Nigel Pocock, Director, Vision Training & Research
A forgotten hero
In 1859, Thomas Masterman Winterbottom died. He was 94 years old – the oldest doctor in Europe. Shops shut. The local Corporation and thousands of citizens turned out to mourn him. The Newcastle Journal, in its obituary, noted that Winterbottom was ‘as good a man as ever was born in the town of South Shields’.1 What had he done to deserve so much love, respect, and affection? Yet today few have ever heard of him. His magnum opus, two volumes published in 1803, were not republished until 1969 – nearly 170 years later. And who, even amongst specialists in tropical medicine, who are familiar with Winterbottom’s Sign (of Sleeping Sickness) know anything about the man himself?
This article is a tribute to a great man, a warm hearted and people-centred Christian, an excellent physician, a fine scientist, and a committed abolitionist who had a respect for women and people of all races.
Continue reading “The Bi-Centenary of the Abolition of Slavery: A TRIBUTE TO Dr. THOMAS MASTERMAN WINTERBOTTOM (1765?-1859), physician to the Sierra Leone Company”