A. F. Tredgold

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Alfred Frank Tredgold
Born(1870-11-05)5 November 1870
Derby, England, United Kingdom
Died17 September 1952(1952-09-17) (aged 81)
Guildford, England, United Kingdom
Occupation(s)neurologist, psychiatris

Alfred Frank Tredgold FRSE FRCP TD (5 November 1870 – 17 September 1952) was a 20th-century British neurologist and psychiatrist and expert in Amentia. He also wrote on eugenics from the early 20th century. He was a member of the Eugenics Education Society.


He was born at 49 Liversage Street in Derby on 5 November 1870, the son of Joseph Tredgold, a builder's foreman, and his wife Bessie Smith. He studied Medicine at Durham University and graduated in 1899. He immediately began to specialise in mental health, working mainly in London hospitals. He won a scholarship from London County Council to study mental deficiency and worked for two years in London's asylums. This included a period working at the innovative Claybury Hospital under Dr F. W. Mott.[1]

He worked as a GP for two years then in 1905 as Physician to the Littleton Home for Defective Children gave evidence to the Royal Commission on the Feeble Minded.[2] His findings came to fruition in the Mental Deficiency Act of 1913.[3]

In 1914 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were Sir Thomas Clouston, Sir German Sims Woodhead, Sir James Barr, and Edwin Bramwell.[4]

From 1905 he had served as an officer in the Territorial Army so at the outbreak of the First World War he was immediately required to serve. He served with the 2nd Queen's Regiment in Gallipoli, Egypt and Sinai. The authorities rejected his offer to serve in the RAMC advising on mental health as the usefulness of this was yet to be recognised. He was invalided out of active service in 1916 due to dysentery.[5]

He received his doctorate (MD) in 1919. He remained linked to the Territorial Army for most of his life.

He became neurologist to the Royal Surrey County Hospital. He lectured at the Bethlem Hospital (the legendary Bedlam) and Maudsley Hospital. He served on the Brock Committee on forced sterilisation, but advocated voluntary sterilisation.[6]

In 1947, he developed glaucoma and lost his sight in one eye.

He died at home, "St Martins" on Clandon Road in Guildford on 17 September 1952.


In 1899, he was married to Zoe Hanbury (d.1947) daughter of F A Hanbury, a barrister.

His children included Roger Francis Tregold (1911–1975) who aided in his later publications. He was also an Olympic fencer.

His daughter Joan Alison Tregold (1903–1989) was Principal of Cheltenham Ladies' College from 1953 to 1964.


  • Mental Deficiency: Amentia (1908)
  • Moral Imbecility (1921)
  • Inheritance and Educability
  • A Manual of Psychological Medicine (1943)
  • A Textbook of Mental Deficiency (1956)
  • The Problem of the Feeble-Minded
  • Mental Retardation


  1. ^ ODNB: A F Tredgold
  2. ^ Report Of The Royal Commission On The Care And Control Of The Feebleminded Volume 1. 1908. p. 395.
  3. ^ ODNB: A F Tredgold
  4. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0-902-198-84-X. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  5. ^ ODNB: A F Tredgold
  6. ^ The Lancet: obituary October 1952