Notes of Lectures by Thomas Pole

Scope and Content

Two volumes of notes from lectures given by Thomas Pole in London on obstetrics and midwifery created by John Atkinson Ransome. The flyleaf of the second volume has been signed by Ransome and dated 1801 and both title pages read 'A copy of T Pole's Obstetric Lectures by J A Ransome'. Both volumes also bear the bookplate of the Manchester Medical Society which indicate that they were donated to them by Dr Clay of Manchester in 1861 and that they were both subsequently allocated the reference Q 155 viz. their 1890 library catalogue.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Pole was born in Philadelphia, USA on 13 October 1753, the son of Englishman John Pole. He was raised a Quaker and in 1775 travelled to the UK with intention of attending Friends' meetings but which resulted in him studying medicine and remaining in the UK for the rest of his career. Pole studied medicine firstly with Dr Joseph Rickman in Maidenhead before spending time studying in Reading and Falmouth before eventually settling in London in 1781. He became a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons and later received his MD from St Andrews University in 1801.

Pole practiced from Cannon Street, London and concentrated his efforts primarily on obstetrics, which he also lectured in. He published a number of works during his lifetime including his Anatomical Instructor (1790) and an Anatomical Description of a Double Uterus and Vagina (1792). In 1802 Pole and his family moved to St James's Square, Bristol where he continued to lecture in midwifery and quickly developed an extensive practice.

Pole continued to devote much of his time to the Society of Friends and various philanthropic schemes throughout his life. He died on 28 September 1829 in Bristol.

See entry MMM/18/2 for biographical information about Ransome.


E.T. Wedmore, 'Pole, Thomas (1753-1829)', rev. Philip Carter, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, [, accessed 24 June 2016].