The protestant medical missions to China: Dr Thomas Richardson Colledge (1796-1879) and the founding of the Macao Ophthalmic Hospital

J Med Biogr. 2013 May;21(2):118-23. doi: 10.1258/jmb.2012.012007.


A surgeon of the British East India Company, Dr Thomas Richardson Colledge, founded the Macao Ophthalmic Hospital in 1827. This was not only the first Western hospital ever opened in China for the purpose of bringing modern medicine to the Chinese but also the precursor of similar efforts of later medical missions in China. The gratifying results of this institute proved that employing Western medicine was an effective way to introduce Christianity to China and to open her door to the outside world. Though not a missionary himself, Colledge is rightfully regarded as the originator of medical missionaries to China.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • China
  • History, 19th Century
  • Hospitals / history*
  • Macau
  • Missionaries
  • Ophthalmology / history*
  • Protestantism
  • Religious Missions / history*
  • United Kingdom

Personal name as subject

  • Thomas Richardson Colledge