Robert William Smith
Biography of Robert William Smith
Robert William Smith studied medicine in Dublin, his native town, and became a licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland in 1832, fellow in 1844. He received his doctorate at Trinity College in 1842, and in 1847 he was appointed to the first chair of surgery at Trinity College, becoming a member a member of the Irish Academy in 1849. He was successively surgeon at the hospital for the mentally ill, founded by Talbot, with Sir Patrick Dun’s and the Richmond Hospital, teaching clinical surgery and forensic medicine at the latter for several years. The excellent museum of the Richmond Hospital was made possible by his efforts. He founded the pathological society in Dublin in 1838 was its secretary for 35 years, and thus had excellent opportunity to collect pathological preparations. At the time oh his death in 1873 he was vice-president of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland. With Abraham Colles (1773-1843), Robert James Graves (1797-1853), Sir Dominic John Corrigan (1802-1880) and William Stokes, Smith founded the Dublin Pathological Society.
A major part of Smith’s work concerned the pathological anatomy of surgical diseases, particularly of knuckles and joints. He took a special interest in rare forms of congenital Verrenkungen.