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Chance, Frank, 1826-1897 (physiologist and Hebrew scholar)



Frank Chance was born at Highgate, the fourth son of Robert Lucas Chance, a Birmingham glass manufacturer. After two years in his father’s factory, he studied chemistry for a year at King’s College, London, and for two further years at Paris and Berlin. He then studied medicine at Trinity College Cambridge from 1859, taking his Bachelors degree in 1854, and went on to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital for his clinical training, graduating as M.B. in 1855. He became a Member of the Royal College of Physicians of London in 1859, and a Fellow in 1863.

While at Cambridge Chance gained the Tyrwhitt Hebrew scholarship, and the study of languages became the chief interest of his life. He translated Virchow’s Cellular Pathology, at the author’s request, in 1863, and edited H. H. Bernard’s Commentary on the Book of Job in 1864. A year later he retired from medical practice. From 1875 to 1884 he was a member of the committee for the Revised Version of the Old Testament. He was a fluent linguist in German, French and Italian, and familiar with several other languages.

He married Jane Susan Katharine in 1857, daughter of James Brewster of Huntingdon, and had one daughter.