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King's College London College Archives

COOPER, Sir Astley Paston (1768-1841)


Reference code(s): GB 0100 G/PP2/8-13

Held at: King's College London College Archives

Title: COOPER, Sir Astley Paston (1768-1841)

Date(s): [1800-1825]

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 5 volumes, 2 files

Name of creator(s): Cooper | Sir | Astley | Paston | 1768-1841 | 1st Baronet | surgeon


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born, Brooke Hall near Norwich, 1768; educated at home; apprenticed to his uncle, William Cooper, surgeon to Guy's Hospital, 1784; soon after transferred to Henry Cline, surgeon to St Thomas's Hospital; Edinburgh Medical School, 1787-1788; Demonstrator of anatomy, St Thomas's Hospital, 1789; joint lecturer with Cline in anatomy and surgery, 1791; lectured on anatomy at the College of Surgeons, 1793-1796; Surgeon, Guy's Hospital, 1800-1825; commenced private practice; Fellow, Royal Society, 1802; made many post-mortem examinations, and often in contact with 'resurrectionists'; a founder and first treasurer, 1805, President, 1819-1820, Medical and Chirurgical Society of London; Professor of Comparative Anatomy, Royal College of Surgeons, 1813; performed a small operation on George IV, 1820; baronet, 1820; examiner at the College of Surgeons, 1822; resigned his lectureship at St Thomas's, 1825; instigator of the founding of a separate medical school at Guy's Hospital, 1825; Consulting Surgeon, Guy's Hospital; President, College of Surgeons, 1827, 1836; Sergeant-Surgeon to King William IV, 1828; Vice-President, Royal Society, 1830; died, 1841.
Publications include: The Anatomy and Surgical Treatment of Inguinal and Congenital Hernia (Crural and Umbilical Hernia) (printed for T Cox; sold by Messrs Johnson, etc, London, 1804); A Treatise on Dislocations, and on Fractures of the Joints (Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme & Brown; E Cox & Son, London, 1822); The Lectures of Sir Astley Cooper, Bart., F.R.S. ... on the Principles and Practice of Surgery: with additional notes and cases, by Frederick Tyrrell 3 volumes (Thomas & George Underwood, London, 1824-1827); Illustrations of the Diseases of the Breast ... In two parts (Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown & Green: London, 1829; Lectures on the Principles and Practice of Surgery Second edition (F C Westley, London, 1830); Observations on the Structure and Diseases of the Testis (Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown & Green; Highley & Underwood, London, 1830); The Anatomy of the Thymus Gland (Longman, Rees, Orme, Green & Brown, London, 1832).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Sir Astley Paston Cooper, [1800-1825], comprising volume of notes on his lectures on surgery, delivered at St Thomas's Hospital, taken by an unidentified student, [1814-1825] (G/PP2/8), with loose manuscript notes ((G/PP2/9);
three volumes of notes on his lectures on surgery, taken by an unidentified student, [1813-1825] (G/PP2/10-12);
notes on his lectures on fungoid testis, taken by an unidentified student {G/PP2/13);
prescription for chilblains, attributed to Sir Astley Cooper, undated, with letter concerning authenticity, 1993 (G/PP2/13b).


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Arranged as outlined in the scope and content.

Conditions governing access:

Open, subject to signature of reader's undertaking form.

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 Archives and Corporate Records Services.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue



Archival history:

The prescription for chilblains was presented to Guy's Hospital Medical School Library, 1993.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Transferred from Guy's Hospital Medical School Library in 2002.


Related material:

Notes of Cooper's lectures [1800-1811] held by King's College London (Reference: TH/PP Davies; TH/PP Gruggen; TH/PP Hulbert; TH/PP Rayner; TH/PP Ware; TH/PP Warren; TH/PP Williams; G/PP1/13; G/PP1/62); Correspondence and papers of Cooper are held by the Royal College of Surgeons of England; lecture notes, 1806-1807, are held by the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (reference: Cooper); lecture notes, 1809-1815 (reference: MSS 1857-60, 5606) and 1816-1817 (reference: MS 7096) are held by the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine; lecture notes, 1803-1832, are held by the McGill University, Osler Library, Canada; correspondence with Charles Lowe, 1824, held by Lincolnshire Archives (reference: Lowe); correspondence, 1823-1826, with Sir Robert Peel, held by the British Library, (reference: Add MSS 40359-90 passim); letters to T J Pettigrew, 1815-1838, held by Beinecke Library, Yale University; letters to the Duke of Wellington, 1833-1839, held by Southampton University Library (reference: MS 61).

Publication note:

The Life of Sir Astley Cooper, Bart., interspersed with sketches from his note-books of distinguished contemporary characters Bransby Blake Cooper 2 volumes (John W Parker, London, 1843); The Life and Work of Astley Cooper Russell Claude Brock (Edinburgh & London, 1952).


Archivist's note: Sources: Historical Manuscripts Commission's On-line National Register of Archives; Dictionary of National Biography CD-ROM (Oxford University Press, 1995); 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); 'List of Books by Guy's Men in the Wills Library, Guy's Hospital' William Wale, in Guy's Hospital Reports Vol LXVII, 1913. 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 Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: September 2001, Revised June 2004

Hospitals | Health services
Medical education | Higher science education
Physicians | Medical personnel | Medical profession | Medical sciences
Surgeons | Medical personnel | Medical profession | Medical sciences
Surgery | Medical sciences
Surgeons x Physicians
Medical institutions
Social sciences
Social welfare

Personal names
Cooper | Sir | Astley Paston | 1768-1841 | 1st Baronet | surgeon

Corporate names
St Thomas' Hospital | London

Southwark | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe