Sir Patrick Manson, GCMG, FRS, MD (1844-1922)

Part of:
Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


Having graduated MD in 1866, Patrick Manson was appointed through the offices of his brother, then in Shanghai, to the post of medical officer for Formosa [Taiwan] to the Chinese Imperial Maritime Customs. In 1871 he moved to Amoy and in his 12 years there made his observations on the life cycle of the microscopic nematode worm filarial which caused elephantiasis and allied diseases, including the discovery that the parasite is transmitted by mosquitoes.

During 6 years of private practice in Hong Kong, he instituted the school of medicine which is now the Medical School of the University of Hong Kong.

Despite retiring in 1889, he was forced by financial losses to return to work in medicine, and in 1892 was appointed Physician to the Seamen's Hospital Society, a post which enabled him to continue his research into tropical diseases. In 1894 he demonstrated the malaria parasite to Surgeon Major Ronald Ross, who went on to discover the mosquito's method of transmission.

As Physician and medical adviser to the Colonial Office, Manson was involved in the reform of the system of medical reports from the colonies, reorganisation of the medical service in West Africa and the foundation in 1899 of the London School of Tropical Medicine.

Further biographical details can be found in the Dictionary of National Biography

Manson’s “diaries” (records of cases and investigations in Formosa, Amoy and Hong Kong, 1866-1897) are in the library of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, as are records of his examinations of candidates for work in the colonies and protectorates



Physical description

41 Files, 4 Volumes, 1 Microfilm Roll

Permanent link