• Reference
      GB 133 MMC/2/TurnerT
  • Physical Description
      1 file

Administrative / Biographical History

MRCS LSA 1816; FRCS 1843.

Turner was the founder of the Manchester Royal School of Medicine in Manchester, the first medical school in Manchester to be recognised by the Royal College of Surgeons (the School is more commonly known as Pine Street Medical School). He was born in Truro on 18 August 1793, and was educated at Truro Grammar School and then apprenticed to Nehemiah Duck, a surgeon at St Peter's Hospital, Bristol. Turner went to London in 1815 and studied at Guy's and St Thomas's Hospitals under Astley Cooper, and spent a year studying in Paris. Turner came to Manchester in 1817 and was house surgeon to Manchester Infirmary until 1820. He set up in practice as a surgeon in Piccadilly (later moving to King Street then Mosley Street) and soon began to teach. Turner gave his first course of lectures in 1822, to the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society. It was a general lecture for the public on 'The anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the human body'. This marked the beginning of his outstanding contribution to medical education. In 1824, Turner delivered an address in which he proposed the foundation of a school of medicine and surgery in Manchester. This was well received, and the same year Turner took a house in Pine Street and began lecturing to medical students on anatomy, physiology and pathology, joined by John Dalton who lectured on pharmaceutical chemistry. The School was very successful and expanded rapidly. Turner was appointed surgeon to the Manchester Infirmary in 1830, and he held this position until his resignation in 1855. He was also medical officer to St Mary's Hospital, Ancoats Hospital, and Manchester School for the Deaf and Dumb. Turner was also instrumental in founding the Manchester and Salford Sanitary Association, of which he was president from 1858 until his death. He was president of the Natural History Society in 1821, fellow of the Royal Medico-Chirurgical Society, fellow of the Linnean Society, and in 1843 became honorary professor of physiology to the Royal Institution, Manchester. Turner was elected to the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1865. Turner died on 17 December 1873.

Related Material

See also MMC/1/TurnerT.


See also,Memoir of Thomas Turner, (London 1875).