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Wilson, Sir William James Erasmus (1809-1884)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0114 MS0075
Held at: Royal College of Surgeons of England
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Full title: Wilson, Sir William James Erasmus (1809-1884)
Date(s): 1845-1888
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 box
Name of creator(s): Wilson | Sir | William James Erasmus | 1809-1884 | Knight | dermatologist and philanthropist x Wilson | Erasmus

Context

Administrative/Biographical history:

William James Erasmus Wilson, generally known as Erasmus Wilson, was born in Marylebone, in 1809. He was educated at Dartford Grammar School and at Swanscombe in Kent. At the age of 16 he became a resident pupil with George Langstaff, Surgeon to the Cripplegate Dispensary, and began to attend the anatomical lectures given by John Abernethy at St Bartholomew's Hospital. In 1831 he became assistant to Jones Quain, Professor of Anatomy and Physiology at the newly formed University College, and was soon afterwards appointed Demonstrator of Anatomy. He lectured upon anatomy and physiology at Middlesex Hospital, in 1840 and became assistant editor of The Lancet. He was also Consulting Surgeon to the St Pancras Infirmary, and was elected FRS in 1845. At the Royal College of Surgeons Erasmus Wilson sat on the Council from 1870-1884, was Vice-President in 1879 and 1880, and President in 1881. In 1870, at an expense of 5,000, he founded the Chair of Dermatology, of which he was the occupant till 1878. He became particularly interested in the study of Egyptian antiquities, and in 1877 he paid the cost (about 10,000) of the transport of 'Cleopatra's Needle' to London. He was President of the Biblical Archaeological Society, served the office of Master of the Clothworkers' Company, and was President of the Medical Society of London in 1878 after he had given the Oration in 1876. He died in 1884.

Content

Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Sir William James Erasmus Wilson, 1845-1888, comprising correspondence with Thomas Stone and the Royal College of Surgeons Of England, and notes on 'Cleopatra's Needle', 1845-1884; Wilson's Will and Codicil, 1882-1883; and correspondence between his executors, solicitors, the Royal College of Surgeons of England, and the accountant charged with organising Wilson's estate on the College's behalf, 1885-1888.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English

System of arrangement:

As outlined in Scope and Content.

Conditions governing access:

By written appointment only.

Conditions governing reproduction:

At the discretion of the Librarian.

Finding aids:

Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Library of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (1928) by Victor G Plarr.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Unknown

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Anya Turner.
Source: The Lives of the Fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons, Volume 2, page 534.

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:
Aug 2008

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