Alexander Blackhall-Morison’s Cane

This cane was inscribed in 1923 commemorate 100 years of Morison Lectures at the Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh.

Alexander Blackhall-Morison was educated at Edinburgh Academy and Dollar Academy. Alexander entered Edinburgh University in 1866 and after the customary year of classics and mathematics proceeded to study medicine. In the summer of 1873 Alexander studied the development and absorption of bone in the University of Würzburg. On 1st August 1878, while practising in London, he obtained his MD from Edinburgh for his thesis, Observations on some points in dextral valvular disease of the heart.

Alexander became a founder member and President of the National Medical Union (NMU), standing as their nominee to the General Medical Council in 1919. The NMU, together with the Scottish Medical Guild, stood against the introduction of the National Insurance Act of 1911 and the institution of the Ministry of Health in 1919. Alexander wrote a pamphlet on this theme, Aesculapius Bound and Unbound, which also suggested the formation of a new body more truly representative of the profession than the BMA. As a result of these political activities, he was asked in 1921 to stand as MP for the Scottish Universities, but after much heart-searching had to decline for lack of personal funds.