Parson Jack Russell’s Doctor

Mr Thomas Linnington Ash LRCP (Edinburgh) MRCS (England)

Mr Thomas Linnington Ash at the Winsford Cottage Hospital 1906

Thomas Linnington Ash was the Winsford Hospital’s first attending medical officer and a Justice of the Peace for Devon since 1890. Of interest to many will be that fact that he was also the doctor attending the Reverend Jack Russell – he who bred the eponymous terrier. It is reported that it was in the arms of Linnington Ash that Parson Russell died in 1883.

We have this photograph of Linnington Ash surrounded by the rest of the hospital’s staff which was taken in 1905. The caption reads “The Winsford Hospital Staff 1905 – Presented to the Winsford Centre by the Winsford Walled Garden, February 2003”

Mr Linnington Ash was sent a copy of the plans for the Winsford Cottage Hospital by CFA Voysey in 1899. He may well have advised on the type of equipment used and the layout of the hospital.

Mr Thomas Linnington Ash

This portrait was painted by Gerard Leigh-Hunt, nephew and protégé of Maria Webb Medley. As a child he demonstrated artistic talent but he was born into a large family and so his aunt undertook to pay his school expenses. He was sent to Lord Williams’ Grammar School at Thame, in Oxfordshire, where he thrived on the encouragement he received.

Career Development

He began his career as a civil engineer and visited Mexico and the United States. However, he subsequently decided to become a painter and attended the St. John’s Wood School of Art and at the Royal Academy Schools. After military service in the Boer War he had some success as a portrait and landscape painter and his work was shown in the Paris Salon and in London.