In 1804 he brought out the first part, and in 1807 the second part, of his great work on Hernia.' At the time he first undertook inquiry into this subject, not only was the anatomy of the disease ill under stood, but the operation for its relief was frequently unsuccessful. This work was published in atlas folio, and got up in an unnecessarily expensive style. Most of the illustrations were of the size of life. When the whole was sold, he was a loser of one thousand pounds by the work. It however added greatly to his increasing reputation, and in a fow years after this (1813) his annual Income from his profession amounted to twenty-one thousand pounds. This income is probably the largest ever received by a medical practitioner.
During the constant occupation which an enormous practice, beeides his hospital duties and lectures gave him, he found time to pursue his favourite science of anatomy. He had a private dissecting room over his stables, and here he employed dissectors, artists, and modellers, being present himself every morning by six o'clock to superintend and direct them for the day. In 1813 he was appointed professor of comparative anatomy to the College of Surgeons. During this year he removed from the City to the West End, not only with the view of cultivating his interest with those about court, but also for the purpose of avoiding the enormous practice of the City.
In 1817 he performed one of his most remarkable operations, that of tying the aorta. Although not successful, it is undoubtedly the boldest attempt in the annals of surgery. If any circumstances have justified it, they were those in which Cooper operated. It hag been attempted since without success. In 1818, in conjunction with his former pupil and colleague, Mr. Travers, he commenced publishing a series of surgical essays ; but the plan was abandoned after two parts of the work had appeared. In 1820 Cooper was called in to attend on George IV., although be held no official position at court. Shortly after this he removed a steatomatous tumour from the head of the king. Si. months after this the king offered him a baronetcy, which was accepted on the condition that, as he had no son, the title should descend to his adopted son and nephew Aetley Cooper.
In 1822 Sir Aatley Cooper was elected one of the Court of Examiners of the College of Surgeons, and the same year he brought out his great work on 'Dislocations and Fractures.' This work was characterised by the same diligence of research, and it was got up in the same style as his work on 'Hernia,' and, like that work, threw great light ou many obscure points on the anatomy of the subjects it treated of, ae well as suggested improved methods of treatment.
Iu 1827 Sir Astley Cooper was elected President of the College of Surgeons, an honour which he again received in 1836. In 1827 he lost his wife, and the grief which this occasioned, added to previous indications of ill-health, determined him to resign practice and retire to his estate at Gladesbridgc. Here he lived only a short time, and returned the following year to his practice in London. He bad how
ever previously resigned his lectureship at St. Thomas's, which hd did not resume. In 1828 he was married a second time, and in the same year was appointed aerjeant-surgeon to the King. In 1830 he was elected a Vice.Preaideut of the Royal Society.
In 1829 he published the first part of a work on the ' Anatomy and Diseases of the Breast.' This was accompanied by admirable illus. trationa and was a worthy companion to his previous works. The whole of this work was completed in 1S40. In 1832 appeared a work of the same magnitude, on the 'Anatomy of the Thymue Gland,' which was an important addition to the knowledge of a very obscure organ of the human body. lie was in the same year elected a mem ber of the Royal Institute of France, and shortly after a corresponding member of the Royal Academy of Sciences. In 1834, on the occasion of the Installation of the Duke of Wellington at Oxford, he received from that university the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Laws. Ile visited Edlularrgh In 1837, where new honours awaited him ; he was made an LLD. of the university, the freedom of the city was voted to him, and a public dinner was given him Ly the College of Surgeons.
In the year 1840 attacks of giddiness, to which he had been subject, increased, and he had much difficulty of breathing. These symptoms increased, and he died ou the 12th of February 1841, in the seventy. third year of his age. He was interred by his own desire beneath the chapel of Guy's Hospital. A colossal statue by Bailey has been erected to his memory in St. Paul's Cathedral. In his will he left 100/. a year to be given every third year to the best essay on some surgical subject.
Sir Astley Cooper is a striking instance of what unceasing industry can accomplish. As a teacher, his kindness, and the easy manner with which he communicated his knowledge, placed him far above most of his contemporaries. His unwearied assiduity in the dissecting. room enabled him to produce those great works which are amongst the moat important contributions to modern surgery, and must over give him sn important position in surgical literature. His influence ou the surgery of the day was great. "Before his time," says Dr. Forbes, "operations were too often frightful alternatives or hazardous compromises; and they were not seldom considered rather as the resource of despair than as a means of remedy. He always made them follow as it were in a natural course of treatment; he gave them a scientific character; and he moreover succeeded in a great degree in divesting them of their terrors by performing them unos tentatiously, simply, confidently, and cheerfully, and thereby inspiring the patient with hope of relief, where previously resignation under misfortune had too often been all that could he expected from the sufferer." (TAe Life of Sir Astley Cooper, Bart., by Brausby B. Cooper; British and Foreign Medical Quarterly Review, vole. x. and xvi)