Clinical Autonomic Research

, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp 317–327 | Cite as

Recollections of Professor Henry Barcroft, F.R.S.

Historical Review


Professor Henry Barcroft, MD, FRS, Emeritus Professor of Physiology in St. Thomas' Hospital Medical School in London died on 11 January 1998, aged 93. He was born in Cambridge on 18 October 1904 where his father, Joseph Barcroft, a famous physiologist, worked with Foster and Langley and subsequently was appointed to the Chair of Physiology. Henry Barcroft followed in his father's footsteps. During his career as Professor of Physiology firstly at The Queen's University of Belfast and subsequently at St. Thomas's Hospital London, he made significant studies on the nervous and humaral control of human blood vessels. His success as a research scientist stemmed partly from his ability to simplify complex phenomena in a way that permitted them to be broken into component parts and tested and partly from his technical ingenuity that permitted simple, inexpensive measurements of difficult physiological variables. Perhaps the most important factor, however, was his ability to bring out and stimulate aptitudes and enthusiasms in others. Completely unselfish himself, he gave individuals every opportunity to develop their talents, and so make themselves known to a wide circle of interested medical scientists. In many ways, his life was a guidebook for young scientists on how to make the most of their opportunities.


history of physiology human peripheral circulation blood flow biography 


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Copyright information

© Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Queen's University of BelfastNorthern Ireland
  2. 2.The Mayo ClinicRochesterUSA

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