Notes from Lectures given by Sir Henry Duncan Littlejohn, Professor of Medical Jurisprudence (1828-1914)

Scope and Content

The lectures are composed of: notes of lectures on medical jurisprudence delivered 1897; lectures on medical jurisprudence and public health, 1897; lectures, 1905; lectures on forensic medicine, 1908; and, a signature of Littlejohn, circa 1866.

Administrative / Biographical History

Henry Duncan Littlejohn was born in Leith in 1828. He was educated at Perth Academy and the Royal High School, Edinburgh, and he studied at Edinburgh University and in Paris. After graduating he served in general practice in Selkirk, but he returned to Edinburgh in 1855. He started as a Lecturer in Medical Jurisprudence, first at the Extra-Mural School of Medicine. He was also a medical hygienist and in 1862 he was appointed as Edinburgh's Medical Officer of Health, a post which he held until 1908. Littlejohn became a brilliant jurist, and the Ardlamont murder trial, 1893, (in which Alfred John Monson was tried for the attempted murder of Lieut. W. C. Hambrough, at Ardlamont, Argyllshire) was the most famous he was involved in. Littlejohn was knighted in 1895. He was elected to the Chair of Medical Jurisprudence, Edinburgh University, in 1897, at the age of sixty-nine, and retired in 1906. His publications were numerous in the fields of legal medicine and public health, and his Report on the sanitary condition of the City of Edinburgh (1865) became a classic in the field of public health. Sir Henry Duncan Littlejohn died on 30 September 1914.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Lectures, acquired October 1968, Accession no. E68.32.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Thomson, William A. R. 'An Edinburgh quintet'. University of Edinburgh journal. Vol.30. No.4. December 1982. Edinburgh: The University Graduates' Association, 1982. (2) Who was who ... 1897-1916. London: A. and C. Black, 1920.

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 other references to H. D. Littlejohn (check the Indexes for more details), in the form of: mention in a letter of Sir R. Christison to an unnamed correspondent, at Gen. 1733/16; and, small portrait photograph at Phot.Ill.157/15. In addition, the UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: family papers, 1839-1898, National Archives of Scotland, Ref. GD1/895 NRA 23259 Hedderwick; and, lecture notes, 1897, Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine, Ref. MS 3305.