George Man Burrows

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

George Man Burrows (1771 – 29 October 1846) was an English physician who was an expert on insanity.


He was born at Chalk, near Gravesend, in 1771. He was educated at the King's School, Canterbury, was apprenticed to an apothecary at Rochester, and completed his medical education at Guy's and St. Thomas's Hospitals. After qualifying at the College of Surgeons and Apothecaries' Hall, he entered on general practice in London. He became deeply interested in the legal status of the medical profession, and organised the Association of Surgeon-Apothecaries of England and Wales, with the object of improving the education and status of the profession. As chairman of this body Burrows was most indefatigable, and had a large share in the movement which led to the passing of the Apothecaries' Act in 1815. The society voted him five hundred guineas on its dissolution. On the formation of the first court of examiners of the Apothecaries' Company, on the passing of the act, Burrows was appointed an examiner; but early in 1817 he resigned, owing to the unfair conduct of the court of assistants. On this question Burrows published a Statement of Circumstances connected with the Apothecaries' Act and its Administration in 1817. At this time he was largely engaged in medical literature, being one of the founders and editors of the London Medical Repository, which commenced in January 1814, and the author of Observations on the Comparative Mortality of London and Paris in 1815.

In 1816, Burrows retired from general practice, and devoted himself to the treatment of insane patients, at first keeping a small asylum at Chelsea, and later, in 1823, establishing a larger one, ‘The Retreat,’ at Clapham. He became a leading authority on insanity, publishing Cursory Remarks on Legislative Regulation of the Insane (1819), An Inquiry into certain Errors relative to Insanity and their Consequences, Physical, Moral, and Civil (1820), and finally, an extended treatise entitled Commentaries on the Causes, Forms, Symptoms, and Treatment, Moral and Medical, of Insanity, 1828. This was by far the most complete and practical treatise then published in this country, and received general approval. Burrows became M.D. at St. Andrews in 1824, and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1839. He died on October 29, 1846, aged 76.


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainBettany, George Thomas (1886). "Burrows, George Man". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography. 07. London: Smith, Elder & Co.