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Title

Jones; Thomas Wharton (1808-1891); ophthalmologist

Name authority Item Type Metadata

Surname

Jones

Forename(s)

Thomas Wharton

Birth Date

1808

Death Date

1891

Occupation

Ophthalmologist

Biographical Text

Thomas Wharton Jones was born in St. Andrews and educated first at a school in Stirling, then at the Parish School of Dalmeny, and then at Musselburgh Grammar School. In 1822 he entered the literary classes at the University of Edinburgh and, a couple of years later, commenced the study of medicine. In 1827, at the age of eighteen, he was acting as demonstrator of anatomy under Robert Knox at the extra-mural school of anatomy. His fellow demonstrators were William Fergusson and Alexander Miller. However, the popular clamour over the Burke and Hare murders brought the extra-mural school of anatomy to an untimely end. As the school had been supplied with bodies for dissection by Burke and Hare, Knox and his demonstrators were driven out of Edinburgh. Wharton Jones went to Glasgow and through the influence of William Mackenzie determined to practice ophthalmic medicine and surgery. He was also a pupil of Professor Rainy and John Burns, under whom he studied embryology, and it was during this time that he made the first of a long series of discoveries destined to make his name famous. The discovery of the germinal vesicle in the mammalian ovum was published as a paper in 1835, and was followed in 1837 by a paper on the origin of the chorion, which attracted the attention and approval of the celebrated anatominst, Purkinje. For a short time, Wharton Jones engaged in private practice in Cork, then visited the principal continental universities. From 1838 he settled in London where he held first the post of Lecturer in Physiology at Charing Cross Hospital, then that of Fullerian Professor of Physiology at the Royal Institution. Subsequently, he was Professor of Ophthalmic Medicine and Surgery at University College, and Ophthalmic Surgeon to University College Hospital, a position that he held for thirty years. Upon his retiral from University College, he was granted the title of Emeritus Professor at that College. In 1840 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and in 1844 was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. In 1881, Wharton Jones moved from London to the town of Ventnor on the Isle of Wight where he lived until his death in 1891. During his lifetime he wrote a number of papers, most of which were published in the Philosophical Transactions, and relate chiefly to the capillary circulation in health and in inflammation. His essay, "The state of the blood and blood vessels in inflammation", which called attention to the degeneration that occurs in nerve fibres distally after their severance from the nerve centres, was published in the Guy's Hospital Reports for October 1850, and was awared the Astley Cooper prize of £300.

Jones; Thomas Wharton (1808-1891); ophthalmologist

Name authority Item Type Metadata

Surname

Jones

Forename(s)

Thomas Wharton

Birth Date

1808

Death Date

1891

Occupation

Ophthalmologist

Biographical Text

Thomas Wharton Jones was born in St. Andrews and educated first at a school in Stirling, then at the Parish School of Dalmeny, and then at Musselburgh Grammar School. In 1822 he entered the literary classes at the University of Edinburgh and, a couple of years later, commenced the study of medicine. In 1827, at the age of eighteen, he was acting as demonstrator of anatomy under Robert Knox at the extra-mural school of anatomy. His fellow demonstrators were William Fergusson and Alexander Miller. However, the popular clamour over the Burke and Hare murders brought the extra-mural school of anatomy to an untimely end. As the school had been supplied with bodies for dissection by Burke and Hare, Knox and his demonstrators were driven out of Edinburgh. Wharton Jones went to Glasgow and through the influence of William Mackenzie determined to practice ophthalmic medicine and surgery. He was also a pupil of Professor Rainy and John Burns, under whom he studied embryology, and it was during this time that he made the first of a long series of discoveries destined to make his name famous. The discovery of the germinal vesicle in the mammalian ovum was published as a paper in 1835, and was followed in 1837 by a paper on the origin of the chorion, which attracted the attention and approval of the celebrated anatominst, Purkinje. For a short time, Wharton Jones engaged in private practice in Cork, then visited the principal continental universities. From 1838 he settled in London where he held first the post of Lecturer in Physiology at Charing Cross Hospital, then that of Fullerian Professor of Physiology at the Royal Institution. Subsequently, he was Professor of Ophthalmic Medicine and Surgery at University College, and Ophthalmic Surgeon to University College Hospital, a position that he held for thirty years. Upon his retiral from University College, he was granted the title of Emeritus Professor at that College. In 1840 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and in 1844 was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. In 1881, Wharton Jones moved from London to the town of Ventnor on the Isle of Wight where he lived until his death in 1891. During his lifetime he wrote a number of papers, most of which were published in the Philosophical Transactions, and relate chiefly to the capillary circulation in health and in inflammation. His essay, "The state of the blood and blood vessels in inflammation", which called attention to the degeneration that occurs in nerve fibres distally after their severance from the nerve centres, was published in the Guy's Hospital Reports for October 1850, and was awared the Astley Cooper prize of £300.

Citation

“Jones; Thomas Wharton (1808-1891); ophthalmologist,” Heritage, accessed May 27, 2019, https://heritage.rcpsg.ac.uk/items/show/1246.