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Darwin Correspondence Project

Robert Lawson (Lawson) Tait


Scottish gynaecological surgeon. Studied in Edinburgh with James Young Simpson. House surgeon, Clayton Hospital, Wakefield, 1867–70. Started a practice in Birmingham in 1870. Junior surgeon, Birmingham and Midland Hospital for Women, 1871. Instigated a nurses’ training programme, and supported education and professional positions for women as nurses and doctors. Internationally recognised pioneer in abdominal surgery, especially ovariotomy. Professor of gynaecology, Queen’s College, Birmingham, 1887. Founding member of the Birmingham Medical Society; president of the Birmingham Medical Institute, 1889–93.




ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.