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James Parkinson Quotes


James Parkinson
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: James Parkinson
  • Born: 11th April 1755, Shoreditch, London, England
  • Died: 21st December 1824, Shoreditch, London, England
  • Resting place: St Leonard's Church cemetery, Shoreditch, London
  • Occupation: Surgeon, geologist and Social and Political Activist
  • Famous for: Discovering Parkinsons disease which was named after him
  • Notable essay: The Shaking Palsy in 1817
  • Trivia: A stone tablet lays inside the church of St Leonard's, Shoreditch in commemoration of his life and his contributions to society
  • Scroll down for full bio and many great quotes

"The first symptoms perceived are, a slight sense of weakness, with a proneness to trembling in some particular part"

James Parkinson

"So slight and nearly imperceptible are the first inroads of this malady, and so extremely slow its progress, that it rarely happens, that the patient can form any recollection of the precise period of its commencement"

James Parkinson

"If the population exceeded the means of support, the fault lay not in nature, but in the ability of politicians to discover some latent defect in the laws respecting the division and appropriation of property"

James Parkinson

"The tremulous motion of the limbs occur during sleep, and augment until they awaken the patient, and frequently with much agitation and alarm"

James Parkinson

"As to yourself, good sir, there are those who contend you resemble the venomous asp, whose poison is placed beneath its tongue"

James Parkinson

"As the malady proceeds, even this temporary mitigation of suffering from the agitation of the limbs is denied"

James Parkinson

"A mere literary education without the inculcation of moral and religious principles would prove highly injurious"

James Parkinson

"The term palpitation may be employed to mark those morbid motions which chiefly characterise this disease"

James Parkinson

"I have seen one, who was able to run, but not to walk"

James Parkinson

"As the disease proceeds the hand fails to answer with exactness to the dictates of the will"

James Parkinson

"Anomalous cases of convulsive affections have been designated by the term Shaking Palsy"

James Parkinson

"Leeches, stimulating fomentations, and a blister, which was made for sometime to yield a purulent discharge, were applied over the cervical vertebræ"

James Parkinson

"I ordered him a grain of Opium a day in the gum pill; and in three or four days the shaking had nearly left him"

James Parkinson

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James Parkinson Biography

James Parkinson was born into a medical family in Shoreditch, London where his father owned a medical practice at 1 Hoxton Square. He enrolled at London Hospital Medical College in 1776 and earned his diploma of the Company of Surgeons in 1784.

He went on to take over his fathers Hoxton Square medical practice where he served for many years. James Parkinson wrote medical papers and essays for the medical community with his most famous work being The Shaking Palsy which marked him as the first person to describe in detail six cases of what is now known as Parkinsons Disease.



Partaking in his duties as a doctor in the early 19th century he despaired at the fate of what he termed as the wretched poor and its influence would see him become a social reformer and go into politics in an attempt to help the poverty stricken people at the lower end of the social order. He was also a pacifist and an outspoken pamphleteer at a time of seemingly unending war with Napoleon Bonaparte's France which drew the ire of some of the sabre rattling elite.

Because of the ramifications of the French revolution it was a time of nervousness for the powers that be and King George III along with the government of the day started to clamp down on the influence of political activists which put a stop to Parkinsons more radical publicised viewpoints.

Away from his medical practice and work as a political activist he was also a keen paleontologist so it was most interesting researching and selecting my compilation of 13 of the best James Parkinson quotes

Quotes About James Parkinson

His associate Dr. Gideon Mantell made this comment which was picked up in the 9th April 1955 edition of The Lancet: "Mr. Parkinson was rather below middle stature, with an energetic, intelligent, and pleasing expression of countenance, and of mild and courteous manners ; readily imparting information either on his favourite science or on professional subjects"

The professor of medicine Brian Hurwitz described his research thus: "Parkinson moved fluently across activities such as noticing, imaging, questioning, and writing, which enabled him to chart the evolving situations and points of view of sufferers from a malady with a long time course. His ability simultaneously to observe a situation from the perspective of sufferer and carer helped generate a rich and varied clinical phenomenology, one whose accuracy and detail allows us to appreciate the Essay as a highly disciplined inquiry"

The historian Roy Porter considered Parkinson to be a "Doctor with impeccably enlightened credentials"


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