Francis Kiernan
Francis Kiernan FRS (2 October 1800 – 31 December 1874) was an anatomist
Anatomy is a branch of biology and medicine that is the consideration of the structure of living things. It is a general term that includes human anatomy, animal anatomy , and plant anatomy...

 and physician.

He was born in Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, the eldest of four children. His father, Francis Kiernan (died 7 March 1850 at 30 Manchester Square
Manchester Square
Manchester Square is an 18th century garden square in the Marylebone area in London, England, a short distance north of Oxford Street. It is one of the smaller but better preserved Georgian squares in central London...

, London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

), was also a physician and brought the family to England in the early 19th century. Francis junior was educated at the Roman Catholic College
St. Edmund's College, Ware
St Edmund's College is the oldest post-Reformation Roman Catholic school in England. It is an independent school in the British public school tradition set on in Ware, Hertfordshire. During two periods of its history, it has also incorporated a seminary....

 at Ware, Hertfordshire, and was trained in medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

 at St Bartholomew's Hospital
St Bartholomew's Hospital
St Bartholomew's Hospital, also known as Barts, is a hospital in Smithfield in the City of London, England.-Early history:It was founded in 1123 by Raherus or Rahere , a favourite courtier of King Henry I...

, London.

He set up a private anatomy class in Charterhouse Square
Charterhouse Square
Charterhouse Square is a historic square in Smithfield, between Charterhouse Street and Clerkenwell Road. It lies in the extreme south of the London Borough of Islington, just north of the City of London....

, but, in the words of the British Medical Journal
British Medical Journal
BMJ is a partially open-access peer-reviewed medical journal. Originally called the British Medical Journal, the title was officially shortened to BMJ in 1988. The journal is published by the BMJ Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Medical Association...

, his "great success as a teacher caused much jealousy, and, in 1825, gave rise to the Council of the College of Surgeons passing a resolution refusing to receive certificates from any but recognised teachers." Kiernan's class size dwindled as students departed. Appeals to the Council to rescind their decision, on the grounds of Kiernan's ability and skill as a teacher, were dismissed.

He became a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Royal College of Surgeons of England
The Royal College of Surgeons of England is an independent professional body and registered charity committed to promoting and advancing the highest standards of surgical care for patients, regulating surgery, including dentistry, in England and Wales...

 in 1825. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1834 and was awarded its Copley Medal
Copley Medal
The Copley Medal is an award given by the Royal Society of London for "outstanding achievements in research in any branch of science, and alternates between the physical sciences and the biological sciences"...

 in 1836 for his work on the anatomy of the liver
The liver is a vital organ present in vertebrates and some other animals. It has a wide range of functions, including detoxification, protein synthesis, and production of biochemicals necessary for digestion...

. That same year, he became a founding Member of the Senate of the University of London
University of London
-20th century:Shortly after 6 Burlington Gardens was vacated, the University went through a period of rapid expansion. Bedford College, Royal Holloway and the London School of Economics all joined in 1900, Regent's Park College, which had affiliated in 1841 became an official divinity school of the...

, where he acted as examiner and lecturer in anatomy and physiology
Physiology is the science of the function of living systems. This includes how organisms, organ systems, organs, cells, and bio-molecules carry out the chemical or physical functions that exist in a living system. The highest honor awarded in physiology is the Nobel Prize in Physiology or...


In 1843, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, and served on its Council from 1850. After a single year as Vice-President (1864–5), he declined re-nomination on the grounds of ill-health, having suffered a paralytic stroke
A stroke, previously known medically as a cerebrovascular accident , is the rapidly developing loss of brain function due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia caused by blockage , or a hemorrhage...

 in 1865 from which he never fully recovered.

He died unmarried at his home in Manchester Street, Manchester Square, London on New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve is observed annually on December 31, the final day of any given year in the Gregorian calendar. In modern societies, New Year's Eve is often celebrated at social gatherings, during which participants dance, eat, consume alcoholic beverages, and watch or light fireworks to mark the...

, 1874, and was buried in the Roman Catholic cemetery at Mortlake
Mortlake is a district of London, England and part of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It is on the south bank of the River Thames between Kew and Barnes with East Sheen inland to the south. Mortlake was part of Surrey until 1965.-History:...

, London.
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