Scientific notebooks of Timothy Richards Lewis

Scope and Content

Twelve scientific notebooks relating to Lewis' research work while in India and as Assistant Professor in Pathology at the Army Medical School, Netley including information on patient observations, dissections of parasites and drawings.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born in Hafod, Wales and brought up on the family farm in Pembrokeshire. On leaving school he was apprenticed to a local apothecary but, at the age of nineteen, he went to London where took a post firstly with a chemist in Streatham and then as dispenser to the German Hospital. While at the hospital he learned German and attended lectures at University College London. He then moved to Aberdeen where he qualified in 1867. The following year he went to the Army Medical School at Netley, Hampshire where at the end of the four-month course passed out first on the list.

In 1869 Lewis was posted to India where he investigated cholera. While studying chyluria (the presence of lymphatic fluid in urine), he discovered minute worms in the urine of one particular patient. Subsequently they were identified as Filariidae, but in the meantime the patient disappeared before Lewis could carry out further investigations. In 1872 Lewis found similar worms in a blood sample. When this work was written up Lewis was amazed to discover the original patient setting up the type for its publication by the Government Printing Office in Calcutta. Later he found the mature worm but it had already been discovered independently of him by Joseph Bancroft in Australia. However he discovered and described the first trypanosome, which was named Trypanosoma lewisei after him, in the blood of a mammal. In 1883 he was appointed Assistant Professor of Pathology at Netley where he introduced practical bacteriology to the curriculum. He died of pneumonia three years later, allegedly as a consequence of a laboratory accident.

Access Information

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Acquisition Information

Presented to the School by Sir Patrick Manson c.1908 for the benefit of medical historians. Information found in a letter from Manson to Sir Ronald Ross, 21/10/1908 (Ross/24/04)


Compiled by Victoria Killick, Archivist. Sources: Behind the Frieze, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 1995; World Who's Who in Science, edited Allen G Debus, 1968.

Other Finding Aids

A detailed computer catalogue is available for use in the Archives and the on-line archive catalogue will be available at from 2005

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archivist

Geographical Names