Octavius Sturges

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

Octavius Sturges (1833 – 3 November 1895) was a British paediatrician who coined the term "chorea".

Early life[edit]

He was born in London in 1833, the eighth son (hence the name) of John and Elisabeth Sturgesów. He attended King's College School and then was sent to the East India Company's Addiscombe Military Seminary, Croydon. After graduation in 1852 he served two years in the army as an officer in the East India Company in Bombay,[1] but his military career ended in his erroneous diagnosis of aortic aneurysm. In 1857 he returned to the UK.[2]


In July 1858 he enrolled at Emmanuel College, Cambridge to study medicine and graduated B.A. in 1861, M.B. in 1863, and M.D. in 1867.[3] He then began practice in St George's Hospital, becoming medical registrar in 1863. He left to be assistant-physician at the Westminster Hospital in 1868 and became full physician in 1875. He was made assistant-physician to the Hospital for Sick Children in Great Ormond Street in 1873, and full physician in 1884.[1] At the time of his death he was senior physician there and at the Westminster Hospital.[2]

He became a member of the Royal College of Physicians in 1863, and was elected Fellow in 1870.[3] He delivered the 1894 Lumleian Lectures on the subject of heart inflammation in children.

He wrote a number of articles but he is best remembered for his two books The Natural History of Pneumonia (1876) and Chorea and Whooping Cough (1877)

He died in 1895 from injuries received when knocked down by a hansom cab[1] and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery.[3] He was unmarried.



  • Abstract of a Clinical Lecture on a Fatal Case of Pneumonia after an Accident Br Med J 1879;1:300 doi:10.1136/bmj.1.948.300
  • The Nomenclature of Pneumonia and other Allied Lung-Inflammations Br Med J 1881;1:11 doi:10.1136/bmj.1.1044.11
  • The Heart Symptoms of Chorea Brain 1881;4(2):164-189 doi:10.1093/brain/4.2.164
  • Remarks on Some Special Characters of the Present Epidemic of Typhoid Fever in London Br Med J 1882;2:1239 doi:10.1136/bmj.2.1147.1239
  • The Rheumatic Origin of Chorea The Lancet 1883;122(3141):808–810 doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(02)23982-3
  • The Kindred of Chorea American Journal of the Medical Sciences 1891;102(6):578-586
  • The Lumleian Lectures on Heart Inflammation in Children Br Med J 1894;1:505, 1894;1:561 and 1894;1:623
  • Empyema in Childhood The Lancet 1894;143(3689):1215-1216 doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(01)68982-7



  1. ^ a b c "Dr Octavius Sturges (1833–1894)". HHARP: the Historic Hospital Admission Records Project (http://www.hharp.org). Kingston University. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Moore, Norman; revised by Michael Bevan. "Sturges, Octavius (1833–1894)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Obituary: Octavius Sturges, M.D., F.R.C.P., Senior Physician to the Westminster Hospital". British Medical Journal. 2 (1767): 1084–1085. 10 November 1894. PMC 2405493Freely accessible. 
  4. ^ The Natural History and Relations of Pneumonia in libraries (WorldCat catalog)