Windsor was born at Settle, Yorkshire. He was apprenticed to William Sutcliff, a surgeon in Settle, before continuing his studies in London. On qualifying MRCS in 1812, he moved to Edinburgh and attended lectures at the University. Windsor returned to London to work as clinical clerk to Sir Astley Cooper at Guy's Hospital. He continued to study, attending lectures by Abernethy, Cooper, and Cline. In 1815 Windsor moved to Manchester, and soon afterward joined the Manchester Eye Hospital, and later lectured in medical jurisprudence and midwifery at Marsden St. Medical School. He was president of MMS in 1859. He wrote many papers on eye diseases and is believed to have been the first doctor in Manchester to use a stethoscope. Windsor was a noted botanist. He appears as a character in the novel A Manchester man by Mrs Linnaeus Banks.
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