Dumville was educated at Manchester Grammar School and served as a medical apprentice to Thomas Fawdington. He was admitted MRCS and LSA in 1835. In 1847 he became a dispensary surgeon at MRI, and in 1855 became a honorary surgeon. He was also a consulting surgeon at the Ardwick Dispensary Manchester, and lectured on surgery at Manchester Royal School of Medicine gaining a reputation as a noted clinical teacher. The University of Manchester's Dumville Surgical Prize was established in his memory.
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