1834 - 1912
Performed the first successful endoscopic treatments
Francis Richard Cruise was born in Mountjoy Square Dublin in 1834, the son of a solicitor. He studied medicine at Trinity College and The Richmond Hospital, under Sir Dominic Corrigan and Robert McDonnell (who performed the first blood transfusion in Ireland in 1865).
He graduated in 1858 and travelled in America, returning to Ireland in 1859 when he was granted his Licentiate from the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. He was elected a Fellow of the College in 1864. His MD was granted by Trinity College in 1861 for a thesis on the abnormal development of the female genital organs.
Cruise began his work as a junior physician in the Mater Hospital when it opened in 1861. He also lectured in the Carmichael School and was President of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland from 1884 to 1886.
Cruise published articles on a wide range of subjects, including dislocations, bladder diseases and hypnotism. A literrary scholar, he published a biography of Thomas a Kempis and a translation of his work On The Imitation Of Christ. He was an excellent rifle shot and a proficient cellist. In 1859, he married Mary Frances with whom he had six sons and three daughters.
Cruise was knighted in 1896 and, in 1901, King Edward VII appointed his as physician-in-ordinary to the King in Ireland. In 1905, the Pope conferred on him a knighthood of St Gregory.
Cruise achieved great acclaim for performing some of the world's first operative, endoscopic treatments successfuly in living patients. Among the most notable was one of the world's first endoscopically-assisted urethrotomies. Using his newly-approved endoscope, Cruise could also diagnose lesions such as bladder tumours for the first time.
Cruise died on 26 February 1912 and is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.
The photograph of Sir Francis Cruise is reproduced with permission of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland
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