John Elliotson, an English physician and physiologist, born in London about 1790, died there, July 29, 1868. He was educated at Jesus college, Cambridge, studied medicine and surgery in Edinburgh, and at St. Thomas's and Guy's hospitals in London, and in 1822 was elected physician to the former institution. Subsequently he became lecturer on the practice of medicine in St. Thomas's hospital, and in 1831 professor of the principles and practice of medicine and of clinical medicine in University college, London, in connection with which three years later he established a hospital, when he resigned his professorship at St. Thomas's. As a lecturer he obtained great popularity, though in attempting to reform the old routine of the hospitals he incurred the hostility of many of the profession. He was the founder and president of the phrenological society, and the president of the royal medical and chirurgical society. He had many disputes with members of the profession with regard to the use of certain remedies, now established, and advocated mesmerism as a remedy in some diseases and an agent for allaying pain in surgical operations.
The unwillingness of bis medical colleagues and of the council of the university to. allow the mesmeric cure to be applied to the hospital patients induced him, in December, 1838, to sever his connection with University college; and in 1849 a mesmeric hospital was founded, of which he was physician. A mesmeric journal, called "The Zoist," was also established by him. His principal contributions to medical science are: a translation with voluminous notes of Blumenbach's "Physiology" (1817); "Lectures on Diseases of the Heart" (1830); " Human Physiology " (1835-'40); " Principles and Practice of Medicine " (1840); and " Surgical Operations without Pain " (1843).