Biography of John Thurnam
John Thurnam studied in London and became a member of the Royal College of Surgeon in 1834. He was then resident physician at the Westminster Hospital and in 1838 became director of the mental asylum "The Retreat near York. In 1843 he became a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians of London, and in 1846 he obtained his medical doctorate from King's College in Aberdeen. From 1859 he was a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London.
In 1849, the Wilts County Council assigned him with the task of establishing a lunatic asylum. He was superintendent of the Wiltshire County Asylum from its opening in 1851 until his death in 1873. In 1841 and 1855 he was president of the Medico-Psychological Association. He was also a member of a commission for statistics on insanity and edited the tables published by the commission.