Ernest Septimus Reynolds

Ernest Septimus Reynolds (1861 - 1926) 300

Ernest Septimus Reynolds (1861 – 1926) was an English physician.

There must have been some arsenic in the beer for years before Reynolds found it, and it can be truthfully said of him, “He made beer purer.”

  • Born 7 April 1861, Manchester, England
  • 1885 – M.D. at University of London
  • 1887 – worked as a resident medical officer, Manchester Royal Infirmary
  • 1888 – Member of the Royal College of Physicians
  • 1891 – honorary physician to the Ancoats Hospital and Physician to the Manchester Workhouse Infirmary.
  • 1892 – lecturer in hygiene to the Lancashire County Council
  • 1896 – Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians
  • 1899 – 1921- honorary staff of the Manchester Royal Infirmary
  • 1902 – Secretary of the Section of Psychological Medicine when the British Medical Association held its annual meeting in Manchester
  • 1912 – President of the Manchester Medical Society, vice-president of the Section of Neurology and Psychological Medicine at Liverpool
  • 1912- 1913 – One of the representatives of the Lancashire and Cheshire Branch on the Central Council
  • 1914-1918 Lieutenant-colonel in the R.A.M.C. 
  • 1917 – Bradshaw lecturer in the Royal College of Physicians and choose as his subject the “causes of disease”
  • 1920 – In October 1920, Reynolds gave his presidential lecture for the section of neurology of the Royal Society of Medicine on the causes of nervous diseases, using the same classification he had proposed in his Bradshaw Lecture of 1917
  • 1921 – Consulting physician Manchester Royal Infirmary
  • He retired from the university as Emeritus Professor of clinical medicine at the University of Manchester
  • Died May 22nd 1926 from acute influenzal pneumonia. He received an obituary of over 2 pages in the British Medical Journal and is profiled in Munk’s Roll.

Medical Eponyms
Mees lines (Reynolds lines) (1919)

Reynolds wrote extensively regarding the effects of arsenic upon the beer drinking population of North England and the Midlands. In 1901 he published his findings and review in the Lancet concentrating on the signs and symptoms of polyneuropathy due to acute arsenic poisoning.

Nails: In many cases the nails are affected. After the patients have stopped taking the beer for some weeks the best appearances are seen, for then there is a transverse white ridge across the nail; proximal to this the nail is normal, but distal to it the nail is whiter, cracked, thin, and towards the tip almost papery and much flattened. In some cases there have been a series of parallel transverse ridges of the nails, also suggesting a series of week-end drinking bouts. These deformed nails of course break easily.

Reynolds 1901

Key Medical Attributions

Major Publications


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the person behind the name

Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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