CodeDS/UK/73
Person NameLittlejohn; Henry Duncan (1826-1914); Sir; Professor; surgeon
Dates1826-1914
TitleSir; Professor
Epithetsurgeon
HistoryHenry Duncan Littlejohn, the son of a wealthy merchant, was born in Edinburgh in 1826. He was educated at Perth Academy, the Edinburgh High School, and the University of Edinburgh, where he graduated with distinction; part of his medical training was at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, as well a period of study at the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1855 he was appointed lecturer at the RCSEd and, in 1862, Surgeon of Police and Medical Officer of Health of Edinburgh, a position he held until 1908. In 1865 Littlejohn published a report on the sanitary conditions in Edinburgh which became a model for many similar works both at home and abroad. Following his appointment to the Board of Supervision, Littlejohn held the position of Medical Officer, advising until his retirement in 1908. For over forty years, Littlejohn lectured on Medical Jurisprudence at the Surgeons' Hall in Edinburgh, followed by an appointment to the Chair of the same subject at the university in 1897, a position he kept until 1905. For many years Littlejohn was Medical Advisor to the Crown in Scotland in criminal cases, and was frequently called upon to give evidence in cases of murder and other serious crimes. One of the main legacies of Littlejohn's life and work was the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, which he co-founded with Dr. John Smith. He also had nine years' service on the Royal Infirmary Board and outside medicine he had strong connections with St. Giles' Cathedral, of which he became an elder. Littlejohn's valued and influential work was fully recognised in his lifetime: President of the Royal College of Surgeons (1875-6), President of the Medico-Chirurgical Society of Edinburgh (1883-5), and President of the Institute of Public Health (1893). In 1893 the University of Edinburgh made him an LL.D., and two years later he was honoured with a Knighthood. He died at Arrochar in Argyllshire on 30th September 1914.

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