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GUTHRIE, Leonard George (1858-1918)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0113 MS-GUTHL
Held at: Royal College of Physicians
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Full title: GUTHRIE, Leonard George (1858-1918)
Date(s): 1893
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 volume
Name of creator(s): Guthrie | Leonard George | 1858-1918 | neurologist and paediatrician


Administrative/Biographical history:

Leonard George Guthrie was born in Kensington, London, on the 7 February 1858, second son of Thomas Anstey Guthrie. He was educated at King's College School, before entering Magdalen College, Oxford, where he studied classics. He graduated MA in 1880. He then chose to study medicine, and completed his clinical studies at St Bartholomew's Hospital, qualifying in 1886. He took the diplomas of both the Royal College of Surgeons and the Society of Apothecaries.

Guthrie obtained house appointments at the Paddington Green Children's Hospital and the Great Northern Central Hospital. Children's diseases became one of his chief interests, along with nervous disorders. His work as a paediatrician was greatly respected and it was noted that he was `adept in gaining the confidence of his young patients' (Munk's Roll, 1955, p.421). He joined the staff of the Hospital for Diseases of the Nervous System in 1888, whilst the hospital was still situated at Regent's Park. He was also appointed assistant physician to the North-West London Hospital. He graduated MD from Oxford in 1893. In 1900 he became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. He was subsequently made full physician at the Paddington Green Children's Hospital and the Hospital for Diseases of the Nervous System, Maida Vale, having stayed with the hospital after its move from Regent's Park in 1903.

Guthrie's major publication was Functional Nervous Disorders of Childhood (1907), which became a minor classic. He was FitzPatrick Lecturer at the Royal College of Physicians in 1907-08, and chose to lecture on 'Contributions to the Study of the Precocity in Children' and the 'History of Neurology'. He was greatly interested in the history of medicine; indeed Guthrie, according to a colleague, was a man who `loved young people and old things' (BMJ, 1919, p.29).

Guthrie contributed chapters to Sir Thomas Clifford Allbutt's A System of Medicine (1896-99; 1905-11), and to the Diseases of Children (1913), edited by Archibald Edward Garrod, Frederick Eustace Batten and James Hugh Thursfield. He was made secretary of the Royal College of Physicians committee for the revision of the Nomenclature of Diseases (5th ed. 1917). He also served as president of the Harveian Society, and of the Section for the Study of Diseases in Children of the Royal Society of Medicine.

During the First World War, 1914-18, he served on the staff of Lord Knutsford's Hospitals for Neurasthenic Officers. He was also selected to examine medical men under the Ministry of National Service. Guthrie was senior physician to both the Paddington Green Children's Hospital and the Maida Vale Hospital at the time of his death. He had also recently been appointed examiner in medicine to Oxford University, and member of the Council of the Royal College of Physicians.

He died on 24 December 1918, after an accident on one of London's tube railways, and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery.

Interstitial Nephritis in Childhood (London, 1897)
Functional Nervous Disorders in Childhood (London, 1907)
Contributions to the Study of Precocity in Children, and the History of Neurology (London, 1921)
The Nomenclature of Diseases, Leonard George Guthrie (ed.) (London, 1917, 5th ed.)


Scope and content/abstract:

Leonard George Guthrie's MD thesis on chloroform narcosis in children, unpublished typescript, 1893.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

All requests should be referred to the Archivist

Finding aids:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Provenance of the collection is unknown

Allied Materials

Related material:

There is material relating to Guthrie held elsewhere in the College archives, including his correspondence as Secretary of the College committee for the revision of the Nomenclature of Diseases, 1912-17 (MS2141/3 b-d, f-g, i, j; MS2141/4 a-p; MS2141/5/10-14, 16, 18-22, 25-26, 28, 31, 34-41, 43-45, 47); Letter from Guthrie to the College regarding his FitzPatrick Lectures, 1911 (MS1013/11); Letter from Guthrie to the College regarding the work of the Institute of Infant Welfare, 1917 (MS4084/14); Copy of article by Guthrie about Lady Sedley's receipt book, 1686, and other seventeenth century receipt books, 1913 (MS534a).

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Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Lives of the Fellows of the Royal College of Physicians of London, Vol. IV, 1826-1925, compiled by G.H. Brown (London, 1955) [Munk's Roll, 1955, pp.420-21]; `Obituary - Leonard George Guthrie', The Lancet, Vol. I, 1919, p.44; `Obituary - Leonard George Guthrie', British Medical Journal, Vol. I, 1919 [BMJ, 1919, pp.28-29]; A History of the Maida Vale Hospital for Nervous Diseases, Anthony Feiling (London, 1958)

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:
Compiled October 2003

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