Clossy, Samuel

SAMUEL CLOSSY (c.1724-1786)

Samuel Clossy was born in Dublin about 1724. He entered Trinity College Dublin in 1739, sponsored by William Stephens, and graduated with an MB in 1751. The following year, Stephens invited Clossy to study morbid anatomy at Dr Steevens’ Hospital in Dublin. Clossy was a most remarkable medical graduate and later was to become one of the most famous anatomists of his day. Following study in London, Clossy returned to Dublin to take up Stephens’ invitation and graduated MD from the University of Dublin in 1755. In 1759, Clossy married Elizabeth Leech at St Andrew’s Church in Dublin.

In 1763, Clossy emigrated to New York where he was initially employed as professor of natural philosophy at King’s College (later Columbia University) before being appointed Professor of Anatomy there, the first professor of a medical subject in America, thus playing an instrumental role in the setting up of New York’s first medical school. By the late 1780s, failing health and the American War of Independence forced him to return, via England, to Dublin, where he died on 22 August 1786.

Clossy’s seminal observations on some of the diseases of the parts of the body; chiefly taken from the dissection of morbid bodies was printed in London in 1763, and represented one of the first systematic studies of pathology in the English language.


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