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Charles Murchison

Born  1830
Died  1879

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British physician, born May 21, 1830, Jamaica; died April 23, 1879.

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.


  • Über die Pathologie der krankhaften Geschwülste.
    Doctoral dissertation, 1851.
  • A treatise on the continued fevers of Great Britain.
    London, Parker, Son & Bourn, 1862.
    German translation by Wilhelm Zuelzer (1834-1893); with an appendix: Die Epidemie des recurrierenden Typhus in St. Petersburg 1864, 1865. Braunschweig, 1867.
  • On a new method of procuring the consolidation of fibrin in certain incurable aneurisms.
    Written with Charles Hewitt Moore (1821-1870).
    Medico-Chirurgical Transactions, London, 1864, 47: 129-149.
    Moore and Murchison introduced the method of treating aneurysm by passing wire into the aneurysmal sac.
  • Clinical lectures on diseases of the liver, jaundice and abdominal dropsy. London, Longmans Green & Co., 1868.
  • On functional derangements of the liver. London, 1874.
  • Medical notes on the climate of Burmah and on the diseases which have there prevailed among European troops.
    Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal, 1855.
  • Über einen Fall von Talipes equinovarus mit Erkrankung des Kniegelenks.
  • Über die Verschiebung der Knochen und der Sehnen des Fusses beim Talipes Varus.
  • Über Chaulmoogra odorata als ein Heilmittel bei Epilepsie.
  • On the causes of intermitting or paroxysmal pyrexia and on the differential characters of its several varieties.
    Lancet, London, 1879.
  • Lancet, London, 1879, I, page 645.
  • Medical Times and Gazette, London, 1879, I: 522.
  • British Medical Journal, 1879, I: 648-650.
  • Vierteljahrschrift für öffentliche Gesundheitspflege, XI, page 668.
  • Dictionary of National Biography, 39, page 316.

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