George Southam was the head of the Southam family, he was father of Frederick Armitage and grandfather of Arthur Hughes. His uncle was Dr John Justice Southam (see below) and his grandfather George Southam was also said to be a medical man. George Southam was born in Manchester on 3 December 1815, and was educated at Manchester Grammar School before being apprenticed to Joseph Jordan. He then studied for five years at the Royal School of Medicine in Pine Street, and completed his studies in London and Edinburgh. In 1837 he attended a course of lectures on chemistry by John Dalton. Southam was house surgeon and surgeon to Salford Royal Dispensary before establishing himself as a surgeon, where he quickly distinguished himself. He was appointed dispensary surgeon to MRI in 1847. He took a leading part in the foundation of the Chatham Street School and taught anatomy and surgery. When the School merged with Pine Street then Owens College, Southam was appointed joint professor of surgery and director of medical studies. Southam sat on the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons from 1873 until his death on 24 April 1876, and he was also president of the Council of the BMA.