Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Tyrrell, Frederick

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TYRRELL, FREDERICK (1793–1843), surgeon, fourth son of Timothy Tyrrell, remembrancer of the city of London, was born in 1793. He received his education at Henry VII's School, Reading, when Richard Valpy [q. v.] was headmaster, and in 1811 or 1812 he was articled to (Sir) Astley Paston Cooper [q. v.], and attended the practice of the united hospitals of Guy and St. Thomas. After the battle of Waterloo the hospitals at Brussels were crowded with the wounded, and Tyrrell with many other young Englishmen hurried over to afford assistance. He was admitted a member of the College of Surgeons in 1816, and he then proceeded to Edinburgh, where he spent a year. In 1820 he was appointed assistant surgeon to the London Eye Infirmary, now the Ophthalmic Hospital in Moorfields, and in 1822 he was elected a surgeon to St. Thomas's Hospital. In the same year he settled in New Bridge Street, where he resided until he moved into a larger house in the adjacent Chatham Place a few years before his death. When the two schools of St. Thomas's and Guy's Hospital were divided in 1825, Tyrrell accepted the lectureship of anatomy and surgery at the Aldersgate Street school of medicine. This position he gave up a few years later when he became lecturer on anatomy and physiology at St. Thomas's Hospital.

He was elected a member of the council of the College of Surgeons in 1838, and filled the office of Arris and Gale lecturer on anatomy and physiology from 1838 to 1841. In 1840 he published his only independent work, that on ‘Diseases of the Eyes,’ in two volumes. He died suddenly on 23 May 1843 at the City auction mart. In 1822 he married a daughter of Samuel Lovick Cooper, a niece of Sir Astley Paston Cooper [q. v.]

Tyrrell was an admirable surgeon, and was for many years the mainstay of his surgical colleagues at the hospitals to which he was attached.

Tyrrell edited Sir Astley Cooper's ‘Lectures on the Principles and Practice of Surgery,’ London, 1824–7, 2 vols. 8vo. The publication of these lectures led to the suit of Tyrrell v. Wakley (editor of the ‘Lancet’), in which Thomas Wakley [q. v.] was cast in damages to the amount of 50l.

[A manuscript account from personal knowledge and family information drawn up by the late James Dixon, F.R.C.S. Engl.; obituary notice in South's Hunterian Oration; the Lancet for 1843–4, i. 698; ‘Pencilling of Mr. Tyrrell,’ The Medical Times, vii. 283; see also Sprigge's Life of Wakley, 1897, chap. xiii.]

D’A. P.