Henry Charlton Bastian Article

Scope and Content

Ts. bound volume of 'The life and work of Henry Charlton Bastian' by Mercer Rang.

Administrative / Biographical History

Henry Charlton Bastian was born April 26, 1837, Truro, Cornwall. In 1856 he entered University College, London and graduated M.B from London University in 1861. At first he worked at St. Mary's Hospital, London as assistant physician and lecturer on pathology. He received his M.D. in 1866 and already the next year, only thirty years old, returned to his alma mater as professor of pathological anatomy.

He continued to practice clinical medicine, and in 1878 was promoted to physician to University College Hospital. From 1887 to 1898 Bastian held the chair of the principles and practice of medicine and also had an appointment at the National Hospital in Queen Square, London, from 1868 to 1902. Early in his career he worked on the problem of abiogenesis, or spontaneous generation, and the return of this interest determined his premature retirement from clinical neurology.

Bastian married Julia Orme in 1866, and had three sons and a daughter. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1868, at the age of thirty-one; served as sensor of the Royal College of Physicians of London from 1897 to 1898; and received honorary fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and honorary M.D. from the Royal University of Ireland. From 1884 to 1898 Bastian was Crown referee in cases of supposed insanity, and a few months before he died, he was awarded a Civil List pension of pounds 150 a year in recognition of his services to science.

Mercer Rang was born in London, England in 1933, and graduated from the University College Hospital Medical School in 1956 at the age of 23. He began postgraduate surgical training in London's St. Bartholomew's Hospital. There followed two years of National Military Service as a Command Surgical Specialist in Northern Ireland. Mercer then undertook postgraduate orthopaedic training during which he was inspired by the late LipmannKessel to pursue an academic career. He enrolled in the programme of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. In 1965 he was seconded to Jamaica where he served for two years as a Senior Lecturer in Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of West Indies under

the leadership of the late Sir John Golding. It was during that time when Mercer single handedly organized a highly successful postgraduate course on "The Growth Plate and Its Disorders".

In 1967 he came to The Hospital for Sick Children as a Basic Research Fellow and undertook research on the pathogenesis of deformity of the femoral head in an animal model of Legg-Perthes' disease. At the end of that year he was appointed to the Staff of the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery where he continued undertaking research until his retirement from the Hospital in 1999. He thereafter practised and taught orthopaedics in Saudi Arabia for one year at the end of which he became ill and returned to Toronto.

He received many honours and awards, which included Honorary Fellowship of the American Acad emy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in 1990, Honorary Fellowship of the British Orthopaedic Association in 1996 and the Alan Graham Apley Gold Medal of that Association 1999.

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Acquisition Information

Transferred from UCL Centre for Clinical Science in May 1993.

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