Hilton, John (1804-1878) (DNB00)

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HILTON, JOHN (1804–1878), surgeon, was born at Castle Hedingham in Essex in 1804, and was educated at Chelmsford. He entered Guy's Hospital as a student in 1824, became M.R.C.S. Engl. in 1827, and was soon afterwards appointed demonstrator of anatomy at Guy's. While demonstrator he made elaborate dissections of the human body, which were reproduced in wax by Joseph Towne [q, v.], and are among the most valued specimens in the anatomical museum at Guy's Hospital. In 1844 he was appointed assistant-surgeon at Guy's, and in 1849 full surgeon. Having obtained the fellowship of the College of surgeons he became a member of its council in 1852, and was president in 1867. He was professor of human anatomy and surgery at the college (1860-2), and his lectures on 'Rest and Pain' were afterwards published. He ceased to lecture on surgery at Guy's in 1870, but continued to practice in New Broad Street in the city. He died at Clapham on 14 Sept. 1878, aged 74 years.

As a surgeon Hilton had remarkable powers of observation, and could discover important facts from the least obvious indications. As a lecturer and clinical teacher he had a large following, although he had an unfortunate way of irritating students, His book 'On Rest and Pain: a Course of Lectures on the Influence of Mechanical and Physiological Rest in the Treatment of Accidents and Surgical Diseases, and the Diagnostic Value of Pain,' 1863 {second and subsequent editions edited by W. H. A. Jacobson), is s surgical classic. His other writings were; 'Clinical Lectures,' in 'Guy's Hospital Reports;' 'Notes on some of the Developmental and Functional Relations of certain Portions of the Cranium,' selected from Hilton's Lectures on Anatomy, by F. W. Pavy, 1855; and the `Hunterian Oration' for 1867. A portrait of him was published in `The Medical Profession in all Countries,' 1873, i. No. 17.

[Bettany and Wilks's Biog. Hist. of Guy's Hospital; Guy's Hospital Gazette, 1878, iii. 135-7; Lancet. 1878, ii. 460; Proc. Royal Medical and Chirurgical Soc. 1878-9, viii. 388-90.]

G. T. B.