Thomas Percy Claude Kirkpatrick (1869-1954) was educated at Foyle College, Derry, and Trinity College Dublin, becoming one of the earliest specialists in anaesthesia. In 1900, he was appointed assistant physician at Dr Steevens's Hospital, which remained central to his medical practice and to his work as an historian. In 1908, he was appointed registrar of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. A good classicist and a bibliophile, he became the doyen of Irish medical historians, publishing book-length accounts of the Rotunda Hospital and the Medical Schools of Trinity College. His pamphlets, including many biographical studies, were numerous.
Financed through the will of Dr Richard Steevens (1653-1710), and brought into existence by his surviving twin sister, Griselda, Dr Steevens' Hospital (1733) rapidly became a vital institution in the city of Dublin's provision of health care. In its origins, it was promoted by leading citizens, including Jonathan Swift and William King. Throughout its long period of activity, it advanced medical science in both the clinical and educational spheres. Abraham Colles (1773-1843) was only one of its world-renowned surgeons and physicians. To its doors were brought the victims of Invincible crime in 1882.T. P. C. Kirkpatrick's magisterial account of Steeven's was the greatest of his many medical publications, rich in detail, attentive to historical context, and ably conveying the professional significance of the work undertaken throughout the decades and centuries. Privately distributed by subscription in 1924, it is now re-published to mark the 275th anniversary of the hospital's opening, together with all the original photographs.
Dublin in 1700
Richard Steevens, The trustees of Dr Steevens' will
Preparations for the building
The trustees of Madam Steevens' deed
The opening of the hospital
Edward Worth - the Worth library
Swift and the hospital
The completion of the hospital
Early medical and surgical practice in the hospital
Changes in the staff
The hospital property
Closing years of the eighteenth century
Cusack as resident surgeon
The fever epidemic of 1817-1818
Regulations for medical practice in 1825
Medical teaching in Dublin
South's scheme for the school
Nursing in the hospital
Improvements in the hospital
The hospital stewards
"Kirkpatrick was a significant figure in the medical world in the first part of the twentieth century … [He] gives a grand, old fashioned, narrative of the institution charting its progress and development from its early days. This volume is also a small addition to the social history of Dublin in that it includes a list of subscribers which reads like a medical Who's Who not just of Dublin but of some far-flung corners of the British Empire such as Karachi and Cairo."
“Steevens’ Hospital was the second oldest hospital in Ireland in modern times, after the Charitable Infirmary, Jervis Street Hospital. It survived until the end of 1987; the following July the site was purchased by the Eastern Health Board, it is now the administrative headquarters of the HSE and also houses the valuable Edward Worth Library.
How the institution became a leading modern hospital, noted for advances in medicine and surgery in the last century, is described entertainingly by T. Percy Kirkpatrick, the Derry-born doyen of medical historians, who was Registrar of the Royal College of Physicians and a noted classicist. The history was privately distributed by subscription in 1924; it was republished recently to mark the 275th anniversary of the hospital’s opening, together with all the original photographs. The book is a treasure trove of information about a city and its people in a vanished time, when citizens travelled by ferry (owned by the hospital) across ‘Anna Liffey’ from the northern bank of the river, at a slipway where a bridge was later built and called The King’s Bridge.”