Papers of Alexander Monro (1733-1817)

Scope and Content

The papers of Alexander Monro, secundus, consist of lecture notes on anatomy.

Administrative / Biographical History

Alexander Monro, secundus, younger son of Alexander Monro, primus (1697-1767), was born in Edinburgh on 20 May 1733. He was educated at Mr. Mundell's School in the city, and in 1752 he entered Edinburgh University to pursue medical studies. From 1753, he occasionally lectured for his father who was Professor of Anatomy and Surgery, and in July 1755 he became Joint Professor with his father. In October 1755 he took the degree of Doctor of Medicine, the subject of his dissertation being De Testibus et Semine in variis Animalibus. After graduating he went to London to attend William Hunter's lectures, then visited Paris, Leyden, and Berlin. In 1758 he succeeded his father as Professor of Anatomy at Edinburgh University and the following year he was elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. He became President of that body in 1779. His works included Observations on the structure and functions of the nervous system (1783), Structure and physiology of fishes explained and compared with those of man and other animals (1785), Bursae Mucosae (1788), and The brain, the eye, and the ear (1797). Between 1798 to 1808, Monro shared the Professorship with his son, Alexander Monro, tertius (1773-1859). Monro died on his estate at Craiglockhart, Edinburgh, on 2 October 1817.

Access Information

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Other Finding Aids

An important finding aid is the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives. Additions to the typed slips in sheaf binders were made until 1987.

Related Material

The Index to Manuscripts shows, at various shelfmarks, references to notes of lectures on anatomy by Alexander Monro taken by a student, lectures on surgery delivered by Monro, lectures on anatomy, and miscellaneous letters.