1 East Parade, Leeds LS1 2AA
Leeds School of Medicine (site of)1 East Parade: Site of Leeds Medical School and Heaton’s first house in Leeds.

Given John Deakin Heaton’s long association with the medical institutions of Leeds, it is fitting that our tour begins at the site of both the Leeds School of Medicine and Heaton’s own first private surgery, both since demolished. 

Heaton studied at the Leeds Medical School from 1835 to 1839, the beginning of a lifetime’s connection as scholar and lecturer.  The medical school had been founded by Charles Turner Thackrah and others in 1831 to provide much needed medical training (Anning, 1980, pp. 147-8).  In 1834 it established permanent premises at no. 1 East Parade, close to Leeds General Infirmary on Infirmary street (afterwards the site of the Yorkshire Penny Bank, and also marked on the Heaton Map).   The Medical School remained here until 1865 when it moved to purpose-built premises on Park St, near the new infirmary, designed by George Corson.  Apparently the well-to-do residents of East Parade insisted that the scruffy medical students used the entrance on St  Paul’s Street!

In 1844, Heaton, now with an MD from University College London, acquired the adjoining house, 2 East Parade.  This served him as both his residence and private surgery.  After his marriage to Fanny Heaton, the house became a venue for musical soirées (Journal, i. 101).  However, his wife never liked the house, and in 1856 the Heatons purchased a Georgian villa called Claremont in Little Woodhouse.

From 1844 Heaton lectured at the medical school on botany, materia medica, and the practice of medicine, and was a member of the Council.  In 1872, he served as President of the school, giving an address at the annual opening ceremony (Journal, iv. pp. 72-4).  His journal for February of that year records an instance of student high-jinks:

 ‘I completed my part of the course of lectures on [the] Practice of Medicine at the Medical School, during the delivery of which, for some unaccountable reason, I had been much annoyed, and rendered very uncomfortable, by the persevering rudeness and disturbance of some part of the class, evidently suggested by some who contrived to conceal their action, though I ultimately ascertained who were the leaders, but without gaining any information of their motive.’ (Journal, iii. 272). 

Further Reading:

Anning, Stephen T. (1980), The History of Medicine in Leeds. Leeds: W. S. Maney & Sons.

 Anning, S. T. and Walls, W. K. J. (1982), A History of the Leeds School of Medicine. Leeds:  Leeds University Press.