(2 December 1837 â€“ 4 October 1911)
was a Scottish lecturer at the medical school of the University of Edinburgh in the 19th century. He was a great-grandson of Benjamin Bell, a forensic surgeon. In his instruction, Bell emphasized the importance of close observation in making a diagnosis. To illustrate this, he would often pick a stranger and, by observing him, deduce his occupation and recent activities. These skills caused him to be considered a pioneer in forensic science (forensic pathology in particular) when science was not often used in the investigations of crimes.
Arthur Conan Doyle met Bell in 1877, and served as his clerk at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Doyle later went on to author a series of popular stories featuring the character Sherlock Holmes, who Doyle stated was loosely based on Bell and his observant ways. Bell was aware of this inspiration and took some pride in it.
Bell also served as personal surgeon to Queen Victoria whenever she visited Scotland. He also published several medical textbooks. Bell was a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, a Justice of the Peace, and a Deputy Lieutenant.
Joseph Bell died on 4 October 1911. He was buried at the Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh alongside his wife, Edith Katherine Erskine Murray, and their son Benjamin, and next to his father's and brother's plots.
Dr Joseph Bell