I laboured for the interests and improvement of that branch of the medical profession, termed General Practitioners.” George Mann Burrows
George Mann Burrows was born on 6 May 1771 to Richard and Elizabeth Burrows, and baptised at Chalk on 21 May.
The Burrows family had lived in Chalk since the mid 17th century.
In 1786 George was an apprentice to Richard Thompson, a surgeon in Rochester.
George's training made him worry about the knowledge and skills of other practitioners.
He worried that many apothecaries and apothecary surgeons had little or no education.
As chairman, George was instrumental in the appeal to parliament for legislation.
In 1815 the Apothecaries Act was passed. This introduced compulsory education and formal qualifications for apothecaries. Apothecaries are seen as the forerunners of today’s general practitioners (GPs).
George left general practice in 1816 and became a specialist in treatment of insanity. He was still a known member of the medical profession but sometimes caused controversy.
It's probable that George kept his links to Medway, despite spending most of his life in London.
In 1814, he heard about the death of two children from Gravesend, Kent. The boys had died after eating mussels. George spoke with a local surgeon in Gravesend called Mr Rogers to find out more.
The burial register for Milton near Gravesend, held at Medway Archives Centre, shows that the boys were Timothy and Henry Pearson. Aged just 13 and 10, they died on 7 July 1814.
George Mann Burrows then published "an account of two cases of death from eating mussels: with some general observations on fish-poison".
This was a subject he described as "novel, interesting and little understood".
George was buried at Highgate cemetery after his death on 29 October 1846. However, St Mary’s Church in Chalk contains a grey and white marble tablet erected in his memory by his surviving sons as a token of their affection and respect.
Freedom of City of Rochester granted to George Mann Burrows on the completion of his apprenticeship. MAC reference RCA/02/08