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Robert McDonnell (surgeon)

Name  Robert McDonnell

Role  Surgeon
James McDonald (Canadian politician)

Robert McDonnell, FRS (15 March 1828 – 6 May 1889) was an Irish surgeon.


James McDonald (Canadian politician)


Born at Dublin 15 March 1828, he was second son of Dr. John McDonnell, from a Hebridean background. He was educated privately, and entered Trinity College, Dublin, in 1844. In the following year he was apprenticed to Richard Carmichael, and on Carmichael's death by drowning in 1849 he was transferred to Robert Moore Peile. He graduated B.A. and M.B. in 1850, obtained the license of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland on 22 February 1851, and was admitted a fellow on 24 August 1853. He then visited Edinburgh, Paris, and Vienna.

In 1855, during the Crimean war, he was attached to the British Hospital at Smyrna, and he volunteered as civil surgeon to serve in the general hospital in the camp before Sebastopol, where he remained until the end of the siege. For his services he received the British medal and clasp, and the Turkish medal. In 1856 he was appointed demonstrator of anatomy in the Carmichael School of Medicine, where he later became lecturer on anatomy and physiology. In 1857 he proceeded M.D. in the Trinity College, Dublin, and in 1864 he was admitted to the degree of M.D. in the Queen's University in Ireland. He was appointed a surgeon to Jervis Street Hospital in Dublin in 1863, and three years later he was elected surgeon to Dr Steevens' Hospital, and professor of descriptive anatomy in its medical school attached to it.

In 1857 McDonnell was appointed medical superintendent of Mountjoy Prison. In the discharge of his official duties he clashed with the prisons board, on questions of the food supply and general treatment of the prisoners under his charge. He stoutly maintained that the medical officer should exercise full discretion in such matters. The board thought otherwise, and he resigned his post in 1867. Some demur was made to granting him a pension, but in the interests of his profession he fought out the battle, and eventually obtained the pension. The money he contributed to the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund Society.

McDonnell was twice elected by the senate of Trinity College a member of the university council. For some years he was an examiner at the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, a body of which he was elected president in 1877. In 1885 he was elected president of the Academy of Medicine in Ireland, an honourable position which he filled for three years. He belonged to the Royal Society, elected a fellow on 1 June 1865, and other English scientific societies. He died suddenly at his house in Merrion Square, Dublin, on Monday, 6 May 1889, supposedly of rupture of an aneurysm. He was twice married, and left one son by his second wife.


McDonnell wrote no books, but authored many surgical and scientific papers. He edited a volume of the works of Abraham Colles for the New Sydenham Society in 1881.


Robert McDonnell (surgeon) Wikipedia

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