Sydney Ringer Papers

Scope and Content


UCL and UL certificates of honour; qualifications as apothecary and surgeon, 1855-1859

Letters to his daughter Mrs Charles Kayler after his death, 1910-1912

Offprints, obituaries and articles about Ringer, 1878-1973.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sydney Ringer was born into a Quaker family in Norwich. His father died whilst he was still very young, but both Sydney and his brothers proved exceptionally resourceful. His elder brother, John Melanothon, amassed a vast fortune in Shanghai, whilst his younger brother, Frederick, went to Japan, where he founded the company Holme, Ringer & Co in Nagasaki in 1868 and became so successful he was given the name "King of Nagasaki"

Ringer's entire professional career was associated with the University College Hospital, London. He entered the medical faculty of University College, London, in 1854, and graduated M.B. in 1860, being a resident medical officer in the University Medical Hospital from 1861 to 1862. He gained his M.D. in 1863 and that same year was appointed as assistant physician to the hospital, becoming a full physician in 1866. From 1865 to 1869 he also held the position as assistant physician at the Children's Hospital, Great Ormond Street.

Ringer served successively as professor of materia medica, pharmacology and therapeutics, and the principles and practice of medicine at the University College faculty of medicine. In 1887 he was named Holme professor of clinical medicine, a chair he held until his retirement in 1900. In 1870 he became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and in 1885 a fellow of the Royal Society.

Publications include:

'The action of veratria on the ventricle of the frog's heart' (1882)

'The collected papers of Sydney Ringer' (1912)

'Concerning the action of salts of potash, soda, and ammonia on the frog's heart' (1882)

'Concerning the influence exerted by each of the constituents of the blood on the contraction of the ventricle' (c1880)

'The effects of pilocarpine (the alkaloid of Jaborandi) on two cases of unilateral sweating' (1876)

'Experiments on patients by two hospital physicians' (1885) with William Murrell

'A few further experiments with pituria' (1879) with William Murrell

'Handbook of therapeutics' (1882).

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Acquisition Information

Deposited Aug 1994.

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