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Royal College of Surgeons of England

Bland-Sutton, Sir John: Papers


Reference code(s): GB 0114 MS0287

Held at: Royal College of Surgeons of England

Title: Bland-Sutton, Sir John: Papers

Date(s): 1799-1940

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 5 boxes

Name of creator(s): Sutton | Sir | John Bland- | 1855-1936 | formerly John Sutton | 1st Baronet | surgeon x Bland-Sutton | Sir | John


Administrative/Biographical history:

Sir John Bland-Sutton was born in Enfield Highway, in 1855. He was educated at the local school, where he acted for two years as pupil teacher with the intention of becoming a schoolmaster. He was dtermined to become a doctor as soon as he had the money necessary to pay the fees. He attended the private school of anatomy kept by Thomas Cooke, FRCS, off Mecklenburgh Square. Here he learnt and taught anatomy, until he could afford the fees at the Middlesex Hospital. He entered there as a student in 1878, and was immediately appointed Prosector of Anatomy. He became junior demonstrator in 1879; senior demonstrator in 1883; and lecturer from 1886-1896. He was Murchison scholar at the Royal College of Physicians in 1884. He was elected assistant surgeon to the Middlesex Hospital in 1886, with the proviso that he should remain in London during the months of August and September, when the senior surgeons were accustomed to take their annual holiday. He became assistant surgeon to the Hospital for Women in 1886, and was promoted to surgeon six months later. He became surgeon to the Middlesex Hospital from 1905-1920, when he resigned and was made consulting surgeon. At the Royal College of Surgeons he won the Jacksonian prize in 1892; he gave the Erasmus Wilson lectures in 1885-1887 and 1889-1891; he was elected a member of the Pathological Society in 1882 and served on the Council of the Society from 1887-1890; he was an examiner in anatomy for the Fellowship in 1895; he was a Hunterian Professor of Comparative Anatomy and Physiology from 1888-1889, and gave a lecture as Hunterian Professor in 1916; he was Bradshaw Lecturer in 1917; and Hunterian Orator in 1923. Elected to the Council in 1910, he was Vice-President in 1918-1920, and was President for the years 1923-1925. In 1927 he was elected a trustee of the Hunterian collection. During World War One he was gazetted major, RAMC(T) in 1916, and was attached to the 3rd London General Hospital at Denmark Hill. The surroundings and discipline of a military hospital proved uncongenial, and in 1916 he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel, placed upon an appeal board, and directed to collect he specimens of gunshot wounds which formed a unique display in the museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, until they were destroyed by the bombing of 1941. Bland-Sutton became a prosector at the Zoological Gardens in Regent's Park in 1881 whilst he was still a student at the Middlesex Hospital. He was made Vice-President of the Zoological Society of London in 1928. He lectured on comparative pathology at the Royal Veterinary College in Camden Town from 1891-1892. He was President of the Medical Society of London 1914; President of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland 1929; President of the Royal Society of Medicine 1929; and President of the International Cancer Conference held in London in 1928. He was also a Knight of Grace of the Order of St John of Jerusalem from 1924. He died in 1936.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Sir John Bland-Sutton, 1799-1940, comprising 9 volumes of diaries relating to the operations of private patients, 1921-1929; 13 volumes of appointment diaries, 1921-1934; an address book containing notes and press cuttings relating to Bland-Sutton, archaeology, astronomy, and medicine, c 1928-1933; volume titled Principles of Doll Surgery with manuscript additions. Including a printed page relating to the books in the Queen's dolls house, and a letter (with a copy of his reply) from Princess Marie-Louise relating to publishing a book about the books in the Queen's dolls house library; manuscript of The Story of a Surgeon (first published 1930), with author's corrections; manuscript drafts and published copies of articles on Joan Proctor, eunuchs, Lord Lister, angler fish, robber crabs and antler cutting, c 1931; papers and press cuttings relating to Bland-Sutton's publications, 1929-1933; financial records, 1929-1932; notes from Bland-Sutton to Victor Plarr, and other librarians of the RCSEng, relating to books and periodicals in the College library, 1892-1918; a letter relating to a monkey with rickets, 10 Jan 1916; press cuttings and obituaries relating to Bland-Sutton, 1936; a drawing and biography of Bland-Sutton from the Vanity Fair series 'Men of the Day no.1214'; a visitors book from 47 Brook Street, including a poem by Rudyard Kipling, 1905-1932; visitors book from Villa Vita, a gift from the Kiplings, 1935-1940; friends and family photograph album, 1903-1938; family photograph album including Persia, Egypt and Near-East, portraits, statues and the Persian Court, c 19th century; approximately 50 unidentified photographs, c 19th century; photograph and papers relating to Miss Ada Heather Bigg (elder sister of Edith Bland-Sutton), 1874-1879; and a collection of autograph letters including Viscount Horatio Nelson, Sir George Smyth Baden-Powell, and Sir Frederick Treves, 1799-1918.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

As outlined in Scope and Content.

Conditions governing access:

By written appointment only.

Conditions governing reproduction:

No photocopying permitted.

Finding aids:



Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The provenance of this material is not known.


Related material:

Portrait by the Hon. John Collier, RA. An earlier portrait by Collier is at the Royal Society of Medicine.

Royal Society of Medicine: Portrait by the Hon. John Collier, RA.

The Middlesex Hospital: Marble bust by Sir George Frampton, and a drawing by George Belcher.


Archivist's note: Compiled by Anya Turner.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Oct 2008

Clippings | Documents | Information sources
Costume dolls | Toys | Teaching materials
Financial records | Documents | Information sources
Medical records | Documents | Information sources
Medical treatment | Therapy | Medical sciences
Photographs | Visual materials
Rickets | Bone diseases | Diseases | Pathology
Surgery | Medical sciences
Manufactured goods
Musculoskeletal diseases
Primary documents

Personal names
Kipling | Rudyard | 1865-1936 | author
Lister | Joseph | 1827-1912 | 1st Baron Lister | surgeon x Lister | 1st Baron
Marie Louise | Princess | 1872-1956 | granddaughter of Queen Victoria
Nelson | Horatio | 1758-1805 | 1st Viscount Nelson of the Nile and Burnham Thorpe | Vice-Admiral
Plarr | Victor Gustave | 1863-1929 | poet and librarian
Powell | Sir | George Smyth Baden- | 1847-1898 | Knight | politician and author
Sutton | Sir | John Bland- | 1855-1936 | formerly John Sutton | 1st Baronet | surgeon x Bland-Sutton | Sir | John
Treves | Sir | Frederick | 1853-1923 | 1st Baronet | surgeon

Corporate names
Vanity Fair