Lectures and Cases of Professor James Gregory (1753-1821)

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection consists of manuscript (and one printed) notebook volumes on: lectures on the institutes of medicine, Dc.3.79-80; lectures on the theory of physic and therapeutic, 1777-1778, Gen. 553D, pp.183-372; clinical cases of Dr. Gregory in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, 1785-1786, Gen. 2119D; clinical lectures, 1789-90, and clinical cases, Dc.3.78; clinical reports, 1 November 1795 to 1 February 1796; lectures on the institutes of medicine, 1785-1786, Dc.10.11; lectures on the practice of physic with additional notes, 1797-1798, Dc.2.97; lectures on the practice of physic, 1798-1799, Dc.5.23 and Dc.7.119; lectures on the practice of physic, 1812-1813, Gen.691-693D; lectures on the practice of physic, 1793-1794, E92.91; and lectures on the practice of medicine, 1799-1804, Dc.3.86 and Dc.8.147-149. There is probably unpublished reply to an essay, Gen. 788D.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Gregory was born in Aberdeen in January 1753. He was the son of John Gregory (1724-1773), Professor of Medicine at Edinburgh University, who was at that time practicing medicine in Aberdeen. James Gregory was educated at Aberdeen and Edinburgh, and also at Christ Church, Oxford. On the death of his father in 1773, Gregory took over his father's lectures at Edinburgh University with some success, and took his own M.D. in 1774. After spending a couple of years studying medicine in continental Europe, Gregory was appointed Professor of the Institutes of Medicine in 1776 and the following year he began giving clinical lectures at the Royal Infirmary. His two volume Conspectus medicinae theoreticae: ad usum academicum (1782) established his position in medicine and in 1790 he became Professor of the Practice of Medicine at Edinburgh University, succeeding William Cullen (1710-1790) who had held the Chair since the death of Gregory's father. Professor James Gregory died on 2 April 1821.

Conditions Governing Access

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

Acquisition Information

Lecture notes presented by Dr. D. Guthrie, December 1961, Accession nos. E.61.39 and E61.40. Lectures on the practice of physic received from University of Keele, 1963, Accession no. E63.8. Clinical cases taken down by Nathan Thomas received November 1980, Accession no. E80.240. Lectures received from P.J. Pirages, Oregon, December 1992, Accession no. E92.91.


The biographical history was compiled using the following material: (1) Leslie, Stephen. 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.

Related Material

The local Indexes show various references to material related to Professor James Gregory (check the Indexes for more details): various items in the Laing Collection (La.II, La.III, ), memorandum with medical advice; notes; letters, Mic.M.1070; letters with directions for treatment, Gen. 1927; miscellaneous letters; more notes from lectures, Dc.7.120, pp.1-198, Dc.8.163, ff.50-58. In addition, the UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: correspondence and lecture notes, 1775-1832, at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Ref. Gregory NRA 16015 Coll of Physicians; case notes, 1785, at the Royal College of Physicians of London, Ref. MS 256; lectures and notes, 1781-1820, at the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine, Ref. MSS 2595-2627, and notes on cases treated by him at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, 1801, Ref. 6920; lecture notes, circa 1818, at the National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division, Ref. MS 9736; lecture notes, 1787, at Canada's McGill University, Osler Library; lecture notes, 1788-1789, at the University of British Columbia, Woodward Biomedical Library; and, lecture notes, 1793-1794, at the University of Toronto Library, (for Canadian material see Union list of MSS in Canadian repositories, supplement 1977-78).


Corporate Names