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Parkinson of the disease

Parkinson's letter to the Royal College of Surgeons

Letter from James Parkinson sent to the newly formed Royal College of Surgeons and stating his willingness to join, 21 April 1800Letter from James Parkinson sent to the newly formed Royal College of Surgeons and stating his willingness to join, 21 April 1800James Parkinson had been a qualified apothecary-surgeon for six years when he became a member of the Company of Surgeons (which had been formed in 1745) by gaining its diploma in April 1784.

When the Company became the Royal College of Surgeons in March 1800 it contacted its former members to ask them if they wished to join the new College. The letter reproduced here is Parkinson’s clear affirmation.

Despite his radical political activities in the 1790s, Parkinson shows no reservation about a royal affiliation, and places full trust in the College’s leadership:Reverse of letter from James Parkinson sent to the newly formed Royal College of Surgeons and stating his willingness to join, 21 April 1800Reverse of letter from James Parkinson sent to the newly formed Royal College of Surgeons and stating his willingness to join, 21 April 1800

Sir,

In answer to yours of the 16th. I take the earliest opportunity to say that when I consider under whose application and direction the Letters patent &c have been obtained, I have no hesitation in declaring my willingness to accept the said letters patent & to become a member of the College thereby incorporated, convinced of the propriety of that application & that it was intended to promote the public welfare as well as the just and honourable interests of the profession.

I am, Sir With respect

Yours

Jas Parkinson Hoxton Sq. April 21 1800

P.S. My Diploma was obtained in the year 178[4]-I have looked for it but hitherto in vain.

From the Archives of the Royal College of Surgeons of England​

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