Letter from William Osler to John Burdon Sanderson [Transcript]
Osler writes that he is flattered to be considered for the Regius Professorship of Medicine at Oxford, but is very sorry that
Ritchie was passed over for the position. Osler is considering the appointment despite being very happy and well equipped
in Baltimore. However, he does feel overworked and has been looking forward to easing some of his professional burdens. Still,
he has reservations about the Regius Professorship, for he does not want to give up clinical practice.
[Description courtesy of McGill University.]
About this transcript: Soon after Osler's death in 1919, Lady Osler asked their good friend Dr. Harvey Cushing to write
a biography. For this project, Cushing gathered a wide variety of material, including a substantial amount of Osler correspondence
and other memorabilia borrowed from Osler's family, friends, and colleagues. He employed three secretaries to transcribe
these documents, and later donated the transcripts (along with his other working materials) to the Osler Library. Because
many of the original documents were returned to the owners, the Cushing transcripts constitute the largest and most accessible
collection of Osler's correspondence.
Harvey Cushing's "Life of Sir William Osler" was published by Oxford University Press in 1925, and was awarded
a Pulitzer Prize in 1926.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (634,386 Bytes)
1904-06-21 (June 21, 1904)
Burdon Sanderson, John
Transcriber: [Cushing, Harvey]
Original Repository: Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McGill University. Osler Library Archive Collections, P417: Harvey Cushing Fonds
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Sir William: Regius Professor at Oxford, 1905-1919
Burdon Sanderson Letters, '04.
Copy of letter sent to Sir John B. S. in reply to first letter.
G. R. O.
1, West Franklin St., Baltimore
[Monday June] 21st.
Dear Sir John,
I returned from Boston this morning I found your letter of the 8th. inst. I feel highly flattered that my name should be mentioned
in connection with the Chair. I am sorry that so good a man as Ritchie should be passed over. There are so many things to
be considered that a cabled you asking if an immediate decision was wanted or whether I could confer with you upon the question
in Oxford. In many ways I should like to be considered a candidate, while very happy here and with splendid facilities, probably
unequaled in English-speaking countries. I am overworked and find it increasingly hard to serve the public and carry on my
teaching. I have been in harness actively for thirty years, and have been looking forward to the time when I could ease myself
of some of the burdens I carry it present. With the income from my book, we have a comfortable competency, so that I am in
a measure independent.
My only doubt relates to the somewhat relative duties of the chair. I am interested in clinical teaching, and fond of it and
have acquired a certain aptitude for bedside work which gives me a certain value in the profession. I should miss sadly the
daily contact with the students, unless I could arrange for clinical work in London. On the other hand I have a mass of unfinished
literary material on hand which the academic leisure of the new place would enable me to complete.
Thanks for your kind invitation. Mrs. Osler does not accompany me. And Hardy accepted an offer from the Dean of Christ Church.