Rynd, Francis (1801–61), surgeon, was born in Dublin, second among five sons of James Rynd (1748–1814), gentleman, of Ryndville, near Enfield, Co. Meath, and his third wife, Hester, daughter of Robert Fleetwood of Parkstown, Co. Meath. He had three sisters, and also three half-brothers from his father's first marriage. He entered TCD (1817), graduated BA (1821) and MA (1832) from Dublin University, was apprenticed (1818) to Sir Philip Crampton (qv) at the Meath Hospital, Dublin, and later established a successful practice from 19 Ely Place and subsequently from 14 Hume St.
A fellow of the RCSI (1830), he was elected surgeon to the Meath Hospital (1836–61). He may have been the first doctor in the world to administer a hypodermic injection. In June 1844 while treating a patient suffering from prolonged and severe facial pain, he devised a special instrument and injected subcutaneously a solution of fifteen grains of acetate of morphia dissolved in one drachm of creosote. The pain eased immediately and she made a permanent recovery. Later that year he successfully treated a patient so incapacitated by sciatica as to have been confined to bed for the previous three years, who made a rapid recovery and three months later was able to walk twenty miles. Rynd described his new technique in ‘Neuralgia – Introduction of fluid to the nerve’ (Dubl. Med. Press, xiii (12 Mar. 1845), 167–8). This instrument was a forerunner of the modern hypodermic syringe invented (1853) by Dr Charles-Gabriel Pravaz (1791–1853); lacking a plunger, the fluid entered the tissues by gravity and was used extensively by Rynd to relieve pain. It was not until 1861 that he published an illustrated ‘Description of an instrument for the subcutaneous introduction of fluids in affections of the nerves’ (Dubl. Q. Jn. Med. Sc., xxxii, no. 63 (1 Apr. 1861), 13), at a time when a controversy was raging in the London Medical Times and Gazette about priority of discovery for subcutaneous injection by syringe between Alexander Wood (1817–84) and Charles Hunter, a London surgeon. An able surgeon, sympathetic to his patients and popular with his students, he was hon. medical secretary to the Meath Hospital, medical superintendent of Mountjoy Prison (1847–57), and consulting surgeon to the Coombe Hospital.
He contributed articles on a variety of subjects to professional journals and published Pathological and practical observations on stricture and some other diseases of the male urethra (1849), which he dedicated to Crampton, who had helped him in his career and for whom he had great affection and respect; he executed Crampton's last request and with his own hands encased his friend's corpse in cement.
Tall and dignified, a prominent figure in the sporting and social life of Dublin, he mixed in the highest society, was a member of the Medico-Philosophical Society (a peripatetic dining club), and was one of the few doctors admitted to the Kildare Street Club. His large practice, which included most of Dublin's nobility, brought him great wealth, much of which he lost after investing in securities.
He died 19 July 1861 in Clontarf, Co. Dublin, when the phaeton he was driving was involved in a minor accident; though the pedestrian involved was unhurt, an altercation ensued and Rynd suffered a heart attack. He married (August 1831) Elizabeth (d. 1859), daughter of Alderman John Alley, lord mayor of Dublin 1817–18; they had four sons (the eldest named ‘Philip Crampton’) and three daughters.