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Hodgson, Joseph (1788-1869) (DNB00)


HODGSON, JOSEPH (1788–1869), surgeon, son of a Birmingham merchant, was born at Penrith, Cumberland, in 1788, and was educated at King Edward VI's Grammar School, Birmingham. After serving an apprenticeship to a medical man at Birmingham, Hodgson, whose father had fallen into distress, was enabled by an uncle's generosity to commence study at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London. He obtained the diploma of the College of Surgeons in 1811, and gained in the same year the Jacksonian prize for an essay ‘On Wounds and Diseases of the Arteries and Veins.’ Commencing practice in King Street, Cheapside, he eked out his income by taking pupils and by writing for, and acting for some years as editor of, the ‘London Medical Review.’ His well-known work on the arteries and veins was published in 1815, and was translated into several foreign languages. Disappointed by his progress in London, Hodgson in 1818 removed to Birmingham, and was elected surgeon to the General Dispensary and to the General Hospital. He held the latter appointment till 1848. He took a prominent part in founding the Birmingham Eye Infirmary in 1824, and was at first the only surgeon there. He had a large practice in Birmingham, and was very successful as a lithotomist. In 1849 he returned to London with a considerable fortune. He was elected a member of the council of the College of Surgeons, and examiner in surgery to London University and the College of Surgeons. In 1851 he was president of the Medico-Chirurgical Society, and in 1864 president of the College of Surgeons; he was also a fellow of the Royal Society. He died on 7 Feb. 1869, aged 81. His wife had died twenty-four hours earlier. He was an able surgeon of the old school, averse to innovations, medical and political, and consequently involved in early life in many quarrels. His diagnosis was very accurate, but cautious. In later years he was remarkable for his suavity and kindness of manner. His only work, besides some papers in the ‘Transactions of the Medico-Chirurgical Society,’ was his treatise on ‘Diseases of the Arteries and Veins,’ already referred to.

[Lancet, 1861, i. 243; Medical Times, 1869, i. 206; J. F. Clarke's Autobiographical Recollections.]

G. T. B.