Papers of Professor Francis Home (1719-1813)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-365
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      10 volumes, 1 part volume.
  • Location
      Dc.6.83; Dc.7.117, ff.119-; Dc.10.12/1-9

Scope and Content

The collection is composed of: a printed copy of Home's Principia medicinae, 2nd edition, 1762, interleaved with manuscript annotations and additions; notes of lectures on materia medica, 1784-1785; and, clinico-medical cases, 1798.

Administrative / Biographical History

Francis Home was born on 17 November 1719. Home studied medicine at Edinburgh University. Between 1742 and 1748 he served as a military surgeon in Flanders during the Seven Years War. During intervals between campaigns he studied at the University of Leiden. After his service in the army he graduated from Edinburgh University in 1750 with degree of MD. Home's thesis was on intermittent fever, Dissertatio de febre intermittente. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. After practising medicine for some years in the city, he was appointed as Professor of Materia Medica at Edinburgh University in 1768. It was Home who first called attention to croup as a distinct disease. His publications include Experiments on bleaching (1756), Principia medicinae (1758), Medical facts and experiments (1759), An inquiry into the nature, cause, and cure of the croup (1765), and Clinical experiments, histories, and dissections (1780). In 1757 he was awarded a gold medal for an essay on the principles of agriculture, The principles of agriculture and vegetation. Home held his Chair until 1798. Professor Francis Home died on 15 February 1813.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Stephen, Leslie. and Lee, Sidney (eds.). Dictionary of national biography. Vol. 9. Harris-Hovenden. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1908.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Related Material

The local Indexes show reference to an account of Home in Benjamin Rush's journal, 1766-1768, at Mic.M.28, f.74 (check the Indexes for more details). In addition, the UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: lecture notes and casebooks, 1767-1809, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Ref. Home NRA 16015 Coll of Physicians; case book, 1778, Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine, Ref. MS 2933; and, casebook, 1783-1791, Edinburgh Central Library, Ref. NRA(S)3563 NRA 38890 Edinburgh CL.

Corporate Names