Philson’s Bequest  1817-1899

Thomas Moore Philson, son of a Londonderry schoolmaster, was one of four siblings who gained professional distinction. Two of his brothers became ministers of religion in America, where they were joined by his brother William, an Edinburgh medical graduate. Thomas joined the British Army as an assistant surgeon in 1843, four years after graduating in medicine from the University of Edinburgh as the prize winner in military surgeon. Two years later he was posted to New Zealand, resigning his post in May 1851 for private practice in Auckland, where he remained until his death in 1899.

Philson was medical superintendent of Auckland Hospital 1859-83 and on his retirement was presented with a handsome gold chronometer and chain, a purse of sovereigns, and a silver card-case for Mrs Philson. He immediately donated the money towards the formation of a medical library for the medical school which he wished to see established in the very near future. His dream was not to be realised for another 85 years.

Auckland Star, 9 February 1883