Sir John William Thomson-Walker (1871-1937)
Surgeon and print-collector
Born in Newport, Fife, Thomson Walker was educated at the Edinburgh Institution and the University of Edinburgh, graduating MB ChB in 1894 before going on to postgraduate study in Vienna. He set up in Harley Street as a consultant at King's College and St Peter's Hospitals, becoming one of the leading urologists of his day. In 1907 he was appointed a Hunterian Professor of the Royal College of Surgeons, and was knighted in 1922. He held a number of visiting Lectureships, including the Silvanus Thomson (The Röntgen Society, 1926) and the Lettsomian (The Medical Society, 1930), and was elected President of the Medical Society of London in 1933.
Print collecting was a lifelong passion. In his will Thomson-Walker bequeathed to the University, 'in the hope of encouraging the study of the history of medicine on which this great medical school has had such a profound and lasting influence', his collection of engraved portraits of medical men, numbering ca 2,500 prints and a number of books on the art and technique of engraving, together with a fund which continues to provide for further purchases of engraved medical portraits. The collection came to the Library in 1939.