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Sir Philip Crampton (1777-1858)

This article was written by George Thomas Bettany and was published in 1888

Sir Philip Crampton, surgeon, descended from a Nottinghamshire family settled in Ireland in Charles II's reign, was born at Dublin on 7 June 1777. He studied medicine in Dublin, early entered the army medical service, and left it in 1798, when he was elected surgeon to the Meath Hospital, Dublin. In 1800 he graduated in medicine at Glasgow. He soon after commenced to teach anatomy in private lectures, and maintained a dissecting-room behind his own house.

His success was marked, both in his private and in his hospital teaching. He was an excellent operator and an attractive practitioner, being ready in resource, successful in prescribing, and cultivated in medical science. He was for many years surgeon-general to the forces in Ireland and surgeon in ordinary to the queen, a member of the senate of the Queen's University, and three times president of the Dublin College of Surgeons. In 1839 Crampton was created a baronet. After retaining a large medical and surgical practice almost to the close of his life, he died on 10 June 1858, being succeeded in the baronetcy by his eldest son, John Fiennes Crampton, then British ambassador in Russia.

Crampton was much interested in zoology, and in 1813 published in Thomson's ‘Annals of Philosophy’ a ‘Description of an Organ by which the Eyes of Birds are accommodated to different distances,’ for which he was shortly after elected F.R.S. He was prominent in the foundation of the Royal Zoological Society of Ireland, and secured the grant to it of the ground in the Phenix Park.

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