MA Edin 1886, BSc 1888, MB CM 1893, MD 1897.
Fothergill published extensively on gynaecology, writing works which were both groundbreaking and had popular success, such as Manual of Diseases of Women, published in 1916. He was also known for his role alongside Archibald Donald in the development of the Manchester operation for pelvic floor repair, which was often named after Fothergill. William Fothergill was born on 4 October 1865, into the family of Dr John Fothergill, the famous London physician and botanist. Fothergill, sometimes known as Bill, studied at the Universities of Edinburgh, Jena and Paris, where he pursued a distinguished academic career and was awarded a number of prizes. He held various junior appointments in Edinburgh at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and the Royal Maternity Hospital before coming Manchester in 1895.
Although he had few contacts in Manchester, Fothergill quickly began building his gynaecological career. He was appointed assistant lecturer to Professor William Sinclair, with whom he worked to found the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. In 1896 Fothergill was appointed honorary assistant gynaecological surgeon at the Manchester Northern Hospital for Women and in 1904 became gynaecologist to the Southern Hospital, Manchester. When the Southern Hospital merged with St Mary's Hospital, Fothergill joined the honorary staff of the new Hospital. He was appointed to the staff of MRI in 1907, later to become honorary consultant gynaecological surgeon. Fothergill worked at the University of Manchester for many years. He was a lecturer in gynaecology from 1901, rising through the ranks to become professor of obstetrics and gynaecology in 1919. Fothergill was also the first director of the Clinical Laboratory at MRI from 1899 until 1905, during which time he introduced radiological work to MRI. Fothergill was one time president of the North of England Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society, and Manchester Surgical and Pathological Societies. He died suddenly after giving a speech at a public dinner at the Midland Hotel, Manchester, on 4 November 1926.