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J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1993 Jun;56(6):599-604.

The neurological founding fathers of the National Society for Epilepsy and of the Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy.

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Institute of Neurology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London.


The National Society for Epilepsy is the largest epilepsy charity in the United Kingdom, and administers the Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy. The Society was founded in London in 1892 and its first task was to establish an agricultural colony where people with epilepsy could live and work; and this was the origin of the Chalfont Centre. Recently, details of the early history of the Society have come to light showing that neurologists from the National Hospital, Queen Square were instrumental in its foundation. The meeting in which the society was constituted was held in the house of Thomas Buzzard, chaired by David Ferrier, and its first resolution was proposed by John Hughlings-Jackson. Other neurologists associated with its early history include William Gowers, Victor Horsley, Howard Tooth, and W Aldren Turner. In this paper we review the society's history and the light it throws on the attitudes to epilepsy and neurology in London in this exciting late Victorian period.

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