Andrew Ross

Robert Peck's 1833 announcement in the newspaper that he'd taken on Andrew Ross as a partner - note the advert presumably for an apprentice also (see below or click image for source and acknowledgements etc., ref. Image 1).

Robert Peck’s 1833 announcement in the newspaper that he’d taken on Andrew Ross as a partner – note the advert presumably for an apprentice also (see below or click image for source and acknowledgements etc., ref. Image 1).

Andrew Ross was born about 1804, in Scotland, and described as from Edinburgh by Robert James Peck in 1833. He’d obtained his surgical qualification from Edinburgh in 1826, and had become an assistant to Robert Peck in Newmarket some time before 1833 (when he became his business partner – see image on the right). Interestingly, this was despite not being licensed by the Society of Apothecaries in London, in their partnership as ‘Surgeons and Apothecaries’, which was dissolved four years later by mutual consent, in 1837. It’s not clear how Andrew Ross was able to practice as a surgeon and apothecary (i.e. generalist medic) despite not having an LSA qualification, unless he officially didn’t function as an apothecary, perhaps working only as a surgeon in the business until obtaining an MD from St Andrews, in 1834 (see The history of medical treatments, training, qualifications and regulation for why it’s surprising that he didn’t have an LSA qualification at this time).

Despite his short career in the town, Andrew Ross is notable for having been the first medic to practice in Newmarket with a university degree (aside from William Harvey in the 17th century, who was just a visitor rather than in resident practice). Clearly whatever Andrew Ross did or didn’t do officially, he was more inclined to the medical side of things, since in 1839 he became a physician to the Suffolk General Hospital. Assuming he left Newmarket in 1837 (which appears to have been the case, since he auctioned off his furniture) it’s not yet clear what he did in between 1837 and 1839, except he most likely practised in Bury St Edmunds, since his son was born there in January 1839, before Dr Ross was appointed to the Suffolk General Hospital job.

The only records discovered to date regarding Andrew Ross’ activities whilst in Newmarket (other than those mentioned above) are his sponsorship of Robert Peck’s son James’ christening in 1833, support for the establishment of the Eastern Provincial Medical & Surgical Association in 1835, and his marriage in 1836 (see the references below for details).

After leaving Bury, interestingly it appears Andrew Ross practised in in France for a time. His daughter was born in about 1844, at St Omer, France (about 50km east Boulogne), he published two papers in The Lancet in 1845, giving his residence as Boulogne, he obtained a French medical qualification in 1846, and published regarding a medical case near Boulogne in 1848. He doesn’t feature in the British Medical Directory until the 1850 edition, which is perhaps when he returned from France, giving his location then as Bury, but ‘late Phys. to the Suffolk Gen. Hosp.’ (so he hadn’t returned to his old job). Then by 1851 he was living in the Portsmouth area, where he appears on the 1851 census too, describing himself as a physician still. He was in the same place on the 1861 census and noted to be a Member of the Royal College of Physicians by then, which the Medical Registers and Directories reveal happened in 1859, interestingly the same year that he became a Member of the General Council of the University of Edinburgh. They also show that he moved to Worthing in 1863, then Chichester, where he died in 1865, when he would have been in his early 60s. Other interesting facts about Andrew Ross from the Medical Directories are that he was for a time ‘Mem. Assoc. Med. Off. Asyls. and Hosps. for the Insane’ (1858), so presumably he had an interest in psychiatry, and he was the Author of ‘The False Assumption of Medical Titles’ (mentioned from 1861), a publication which I have not yet been able to track down.


Image sources and acknowledgements:-

Image 1: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Feb 27 1833: 3 (cropped); image © The British Library Board, all rights reserved, reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive, [Note: clicking here leads to the specific page on their website, but requires logging in to it.]

Note: the comments regarding images and copyright © etc. on the Usage &c. page as well. 

Relevant references in chronological order

1833, 25th February:Mr. PECK SURGEON, NEWMARKET, re-spectfully announces to his Friends and the Public generally, that he has received his Friend and late Assistant, Mr. ROSS, M.R.C.S. Ed. into Partnership. N.B. A Vacancy for a well-educated Youth as Pupil. 25th of February.’ Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Feb 27 1833: 3. [Note: see image above.]

1835, 18th September:R. G. [sic] Peck’ and ‘J. [sic] Ross’ Newmarket signatories to ‘EASTERN PROVINCIAL Medical & Surgical Association. We, the undersigned, feeling that it is desirable to establish a Society of the above denomination, request those GENTLEMEN of the FACULTY, residing in the counties of NORFOLK, ESSEX, and SUFFOLK, and also in CAMBRIDGESHIRE, LINCOLNSHIRE, and HUNTINGDONSHIRE, who are willing to promote the measure, to meet at the ANGEL INN, BURY ST. EDMUND’s, at One o’clock, on FRIDAY, the 25th day of September instant, for the purpose of setting on foot the said Society.’ Reference: Cambridge Chronicle and Journal. Friday Sept 18 1835: 3.

1836, 5th January: Under marriages, ‘at St. Mary’s, Newmarket (by the Rev. James Cooper, M.A.,) Andrew Ross Esq., M.D.. to Miss Lyus, of Landwade-hall.’ Reference: Cambridge Chronicle and Journal. Friday Jan 8 1836: 2.

1837, 7th July: ‘Notice is hereby given, that the Partnership heretofore subsisting between the undersigned, Robert James Peck and Andrew Ross, both of Newmarket, in the county of Suffolk, Surgeons and Apothecaries, was, on the 1st day of July instant, dissolved by mutual consent.- Dated this 4th day of July 1837.’ Reference: The London Gazette. July 7 1837; Issue 19517: 1728.

1837, 14th July: Advert regarding the auction of ‘ALL the neat and modern HOUSEHOLD FUR-NITURE, &c., of DR. ROSS, of Newmarket aforesaid, who is changing his residence…’ Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday  July 12 1837: 1.

1839, 14th January: Under births, ‘on the 14th inst., at Landwade Hall, the wife of Dr. Ross, of this town, of a son.’ Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Jan 16 1839: 2.

1839, 6th February: ‘On Wednesday last Dr. Ross was unanimously elected one of the Physicians to the Suffolk General Hospital, in this town, in the room of Dr. Bayne, resigned’. Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday  Feb 13 1839: 2.

1847, 26th January: Not listed as attending ‘PAINLESS OPERATION UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ÆTHER’ at the Suffolk General Hospital. Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Jan 27 1847: 2. [Note: I have included this reference since it implies that he was not in Bury in 1847, since surely he would have been in attendance if he was.]

1851: ‘ROSS, ANDREW, Waterloo, near Portsmouth, Suffolk [sic!] – M.D. St. Andrew’s (by exam), 1834; M.R.C.S. Edin. 1826; Lic. Fac. Med. Paris. 1846; late Phys. to the Suffolk Gen. Hosp. Con-trib. “On Strychnia in Chorea,” Lancet, June, 1845; “On Ergot of Rye in Pur-pura Haemorrhagica, & other Diseases,” Lancet, Aug. 1845; “Report of Case of Death from Chloroform,” near Boulogne, where air was found in the veins, Lancet, June, 1848’. Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1850. [Note: in the 1845 publications mentioned he gives his address as ‘Boulogne-sur-mer, late Physician to the Suffolk General Hospital’. References: The Lancet 1845; 45(1136):636-637&46(1144):127.]

1851, 30th/31st March: Andrew Ross, aged 47, physician, together with his wife, 7 year old daughter (who was born in France but noted to be a ‘British Subject’), living in Waterloo, part of the Horndean district north of Portsmouth. Reference: The National Archives, 1851 census. [Note: interestingly the household included servants born in Newmarket, who perhaps had stayed with the family since their time in Newmarket, which might even have taken them via France!?]

1861, 7/8th April: Andrew Ross, aged 57, MD St Andrew’s and Member of the Royal College of Physicians, together with his wife and 17 year old daughter, who was born in France, living in Waterloo. Reference: The National Archives, 1861 census. [Note: again interestingly the household still included servants who were born in Newmarket (see the 1851 census above).]

1865, 7th June: Under deaths, ‘On the 7th inst., at Chichester, Andrew Ross, M.D., late of Waterloo, Hants.’ Reference: Chichester Express, West Sussex Journal. Tuesday June 13 1865: 2.

1865, 13th June: Under deaths, ‘on the 7th inst., at Chichester, Andrew Ross, M.D., formerly of this town.’ Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Tuesday June 13 1865: 5.

1866: Under Obituaries ‘ROSS, ANDREW, M.D. St. And., M.R.C.P. Lond., L.R.C.S. Edin., at Chichester, on June 7.’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1866. [Note: he is not mentioned in the main part of the 1866 directory, his last appearance there being in 1865.]

1871, 2nd/3rd April: Daughter Fanny Rosalind Ross, aged 27, described as born in St Omer, France, living with her mother in Twickenham. Reference: The National Archives, 1871 census.

Some other sources consulted include:-

The Peck family Bible (see The Pecks for details). With reference to James Peck (the son of Robert James Peck) it records ‘Mr Ross (my Partner) of Edinborough [sic]’ as a sponsor at his Christening on 24th October 1833. [Note: details taken from an image supplied to me by the Peck family.]

Suffolk Medical Biographies. Profile for Ross, Dr. and Profile for Ross, Dr J [sic] Andrew. (originally accessed pre October 2013). [Note: at the time of writing (March 2017), this website had these two separate entries relating to Andrew Ross, one calling him Dr J [sic] Andrew Ross, with two Newmarket references, the other with one Bury reference calling him just Dr Ross, apparently not realising that these were the same person], [Note also, see comments regarding this website on the Francis Greene page.] 

The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1850-1866. [Note: see above references for full 1851 and 1866 entries.], [Note also, this publication has been known by various titles over the years. Initially it just covered London, but from 1847 it had a wider remit, being variously known as the London and Provincial Medical Directory, The Medical Directories, The Medical Directory, etc., essentially the same work with minor variations and developments. It is usually referred to as The Medical Directory (as opposed to The Medical Register), so that is how it’s consistently referred to on]

The Medical Register. London: General Medical Council; 1859-1865.

Note: For published material referenced on this website see the ‘Acknowledgements for resources of published material’ section on the ‘Usage &c.’ page. The sources used for original unpublished documents are noted after each individual reference. Any census records are referenced directly to The National Archives, since images of these are so ubiquitous on microfilm and as digital images that they almost function like published works. Census records are covered by the ‘Open Government Licence’ as should be other such public records (see the ‘Copyright and related issues’ section on the ‘Usage &c.’ page for which references constitute public records, and any other copyright issues more generally such as fair dealing/use etc.).