Humphrey Ridley

Dr Humphrey Ridley (1653 – April 1708) was a British physician, who followed the research done by Willis, Vieussens, and Galen, and is most noted for his studies of neuroanatomy.[1][2]

Humphrey Ridley
Born1653 (1653)
Died1708 (aged 54–55)
EducationMerton College, Oxford
Leiden University
Known forHis studies of neuroanatomy
His Goulstonian Lecture
Medical career
Notable worksThe Anatomy of the Brain
An illustration from The Anatomy of the Brain


Ridley was born the son of Thomas Ridley, in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. In 1671, aged 18, he began his studies in medicine at Merton College, Oxford, but from there didn't get a degree. Instead, Ridley graduated as a doctor of medicine from Leiden University in 1679 with a thesis on sexually transmitted diseases with the title “De lue venerea," after which in 1688 he was incorporated as MD at Cambridge. After settling in London, he became a Candidate of the College of Physicians on 30 September 1691, and then admitted as a fellow on the same day the following year. In 1693/4, he gave the Gulstonian lectures.[3]

Ridley died in April 1708, and was buried at St Andrew's, Holborn on 9 April.


  • The Anatomy of the Brain, containing its Mechanism and Physiology; together with some new Discoveries and Corrections of Ancient and Modern Authors upon that subject [a]
  • Observationes Medico-Practicæ et Physiologicæ de Asthmate et Hydrophobiâ [b][4]


^ 8 volumes, London, 1695. This was also the first book to be written about the brain in the English language.[5]

^ 8 volumes, London, 1703, containing cases of a variety of disorders and ten bodily dissections.[6]


  1. ^ Veith, Philip; Watanabe, Koichi; Shoja, Mohammadali M.; Blaak, Christa; Loukas, Marios; Tubbs, R. Shane (2013-01-29). "Humphrey Ridley (1653-1708)". Clinical Anatomy. 28 (1): 12–15. doi:10.1002/ca.22228. ISSN 0897-3806. PMID 23362140.
  2. ^ Thakur, Jai Deep; Sonig, Ashish; Chittiboina, Prashant; Khan, Imad Saeed; Wadhwa, Rishi; Nanda, Anil (2012). "Humphrey Ridley (1653-1708): 17th century evolution in neuroanatomy and selective cerebrovascular injections for cadaver dissection". Neurosurgical Focus. 33 (2): E3. doi:10.3171/2012.6.FOCUS12139. ISSN 1092-0684. PMID 22853834.
  3. ^ Moore, Norman. "Ridley Humphrey". Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900. 48.
  4. ^ "Munks Roll Details for Humphrey Ridley". Retrieved 2018-05-30.
  5. ^ Veith, Philip; Watanabe, Koichi; Shoja, Mohammadali M.; Blaak, Christa; Loukas, Marios; Tubbs, R. Shane (2015). "Humphrey Ridley (1653-1708): forgotten neuroanatomist and neurophysiologist". Clinical Anatomy (New York, N.Y.). 28 (1): 12–15. doi:10.1002/ca.22228. ISSN 1098-2353. PMID 23362140.
  6. ^ Aikin, John. General Biography: Or, Lives, Critical and Historical, of the Most Eminent Persons of All Ages, Countries, Conditions, and Professions, Arranged According to Alphabetical Order, Volume 8. p. 556. Retrieved 16 June 2020.