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Sir Alfred Cooper

Sir Alfred Cooper FRCS was a fashionable English surgeon whose patients included Edward, Prince of Wales, who was Surgeon-in-Ordinary to the Duke of Saxe-Coborg, and a forebear of former Prime Minister David Cameron.

Cooper was born in Bracondale, Norfolk, England, on 28 January 1838, the son of barrister William Cooper,, by his wife Anna, née Marsh. He was educated at Merchant Taylors’ School.

He was apprenticed to the eminent surgeon Peter Nicholls at Norwich before becoming a student at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London in 1858, , made MRCS 1861, after which worked in a number of London hospitals. He was also made FRCS Edinburgh in 1868 and FRCS England in 1870.

As a doctor and surgeon he specialised in syphillis and other similar diseases. His “social qualities were linked with fine traits of character and breadth of view, gained a wide knowledge of the world, partly at courts, partly in the out-patient rooms of hospitals, and partly in the exercise of a branch of his profession which more than any other reveals the frailty of mankind.”1

He was appointed a Surgeon-Lieutenant-Colonel to the Loyal Suffolk Hussars on 17 May 1899, and knighted in 1902.

He was a particularly good shot, and a very clubbable man.

He was the Founding Junior Warden of King’s College Hospital Lodge No 2973 and Founding Senior Warden of Rahere Lodge No 2546.

He was Senior Grand Deacon in 1897 and a Past Assistant Grand Sojourner.

He died on 3 March 1908 at Villa St Jacques, Menton, France

Sir Alfred Cooper Vanity Fair December 1897


  1. Power, D., ‘Cooper, Sir Alfred (1838–1908)’, DNB, London, 1912.