Page:Dictionary of National Biography, Second Supplement, volume 3.djvu/326

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Simon
Simon
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the Colonial Institute, and the Institute of Electrical Engineers.

His portrait in oils as a general was painted by Frank Holl, R.A.,in 1883 for the corps of royal engineers, and hangs in the mess at Chatham. Another portrait in oils as a field-marshal, about 1890, was painted by H. Heute, a German artist, and is in Mrs. Orman's possession.

Simmons was married twice: (1) at Keynsham, near Bristol, Somersetshire, on 16 April 1846, to his cousin Ellen Lintorn Simmons, who died on 3 Oct. 1851, leaving a daughter, Eleanor Julia (d. unmarried in 1901); (2) in London, on 20 Nov. 1856, to Blanche (d. Feb. 1898), only daughter of Samuel Charles Weston, by whom he had one daughter, Blanche, wife of Major Charles Edward Orman, late Essex regiment.

[War Office Records; Royal Engineers' Records; Porter's History of the Royal Engineers, 1889; The Times, 16 Feb. 1903; Royal Engineers' Journal, Sept. 1903.]

R. H. V.


SIMON, Sir JOHN (1816–1904), sanitary reformer and pathologist, born in the City of London on 10 Oct. 1816, was sixth of the fourteen children of Louis Michael Simon (1782–1879), a member of the Stock Exchange, who served on the committee from 1837 till his retirement in 1868. His grandfathers were both Frenchmen, but having emigrated to England, each had there married an Englishwoman. Both his parents were very long lived, his father dying within three months of completing his ninety-eighth year, and his mother, Matilde Nonnet (1787–1882), within five days of completing her ninety-fifth year.

After three or four years at a preparatory school at Pentonville, John Simon spent seven and a half years at a private school at Greenwich kept by the Rev. Dr. Charles Parr Burney, son of Dr. Charles Burney [q. v.]. He then went to Rhenish Prussia to study with a German pfarrer for a year. The familiarity with the German language which he thus acquired was of great advantage to him later. He was intended for the medical profession, and on his return from Germany he was in the autumn of 1833 apprenticed for six years to Joseph Henry Green [q. v.], surgeon at St. Thomas's and professor of surgery at King's College, his father paying a fee of 500 guineas. In 1838 he became M.R.C.S. and in 1844 was made hon. F.R.C.S. in 1840, when King's College developed a hospital of its own, he was appointed its senior assistant surgeon. He held this post till 1847, when he was made lecturer on pathology at 200l. a year. He eventually became surgeon at St. Thomas's Hospital, his 'old and more familiar home,' where with progressive changes of title he remained officer for life (cf. Personal Recollecions, privately printed, 1903). He became a great leader and teacher in pathology. In 1862–3 Simon was one of those who successfully urged the removal of the hospital from the Borough to the Albert Embankment. In 1876 he retired from the post of surgeon and was made consulting surgeon and governor of the hospital.

Ambitious of eventually becoming a consulting surgeon, Simon did not at first devote himself to his professional work with undue rigour. He spent his spare time on non-professional pursuits — on metaphysical reading, on Oriental languages, on study in the print-room of the British Museum. Such distribution of interest left the impress of literary ability and culture on his future writings and tastes (Dr. J. F. Payne in Lancet, ii. 1904). As early as 1842 he had written a pamphlet on medical education, and contributed the article 'Neck' to the 'Cyclopaedia of Anatomy.' In 1844 he gained the first Astley-Cooper prize by an essay on the thymus gland (published with additions in the following year), and wrote for the Royal Society a paper on the thyroid gland (Phil. Trans, vol. 134), the value of which that society promptly recognised by electing him a fellow in January 1845, at the early age of twenty-nine. (As to the importance of these two researches in comparative anatomy, see Sir John Burdon Sanderson's Memoir in Proc. Roy. Soc. 1905, lxxv. 341.)

The current of Simon's thoughts and activities was wholly changed by his appointment in October 1848 as first medical officer of health for the City of London at a salary of 500l. a year (eventually 800l.). Liverpool was the first town in England to appoint a medical officer of health; London was the second. Simon, whose continued study of pathology at St. Thomas's Hospital gave him great advantage as a health officer, set to work at once with characteristic thoroughness, and presented a series of annual and other reports to the City commissioners of sewers which attracted great attention at the time, and may still be read with profit. They were unofficially reprinted in 1854, with a preface in which Simon spoke strongly of 'the national prevalence of sanitary neglect,' and demonstrated the urgent need of control of the public health by a responsible minister of state.