Tanner, Thomas Hawkes (DNB00)

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TANNER, THOMAS HAWKES (1824–1871), physician, son of Thomas Tanner, for many years secretary to the army medical board, was born on 9 July 1824. He received the greater part of his education at the Charterhouse, where he met with a severe accident, which rendered his health delicate for many years. He entered on his medical studies at King's College, London, in 1843, and graduated at St. Andrews University as doctor of medicine in 1847. He then commenced general practice in Charlotte Street, Bedford Square, and was shortly afterwards elected physician to the Farringdon Street dispensary. He was enrolled a member of the Royal College of Physicians in 1850, and entered upon consulting practice. In 1851 he was elected a physician to the hospital for women in Soho Square, and from that time he devoted his attention more particularly to gynæcology, though he was for some time lecturer on forensic medicine at the medical school attached to the Westminster Hospital. In 1858 he took a very prominent and active part in the foundation of the Obstetrical Society of London. He became one of its first secretaries, and much of the success of the society was due to his energy and perseverance. In 1860 the council of King's College, London, determined to appoint two assistant physicians for the diseases of women and children. Tanner was selected to fill one of these posts, and Alfred Meadows [q. v.] the other. This appointment he resigned under the pressure of increasing work in 1863. Tanner acquired a large practice, which overtaxed his strength. He was forced to leave London, and he died at Brighton on 7 July 1871.

Tanner was a voluminous and lucid writer upon many subjects of medical importance. His chief work was ‘A Manual of the Practice of Medicine,’ 1st edit. 16mo, 1854; the 7th edit., revised by (Sir) W. H. Broadbent, was issued in 2 vols. 8vo in 1875. This work had a very large sale both in England and in America. It evinced careful observation of disease and sound views in its treatment. Tanner's other works were: 1. ‘A Manual of Clinical Medicine and Physical Diagnosis,’ London, 16mo, 1855; 3rd. ed. revised by T. Fox, 8vo, 1876. 2. ‘A Practical Treatise on the Diseases of Infancy and Childhood,’ London, 8vo, 1858; 3rd edit., enlarged, by Alfred Meadows, 8vo, 1879. 3. ‘On the Signs and Diseases of Pregnancy,’ London, 8vo, 1860. 4. ‘Memoranda on Poisons,’ 1st ed. London, 32mo, 1848; 7th American edit. from the last London, 24mo; Philadelphia, 1892. 5. ‘An Index of Diseases and their Treatment, London, 8vo, 1st edit. 1866; the 4th edit., revised by Percy Boulton, 8vo, London, 1891. This work was translated into Japanese, 6 vols. 12mo, Tokio, 1874–7.

[Obituary notices in the Proceedings of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society of London, 1875, vii. 36, and in the Medical Times and Gazette, 1871, ii. 87, 115.]

D’A. P.