It is an honour for an otological surgeon to be asked to deliver the second Sir Morell MacKenzie address. Thank you for the invitation and for that honour. Exactly 100 years ago MacKenzie, with Norris Wolfenden, founded ‘The Journal of Laryngology and Rhinology’. ‘Otology’ was not added to the title until 1892, the year MacKenzie died. I shall return to this theme later. It is also exactly 100 years since, in 1887, MacKenzie was asked by Queen Victoria to examine her son-in-law, Frederick, Crown Prince of Germany. The controversy and subsequent recrimination which flowed from the management of Frederick's laryngeal lesion I shall leave to future lecturers to assess. It is as the founder of British laryngology that he should be remembered. As early as 1863 he had started the Metropolitan Free Dispensary for Diseases of the Throat and Loss of Voice, the first institution of its kind in the world. He wrote authoritatively on diseases of the throat and invented many instruments for the difficult art of indirect laryngeal and pharyngeal surgery. He received his Knighthood, also in 1887.