Notes of Professor Alexander Hamilton (1739-1802)

Scope and Content

The collection of notes is bound together under the title Notes of midwifery from Dr. Hamilton, Edinburgh, Nov. 7. 1797.

Administrative / Biographical History

Alexander Hamilton was born in 1739 at Fordoun, Kincardineshire, in north-east Scotland, where his father, a retired army surgeon, had his practice. In 1758, Hamilton became an assistant to John Straiton, an Edinburgh surgeon, and in 1762 he was admitted as a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh. He then obtained a medical degree and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh. After successfully lecturing on midwifery for a number of years, he was appointed as joint-Professor of Midwifery at Edinburgh University in 1780, and then as sole Professor in 1783 on the death of Dr. Thomas Young. He was instrumental in the establishment of Edinburgh's Lying-in Hospital in 1791. Hamilton's publications include: Elements of the practice of midwifery (1775), Outlines of the theory and practice of midwifery (1784), and Treatise on the management of female complaints, and of children in early infancy (1792). Professor Alexander Hamilton resigned in 1800 and died on 23 May 1802.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

The sheaf index file is noted, Mrs. J. E. Robertson 1933.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Stephen, Leslie. and Lee, Sidney (eds.). Dictionary of national biography. Vol.8. Glover-Harriott. 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.


Corporate Names