Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Monro, Henry (1817-1891)

MONRO, HENRY (1817–1891), physician and philanthropist, second son of Edward Thomas Monro, grandson of Dr. Thomas Monro [q. v.], and brother of Edward Monro [q. v.], was born in 1817, and was educated at Harrow and at Oriel College, Oxford (B. A. 1839, B. Med. 1844, and D. Med. 1863). He studied medicine at St. Bartholomew's Hospital; became a fellow of the College of Physicians in 1848, and, devoting himself to the study of insanity, was appointed physician to Bethlehem Hospital in the same year. 'He was the last of a long line of physicians who from father to son followed the same speciality, four being in direct succession physicians to Bethlehem Hospital' [see Monro, John; and Monro, Thomas, 1759-1833]. In 1864 he became president of the Medical Psychological Society. In the midst of the engrossing duties of his profession Monro found time to establish, like his brother Edward, institutions for the benefit of the poor. Assisted by many friends, he was the founder in 1846 of the House of Charity in Rose Street, Soho, which 'still flourishes, with a larger development in Soho Square. It is a home for the destitute and friendless, chiefly those who, by no fault of their own, have been plunged into extreme distress and helplessness.' To this he gave unremitting attention for forty-five years, and also, in a less degree, to the Walton Convalescent Home, which his younger brother, Theodore Monro, founded at about the same time. Monro died in 1891. He married in 1842 Jane, daughter of Sir William Russell, bart., and left several children. He published in 1850 a treatise on 'Stammering,' and in the following year his 'Remarks on Insanity,' the principles of which were accepted by Dr. D. H. Tuke and by Dr. Hughlings Jackson. Monro was no mean artist, a gift which was hereditary in his family. He painted his own portrait and that of his father, for presentation to the College of Physicians, where they hang beside portraits of three earlier members of the family, Alexander, John, and Thomas, who were distinguished as physicians.

[Journal of Mental Science, July 1891, notice by Dr. G. F. Blandford; Memoir privately printed by the Rev. Canon W. Poxley Norris, M.A.; personal knowledge.]

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