"A born writer, especially a born story-teller. Dr. Sutherland, who is distinguished in medicine, is an amateur in the sense that he only writes when he has nothing better to do. But when he does, it could hardly be done better." G.K. Chesterton.
Dr John Francis Sutherland (1854—1912) was the father of Halliday Sutherland. This obituary was printed in the 38th edition of J.F. Sutherland’s First Aid to the Sick and Injured:
Born at Lybster, Caithness, Dr J.F. Sutherland received his medical education at the University of Edinburgh where he graduated M.D. in 1880 as Gold Medallist with highest honours. Twenty years later Lord Lister wrote of him: “He has laboured assiduously at the subjects of hygiene and the welfare of the insane and the services which he has rendered have been recognised both at home and abroad as of a very high order.”
The greater part of his life was spent in the Civil Service. From Medical Officer to the training ship Mars, he was appointed to the British Hospital, Paris. In 1880 he became Medical Officer to H.M. Prisons, Glasgow, and Senior Deputy Commissioner in Lunacy for Scotland. He was a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, London; of the Royal Society of Edinburgh; and received many distinctions from scientific bodies in Paris, Moscow, Madrid, and New York.
He was a man of greatest ability, of indefatigable industry, with fearless and outspoken opinions, but of a generous and sympathetic nature, and his kindly humour is missed to-day in every parish of Scotland, which he knew so well. His grave is in the Churchyard at Kildary, Easter Ross, where a stone bears the epitaph of “A devoted advocate of Justice for the Poor, the Insane and the Criminal.”
For Dr. J.F. Sutherland’s obituary in the British Medical Journal, click here.