In 1865 the Great Hall was enlarged by the architect David Bryce, who ordered the roundel portraits from George MacCallum. MacCallum was paid four pounds per profile, a total of £60 for the set of 15 ‘Heads with wreaths’.

The portraits appear along the frieze in the Great Hall. Each of the figures in the roundel portraits is surrounded by a laurel wreath which is both an aesthetic, decorative feature, and a classical symbol which emphasises the importance of the figure depicted in the portrait. Like the other roundel portraits this profile offers a simple depiction of its sitter; possibly the most striking features are Jenner's hair and wide eyes.

Edward Jenner (1749 – 1823)

Jenner’s early medical education involved training under an apothecary and, later, physicians including John Hunter (whose bust is also in the college’s collection) with whom he trained as a private pupil.

Jenner is best known for his discovery of the vaccination against smallpox which he first documented using in 1796. Jenner published three works explaining his medical thinking and the vaccine (1798-1800); the first of these was the Inquiry into the causes and effects of the variolae vaccinae…known by the name of cow-pox (1798). This work reached the United States by January 1799 and, by 1801, it had been translated into Latin, German, French, Italian, Dutch, and Spanish. The vaccine had immediate importance in medical care and it was adopted throughout the world as well as amongst the British army and navy.

Thanks to his discovery Jenner became famous and developed connections with the most elite circles of European society. He corresponded with, and was received by, royalty including George III, the tsar and the King of Prussia. Jenner received numerous accolades for his work and amongst these he accepted fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.