Bell, Charles, Sir, 1774-1842

Alternative names
Birth 1774-11-12
Death 1842-04-28

Biographical notes:

British surgeon and anatomist.

From the description of Charles Bell papers, 1830 and undated. (Duke University). WorldCat record id: 34992302

Charles Bell was born at Edinburgh in November 1774. He received his medical education from the University of Edinburgh. In 1799 he was elected a fellow of the College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and practised at the Edinburgh Infirmary. In 1804 he left Edinburgh for London to practise and to teach (1812-1836) at the William Hunter's School of Anatomy which was linked to the Middlesex Hospital. In 1828, he became the first Professor of Surgery at the University of London but was disappointed that there was no affiliation between the Middlesex Hospital and the University and resigned from the University in order to establish the medical school at the Middlesex. He continued to write on different aspects of anatomy. After spending the years 1821 to 1829 investigating the nervous system, Bell published The Nervous System of the Human Body in 1830. In 1838, he returned to Edinburgh where he became Professor of Surgery at the University of Edinburgh. In 1840, he made a three month tour of Italy. Bell became ill with heart disease and died on 28 April 1842.

From the guide to the Bell, Professor Sir Charles, 1840, (Senate House Library, University of London)


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  • Arteries--Drawings
  • Travel abroad
  • Anatomy, Artistic--Drawings
  • Nervous system
  • Travel
  • Brain
  • Surgery
  • Piano, bass guitar (2), electric guitar with string orchestra--Scores
  • Medical sciences


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  • Italy (as recorded)