This portrait is by far the largest in the collection, nearly double the size of any of the others and portrays Frederic Thackeray (1774-1852) who was Surgeon and Physician to Addenbrooke’s, he succeed his father, Thomas, (who had been one of the first surgeons to Addenbrooke’s) as surgeon in October 1796. He resigned as surgeon in 1817 when he started to practice as a Physician, but not in the hospital until 1827 and then resigned this post in 1843.
We know a lot about the Thackeray family and their contribution to medicine and Addenbrooke’s too. There are copies of many letters written by Frederic and his father in the minute books of the hospital. Thomas wrote a letter on 12 September 1796 to the Weekly Meeting of the Governors of Addenbrooke’s Hospital, ‘Gentlemen, having a son who has been regularly brought up to the Profession and will be happy to succeed me as one of the Surgeons to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, I give notice of my intention to resign and if he should be the object of your choice I flatter myself he will pay the same attention to the patients as I have ever done.’
Frederic gave evidence of the first record of instruction given by the Hospital to medical students: he and his brothers were all pupils of their father and in his letter of resignation to the Governors he says that he has had a ‘connexion of half a century with Addenbrooke’s Hospital as a pupil, Surgeon and Physician’.