Notes from the Lectures of Drs Gregory, Gordon, Monro & Hamilton

Scope and Content

Notes made by Edmund Lyon of lectures given by James Gregory, John Gordon, Alexander Monro tertius, and James Hamilton. The stamp of the Victoria University of Manchester Medical Library can be discerned on several pages and a note on the flyleaf in Samuel Crompton's hand reads 'Dr Edmund Lyon's notes'.

ff.1-29 are notes from James Gregory's clinical lectures given at Edinburgh University which are examples of practical teaching and use real examples to illustrate a variety of diseases and ailments including palsy [paralysis], epilepsy, mania, fever, epistaxis, pneumonia, gastritis, enteritis, hepatitis, nephritis, rheumatism, gout, smallpox, and measles.

ff.30-41 (although ff.34-35 are blank) are notes from John Gordon's lectures given at Edinburgh and constitute notes on the growth of bone, diseases of bone, teeth, injuries of vertebrae, the eye, retina, tunica choroides, putrid measles, urticaria et similia, pemphigus, aphtha, haemorrhages, phthisis [tuberculosis, pulmonary], and dyspnoea. There is a labelled diagram of the femur on f.30r and a diagram of the fibres of the iris on f.33r.

f.42 contains brief notes from the lectures of Alexander Monro tertius dated 1814 and making reference to the nervous system of the leech, the slug, the lobster, and the duck, as well as the lungs of amphibious animals and the supposed surface area of the human body and the lungs.

ff.43-51 are blank.

ff.52-65 are notes from the midwifery lectures of James Hamilton beginning on 12th November but with no reference to the year. The topics covered are menstruation, navi materni, monsters [abnormalities, severe teratoid], use of the placenta, protrusion of the bladder, retention of the placenta, forceps [surgical instruments], and the liver.

ff.66-74 are blank.

In the rear of the manuscript there is a fragment of a letter addressed to Lyon. Not enough of the letter survives to discern who it is from or the subject matter other than that reference is made to Lyon's sister, Sarah.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Gordon was born in Forres on 19 April 1786, the third son of John Gordon of Edintore and Elizabeth Arnot. In 1799 he moved to Edinburgh where he lived with his eldest brother and pursued classical studies for two years. He then commenced his medical studies as an apprentice of Dr John Thomson (1765-1846) and soon after began attending medical classes at the University as well as studying natural and moral philosophy. Gordon was elected a member of the Medical Society in 1803, received his diploma from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1805, and later that same year was awarded his MD from Edinburgh.

Gordon had originally intended to take up a medical post in the service of the East India Company upon completion of his studies, but Thomson, recognising this was not really what he wanted to do, suggested he become an anatomy and physiology lecturer in Edinburgh instead. As such, Gordon keenly began to study anatomy and practice dissection to qualify himself and left for London in the winter of 1805 where he studied at the theatre on Great Windmill Street. He returned to Edinburgh in the summer of 1806 and began giving public lectures on anatomy the following year. In October 1808 he became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, in 1814 he was elected as junior surgeon to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, and in 1815 published the first volume of a work entitled A System of Human Anatomy.

Gordon married Miss Rutherford in the summer of 1812 and together they had four children. He contracted a fever and died on 14 June 1818 at the age of 32 and was survived by his wife, one son, and two daughters.

See entry MMM/4/1/8 for biographical details about Gregory, entry MMM/23/1/12 for biographical details about Monro, and entry MMM/14/2/5 for biographical details about Hamilton.