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Green, Joseph Henry (1791-1863)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0114 MS0122
Held at: Royal College of Surgeons of England
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Full title: Green, Joseph Henry (1791-1863)
Date(s): 1824-1828
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 4 manuscript notebooks
Name of creator(s): Owen | Sir | Richard | 1804-1892 | Knight | comparative anatomist and palaeontologist
Clift | William | 1775-1849 | museum curator and scientific illustrator


Administrative/Biographical history:

Joseph Henry Green was born in London, in 1791. He was educated at Ramsgate, at Hammersmith, and then for three years in Berlin and Hanover. He was apprenticed to his uncle, the surgeon Henry Cline, in 1800 and acted as Cline's anatomical prosector and gave regular demonstrations on practical anatomy. He began to practise in 1816, when he was formally appointed Demonstrator of Anatomy at St Thomas's Hospital. He was elected Lecturer on Anatomy and Physiology jointly with Astley Cooper in 1818, and became Surgeon to St Thomas's Hospital in 1820. He then undertook the Lectureship on Surgery and Pathology in the United Schools of St Thomas's and Guy's Hospitals, again conjointly with Astley Cooper. He gave a series of lectures on comparative anatomy as Hunterian Professor at the College of Surgeons, in which he dealt for the first time in England with the whole of the animal sub-kingdoms, from 1824-1828. He was elected FRS in 1825, and was appointed Professor of Anatomy at the Royal Academy, a position he held until 1852. When King's College (London) was founded in 1830 Green was nominated Professor of Surgery and held the post until 1886. He continued in office as Surgeon to St Thomas's Hospital, resigning in 1853. He became a Member of the Court of Examiners in 1840. He was elected President in 1849 and again in 1858, having given the Hunterian Oration in 1840 and 1847. He became President of the General Medical Council in 1860. He died in 1863.

William Clift was born in 1775. He was apprenticed to John Hunter in 1792 and had sole charge of his museum after his death. He made copies of many of Hunter's manuscripts before the destruction of the originals by his brother-in-law Sir Everard Home. Clift was then conservator of the Hunterian Museum after the collection was transferred to the Royal College of Surgeons in 1800. He continued in this role for nearly 50 years compiling an osteological catalogue of the museum and researching the collections.

Richard Owen was born in 1804. He studied at the University of Edinburgh Medical School from 1824. He moved to London and became apprenticed to John Abernethy, in 1825. He was made Assistant Curator to the Hunterian Museum, in 1826. Owen engaged in private practice; lectured in comparative anatomy; worked with the collections in the museum; founded various societies; and made discoveries such as the identification of a sub-order of Saurian reptiles which he named Dinosauria. He became Joint Conservator of the Hunterian Museum with William Clift in 1842. Owen worked on the natural history collections of the British Museum, and campaigned for them to form a separate museum, which was opened in 1881 (now the Natural History Museum). He was knighted in 1884, and died in 1892.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Joseph Henry Green, 1824-1828, comprising a notebook titled Lecture the 7th, Tuesday March 30th 1824 Mr Green's first lecture containing notes, 1824; notebook containing notes by William Clift on lectures on the Natural History of Birds, read by Green in the theatre of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 1827; notebook containing notes of Green's lectures, 1827; and a notebook titled Mr Hunter's notion of life anterior to organisation, containing notes, 1828.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

As outlined in Scope and Content.

Conditions governing access:

By written appointment only.

Conditions governing reproduction:

No photocopying permitted.

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:

The provenance of this material is not known.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Notes by Thomas Egerton Bryant on lectures by Joseph Henry Green - MS0125.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Anya Turner.
Source: The Lives of the Fellows of The Royal College of Surgeons of England, Volume 1 A-MCD, p 465

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:
Sep 2008

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