Journal Mobile

WW Buchanan, ARM Upton
Journal Issue: 
Volume 35: Issue 4: 2005




Few poets have written on medical topics, but one who did was William Dunbar, an  eighteenth  century  Scots  poet  who  wrote  of  his  headache.   His headache  was  severe  enough  to  confine  him  to  his  house, and  may  have  been migraine, but this remains uncertain. Scotland’s king at that time was James IV who was  well-educated  and  interested  in  medicine.   He  awarded  Dunbar  a  salary, probably as a secretary in his household, which may reflect his general support for education and the arts.