James Parkinson

James Parkinson - Activists, Facts and Childhood

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James Parkinson's Personal Details

James Parkinson was an English surgeon who described the disease which later came to be known as Parkinson's Disease

InformationDetail
BirthdayApril 11, 1755
Died onDecember 21, 1824
NationalityBritish
FamousActivists, Political Activists, Surgeons
SpousesMary Dale
Known asПаркинсон, Джеймс
Universities
  • Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Birth PlaceShoreditch
GenderMale
FatherJohn Parkinson
Sun SignAries
Born inShoreditch
Famous asSurgeon
Died at Age69

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James Parkinson's photo

Who is James Parkinson?

James Parkinson was an English surgeon who described the disease "paralysis agitans", a condition that would later become known as Parkinson's Disease. Best known for his work, ‘An Essay on the Shaking Palsy’, in which he identified the medical condition shaking palsy as a disease of the central nervous system; he systematically described six individuals with symptoms of the disease in the essay. Born as the son of an apothecary and surgeon, he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps early on in childhood. He possessed an inherent interest in medical science and was also genuinely concerned about the well-being of fellow human beings. Intelligent and hard working, he was easily accepted into the London Hospital Medical College and went on to further his education from the Royal College of Surgeons. He initially started out as an apprentice in his father's practice and eventually took over the practice after his father’s death. Even as a young medical practitioner he became interested in mental illnesses and was much influenced by the works of John Hunter, a researcher with interests in biology, pathology and medical science. In addition to being a surgeon he was also a geologist, palaeontologist, and political activist who championed many causes. World Parkinson's Day is held each year on his birthday, 11 April

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Childhood & Early Life

James Parkinson was born on 11 April 1755, in Shoreditch, London, England. His father John Parkinson was an apothecary and surgeon practicing in Hoxton Square in London. He had one brother, William, and one sister, Mary.

From a young age he was interested in the medical profession and always knew that he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a physician.

He studied Latin, Greek, natural philosophy and shorthand as a medical student. He was bright and hard working and studied at the London Hospital Medical College in 1776. Later on he received his diploma from the Royal College of Surgeons.

He deeply cared about the welfare of people and was particularly interested in the various mental illnesses people suffered from and the effect of the mental disorders on their lives. He was influenced by the works of the researcher John Hunter who had interests in biology, pathology, and medical science.

In 1777, James Parkinson became an honorary medalist of the Royal Humane Society after assisting his father in using resuscitation methods on a man who had hanged himself.

He was approved by the Corporation of London as a surgeon in 1784.

Career

He began his career as an apprentice in his father’s practice. After the death of his father in 1794, he inherited his apothecary.

As a physician he strived to improve the general health and well-being of the population and had a genuine interest in the welfare of the people. He wrote several medical doctrines which reflected not just his medical knowledge, but also his concern for the people.

One of the several areas of his interests was mental illness. He was concerned about the way the mentally ill were treated in those days and was a champion for legal protection for the mentally ill and also for their doctors and care-takers.

Along with being a surgeon, he also had deep interests in the fields of geology and palaeontology. He published the first volume of his ‘Organic Remains of a Former World’ in 1804 which was followed by the publication of a second volume in 1808 and a third in 1811. He also illustrated the volumes himself.

He attended a gathering of distinguished gentlemen—the first meeting of the Geological Society of London—at the Freemasons' Tavern in London in 1807. Several other prominent personalities like Sir Humphry Davy, Arthur Aikin and George Bellas Greenough also attended the gathering.

In 1812 he, along with his son, described appendicitis in English. It was the first described case of the disease in English in which perforation was shown to be the cause of death.

In 1817 he published ‘An Essay on the Shaking Palsy’ in which he described in detail the symptoms of the disease shaking palsy in which prolonged trembling in different parts of the body, most notably the hands and arms is observed in the patient. Several decades later, the French physician Jean-Martin Charcot attached Parkinson's name to the medical condition.

A multi-faceted personality, he was also an outspoken social reformer and political activist. He openly criticized British Prime Minister William Pitt and published several pamphlets calling for direct citizen representation in the House of Commons and universal suffrage.

He was an active member of the London Corresponding Society for Reform of Parliamentary Representation, which was one of the several secret political societies he was involved with.

Major Work

He is best remembered for his 1817 work, ‘An Essay on the Shaking Palsy’. He had systematically described in this essay the symptoms of what was then known as ‘shaking palsy’ after observing six people suffering from the disease. Several decades later the disease was renamed as “Parkinson’s Disease”.

Personal Life & Legacy

He married Mary Dale on 21 May 1783. The couple went on to have eight children of who two did not survive past childhood.

He suffered from a severe stroke in 1824 that interfered with his ability to speak. He died on 21 December 1824. He was buried at St. Leonard's Church, Shoreditch. His medical practice was inherited by his son, John, who was also a doctor.

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James Parkinson biography timelines

  • // 11th Apr 1755
    James Parkinson was born on 11 April 1755, in Shoreditch, London, England. His father John Parkinson was an apothecary and surgeon practicing in Hoxton Square in London. He had one brother, William, and one sister, Mary.
  • // 1776
    He studied Latin, Greek, natural philosophy and shorthand as a medical student. He was bright and hard working and studied at the London Hospital Medical College in 1776. Later on he received his diploma from the Royal College of Surgeons.
  • // 1777
    In 1777, James Parkinson became an honorary medalist of the Royal Humane Society after assisting his father in using resuscitation methods on a man who had hanged himself.
  • // 21st May 1783
    He married Mary Dale on 21 May 1783. The couple went on to have eight children of who two did not survive past childhood.
  • // 1784
    He was approved by the Corporation of London as a surgeon in 1784.
  • // 1794
    He began his career as an apprentice in his father’s practice. After the death of his father in 1794, he inherited his apothecary.
  • // 1804 To 1811
    Along with being a surgeon, he also had deep interests in the fields of geology and palaeontology. He published the first volume of his ‘Organic Remains of a Former World’ in 1804 which was followed by the publication of a second volume in 1808 and a third in 1811. He also illustrated the volumes himself.
  • // 1807
    He attended a gathering of distinguished gentlemen—the first meeting of the Geological Society of London—at the Freemasons' Tavern in London in 1807. Several other prominent personalities like Sir Humphry Davy, Arthur Aikin and George Bellas Greenough also attended the gathering.
  • // 1812
    In 1812 he, along with his son, described appendicitis in English. It was the first described case of the disease in English in which perforation was shown to be the cause of death.
  • // 1817
    In 1817 he published ‘An Essay on the Shaking Palsy’ in which he described in detail the symptoms of the disease shaking palsy in which prolonged trembling in different parts of the body, most notably the hands and arms is observed in the patient. Several decades later, the French physician Jean-Martin Charcot attached Parkinson's name to the medical condition.
  • // 1817
    He is best remembered for his 1817 work, ‘An Essay on the Shaking Palsy’. He had systematically described in this essay the symptoms of what was then known as ‘shaking palsy’ after observing six people suffering from the disease. Several decades later the disease was renamed as “Parkinson’s Disease”.
  • // 21st Dec 1824
    He suffered from a severe stroke in 1824 that interfered with his ability to speak. He died on 21 December 1824. He was buried at St. Leonard's Church, Shoreditch. His medical practice was inherited by his son, John, who was also a doctor.

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James Parkinson's FAQ

  • What is James Parkinson birthday?

    James Parkinson was born at 1755-04-11

  • When was James Parkinson died?

    James Parkinson was died at 1824-12-21

  • Where was James Parkinson died?

    James Parkinson was died in London

  • Which age was James Parkinson died?

    James Parkinson was died at age 69

  • Where is James Parkinson's birth place?

    James Parkinson was born in Shoreditch

  • What is James Parkinson nationalities?

    James Parkinson's nationalities is British

  • Who is James Parkinson spouses?

    James Parkinson's spouses is Mary Dale

  • What was James Parkinson universities?

    James Parkinson studied at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry

  • Who is James Parkinson's father?

    James Parkinson's father is John Parkinson

  • What is James Parkinson's sun sign?

    James Parkinson is Aries

  • How famous is James Parkinson?

    James Parkinson is famouse as Surgeon