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Aust N Z J Surg. 1997 Aug;67(8):524-7.

William Cheselden (1688-1752): humane anatomist and master surgeon.


William Cheselden (1688-1752) as a young man had a considerable reputation as an anatomist. He was one of the first to give a regular series of lecture/demonstrations and he incorporated this material into a basic text The Anatomy of the Humane Body, which was extremely popular and was in print for 100 years. He was even better known as a surgeon, being on the staff of three teaching hospitals and recognized as the most skillful lithotomist of his time. His achievements are on record and he must be regarded as one of the greatest of British surgeons. Perhaps his greatest impact was his strong advocacy for the separation of surgeons from the Barber-Surgeons Company. He realised how much this long-established relationship was delaying the advancement of surgeons and surgery, and his vigorous action resulted in an Act of Parliament that severed the old ties and established in 1745 the Corporation of Surgeons, forerunner of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

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