John Stopford, Baron Stopford of Fallowfield

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Stopford of Fallowfield
The Lord Stopford of Fallowfield.jpg
Personal details
Born John Sebastian Bach Stopford
(1888-06-25)25 June 1888
Hindley Green, Wigan, England
Died 6 March 1961(1961-03-06) (aged 72)
Westmorland, England
Nationality British
Occupation Anatomist

John Sebastian Bach Stopford, Baron Stopford of Fallowfield KBE FRCS FRCP FRS[1] (25 June 1888 – 6 March 1961) was a British peer, a physician and anatomist, and a Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester. Lord Stopford was described as "one of the greatest anatomists of this century".[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Stopford was born in Hindley Green near Wigan, UK. The entry in the registry of births for Wigan, page 92 of volume 8c, 1888, records his birth name as John Sebastian B. Stopford. He was educated at Liverpool College and Manchester Grammar School. He then went to Manchester University in 1906 to read medicine. He graduated with the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine (MB) and Bachelor of Surgery (ChB) in 1911 with honours.[2]

Early career[edit]

Having graduated, Stopford went to Rochdale Infirmary as a House Surgeon, and then to Manchester Royal Infirmary as an Assistant Medical Officer. In 1912, he returned to Manchester University as a Junior Demonstrator in Anatomy, working under Prof. Grafton Elliot Smith. He was later promoted to Senior Demonstrator, and received a lectureship in 1915. He also received the degree of Doctor of Medicine (MD) in 1915.

From 1915 to 1918 during the First World War, he served as a neurologist alongside his lectureship. This was firstly to the Second Western General Hospital and secondly to the Grangethorpe Hospital. He began researching sensation during this time.

Career progression[edit]

At just 31 years of age, Stopford was promoted to be Professor of Anatomy at the University of Manchester in 1919 as Prof. Grafton Elliot Smith had moved to University College Hospital in London. During his tenure as Professor, he was Dean of the Medical School twice: between 1923 and 1927, and again between 1931 and 1933. He was also Pro Vice-Chancellor at the university between 1928 and 1930.

Stopford was appointed temporary Vice-Chancellor for sixth months in 1934 following the departure of Sir Walter Moberly. He made such a success of his time in the post that his appointment was made permanent, and he held it for a total of twenty-two years. He continued as Professor of Anatomy alongside his Vice-Chancellorship until 1938, when he was appointed to a personal Chair in Environmental Neurology. He retired in 1956 and was made an Emeritus Professor.

Personal life[edit]

Stopford met Lily Allan while they were both undergraduates at Manchester University. The couple were married in 1916 and they had one son, Thomas Stopford, who died in Rhos on Sea.

Other appointments[edit]

Stopford held a number of professional appointments during his lifetime, particularly in the field of healthcare within which he had particular experience. A selection of these appointments are below:


Stopford was made a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1927;[1] the first medical graduate from Manchester University to receive such an accolade. He was also made Honorary Advisory Anatomist at Manchester Royal Infirmary.


  • Mr John Stopford (1888-1911)
  • Dr John Stopford MB ChB (1911–1915)
  • Dr John Stopford MB ChB MD (1915–1918)
  • Dr John Stopford MB ChB MD MBE (1918–1919)
  • Professor John Stopford MB ChB MD MBE (1919–1927)
  • Professor John Stopford MB ChB MD MBE FRS (1927–1937)
  • Professor John Stopford MB ChB MD ScD MBE FRS (1937–1941)
  • Professor Sir John Stopford MB ChB MD ScD MBE FRS (1941–1942)
  • Professor Sir John Stopford MB ChB MD ScD MBE FRCP FRS (1942–1951)
  • Professor Sir John Stopford MB ChB MD ScD LLD MBE FRCP FRS (1951–1955)
  • Professor Sir John Stopford MB ChB MD ScD LLD KBE FRCP FRCS FRS (1955–1957)
  • Professor Sir John Stopford MB ChB MA MD ScD LLD DCL KBE FRCP FRCS FRS (1957–1958)
  • The Rt Hon The Lord Stopford of Fallowfield MB ChB MA MD ScD LLD DCL KBE FRCP FRCS FRS (1958–1961)

The Stopford Building, University of Manchester[edit]

Main article: Stopford Building

The Medical School (1972) was given the name of the Stopford Building in memory of Lord Stopford. It is on Oxford Road, on the corner of Ackers Street, and occupies a very large site. The former Medical Faculty Library housed within the building is now known as the Stopford Library: it is an outlying library of the John Rylands University Library.


  1. ^ a b c Clark, W. E. L. G.; Cooper, W. M. (1961). "John Sebastian Bach Stopford, Baron Stopford of Fallowfield. 1888-1961". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 7: 271–279. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1961.0021. 
  2. ^ a b Mitchell, G. A. (1961). "Lord Stopford of Fallowfield". Journal of Anatomy. 95 (Pt 3): 437–440. PMC 1244498Freely accessible. PMID 13771330. 
  3. ^ "(Supplement) no. 31760". The London Gazette. 30 January 1920. p. 1239. 
  4. ^ "no. 35219". The London Gazette. 15 July 1941. p. 4062. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  5. ^ "(Supplement) no. 40366". The London Gazette. 31 December 1954. p. 11. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  6. ^ "no. 41467". The London Gazette. 8 August 1958. p. 4930. Retrieved 2009-05-29.