abernethy, john - Abernethy, JOHN (1764-1831); abernethy, john - British surgeon. Born in London, April 3, 1764, he was educated at Wolverhampton Grammar School. After serving as assistant surgeon and lecturer at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, of which he was surgeon in 1815-29, he was made professor of anatomy and surgery at the College of Surgeons in, 1814. Abernethy first enunciated the principle that local diseases are symptomatic, and that most of them arise from disordered digestive organs. Popular and eccentric in manner, he was an excellent medical teacher. He died at Enfield, April 28, 1831.