Class cards, class tickets, and testimonials of John Brown, Thomas S. Brown and William B. Clark (1824-1835)

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The material spans 1824 to 1835. There is one class card in the name of William B. Clark. In addition there is a printed document dated 27 April 1831 and published by the Royal College of Surgeons in London which notes the regulations respecting the professional education of candidates for the College's diploma. There are 34 cards and tickets relating to John Brown and his study path. There are 21 cards and tickets relating to Thomas S. Brown, including one of which is an Edinburgh Academy card ( Academiae Edinensis Alumnus MDCCCXXVIII-IX).

There are 13 letters and certificates referring to Thomas S. Brown, being:

  • - letter certifying attendance Lectures on the Principles and Practice of Midwifery, including the Diseases of Women and Children, signed by John Thatcher MD, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, 6 Feb. 1835
  • - letter indicating that Brown had been a pupil at the Royal Public Dispensary, 10 Feb. 1835
  • - signed certificate referring to attendance at Lectures on Surgery, 1832
  • - letter signed by John Mackintosh indicating Brown's attendance at his lectures and 'well qualified to fill any medical appointment', February 1835
  • - signed certificate recording diligent attendance at lectures on Chemistry and Pharmacy, signed by Thomas Charles Hope, 28 April 1832
  • - testimonial in favour of Thomas S. Brown written by Borthwick, February 1835.
  • - letter certifiying attendance at classes from 1832, and in effect a letter of testimonial, signed by Alexander Jardine Lizars, 6 February 1835
  • - letter certifying regular and diligent attendance at Practical Chemistry classes signed by William Gregory MD, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, 18 April 1834
  • - letter certifying that Brown had regularly signed the Janitor's Book during the currency of his ticket for the Royal Infirmary, November 1834
  • - letter certifying diligent attendance at a course of lectures on the Principles and Practice of Midwifery including the Diseases peculiar to Females, Infants, and Children, 12 April 1834
  • - letter certifying attendance 'with the greatest regularity' at Anatomical Demonstrations, and how Brown 'returned such correct and excellent answers to various questions' while attending Examinations, signed by Alexander Jardine Lizars, 27 July 1832
  • - letter certifying attendance at lectures, 1833-34, at Medical Surgical Theatre, Brown Square, Edinburgh, signed J. Mackintosh MD, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
  • - letter certifying attendance at lectures on Surgery during session 1833 and 1834, and clinical lectures delivered by Mr. Lister (and Lizars) conjointly in 1833 and etc., and stating that Brown 'will become a good Surgeon and general practitioner', signed by John Lizars, Professor of Surgery to the College of Surgeons, Surgeon to the Royal Infirmary, and Lecturer on Surgery, Edinburgh

Administrative / Biographical History

John Brown (fl. 1824-1834) and Thomas S. Brown (fl. 1828-1835) came from Lanarkshire and may have been brothers, possibly from Edmonston. They both studied medical subjects from the mid-1820s to the early-1830s at Edinburgh University and at the Royal Infirmary and other institutions in the city.

William B. Clark, also a student in Edinburgh in the 1820s, went on to become a Minister in Canada preaching at Chalmers Presbyterian Church in Quebec City.

From the class cards and tickets, library tickets and letters of certification it is possible to trace the study pattern of the men - studies under the great professors of nineteenth century Edinburgh - at the University, the Royal Infirmary, the Edinburgh New Town Dispensary, and at the Royal College of Surgeons.

John Brown appeared to have been studying from at least November 1824 when the class cards show that he attended classes in Greek given by Professor George Dunbar. In 1825 he took classes in Anatomy and Surgery offered by John Barclay MD and the well known Robert Knox MD. Throughout 1926-1927 he studied the principles and Practice of Surgery and Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology and Surgery under Alexander Monro (presumably Professor Alexander Monro tertius (1773-1859) , as well as Institutions of Medicine given by Andrew Duncan, Chemistry given by Andrew Fyfe, and Chemistry and Pharmacy by Thomas Charles Hope. In 1827-1828 there were studies and practices in Pathological Anatomy, Midwifery, Surgery, Principles and Practice of Surgery, Operative Surgery (again under Robert Knox), Practical Chemistry, Materia Medica, and Dietetics and Pharmacy (given by Andrew Duncan), Practical Anatomy, and Military Surgery (given by George Ballingall), as well as attendance at Anatomical Demonstrations. In 1829 he was studying Botany, and the Institutes of Medicine, and he was attending Clinical Lectures. In 1829 he was admitted to the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons. In 1834 he studies Practical Chemistry and Pharmacy under William Gregory MD. There are undated cards showing study in the Junior Humanity class under James Pillans, and the prectice of Medicine under James Home. There are no cards showing studies after 1834.

Thomas S. Brown may have attended Edinburgh Academy (at least between 1828-1829) prior to studying Medicine at Edinburgh University. In 1831 he was issued with a University Library card and that study year he was admitted to the Royal College of Surgeons Museum and he attended the Junior Humanity class offered by James Pillans, as well as the Chemistry and Pharmacy class given by Charles Hope. In 1832 he was admitted to classes in Mechanical Philosophy given by George Lees, Surgery given by John W. Turner, Materia Medica given by Robert Christison, Practical Anatomy and Operative Surgery, and Anatomy and Physiology given by Alexander Jardine Lizars. In 1833 Brown was a pupil in the Laboratory of the Royal Public Dispensary of Edinburgh and he also attended Clinical Lectures in Surgery and Principles and Practice of Surgery given by John Lizars. Between 1833 and 1834 he attended classes in Institutions of Medicine given by John Fletcher, Midwifery given by John Thatcher, and Practical Anatomy and Operative Surgery given by Alexander Jardine Lizars.

William B. Clark had studied Logic and Metaphysics under David Ritchie in November 1824.

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Acquisition Information

Acquired from Canadian donor - descendant of the subjects - in October 2008, Accession no: E2008.49.

Note

The biographical/administrative history was compiled using information contained within the collection and from information offered by the donor.

Other Finding Aids

None prepared for this collection.

Archivist's Note

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