There has been a plethora of scientists over recent centuries. In 1829, aged … Theodor attended the Tricoronatum – a Jesuit college in Cologne. In 1838, Schwann and Matthias Jakob Schleiden (1804-1881) developed the "cell theory." He remained a devout Roman Catholic throughout his life. Theodor Schwann (1810-1882) Theodor Schwann was born in Neuss, Germany. He was the fourth son of Elisabeth Rottels and her husband Leonard Schwann, a goldsmith and publisher. He studied medicine in Berlin, and after graduation went on to do an assistantship in anatomy. Theodor Schwann was born in Germany’s oldest city, Neuss, on December 7, 1810. Theodor Schwann, (born December 7, 1810, Neuss, Prussia [Germany]—died January 11, 1882, Cologne, Germany), German physiologist who founded modern histology by defining the cell as the basic unit of animal structure. Some make small contributions to science, while others make a much bigger impact in science. There he was influenced by the religious doctrines of Wilhelm Smets. Theodor Schwann.