Thomas Wrigley Grimshaw (1839-1900). Registrar general 1879-1900.
Thomas Wrigley Grimshaw was born in Whitehouse, County Antrim, in 1839, and learned his medicine at the Dublin School of Medicine when its reputation was at its highest. If his teachers strayed from the art of bedside medicine into science it was into meteorology that had been revived by Thomas Sydenham, the 'English Hippocrates' in the seventeenth century. When Grimshaw was appointed Registrar General for Ireland in 1879 he diverted attention from the acute epidemics of zymotic diseases to chronic pulmonary affections that numerically were far more deadly. Cartography became an obsession with him, and he used it to show that Ireland was divided by phthisis into east and west. Koch's 'great discovery' in 1882 that tuberculosis is an infection not a 'constitutional' disease made him change his long-held views, and in the decade before his death in 1900 at Carrickmines, County Dublin, he became an active advocate of the new knowledge, distressed by the fact that thriving Belfast and its hinterland had the highest mortality from phthisis in Ireland. His concern for the health of young girls employed in large numbers in the linen factories was matched by his landmark advocacy of young ladies anxious to gain the licence to practise medicine in Great Britain and Ireland. (+info)
Dendrochronological potential of the alpine shrub Rhododendron nivale on the south-eastern Tibetan Plateau.