Thomas Wakley: An Improbable RadicalBMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6928.605 (Published 26 February 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:605
- J Hostettler
Thomas Wakley - general practitioner, journalist, coroner, and member of parliament - is probably best known to modern readers as the founder of the Lancet, in 1823. More politician than clinician, he was nevertheless one of the most remarkable doctors of his day: one who answered injustice and hypocrisy, especially in his own profession, with adept use of the powers at his disposal - the press, the courts, and ultimately parliament.
Hostettler begins by looking at the influence of chronology on Wakley's upbringing. He was born in the era of political repression in Britain that followed the French Revolution, and his outlook had much in …