Notes from Lectures of John Gregory

Scope and Content

Notes from Gregory's lectures on the practice of medicine and the institutions of medicine given at the time he held the Chair of Medicine jointly with William Cullen.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Gregory (1724-1773) was born in Aberdeen on 3 June 1724 and was the son of Dr James Gregory, the Professor of Medicine at King's College Aberdeen, and Anne Chalmers as well as being the grandson of the Scottish mathematician and astronomer, James Gregory (1638-1675). He began a classical education at the local grammar school, which he continued at King's College Aberdeen, before moving with his mother to Edinburgh in 1742 to pursue studies in medicine. From here he went to Leiden in 1745 and whilst their received his M.D. from Aberdeen in 1746.

Not long after his return to Scotland he was elected Professor of Philosophy at King's College, Aberdeen, where he gave lectures on mathematics and philosophy until his resignation in 1749. During this time he had been a successful practicing physician, and had resigned his academic post in order to focus further on this. In 1754 he moved to London and spent time in prominent medical circles, but returned to Aberdeen in 1755 to take up the Professorship of Physic recently left vacant by the death of his brother James. In 1756 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society.

In 1764 he moved his medical practice to Edinburgh where he was elected to the Chair of Medicine in 1766, a post he later shared with William Cullen from 1769 to 1773. In the same year, he also became first physician in Scotland to George III. He published a number of works during his career including some of his lectures, but is perhaps more well-known by many for his Father's Legacy to His Daughters, published by his son after his death, in which he advises women on religion, moral conduct, and relationships with men. This is famously attacked by Mary Wollstonecraft in A Vindication of the Rights of Women.

Gregory died in his sleep on 9 February 1773.


Paul Lawrence, 'Gregory, John (1724-1773)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford University Press, 2004. Robert Chambers A Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Scotsmen: Vol. II Crichton-Hamilton Edinburgh 1855.