Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie

Created Baronet in 1834, Member of the College of Surgeons, 1805; Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, 1843, President of the Royal Society, 1858

Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie

 Brodie was the fourth child of the Rev. Peter Brodie MA, of Worcester College, Oxford, Rector of Winterslow, Wilts. His mother, Sarah, was the daughter of Benjamin Collins, banker and printer, of Milford, near Salisbury. The Brodies were originally a Morayshire clan; he and his brothers raised a company of volunteers at a time when the French invasion was much dreaded.  He was privately educated by his father and went up to London aged 18 devoting himself to the study of anatomy. Brodie was a national figure and distinguished as an eminent practitioner.  He was surgeon at St. George's Hospital. He published his book, "On the Diseases of Joints" in 1819, which proved to be a popular reference for many years and many other interesting works.

He married Anne in 1816, third daughter of Mr Serjeant Sillon.

In 1832, he described the chronic bone abscess that has been named after him.  The patient was a man of 24 who had recurring symptoms in the lower extremity of his right tibia.  On examination, Brodie found a puss filled cavity, for which he believed that amputation could be avoided by trephination of that cavity.  He recognised the association of arthritis with gonorrhoea and that all hip disorders were associated with infection. Brodie was summoned to attend King George 1V, visiting him nightly at Windsor castle.  He assisted in removing a cyst from the King's scalp.  The King became warmly attached to him.

Baronet of Boxford, Suffolk and Betchworth, Surrey (1786 - 1862)

He was created Baronet in 1834 by King William 1V.

In 1843, he introduced the Fellowship Examination of the Royal College of Surgeons in order to improve the education and standing of surgeons. He was Sergeant-Surgeon to King William IV and to Queen Victoria. He died, nearly blind following double cataract for the relief of which he had been operated on at Broome Park, Betchworth.  Of the immediate cause of his death, "it seems that nearly thirty years previously he had suffered from a dislocation of the right shoulder, about which he never complained. Shortly before his death, he began to complain of pain accompanied by much prostration; and this was succeeded by the appearance of a tumour, doubtless malignant, in the neighbourhood of the shoulder".  It thus happened that he who spent his life treating diseased joints died of a joint disease.

Of his children, one became a professor, one a Vicar and his daughter married a Vicar.

The family seat was Brockham Warren at the top of Box Hill.  He gave the material for the building of Christ Church Brockham Green.


Tony Hines papers