Alfred Baker Cutfield

4 Lower Street
6 Lower Street

Occupation: Naval Surgeon and G.P. 

As a Naval Surgeon, he was awarded service and campaign medals and in May 2018 the London auctioneers, Dixon Noonan Webb sold Alfred’s medals with copied records and other research that we found printed in their online catalogue. This information, plus some of our own research, has helped us tell his story.

Alfred was apprenticed for five years to Mr Nathanial Grant an Apothecary in Thayer Street, London from 3 December 1829 and at the same time, he was also a student of the North London Hospital (later known as University College Hospital, London). Then in January 1836 he passed the examinations for membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS), and as a Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries (LSA) in March 1836. (At this period the MRCS qualification allowed independent practice and the LSA qualification the prescription and dispensing of medicines).

Shortly after qualification Alfred joined the Navy as Assistant Surgeon in the Medical Service and his first appointment was at the Royal Navy’s Haslar Hospital in Gosport, and he remained there until 3 August 1837 when he joined, or in naval terms ‘was discharged to’, HMS Edinburgh.

HMS Edinburgh between 1838-1839 was part of a squadron looking after British interests off the coast of Mexico and returned to Portsmouth on August 1839. Alfred then took and passed the necessary examinations of the ‘College of Surgeons’ in London and the ‘Physician of the Navy’ to enable him to be considered as a Surgeon, when a position became available.

Silver, St. Jean d’Acre 1840

In July 1840 the Edinburgh was dispatched to patrol off the coast of Syria, where in November 1840 it was part of a combined fleet which bombarded and retook the town of Acre, which had been held by the Egyptians since 1832. For his services on the coast of Syria, Alfred Cutfield was specially promoted to the position of Surgeon on 4 November 1840. He was later awarded the Naval General Service medal 1793-1840 with the clasp ‘Syria’. Also, the St Jean d’Acre Medal 1840 which was given by the Sultan of Turkey in silver to all junior officers who served in the campaign.

By 1841 Alfred is back in Deal where the Census for that year tells us he is on Navy Half-Pay. He is staying with his father, John Cutfield, who is a retired Naval Officer and is also listed, on the census, as on Navy Half Pay. Later that year he is appointed Surgeon on HMS Champion, an 18-gun Sloop on which he served until November 1844, mainly patrolling along the coast of South America. In the May of 1843 while in Mexico he was subjected to an unprovoked assault by two Mexican sentries, suffering injuries to his face from being struck by the butt of a musket, resulting in a formal complaint to the Mexican Authorities.

On his return home, he was again placed on Navy Half-Pay. It was during this time that he married Elizabeth Kennett in Dover and went into partnership with Robert Woollaston as ‘Surgeons and Apothecaries’ in Tottenham. The partnership, however, didn’t last long as in March 1846 it was dissolved. He continued to practice as a surgeon, and in 1847 we find him at the Old Baily giving evidence at the trial of one of his patients, Thomas Mackintosh Davidson who was indicted for the wilful murder of Lewis Monkford. The Old Baily record says

“The prisoner did not plead to the indictment; and upon the evidence of Mr. Alfred Baker Cutfield, surgeon, of Tottenham, who had attended the prisoner for two years, and that of Mr. Gilbert M’ Murdo, surgeon, of Newgate, and Mr. Charles Holding, the assistant-surgeon, both of whom had examined the prisoner while in the gaol, the Jury found him to be of unsound mind.”

On several occasions, after he left HMS Champion, he was allowed to turn down further appointments on various grounds including his wife’s confinement and his own ill-health. Then in February 1855, he was appointed to HMS Hastings but a month later he was removed from the Navy List.

Kentish Gazette – Tuesday 12 January 1858

By 1851 he is back in Deal with his wife and two children and working as a General Practitioner (GP) in partnership with William Watt. In 1858 the partnership was dissolved and Alfred carried on in practice on his own. The following year he was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) and in the next year qualified as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) at Aberdeen University.

On 10 July 1862, Alfred became a Freemason being admitted to the Wellington Lodge, Deal.  A year later on 11 May 1863, at Lower Street, he died of a ‘Disease of the brain’.

Name Born Baptised Married Died Buried
Alfred Baker Cutfield 1815 20 September 1815
St. Leonard’s
Elizabeth Kennett
20 May 1845
St. James’s Dover

Born 1819
Buried 30 August 1883 St. George’s

16 May 1863 20 May 1863
St. Andrew’s

The Children of Alfred Baker Cutfield & Elizabeth Kennett

Name Born Baptised Married Died Buried
Alfred Kennett 4 April 1846 Tottenham 1 May 1846
All Hallows, Tottenham
Mary Jane Timewell
19 June 1868
St. Bolton’s, West Brompton
25 December 1889 Wandsworth
Elizabeth 9 June 1847 Tottenham 2 July 1847
All Hallows, Tottenham
Leonard J Penon
12 September 1878
Christ Church, Lee, Kent
Henry (Mac)Arthur 1851 1 May 1851
St. Leonard’s
Emily Mary Withers
date unknown**
Rouen, France
14 January 1917
Farnham, Surrey
John Finnis 1854 11 March 1854
St. Andrew’s
Annie Brassey
27 March 1880
Christ Church, Wanganui, New Zealand

New Zealand

Arthur 1857 6 August 1857
St. Leonard’s
Agnes Mary Hulme Nee Fincham
22 August 1881
Christ Church, Bishopsgate
Ross, Herefordshire
George 1859 19 February 1859 23 January 1860
St. George’s
William 1860 14 June 1860 Eliza Frances Leatham
New Zealand
62 Victoria Ave, Remuera, New Zealand
Purewa Cemetery
New Zealand

** GRO consular marriages on FindmyPast states 1896-1900


Year Address Name Relationship Occupation
1841 Lower Street John Head Navy H P
Ann Wife
Alfred Navy H P


Year Address Name Relationship Occupation
1851 6 Lower Street Alfred B Cutfield Head General Practitioner M.R.C.S. & L.A.C.
Elizabeth Wife
Alfred K Son
Elizabeth Daughter
Frederick Van Pupil
Harriet Moon Visitor
Elizabeth Adams Cook
Sarah Norris Nurse
Ann Norris Housemaid


Year Address Name Relationship Occupation
1861 5 Lower Street Alfred B Head General Practitioner M.R.C.S. & L.A.C.
Elizabeth Wife
John Son
Arthur Son
William Son
Henry Son
Eliza Wanstall Servant Housemaid
Sarah Norris Servant Nurse
Isabella S Morris Servant Cook

Trade and Street Directory

Directory and Year Trade or Occupation Address
Post Office& Home Counties  1855 Surgeon Lower Street
The London and Provincial Medical Directory   1855 6 LowerStreet
The London and Provincial Medical Directory   1860 FRSC England 1859; MRCS & LSA 1836; formerly Surgeon RN Lower Street
Kellys Directory 1862  Surgeon Lower Street


Poll Books (selected)

 Year Profession Residence
1852- 1857 Deal
1863 4b Lower Street
Sources and further reading:
The London Gazette 24 April 1846 UK, Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972
DIX NOONAN WEBB Saleroom auction catalogue
ADM 196/74  (The National Archives)
ADM 196/8 (The National Archives)
London & Provincial Medical Directory
Old Bailey Proceedings Online
Pall Mall Gazette (Marriages and Deaths)
Newspaper image © The British Library Board. All rights reserved.
With thanks to The British Newspaper Archive (