The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

Read more about the RIA

Grangegorman Lives: Fleetwood Churchill

05 April 2024

Our Grangegorman Lives series continues with Fleetwood Churchill (1808 – 1878), the Nottingham-born obstetrician and medical writer.  

Fleetwood Churchill was educated in Dublin, Paris, and Scotland, graduating from Edinburgh University in 1831. Upon graduating, Churchill returned to Dublin to study midwifery, eventually becoming Dublin’s leading figure in obstetrical science. Churchill went on to lecture in midwifery at the Richmond Hospital’s School of Medicine before co-founding the Western Lying-in Hospital on Arran Quay with Robert D. Speedy. The hospital would prove extremely valuable to Dublin’s poor, serving roughly 100 patients annually. Churchill was known as a pioneer of sanitary reform, having founded the first Dublin Sanitary Association in 1850. Churchill retired in 1875 and passed away three years later at the age of 70.

Read more about Fleetwood Churchill's life in our Dictionary of Irish Biography. 

Grangegorman Lives is a series of biographies of people whose lives influenced or were influenced by Grangegorman. The biographies are all sourced from Ireland’s Dictionary of Irish Biography: Ireland’s national biographical dictionary. Devised, researched, written and edited under the auspices of the Royal Irish Academy, its online edition is freely available at

Grangegorman Histories is a public history programme of research and shared discovery of the Grangegorman site and surrounding communities. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with our activities.

Image credit: Portrait of Fleetwood Churchill (1808-1878), English physician, Thomas Alfred Jones, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

    Stay up to date with the Royal Irish Academy newsletter

    Sign up now