The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Edward G. Woakes, 1837-1912

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1837
Place of Birth: Luton, Bedfordshire
Date of Death: 1912
Place of Death:


Dr Edward G. Woakes was an eminent aural surgeon. He was the husband of Rebecca (b. ca 1841). The Woakes had three children Arnold (b. ca. 1863), Claude (b. ca 1869), who also followed a medical career, and Lillian (b. 1866).


Woakes was born in Luton, Bedfordshire, the son of a physician. He studied medicine at the University of London and spent his early career at St. Thomas' Hospital as a house surgeon. His name first appears on the register of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1859. From 1876, he focused his interest on otology, rhinology and laryngology. He worked at Golden Square Hospital, and was appointed Senior Aural Surgeon at the London Hospital where he taught otology. He also had a Harley Street practice. Woakes published on such topics as deafness, migraine, vertigo and diphtheria. He was a patron of JW, and commissioned a portrait of his daughter, Portrait of Miss Lilian Woakes (YMSM 393).


UK census 1881, at (accessed March 2004); Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980; The Medical Register for 1896, London, 1896; The Medical Directory for 1886, London, 1886; Koehler, P. J., and H Isler, H., 'The early use of ergotamine in migraine. Edward Woakes' report of 1868, its theoretical and practical background and its international reception,' Cephalalgia, vol. 22, no. 8, October 2002, p. 686.