Hodgkin, one of the renowned physicians of Guy's Hospital, was born at Pentonville in 1798. His father, a grammarian and fashionable tutor to ladies of wealthy families of London, was largely responsible for the education of his children. Comparative philology greatly interested Thomas, as reflected in his skill in Latin, Greek, French, Italian, and German. There is no record that Thomas attended a formal educational institution until he entered Guy's at the age of 21. Sometime later, he visited several medical centers on the Continent and studied under Laënnec at the Necker Hospital in Paris. The advantages of the stethoscope in auscultation of the cnest were convincing, and upon his return to London introduced this new device in examination of the patient. Following the practice of Bright and Addison, future associates at Guy's, Hodgkin completed medical training at the University of Edinburgh with the receipt of the doctorate of medicine.