Henry Charlton Bastian

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Portrait of Bastian published in The Popular Science Monthly in 1875

Henry Charlton Bastian (26 April 1837 in Truro, Cornwall, England – 17 November 1915 in Chesham Bois, Buckinghamshire) was an English physiologist and neurologist.


Bastian was born at Truro, Cornwall and graduated from University of London in 1861.[1] He obtained his M.D. in 1866. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1868 and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1870.[1]

In 1867, Bastian was elected Professor of Pathology and Assistant Physician at UCL Medical School and successively became Professor of Clinical Medicine at UCL Medical School.[1] In 1868, he became assistant physician to the National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic, then full physician in 1887. He served at the National Hospital until he retired in 1912.[1]

He was an advocate of the doctrine of archebiosis.[1] He believed he witnessed the spontaneous generation of living organisms out of non living matter under his microscope.


The Evolution of Life, 1907

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Pearce, J. M. S. (2010). Henry Charlton Bastian (1837–1915): Neglected Neurologist and Scientist. European Neurology 63: 73-78.
  2. ^ Bastian, Henry Charlton (1887). "The "muscular sense" its nature and cortical localisation". Brain. 10 (1): 1–89. doi:10.1093/brain/10.1.1.

Further reading[edit]

  • Strick, James. (1999). Darwinism and the Origin of Life: The Role of H. C. Bastian in the British Spontaneous Generation Debates, 1868-1873. Journal of the History of Biology 32 (1): 51-92.