Sam Hanna Bell Samuel Beckett John Hewitt Bernard (Barney) Hughes James Joseph Magennis VC Frances Elizabeth Clarke Stewart Parker William Carleton Rosamond Praegar

Henry Samuel Purdon (1843 - 1906):

Henry Samuel Purdon was a member of the extensive Purdon family, many of whom achieved distinction in the medical profession in Ulster. In his case, his particular expertise was in dermatology. 

Purdon was born in Belfast, the eldest son of Charles Nicholas Delacherois Purdon; thus a brother of Dr Richard James Purdon and Dr Joseph Arthur Purdon. He received his early education from Dr Delamers, near Dublin, and he entered Queen’s College, Belfast in 1860, to study Arts and Medicine, at which time he was Medical Officer to Templepatrick Dispensary. He obtained the Licentiate in Midwifery at the Coombe Hospital, Dublin, in 1863, the Licence of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 1865 and the Licences of the Royal Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons at Edinburgh the same year; also that year he obtained the MD of Glasgow, all this at the age of 21. 

He started in practice in Belfast, at 60 Pakenham Place, and “Garrdha”, Hawthornden Road. He was founder of and Physician to the Belfast Dispensary for Diseases of the Skin, which was later replaced by the Benn Hospital for Diseases of the Skin in 1875 by which time he was Physician to the Belfast General Hospital (1870-1882); and Physician to the Belfast Charitable Society (1882-1906). 

He published quite extensively on dermatology. Neurotic Cutaneous Diseases appeared in 1869, Cutaneous Medicine and Diseases of the Skin in 1875, and The Dietary in the Treatment of Disease in 1890. He also edited The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine

Purdon married, on 21 August 1867 at St Mary Magdalene’s Church Belfast (CoI), Alice Beacom, daughter of John Beacom, builder, of Donegall Place, Belfast. He died at his home, “Garrdha” and was interred at Belfast City Cemetery. The Purdon Skin Ward at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, which opened in 1957, was named for him.

Born: 25 December 1843
Died: 21 January 1906
Peter Froggatt

Principal Source: RSJ Clarke: A Directory of Ulster Doctors (who qualified before 1901): Belfast, Ulster Historical Foundation, 2013