Henry Bence Jones

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Henry Bence Jones

Henry Bence Jones2.jpg
Born(1813-12-31)31 December 1813
Died20 April 1873(1873-04-20) (aged 59)
EducationHarrow School
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge
University of Giessen
Lady Millicent Acheson
(m. 1842; his death 1873)
Parent(s)William Jones
Matilda Bence Jones
RelativesWilliam Bence Jones (uncle)
Henry Bence Jones, painting by George Richmond

Henry Bence Jones FRS (31 December 1813 – 20 April 1873) was an English physician and chemist.

Early life[edit]

Bence Jones was born at Thorington Hall, Stoke-by-Nayland, Suffolk, the son of Lieutenant Colonel William Jones, an officer in the 5th Dragoon Guards, and Matilda (née Bence) Jones (a daughter of the Rev. Bence Bence of Thorington Hall, Suffolk). His elder brother was the prominent agriculturist William Bence Jones, who married Caroline Dickinson (a daughter of William Dickinson, MP).

He attended school in Hingham, Norfolk, as well as a private school in Putney.[1] He entered Harrow in 1827 and then went up to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1832, obtaining his degree in 1836.[2] He initially worked for an apothecary but subsequently (1838) enrolled to study medicine at St George's Hospital, and in 1839 chemistry at University College, London. In 1841 he went to Giessen in Germany to work at chemistry with Liebig.[3]


On his return he took a post at St George's hospital and after being promoted to assistant physician was elected in 1846 to full physician, resigning on health grounds in 1862. In 1847, he described the Bence Jones protein, a globulin protein found in blood and urine, suggestive of multiple myeloma or Waldenström's macroglobulinemia.[4]

Besides becoming a fellow, and afterwards senior censor, of the Royal College of Physicians, and a fellow of the Royal Society, he held the post of secretary to the Royal Institution for many years. He delivered the Croonian Lecture to the Royal College of Physicians on Matter and Force in 1868.[5]

He wrote, in addition to several scientific books and a number of papers in scientific periodicals, The Life and Letters of Faraday (1870).[6]

Personal life[edit]

On 28 May 1842, Bence Jones was married to his second cousin, Lady Millicent Acheson, daughter of Archibald Acheson, 2nd Earl of Gosford and his wife Mary Sparrow.[7] Together, they had seven children.

He died in London on 20 April 1873 and was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery. His widow died on 29 August 1887.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kyle, Robert A. (October 2001). "Henry Bence Jones - physician, chemist, scientist and biographer: A man for all seasons" (PDF). British Journal of Haematology. 115 (1): 13–8. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2141.2001.02962.x. PMID 11722404. S2CID 42870385. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 November 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
  2. ^ "Jones [post Bence-Jones], Henry Bence (JNS831HB)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. ^ Chisholm 1911.
  4. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bence-Jones, Henry". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  5. ^ Rosenfeld L (1987). "Henry Bence Jones (1813–1873): the best "chemical doctor" in London" (PDF). Clin. Chem. 33 (9): 1687–92. doi:10.1093/clinchem/33.9.1687. PMID 3304718.
  6. ^ Payne, Joseph Frank (1892). "Jones, Henry Bence" . In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 30. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  7. ^ a b "Gosford, Earl of (I, 1806)". www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk. Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 4 June 2020.

External links[edit]