Lectures of Hunter & Alcock

Scope and Content

Volumes 1 & 3 of a series of notes taken from lectures described as 'Hunter's & Alcock's Anatomical Lectures'. This is believed to refer to William Hunter and Nathan Alcock but there is no reference in either manuscript as to which notes might be from whose lectures just as there is no evidence of the two men having taught together. It is also clear that there are 1 or more volumes missing.

It also appears that there are two separate sets of lectures represented across the two volumes. Volume 1 contains a series of anatomical lectures which continue in volume 3 but just over half way through volume 3 a series of notes on midwifery begin, which appear to be in a slightly different hand.

Both volumes bear the bookplate of Charles White (1728-1813) and were presented to Owens College by the executors of Professor William Smith.

Administrative / Biographical History

Nathan Alcock was born in Runcorn, Cheshire in 1707. He studied medicine at both Edinburgh and Leiden receiving his MD from the latter in 1737. Alcock then proceeded to oxford where he gave unauthorized lectures on anatomy and chemistry in reponse to the fact that the two professors of the medical faculty there gave no lectures. He was met with great opposition in this but support from influential friends saw him granted the degree of MA by Oxford in 1741 followed by MB in 1744 and MD in 1749. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1749 and a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1754. Alcock practised and lectured in Oxford for many years before eventually removing to Runcorn where he died on 8 December 1779.

See entry MMM/23/1/7 for biographical information about Hunter.


Norman Moore, 'Alcock, Nathan (1709-1779)', rev. Caroline Overy, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. William Munk, 'Nathan Alcock', Munk's Roll, Volume II p.189.