1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Pott, Percivall
POTT, PERCIVALL (1714–1788), English surgeon, was born in London on the 6th of January 1714. He served his apprenticeship with Edward Nourse, assistant surgeon to St Bartholomew's and in 1736, was admitted to the Barbers' Company and licensed to practise. He became assistant surgeon to St Bartholomew's in 1744 and full surgeon from 1749 till 1787. He died in London on the 22nd of December 1788. The first surgeon of his day in England, excelling even his pupil, John Hunter, on the practical side, he introduced various important innovations in procedure, doing much to abolish the extensive use of escharotics and the actual cautery that was prevalent when he began his career. A particular form of fracture of the ankle which he sustained through a fall from his horse in 1756 is still described as Pott's fracture, and his book, Some few Remarks upon Fractures and Dislocations, published in 1768 and translated into French and Italian, had a far-reaching influence in Great Britain and France. "Pott's disease" is a spinal affection of which he gave an excellent clinical description in his Remarks on that kind of Palsy of the Lower Limbs which is frequently found to accompany a Curvature of the Spine (1779). Among his other writings the most noteworthy are A Treatise on Ruptures (1756), Observations on the Nature and Consequences of those injuries to which the Head is liable from external violence (1768), and Chirurgical Observations (1775). There are several editions of his collected works; that published by Sir James Earle in 1790 contains a sketch of his life.