List of doctors and surgeons

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This article details some individual Doctors and Surgeons. For general information and research guidance, see the main Doctor article.


A further list of surgeons, who found fame as botanists and naturalists can be found in that article.


  • Gabriel Broughton was, perhaps, the most influential doctor in the history of British India. In the year 1636 the daughter of Mughal Emperor, Shah Jehan, was badly burnt following the upset of an oil lamp. The Emperor sent for the English ship's surgeon, Gabriel Broughton, who was able to assist her. In a later incident he treated another lady of the Emperor's harem. In reward for his services he asked that the East India Company be given a charter to trade in Bengal.
  • William Hamilton (Wikipedia), a surgeon, died 1717. In gratitude for the success of the medical treatment given to him by Hamilton, the Mughal Emperor, Furrukhsiyar, made generous gifts to the English surgeon. He also allowed the East India Company to purchase about 30 villages which enabled fortification of their position around Calcutta and greatly strengthened their trading presence in Bengal. Hamilton's profession, therefore, played a significant role in establishing the early influence of the East India Company. Photo of memorial to Surgeon William Hamilton on Fibis database
  • The Diaries of Three Surgeons of Patna, 1763 edited by W K Firminger 1909. The diaries of William Anderson, Peter Campbell and William Fullarton (Fullerton) about the massacre at Patna in 1763. William Anderson died there. His diary is also published in the Calcutta Review, Volume 79 1884 which is available online on the Digital Library of India website, computer page 349.(Search for Calcutta Review, Vol 79). Refer Online books-Digital Library of India for more details about this site. William Fullerton was appointed Surgeon to the Calcutta General Hospital in 1744
  • John Farquhar Assistant Surgeon c 1794 was “better known for the large fortune which he acquired from the various speculations into which he entered", brief details are in this link
  • William Lewis M'Gregor (or McGregor) 1801-1853. He gained his M.D. at Edinburgh 1825. He was appointed Assistant Surgeon 15 March 1826 and Surgeon 13 January 1842.[1] He took part in the 1st Sikh War as surgeon of the 1st Bengal (European) Fusiliers, also known as the 1st European Light Infantry. He had also resided, for a time, at Lahore, as physician to Runjeet Singh,[2] the Sikh leader (who died in 1839). M'Gregor wrote The History of the Sikhs Volume I and The History of the Sikhs containing an Account of the War between the Sikhs and the British in 1845-46 Volume II both published in 1846 Google Books. He describes how at the end of 1836 he performed galvanism, a type of electric shock therapy on the ailing Runjeet Singh, page 274 of Volume 1. Allen’s Indian Mail, page 673 reported M'Gregor’s death on 11 September 1853.
  • Stray Leaves from the Diary of an Indian Officer by Robert Bakewell Cumberland 1865 Google Books. The author was an Assistant Surgeon in the Bengal Medical Service from 1828, became a Surgeon 1 February 1845, and retired 20 January 1854.
  • The ‘Apostle of Mesmerism in India’ Dr James Esdaile. Appointed 1831, returned to England in 1851. British Library-Untold Lives 25 January 2013.
  • John M'Cosh, generally written McCosh, joined the Bengal Medical Service in 1831 and retired in 1856. In 1833 he was travelling to Australia on sick leave when he was shipwrecked. He spent two years in Assam[3] and served in the 2nd Sikh War and the 2nd Burma War, where he was a pioneer photographer.[4] For further details see Photographer-Individuals. He also wrote poetry.
His books and articles include


  • Colly Lyon Lucas joined the EIC’s service 9 January 1764. "A Lucas Family: From Ireland to India" by David Atkinson FIBIS Journal Number 26 Autumn 2011, pages 11-25
  • Diseases of India by Sir James Annesley, 3rd edition. Google books. Commences with details of his career as a Military Surgeon in the Madras Presidency from 1800 until he retired in 1838, after five years on the Medical Board.
  • Edward Green Balfour (Wikipedia) ,appointed Assistant Surgeon in the Madras Medical Service and sailed for India 1834. Retired 1876. Pages from History: Edward the green Balfour Madras Musings March 16-31 2010
  • George Edward Aldred was appointed an Assistant Surgeon in the Madras Medical Service on the 20th of April 1847. This page from Asplin Military History shows the appointment procedures. He was court martialled for unbecoming conduct in July 1848 and dismissed, as this item from Allen’s Indian Mail 1848 shows, but subsequently reinstated.
  • William Robert Cornish (Wikipedia). Appointed Assistant Surgeon Madras 1854. Retired in 1885 as head of the Madras Presidency Medical Services
  • Ronald Ross (Wikipedia). Madras Medical Service 1881-1899. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1902 for his work on malaria, researched while he was in India.


  • Andrew Jukes from Encyclopedia Iranica. Appointed Assistant Surgeon 1798.
  • Narrative of the Campaign of the Indus in Sind and Kaubool in 1838-9 by Richard Hartley Kennedy M.D. Chief of the Medical Staff of the Bombay Division of the Army of the Indus. 1840 Volume 1 Volume 2
  • Henry Vandyke Carter 1831-1897 (Wikipedia) provided the drawings for the famous medical text book Gray’s Anatomy. He later joined the Bombay Medical Service where he had a distinguished research career and was Principal of the Grant Medical College Bombay.
  • John Henry Sylvester was appointed to the Bombay Medical Service in 1853. His book Recollections of the campaign in Malwa and Central India: under Major General Sir Hugh Rose by Assistant Surgeon John Henry Sylvester 1860 Google Books is about the campaign during the Indian Mutiny. C 1875 he wrote a manuscript which was published in 1971 by Macmillan, London under the title Cavalry surgeon : the recollections of Deputy Surgeon-General John Henry Sylvester, Bombay Army. Available at the British Library Review of the book (Scroll to bottom) html version, original pdf which says "It’s description of ruthless fighting on the North-west frontier has no equal but Winston Churchhill’s Malakand Field Force". This link, scroll down, gives details of his service: He served in the Bombay Medical Service from 1853-1875. He saw service during the Persian campaign 1856-1857, Indian Mutiny, the Central India campaign, action at Mundesur, Jhansi, the battles of the Betwa and Kunch and the capture of Kalpi and Gwalior. In 1863 he was present on the North West Frontier and then saw action at Buner pass and the burning of Ambela
  • George Edward Seward, who joined the Bombay Medical Service in 1855, is the subject of this India List post. His service included that of Medical Officer and Cantonment Magistrate at Baroda, where he was instrumental in discovering poison in the cup given through the Gaekwar’s agents to Sir Robert Phayre in 1874, later giving evidence at the famous Baroda trial.
  • Obituary of R Markham Carter 1875-1961 from the British Medical Journal, with an additional tribute ( A large part of his career was in Bombay. He was renowned for the stand he took in respect of the appalling conditions suffered by casualties at Basra in Mesopotamia during the First World War.

Indian Medical Service

Royal Army Medical Corps and the earlier British Army Medical Services


External links

Medical History of British India - National Library of Scotland


  1. Roll of the Indian Medical Service 1615-1930 by D.G. Crawford
  2. Dublin University Magazine Volume 29, 1847, page 546 Google Books
  3. Topography of Assam by John M'Cosh 1837, page vi
  4. Photography: a Cultural History, page 49 by Mary Warner Marien 2006 Google Books
  5. London Gazette Tuesday 18 August 1942
  6. Obituary of Colonel Tony Hewitt 17 Aug 2004
  7. The Autobiography and Services of Sir James McGrigor, bart., late Director-General of the Army Medical Department, with an appendix of notes and original correspondence, Chapter VI, page 92 1861 Google Books
  8. reprinted in Oliver Wendell Holmes, poet, littérateur, scientist, page 330 by William Sloane Kennedy 1883,, originally from Atlantic Monthly, January 1858
  9. "Words for the hour": a new anthology of American Civil War poetry, edited by Faith Barrett, Cristanne Miller Google Books