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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0100 TH/PP23
ELLIOTSON, John (1791-1868)
Level of description
Collection (fonds)
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
17 volumes


Name of creator(s)

Elliotson, John, 1791-1868, physician

Administrative / Biographical history

Born, London, 1791; educated, private pupil of the rector of St Saviour's, Southwark, Edinburgh, Jesus College, Cambridge; pupil, St Thomas's and Guy's Hospital; assistant, Guy's Hospital, for five years; graduated, MD, 1821; Professor of the Practice of Medicine, University of London, 1831; helped establish University College Hospital; Lumleian lecturer, 1829; Professor of Clinical Medicine, University of London, 1831; first physician in Britain to use the stethoscope; founder and first president of the Phrenological Society; President, Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society of London, [1837]; studied mesmerism, and held séances; the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society of London banned mesmerism and his interest compelled to resign his professorship, 1838, and membership of the Society; Harveian orator, 1846; established a mesmeric hospital, 1849; founded his own journal, The Zoist , to publish reports of mesmeric phenomena; died, 1868. Publications include: Dissertatio ... de inflammatione communi, etc. (Edinburgh 1810); Numerous cases illustrative of the efficacy of ... Prussic Acid in affections of the Stomach; with a report upon its powers in Pectoral and other Diseases in which it has been already recommended; and some facts respecting ... the use of Opium in Diabetes (London, 1820); The introductory lecture of a course upon state- medicine. delivered in Mr Grainger's theatre, Southwark, on Thursday, November the first (Printed by T Bensley, London, 1821); The Institutions of Physiology ... Translated from the Latin of the third and last edition, and supplied with numerous and extensive notes, by John Elliotson ... Second edition Fourth edition by Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (Longman & Co, London, 1828); On the recent improvements in the art of distinguishing the diseases of the Heart, being the Lumleyan lectures delivered before the Royal College of Physicians, in the year 1829 (London, 1830); Address delivered at the opening of the Medical Session in the University of London, Oct. 1st 1832 (London, 1832); The Principles and practice of Medicine: ... in a course of Lectures, delivered at University College, London (London, 1839); Lectures on the theory and practice of Medicine, delivered in University College, London Edited by J C Cooke, and T G Thompson (London, 1839); Numerous cases of surgical operations without pain in the mesmeric state; with remarks upon the opposition of many members of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society and others (London, 1843); The Harveian oration, delivered before the Royal College of Physicians, London, June 27th, 1846 (H Baillière, London, 1846); Mesmerism in India, and its Practical Application in Surgery and Medicine (Esdaile, 1846/1977); Cure of a true cancer of the female breast with mesmerism Extracted from the last number of "The Zoist" (No. XXIII.) (London, 1848); The Zoist: a journal of cerebral physiology and mesmerism Editor 13 volumes (London, 1843-1856); John Elliotson on mesmerism edited by Fred Kaplan (Da Capo Press, New York, 1982).

Archival history

Acquired by St Thomas's Hospital Medical School Library.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Transferred from St Thomas's Hospital Medical School Library in 2002.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Papers of John Elliotson, comprising notes on his lectures on the theory and practice of medicine, delivered at St Thomas's Hospital, 1829-1830, taken by an unknown student.

System of arrangement

The volumes are arranged chronologically.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Director of Archive and Corporate Record Services.

Language/scripts of material


Finding aids

Detailed catalogue

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals

King's College London College Archives

Related units of description

Letter concerning provision for admitting cholera victims to St Thomas's Hospital, 1831 (reference: M50), held by St Thomas's Hospital Medical School Library. Correspondence with George Combe, 1822-1838, held by the National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division (reference: MSS 7208-7388 Passim).

Publication note

Undeniable facts concerning the strange practices of Dr. Elliotson, ... with his female patients; and his medical experiments upon the bodies of ... E. & J. Okey, etc. by Thomas Wakley (pseudonym) (London, [1842?]); A full discovery of the strange practices of Dr Elliotson on the bodies of his female patients! ... The whole as seen by an Eye-Witness (London, 1842).



Previous reference: M51

Description control

Archivist's Note

Sources: Dictionary of National Biography CD ROM (Oxford University Press, 1995); Historical Manuscripts Commission On-line National Register of Archives; British Library Public On-line catalogue; Catalogue of the Printed Books and Manuscripts in the Library of St Thomas's Hospital Medical School (1491-1900) D T Bird (London, 1984). Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions

April 2002; revised January 2003

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  • Higher science education
  • Medical education
  • Medical personnel
  • Medical profession
  • Medical sciences
  • People
  • People by occupation
  • Personnel
  • Physicians
  • Surgery

Personal names

  • Elliotson, John, 1791-1868, Physician

Corporate names

  • King's College London College Archives
  • St Thomas' Hospital, London


  • Southwark, London, England

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