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Coghill, John George Sinclair, 1834-1919 (Physician)



  • Existence: 1834-1919

Coghill, John George Sinclair, F.R.C.P. Edin. 1864, M.D.Edin. 1857.St. Catherine`s House, Church Street, Ventnor. He was born in Thurso in Caithness in 1834. He was Gold medallist in Anatomy, Midwifery and Medical Jurisprudence. He volunteered whilst an undergraduate as a surgeon’s assistant in the Royal Navy and served with the Baltic Fleet in the Crimean War and was decorated with the medal. and on graduation was for two years the private assistant to Sir James Simpson In 1858 he became Demonstrator in Anatomy Glasgow Medical School but in 1861 went to Shanghai where he was to become Consulting Physician to the Shanghai General Hospital. In 1870 he returned to this country and became Lecturer in Pathology and Pathological Anatomy at Edinburgh Medical School from 1873 to 1876 and assisted Sir James Simpson in teaching Midwifery. He came to Ventnor in 1875 for his health sake where he became Visiting Physician to the National Hospital for Consumption to follow Dr Hill Hassall (the founder of the hospital) who recommended him as successor. His article on Prevention of Tuberculosis in the February number of ‘The Nineteenth Century’ was well received and widely read. It was translated into German and as a result, he presented a paper, The Rational Treatment of Tuberculosis at the International Congress on Tuberculosis in Berlin in May 1889 and he used Koch’s ‘tuberculin’ in a medical trial at the hospital. He died in 1899 after a short illness (peritonitis following a perforated gastric ulcer). Dr Coghill was not only a noteworthy medical man but also a storehouse of information on a wide range of subjects from, the Great Wall of China, the art treasures of Japan, the story of Mary Queen of Scots and the Runic crosses of Iona. He had a sympathetic and sensitive nature which endeared him to his patients He lived in Hambrough Rd. when he came to Ventnor and later purchased Melville Lodge (now called Mulberry Grange) later moving to St Catherine’s House. He was a promoter of the Ventnor Light Railway Scheme. Two of his three daughters became doctors and it is noteworthy that he supported women becoming doctors and actually taught Miss Sophie Jex Blake, Mrs Garrett Anderson, and Mrs Peachy Phipson, among the band of women medical graduates, when a lecturer in Edinburgh in 1873-1875.
Source:, under 'Dr John G. S. Coghill. Physician of Ventnor'. Accessed on 09/02/2018.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Papers of the Coghill family

 Fonds — Box: CLX-A-360
Identifier: Coll-1858
Content Description This collection is composed of the papers of Agnes Irene Sinclair Coghill, medical student at the University of Edinburgh in the 1890s, and of a bound selection of articles published by her father John George Sinclair Coghill in The Lancet in 1859.1. The papers of Agnes Coghill include her degree certificate signed by the Vice-Chancellor, the Dean of the Faculty and the Senate's Secretary. She was awarded a Master in Surgery ("Gradum Magistri in Chirurgia") in 1897. Also included are...
Dates: 1859-1904