Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bishop, John (1797-1873)

1311288Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 05 — Bishop, John (1797-1873)1886Robert Hunt

BISHOP, JOHN (1797–1873), surgeon, was the fourth son of Mr. Samuel Bishop, of Pimperne, Dorsetshire. He was born on 15 Sept. 1797, and he received his education at the grammar school at Childe Okeford in Dorsetshire, where he remained for several years. Bishop was originally intended for the legal profession, but this intention was never carried out, and for many years he led the life of a country gentleman. When about twenty-five years of age Bishop was induced by his cousin, Mr. John Tucker of Bridport, to enter the medical profession. After a short preliminary practice, under the direction of his relative, at Bridport, he came to London and entered at St. George's Hospital under Sir Everard Home. While studying in this hospital Bishop attended the lectures of Sir Charles Bell, of Mr. Guthrie, and Dr. George Pearson, and he was a regular attendant at the chemical courses which were delivered at the Royal Institution. In 1824 he obtained the diploma of the Royal College of Surgeons, and entered regularly into his profession. He soon acquired a reputation as a careful and skilful observer. This secured for him the offices of senior surgeon to the Islington Dispensary, and surgeon to the Northern and St. Pancras dispensaries, and to the Drapers' Benevolent Institution. In 1844 Bishop contributed a paper to the 'Philosophical Transactions' of the Royal Society, on the 'Physiology of the Human Voice.' He was shortly afterwards elected a fellow of the Royal Society, and a corresponding member of the medical societies of Berlin and Madrid. The Royal Academy of Science of Paris awarded him two prizes for memoirs 'On the Human and Comparative Anatomy and Physiology of Voice.' He was the author of a work 'On Distortions of the Human Body,' another 'On Impediments of Speech,' and one 'On Hearing and Speaking Instruments.' These works were remarkable for the careful examinations which the author had made on the subjects under investigation, and for the mathematical demonstration given of each theory advanced by him. Bishop contributed several articles to Todd's 'Cyclopædia,' and many papers of more or less importance to the medical literature of the day.

Bishop was a man of varied attainments; he was conversant with continental as well as English literature, and to within a few months of his death he was deeply interested in the progress of science. On 29 Sept. 1873 he died at Strangeways-Marshale, Dorsetshire, within a few miles of his birthplace.

[Proceedings of the Royal Society xxi. 5 (1873); Catalogue of Scientific Papers, vol. i. (1877).]

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