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Pediatric Biographies
March 1934

RICHARD MORTON, M.D. 1637-1698: A NOTE ON THE HISTORY OF CHYLOUS ASCITES

Am J Dis Child. 1934;47(3):629-631. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1934.01960100155019

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Abstract

Richard Morton, the author of the well known "Phthisiologia, seu exercitationes de phthisi," deserves a place in the ranks of the early pediatrists, for he was perhaps the first to describe the condition of chylous ascites in early life, and he not only reported a case with autopsy but made the diagnosis during life—no mean feat in those days, or in these either, without using methods which Morton did not have at his command.

Morton, a contemporary of Sydenham, is an interesting figure in medicine. He was born in 1637 and matriculated in 1654 as a commoner in Magdalen Hall at Oxford, but later changed to New College, from which he received his A.B. degree in 1657 and his M.A. degree in 1659. Soon after he got his first degree he was chaplain to his college, and later he was a chaplain in a wealthy family and was given the

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