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June 25, 1881 pp.1028-9

Obituary George Rolleston, M.D., F.R.C.P., F.R.S. Physician to the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford.

We regret to record the death of Dr George Rolleston, Physician to the Radcliffe Infirmary, and Linacre Professor of Physiology in the University of Oxford, which took place on June 16th. Dr. Rolleston has been for some time suffering from serious internal disease, and the week preceding his death was brought home from Paris, in a condition which gave little hope of recovery. Dr Rolleston was born in July, 1829, at Maltby, Yorkshire. He was educated at Gainsborough Grammar School, Sheffield Collegiate School, and Pembroke College, Oxford. He took a first class in classics in Michaelmas Term 1850, and in the following year was elected to a fellowship at Pembroke College. After studying medicine at St Bartholomew's Hospital, he graduated as M.B. Oxford in 1854. Subsequently, he proceeded to the degree of M.D. in 1857; became a member of the Royal College of Physicians in 1856, and a fellow in 1859. In 1854, he became assistant-physician to the British Civil Hospital in Smyrna, during the Crimean war, and was afterwards assistant-physician to the Children's Hospital in London. He was appointed physician to the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, in 1857; Lee's Reader in anatomy at Christ Church, Oxford in 1857; Linacre professor of physiology in 1859; Fellow of the Royal Society, and a Fellow of Merton College, in 1872. He was also a Fellow of the Linnean Society. In 1873, he delivered the Harveian Oration before the Royal College of Physicians. In 1875, he was appointed representative of the University of Oxford in the General Medical Council, in succession to Dr Acland, who had been elected president. Dr Rolleston was the author of a Report on Smyrna, and of Forms of Animal Life. He also delivered the Address of Physiology at the annual meeting of the British Medical Association at Oxford, in 1868.

The death of Profesor Rolleston has been the cause of profound pain and regret, not only to his numerous friends and admirers, but to the University and the profession at large. He has been for the last fifteen years a prominent figure among the professors of biological science in this country. As Linacre professor at Oxford, he has exercised a great influence on the preliminary education of a limited, but yet not unimportant, series of students, who have subsequently become students and doctors of medicine. No one could come under his influence without feeling the special charm of his varied knowledge, his personal enthusiasm for scientific pursuits, and his singleness of mind. His erudition was varied and extensive; he was, however, rather a zoologist than a physiologist. Nevertheless, his philosophical mind and his love of far-ranging study made him a teacher of valuable influence; while the purity and enthusiasm of his mind endeared him to his pupils, who felt that their whole character was elevated by contact with him.

Transcribed by AP October 2012

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