Percival Pott 1714-1788

Percival Pott, was born very close to where the Bank of England is today, in Threadneedle Street. He was from a poor family but a relative of his mother provided for his education.

He completed his apprenticeship under the surgeon Edward Nourse. He was initially offered the post of assistant at St Bartholomew's hospital and ended as a senior professor and became one of the very many great names that worked at St Bartholomew's in London. Pott nearly had his leg amputated when he broke it after falling from his horse, another surgeon suggested that he should have it splinted, and he agreed and it healed without complication.

Those who knew him report that he had a kindly, charitable nature.

It is said that returning in foul weather from a sick call about 32 km from London on December 11 1788, Percivall Pott complained of having caught cold.

On the day for his return call, the 14th, he was persuaded by his son in law, James Earle, also a physician, to stay home and let his son in law do the call.

During James Earle's absence Pott made a sick round of London. His condition deteriorated, and on December 21 he made his last diagnosis:

"My lamp is almost extinguished: I hope it has burned for the benefit of others."

The next day Pott died of pneumonia. 263

Today we are familiar with Potts fracture of the ankle and Potts disease of the spine.

 

 

 

 

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Ken True History of Surgery and Anaesthesia