Joseph Barcroft, Professor of Physiology at Cambridge, lived, studied, and taught in the Golden Age of Physiology in England. He was born in The Glen near Newry, County Down, near the Belfast-Dublin Road in Northern Ireland, beyond the Mourne Mountains. He so loved his ancestral home that he returned to it regularly throughout his professional career. His parents were well-to-do Quakers, and made possible an excellent education. Franklin, in the biography of Barcroft,1 described him as "precocious" because of the circumstances that surrounded his acceptance of the Bachelor of Science degree by London University at the age of 19. A dissertation entitled An Investigation of the Gaseous Metabolism of the Salivary Glands was one of the requirements for the Doctorate of Philosophy by Cambridge University.
A glittering array of British and international physiologists were his associates, teachers, or pupils. These included J. N. Langley, M. Foster, W. H. Gaskell,