Walshe Papers

Scope and Content

Papers and correspondence, 1913-1973, of Sir Francis Martin Rouse Walshe. Personal and biographical documents and correspondence, 1913-1965, include certificates and documentation about appointments and honours; photograph of Walshe at Queen Square, 1915; papers, 1915-1920, relating to service in Egypt; papers relating to visits to the USA, 1924-1925, 1959, 1965; caricature of Walshe, 1948; letters of congratulation on Walshe's knighthood, 1953; a manuscript biographical note by Walshe prepared for the journal 'Brain', 1965; letters containing recollections of Walshe sent by colleagues for a memorial volume, 1973. Drafts and manuscripts of publications, speeches and addresses, some heavily revised and with later annotations and comments by Walshe, date from 1918-1972, and, besides scientific papers, include some publishers' contracts; reviews of Walshe's published works, chiefly 'Critical Studies in Neurology' (1948) and 'Thoughts upon the Equation of Mind with Brain' (1953); and Walshe's earliest discussion of 'miraculism' in medicine, published in the 'Catholic Medical Guardian', 1938. Manuscripts and printed material relating to various controversies in which Walshe was involved as a leading member of the Roman Catholic medical community include lectures on stigmatization; a letter from Walshe on the duties of lay Catholics; printed works on religious matters, 1926-1938; a memorandum, 1965, correspondence, 1960-1966, and various press cuttings and printed matter on contraception. There is various correspondence, 1922-1927, 1940-1973, some of it scientific, including a postcard to Walshe from J S Haldane, 1921, and copies of correspondence between William B Bean and Walshe, 1950-1973.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born in London, 1885; educated at Prior Park College, Bath, 1898-1901; University College School, London, 1901-1903; attended University College London as a medical student, 1903-1910; BSc, 1908; MB, BS, 1910; held house appointments at University College Hospital, London, for a year; worked at the National Hospital, Queen Square, London as House Physician and Resident Medical Officer; MD, 1912; Member of the Royal College of Physicians, 1913; Consulting Neurologist to the British Forces in Egypt and the Middle East, Royal Army Medical Corps, 1915-1919; OBE, 1919; mentioned in dispatches; elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, 1920; pioneered description and analysis of human reflexes in physiological terms, 1920-1930; appointed Honorary Physician, National Hospital, Queen Square, 1921; appointed Honorary Physician, University College Hospital, 1924; DSc, 1924; delivered the Oliver Sharpey Lecture, Royal College of Physicians, 1929; editor of 'Brain', 1937-1953; advised caution about some `miraculous' cures at Lourdes in the 'Catholic Medical Guardian', 1938-1939; published, mainly in the journal 'Brain', important papers on the function of the cerebral cortex in relation to movements, and on neural physiology in relation to the awareness of pain, 1940-1960; honorary doctorate, National University of Ireland, 1941; elected Fellow of the Royal Society, 1946; delivered the Harveian oration, Royal College of Physicians of London, 1948; President of the Association of Neurologists, 1950-1951; President of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1952-1954; Ferrier Lecturer, Royal Society, 1953; knighted, 1953; from 1953, increasingly absorbed in philosophical problems of the mind-brain relationship; honorary doctorate, University of Cincinnati, 1959; President of the Royal Society of Hygiene and Public Health, 1962-1964; Fellow of University College London, 1964; in a special issue of the journal 'Brain', summarised his experience during fifty years as a neurologist, 1965; died, 1973. See also C G Phillips' memoir in 'Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society', vol xx (1974). Publications include: with (Sir) Gordon Holmes and James Taylor, edited 'Selected Writings of John Hughlings Jackson' (2 volumes, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1931-1932); neurological sections of Conybeare's (1936) and Price's (1937) 'Textbook of Medicine; Diseases of the Nervous System' (E & S Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1940, 11th edition 1970, and widely translated); 'Critical Studies in Neurology' (E & S Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1948); 'Further Critical Studies in Neurology '(E & S Livingstone, Edinburgh & London, 1965); 'The Structure of Medicine and its Place among the Sciences' (The Harveian Oration, Royal College of Physicians, E & S Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1948); 'Humanism, History, and Natural Science in Medicine' (The Linacre Lecture, E & S Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1950); papers on physiology and diseases of the nervous system.


The catalogued papers are arranged by section as follows: Biographical and personal (Ref: A); Publications, speeches and addresses (Ref: B); Religious controversies (Ref: C); Correspondence (Ref: D).

Access Information

Certain restrictions apply

Some sections are restricted. Please contact Special Collections for further information.

Acquisition Information

Three deposits were transferred to University College London from the CSAC in 1975, 1977 and 1981. Two further files were received from Dr Walshe to add to his father's papers in 1982 and 1993.

Other Finding Aids

A detailed list is available on the online catalogue.

Custodial History

Received for cataloguing by the Contemporary Scientific Archives Centre (CSAC) from Dr J M Walshe, son of Sir Francis Walshe, and Professor C G Phillips, author of the Royal Society memoir of Walshe, in 1974-1975, and from Dr Walshe in 1977 and 1978 (first and second supplementary material). The documents which form the second supplementary deposit were found among the books in Walshe's library by his son, who noted at the head of the documents the titles of the books in which they were found and the name of the library to which they were given.

Related Material

University College London Special Collections holds papers of William R Merrington on the history of University College Hospital and its staff, including the typescript of a long interview with Sir Francis Walshe (Ref: UCH/UNOF/2/1). The College Records Office holds a file on Walshe (Ref: 126/105; Box 18).

The Royal College of Physicians of London holds an anatomical notebook, 1904 (Ref: MS 99), letters to Walshe, and printed books from Walshe's library, with annotations and underscorings. The Royal Society, London, holds collected papers, 1914-1962 (4 bound volumes) and reviews for 'Medical Science', 1919-1925 (1 bound volume). Walshe's son presented books from his father's library to the Neurological Department, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge (textbooks and technical books) and to the library of the National Hospital, Queen Square, London (philosophical works).