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Johnston, George (1814-1889) (DNB00)


JOHNSTON, GEORGE (1814–1889), obstetrician, was born at Dublin on 12 Aug. 1814. His father, Andrew Johnston, a brother of Francis Johnston [q. v.], founder of the Royal Hibernian Academy, was an army surgeon of some note, who served in the 44th regiment in Egypt under Sir Ralph Abercromby, and was in 1817 president of the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland. George was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, became member of the Royal College of Surgeons, England, in 1837, and subsequently studied at Paris and at Edinburgh University, where he obtained the degree of M.D. in 1845. Devoting his attention mainly to obstetric practice, he was appointed assistant-physician of the Lying-in Hospital at Dublin in 1848, and held that post for the following seven years. During this period he was a constant contributor to the Dublin ‘Quarterly Journal of Medical Science,’ and collected a large quantity of material for the valuable work on ‘Practical Midwifery, comprising an Account of 13,748 Deliveries which took place in the Rotunda Hospital’ during seven years' practice there (1847–54), which he produced in 1878, in conjunction with Edward (afterwards Sir Edward) B. Sinclair. Johnston was appointed seventeenth master of the Rotunda Hospital in 1868, and held that office until 1875, during the whole of which period he wrote the annual ‘Clinical Reports.’ He also prepared a special ‘Report of 752 Cases of Forceps Delivery in Hospital Practice.’ Elected fellow of the King and Queen's College of Physicians, Dublin, in 1863, he was president 1880–1, and was at one time ex-president of the Obstetrical Society of Dublin. He held for some years, between 1840 and 1850, the post of surgeon-superintendent to the Emigration Commissioners for the South Australian Colonies. Johnston died at his house, 15 St. Stephen's Green, North, Dublin, on 7 March 1889, aged 74. By his wife Henrietta he had six children, four sons and two daughters.

[Lancet, 16 March 1889; Times, 14 March 1889; Irish Times and Dublin Daily Express, 8 March 1889; Walford's Men of the Time, 1884; information kindly supplied by the Rev. Henry Francis Johnstone.]

T. S.