Milne Murray

Scope and Content

Notes taken from lectures of Dr Robert Milne Murray (1855-1904) on Midwifery & Diseases of Women during the winter session of 1900/01. The notes in both volumes are fairly rough and there is no attempt to number individual lectures but they are sometimes dated. There are numerous printed drawings and diagrams inserted throughout the text to illustrate certain matters.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Milne Murray was born on 6 May 1855 at Fettercairn, Kincardineshire. He first studied an arts course at the University of St Andrews in addition to attending lectures on chemistry and geology before heading to the University of Edinburgh to study medicine. He graduated in 1879 and immediately became an assistant to John Halliday Croom (1847-1923) and so began an earnest study of gynaecology and obstetrics. He became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh in 1886 and in the same year began lecturing on midwifery and the diseases of women from the Extramural School of Edinburgh. His lectures were incredibly popular and he attracted large numbers of students. Along with a number of colleagues he also helped to establish the New School that became an integral part of the School of Medicine of the Royal Colleges.

Milne Murray at times held a number of prestigious professional roles including physician to the Royal Maternity and Simpson Memorial Hospital, Edinburgh; assistant gynaecologist to the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh; president of the Edinburgh Obstetrical Society; vice-president of the British Gynaecological Society; vice-president of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts; and examiner in midwifery to the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, the University of Durham, and the Indian Medical Service. He was also a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Obstetrical Society of London, and the Royal Physical Society of Edinburgh.

He made innumerable contributions to the medical literature in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology as well as some in chemistry and also made use of his knowledge of electronics to devise a number of electrical instruments. Indeed he was appointed the first electrician to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and oversaw the electrical installation for lighting and medical and surgical treatment.

He developed pneumonia in late 1902 and initially travelled abroad for treatment to no avail. On 14 February 1904 the resection of several portions of his ribs was attempted as a last resort and he died of heart failure some hours later.


'Obituary, Robert Milne Murray, M.A.St.And., M.D.Edin., F.R.C.P.E., F.R.S.E.', British Medical Journal, 1904, 1(2252), pp.521-2.