, proceeded to St John's College, Cambridge and graduated in Natural Sciences in 1886. After clinical training at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London he qualifiied MB (Cambridge) in 1888 and MD in 1892. In 1891 he became Physician at St George's Hospital, Hyde Park Corner, London and continued there until 1919.[1]

Rolleston gave the 1895 Goulstonian Lectures on the subject of On the suprarenal bodies, the 1919 Lumleian Lectures on cerebro-spinal fever[2] and the 1928 Harveian Oration on Cardio-Vascular Diseases Since Harvey's Discovery.

Rolleston was President of the Royal Society of Medicine between 1918 and 1920 and of the Royal College of Physicians between 1922 and 1925. He chaired the Rolleston Committee formed in 1924.

From 1923[3] to 1932[4] he was Physician-in-Ordinary to King George V. He was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1918,[5] created a baronet, of Upper Brook Street in the parish of Saint George, Hanover Square, in the County of London, in June 1925[6] and made a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) in 1929.[7]

In 1925, on the death of Thomas Clifford Allbutt, the Regius Professor of Physic (Cambridge), Rolleston was appointed as his successor, but under a newly imposed age-limit he retired from that position in 1932.[1] He became President of the Medical Society of London in 1926.

History of medicine[edit]

Rolleston's writings on the history of medicine include the Life of Clifford Allbutt (1929) and The Cambridge Medical School: a biographical history (1932).[1]

Rolleston was one of the two contributors to the revised and updated version for Encyclopædia Britannica of the bulk of Thomas Clifford Allbutt's article Medicine which had been in the 11th edition. As revised for the 14th edition (1929) Rolleston's part was Medicine, General (in volume 15), followed by the other part, Medicine, History of, by Charles Singer, Lecturer in the History of Medicine, University of London.

A small collection of his papers is held at the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland. [8]


  1. ^ a b c W. J. O'Connor British Physiologists 1885–1914: a Biographical Dictionary Manchester University Press, 1991: Page 22
  2. ^ Rolleston, H. (1919). "The Lumleian Lectures on Cerebro-Spinal Fever. Delivered Before the Royal College of Physicians of London, Lecture III". The British Medical Journal 1 (3045): 573–575. doi:10.1136/bmj.1.3045.573.  edit
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 32874. p. 7209. 26 October 1923.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33849. p. 4862. 26 July 1932.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 30723. p. 6527. 31 May 19186527.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 32954. p. 5249. 8 July 1924.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33501. p. 3671. 31 May 1929.
  8. ^ "Centennial of the Army Medical Library : address of Humphry Davy Rolleston 1936–1944". National Library of Medicine. 
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baronet
(of Upper Brook Street)