Journal Mobile

JE Thomson
Journal Issue: 
Volume 39: Issue 2: 2009




In  the  nineteenth  century  it  was  not  uncommon  for  doctors  to  die from infectious diseases, but the death of five young physicians in Greenock – one third of the medical profession in a medium-sized Scottish town – from epidemic typhus,  during  four  consecutive  months  in  1864–65,  was  an  unusual  event. This paper describes the lives and backgrounds of these five doctors, whose deaths in the line of duty earned them the description ‘medical martyrs’.