John Hughes Bennett

1812 - 1875

Physiologist. Born in London, Bennett studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh between 1833 and 1837, under Sir Charles Bell (1774 - 1842) and James Syme (1799 - 1870). He continued his studies in Europe, amongst other observations noted the use of cod-liver oil in treating gout, rickets, rheumatism and scrofula. He returned to Edinburgh in 1841 and published a treatise on its benefits, work which spawned a major cod-liver oil industry in the UK and USA. He was also one of the first to describe leukaemia. Bennett published widely and helped modernise medicine, adopting a more scientific and enlightened approach to medicine and medical education. He was appointed to a Chair in Medicine in 1843 and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in the same year.

Bennett retired due to ill health in 1874 and died the following year in Norwich, having been presented with an honorary degree by the University. He was buried in Dean Cemetery near his friends Prof. John Goodsir (1814-67) and Prof. Edward Forbes (1815-54).

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