Braid, James


Braid, James

▪ British golfer
born February 6, 1870, Earlsferry, Fife, Scotland
died November 27, 1950, London, England
 one of the greatest golfers of his time, winner of the British Open championship five times in the first decade of the 20th century. Braid, together with Harry Vardon and John Henry Taylor, formed what was known as the “Great Triumvirate” of British golf prior to World War I.

      Braid learned golf as a caddie but did not become a professional player until 1896. He won the British Open in 1901, 1905, 1906, 1908, and 1910; the French championship in 1910; and the News of the World tournament (retrospectively considered the British professional match-play championship competition) in 1903, 1905, 1907, and 1911. In his later years he designed several golf courses.

▪ British surgeon
born 1795, Rylawhouse, Fifeshire, Scot.
died March 25, 1860, Manchester, Eng.

      British surgeon and a pioneer investigator of hypnosis who did much to divorce that phenomenon from prevailing theories of animal magnetism.

      In 1841, when well established in a surgical practice at Manchester, Braid developed a keen interest in mesmerism, as hypnotism was then called. Proceeding with experiments, he disavowed the popular notion that the ability to induce hypnosis is connected with the magical passage of a fluid or other influence from the operator to the patient. Rather, he adopted a physiological view that hypnosis is a kind of nervous sleep, induced by fatigue resulting from the intense concentration necessary for staring fixedly at a bright, inanimate object. Braid introduced the term “hypnosis” in his book Neurypnology (1843). He was mainly interested in the therapeutic possibilities of hypnosis and reported successful treatment of diseased states such as paralysis, rheumatism, and aphasia. He hoped that hypnosis could be used to cure various seemingly incurable “nervous” diseases and also to alleviate the pain and anxiety of patients in surgery.

      Braid's findings met with violent opposition at first, but they soon provided a major impetus to the development of the French school of neuropsychiatry.

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Universalium. 2010.