The collection is composed of: a volume of papers containing medical prescriptions, notes on medical matters, correspondence, 1701-1708, and entitled Praxeos Pitcairnianae specimina and which also includes letters to Gregory, 1700-1708; Commentarius in partem solutionis problematic de inventoribus A. Pitcairnii 1688 edite a D. Gregorio Oxoniae 27 June 1692 et D.J.Wallisio G.P.S. tradita 30 Junii 1692; poems in Latin, 1708, 1712, and undated; Latin verses, Georgius Buchananus Gualtero Dannistono; and, manuscript fragments.
Papers of Archibald Pitcairne (1652-1713)
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- ReferenceGB 237 Coll-457
- Dates of Creation1692-1712
- Language of MaterialEnglish, and Latin.
- Physical Description1 box, 10 miscellaneous manuscript documents
- LocationDc.1.61/191; Dc.1.62; Dc.4.101-103 Pitcairne; De.7.69; Df.1.33/2
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Archibald Pitcairne was born in Edinburgh on 25 December 1652. He was educated in Dalkeith and then from 1668 studied at Edinburgh University from which he graduated with the degree of M.A. in 1671. Although it was intended that he enter the Church, Pitcairne went on to study law in Edinburgh and Paris, and in the latter city he became interested in medicine. On his return to Edinburgh, and as a friend of Dr. David Gregory (1661-1708), he studied mathematics, though medicine wasn't forgotten. Indeed, in 1675 he resumed his medical studies in Paris and Rheims, the latter University awarding him the degree of M.D. On his return to Edinburgh he began practice as a physician and was one of the founder members of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Sympathetic to the Jacobite cause, Pitcairne had to leave Scotland in order to succeed in his profession and in 1692 he was appointed to the Chair of Physic at Leiden University. He returned to Edinburgh in 1693 but became embroiled in a catalogue of controversies and disagreements which were probably politically motivated, although because he was also known to mock the Church, there may have been another reason for the negative stand towards him. In 1699 though he was awarded the degree of M.D. from Aberdeen University, and in 1701 he was admitted to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. His publications include Solutio problematic de historicis; seu de inventoribus dissertatio (1688), De sanguinis circulatione in animalibus genitis et non genitis (1693), Dissertatio de curatione febrium (1695), Dissertatio de legibus historiae naturalis (1696), Epistola Archimedis ad regem Gelonem Albae Graecae, reperta anno aerae Christianae 1688 and numerous satirical verses on the Church, and latin verses. Archibald Pitcairne died in Edinburgh on 20 October 1713.
Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.
The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of national biography. Vol. 15. Owens-Pockrich. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1909.
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.
Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.