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Colledge, Thomas Richardson (DNB00)

COLLEDGE, THOMAS RICHARDSON, M.D. (1796–1879), president of the Medical Missionary Society in China, was born in 1796, and received his medical education under Sir Astley Cooper. He practised in Canton and Macao and some other Chinese ports, first under the Hon. East India Company, and then under the crown, and was superintending surgeon of the Hospitals for British Seamen. During his residence in Canton and Macao he originated the first infirmary for the indigent Chinese, which was called after him, Colledge's Ophthalmic Hospital. He was also the founder, in 1837, of the Medical Missionary Society in China, and continued to be president of that society to the time of his death. On the abolition of the office of surgeon to the consulate at Canton in May 1841, and his consequent return to England, deep regret was expressed by the whole community, European and native, and a memorial of his services was addressed to her majesty by the Portuguese of the settlement of Macao, which caused Lord Palmerston to settle on him an annuity from the civil list. Colledge took the degree of M.D. at King's College, Aberdeen, in 1839, became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, 1840, a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1844, and a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, England, 1853. The last thirty-eight years of his life were spent in Cheltenham, where he won universal esteem by his courtesy and skill. He died at Lauriston House, Cheltenham, 28 Oct. 1879, aged 83. His widow, Caroline Matilda, died 6 Jan. 1880.

He was the author of:

  1. ‘A Letter on the subject of Medical Missionaries, by T. R. Colledge, senior surgeon to his Majesty's Commission;’ printed at Macao, China, 1836.
  2. ‘Suggestions for the Formation of a Medical Missionary Society offered to the consideration of all Christian Nations,’ Canton, 1836.

[Medical Times and Gazette, 15 Nov. 1879, p. 568; Proceedings of Royal Society of Edinburgh, x. 339 (1880); Times, 5 Nov. 1879, p. 9.]

G. C. B.