King's College London
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Parkinson of the disease

An outline of James Parkinson's life

James Parkinson: an outline of his life

1755 Born in Hoxton Square, Shoreditch, London, on 11 April, the son of the apothecary-surgeon John Parkinson and his wife Mary

1771 Begins his apprenticeship to his father

1776 Becomes a pupil dresser (student) at the London Hospital

1777 Receives the Silver Medal of the Humane Society

1778 Completes his apprenticeship

1781 Marries Mary Dale

1784 Awarded membership of the Company of Surgeons, the precursor of the Royal College of Surgeons, by gaining its diploma

1785 Attends course of lectures given by the surgeon John Hunter

1785 His son, John William Keys Parkinson, is born

1786 Joins Guy’s Hospital Physical Society

1787 Elected Fellow of the Medical Society of London

1790 Joins Society for Constitutional Information

1792 Joins London Corresponding Society

1792-96 Publishes political pamphlets advocating constitutional reform

1796 Gives evidence at the trial for treason of Robert Crossfield

1799 Publishes Medical admonitions

1800 Publishes The hospital pupil and The villagers’ friend and physician

1804 Publishes volume 1 of Organic remains of a former world

1807 Publishes volume 2 of Organic remains. Co-founder of the Geological Society of London

1811 Publishes volume 3 of Organic remains, and meets palaeontologist Gideon Mantell

1812 Communicates a paper on appendicitis written by his son, John William Keys Parkinson, to the Medical and Chirurgical Society

1813 Appointed to the Council of the Geological Society of London

1817 Publishes An essay on the shaking palsy

1817 Becomes President of the Association of Apothecaries and Surgeon-Apothecaries of England and Wales, a post which he holds for two years

1823 Receives Gold Medal of the Royal College of Surgeons on his 68th birthday. Medal is awarded in explicit recognition of his palaeontological researches

1824 Dies on 21 December after suffering stroke. John William Keys Parkinson inherits his medical practice

1865 The Scottish physician, Edward Sanders, first coins the term Parkinson’s disease

1872 The neurologist Jean Martin Charcot coins the term ‘la maladie de Parkinson’. 

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