Nottingham Hospitals History


Rupert Cecil Chicken

President of the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society


Rupert Cecil Chicken:-Forest Road West, Nottingham. (1850-1925). M.R.C.S., April 30th, 1872; F.R.C.S., June 10th, 1875; L.R.C.P., 1873; L.S.A., 1877. Surgeon, Nottingham General Hospital.Late:- Resident Obstetric Assistant, Guy’s Hospital. Registrar Evelina Hospital for Children & Demonstrator of Anatomy, Royal College of Surgeons, England.

Medical Directory, 1892


Born in Nottingham about the year 1850, and was educated at Guy's Hospital where he was House Surgeon and Resident Obstetric Assistant. He was afterwards Registrar at the Everlina Hospital for Children, and acted as Prosector at the Royal College of Surgeons. He then entered into partnership in Nottingham with Isaac Watchorn, who, dying in the early 1880's, left Rupert Chicken in charge of a large and varied general practice. Much surgery came his way, and he was able to keep up his operative skill, for he was essentially a surgeon. He was elected to the staff of the Nottingham General Hospital in October, 1891. For a period of from ten to fifteen years he became a very active surgeon both at the hospital and in private. He was elected President of the Nottingham Medico Chirurgical Society in 1892, and contributed a long succession of papers which demonstrate the wide range of his surgical interests. He was appointed Consulting Surgeon to the hospital in December, 1907, on his retirement from the staff and from practice on account of long continued ill health.

After leaving Nottingham he acted as a ship's surgeon for a year or more in the hope of regaining health. During the war (1914-1918) he was Surgeon to the Whipps Cross War Hospital at Leystone. He resided also at Hemel Hempstead, Chichester, and lastley at Sunnybank, Sandgate, Kent. His death occurred on October 3rd, 1925, and he was survived by his wife, one son, and two daughters.

Chicken was a sound and careful surgeon, well abreast of the knowledge and technique of his day. He did not adopt new methods without careful consideration and conviction of their utility. If he pinned his faith to sponges after the era of swabs had come in, he could claim with justice that his wounds remained free from sepsis. If he refused to treat his fractures along lines which at the time were new and revolutionary, he lived to see the day when some leading surgeons were advocating a return to older methods. He was a man of wide culture and reading, a collector of oak and silver. He took much interest in local history and archaeology, as is witnessed by his published Index to Deering's History of Nottingham (1899), and by his booklet entitled, Excavation's at the Nottingham General Hospital during the Building of the New Wing (1899).

PUBLICATIONS:- In addition to the works mentioned above, Chicken also wrote::

The Treatment of Hernia: an address delivered to the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society, November 2nd, 1892. This was his Presidential Address.

"Treatment of Advanced Cancer."- Quarterley Medical Journal, 1894-5.

"Enterotomy.", 1895-6.

From the Lives of the Fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons