John Crighton Bramwell was one of the founders of cardiology as a specialist subject in Britain. He was born in Edinburgh in 1889, the son of Sir Byron Bramwell, an eminent doctor. He was educated at Cambridge and came to Manchester to do clinical work at the MRI in 1911. At MRI he worked with professor A.V. Hill on pulse wave velocity and established an electrocardiographic department at MRI. In 1923-4 he was a Rockefeller fellow in the U.S.A., where he worked at Washington university, St Louis and at the Rockefeller Institute in New York.
In 1926 he was elected physician at MRI, with the support of many British and American physicians. He published widely on the gallop rhythm and on heart disease in pregnancy. In 1940 he became professor of systematic medicine at the University of Manchester. In 1946 he became the University's first professor of cardiology, a post he held until retirement in 1954.
Bramwell was active in the Cardiac Club as secretary from 1928-1932; the Club later became the British Cardiac Society. He was active in the Royal College of Physicians and was president of the Association of Physicians in 1955-6. He was also president of Manchester Medical Society in 1952-3. He delivered many named lectures to medical bodies, including the Harveian Oration in 1956.