Biography of Charles Murchison
Charles Murchison was the son of a physician. He came to Scotland at the age of three. From 1846 he studied in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, in 1850 he became assistant to Syme, and in 1851 he obtained his doctorate with a thesis on the pathology of tumours. At the same time he became chairman of the Royal Society of Physicians in Edinburgh and assisted in founding the physiological society. Following a period as legation physician in Turin he went to Dublin in 1852 for further studies in obstetrics. He later moved to Paris and in 1853 assumed a position as assistant physician with the East India Company.
Returning to London in 1855 Murchison entered the Royal College of Physicians, became physician at the Western General Dispensary and later teacher of anatomy and botany at St. Mary’s Hospital. From 1856-1860 he was physician at King’s College Hospital and changed this position with a similar at the Middlesex Hospital and London Fever Hospital, where he was active until 1871 and 1870, respectively. After the opening of the new St. Thomas’s Hospital in 1871, he became physician and teacher of internal medicine there. He died from an aneurysm aorta in 1879.
Murchison was a distinguished representative among British physicians of the late nineteenth century. His publications number 311, most of them are lectures held at the Pathological Society, where he was reporter 1865-1868, 1869 treasurer and 1877 president. His most important work is that of 1862 on fevers.