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Michael Underwood, the man midwife, famed in his day as the accoucheur of royalty, was born in Surrey on Sept. 29, 1737. He was educated at West Moulsey and later at Kensington, and then studied under Mr. Caesar Hawkins, a surgeon at St. George's Hospital; afterward he became a house pupil at this hospital. He also came in contact with John Freke, of St. Bartholomew's Hospital. From London he went to Paris and then became a member of the Surgeon's Company, establishing himself in the practice of surgery and obstetrics in Margaret Street, Cavendish Square. Eventually, he limited his practice to women and children.
He gained a reputation as an obstetrician, as is evidenced by his appointment as surgeon to the British Lying-in Hospital. About this time, the Royal College of Physicians changed their policy and admitted a number of obstetricians—permissus artem obstetrician exercendam—of whom Underwood was one of
RUHRÄH J. MICHAEL UNDERWOOD1737-1820. Am J Dis Child. 1930;40(6):1312–1315. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1930.01940060152014