International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy


    Sir John Hutchinson

    Status Physician
    Country United Kingdom


    Sir John Hutchinson (1828–1913) was a Yorkshire-born surgeon who specialised on opthalmology, dermatology and syphilis. He trained at York and also attended lectures at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London. From 1859 he was based at the London Hospital. He headed numerous medical societies, and was on the council of the Royal College of Surgeons from 1879-1895, and President in 1889.

    Hutchinson held an interest in leprosy. He believed that the condition was only marginally contagious, and, as early as 1855, had reached the conclusion that it was primarily contracted from eating decomposed fish. He travelled to Norway, South Africa, India, and Ceylon to corroborate his theory, and held to it steadfastly, despite the discovery of Hansen's bacillus.

    Source: JR Godlee, “Hutchinson, Sir Jonathan (1828–1913).” Revised WF Bynum. In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, edited by HCG Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. (accessed September 12, 2006).

    This entry made September 12, 2006



    Leprosy and Fish-Eating. 1906.

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