Quain, Jones (1796–1865), surgeon, medical writer, and professor of anatomy, was born in November 1796 at Mallow, Co. Cork, eldest son of Richard Quain of Rathhealy, gentleman, and his first wife (née Jones). His younger brother was Richard Quain (qv) (1800–87), also an eminent surgeon; his half-brother was Sir John Richard Quain (1816–76), a judge of the queen's bench; and his cousin Sir Richard Quain (qv) (1816–98) was also a prominent medical man. Educated at the school of Dr Adair in Fermoy, Co. Cork, Jones Quain entered TCD in November 1811, was awarded a scholarship (1814), and graduated BA (1816) and MB (1820). Further studies followed in Paris, and in 1825 he went to London, where he worked as an anatomical teacher at Tyrrell's medical school in Aldersgate St.
It was at this time that he began his career as a medical writer, publishing a translation of Dr L. Martinet's manual of pathology in 1826. This book ran to several editions, including an American edition (1831). He also wrote Elements of descriptive and practical anatomy (1828). This became the standard English-language textbook on the subject; running to several editions, it remained a key text for eighty years and was translated into German. In 1830 he published Two lectures on the study of anatomy and physiology.
In 1831 he was appointed professor of anatomy at University College, London, and graduated MD from TCD in 1833. His brother Richard also worked at University College, London, during this time as the senior demonstrator in anatomy. In 1835 Jones Quain was elected to the senate of the college, resigning his professorship of anatomy. His next publication was a collaboration with Erasmus Wilson: A series of anatomical plates in lithography with references and physiological comments, illustrating the structure of the different parts of the human body (2 vols, London, 1836–42). This work was later republished in five volumes, and there were also American editions (Philadelphia, 1852; New York, 1854).
He spent much of the remainder of his life in Paris, devoting himself to scientific and literary studies. He died unmarried 31 January 1865 in London and was buried in Highgate cemetery.