The History of Dr Steevens' Hospital, Dublin 1720-1920 Jacket Image
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The History of Dr Steevens' Hospital, Dublin 1720-1920

T. Percy C. Kirkpatrick (author)
Publication date:
18th September 2008

Author Biography

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.