Michael Foster was born in Huntingdon on 8 March 1836 and died in London on 28 January 1907. He was brought up in a Baptist family and his nonconformity prevented him from meeting the religious tests demanded for a scholarship at the University of Cambridge. Instead he attended the University of London, studying classics and graduating with a BA in 1854. This was followed by study in science and medicine at University College London, leading to the MD in 1859. After additional medical training in Paris, Foster developed consumption. In an attempt to effect a cure, he embarked on a sea voyage, signing on as ship's surgeon. On his return to England in 1861 he joined his father in medical practice for six years before accepting appointment, at the request of William Sharpey, the Professor of Anatomy and Physiology, to teach practical physiology at University College.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.