It is not known who sculpted this neoclassical-style plaster bust. However, the College Minutes of 3 May 1868 record that a letter had been received from Mrs Sandeman of Glasgow, one of Poole’s daughters stating that:

Some years ago there was a very good likeness taken of my dear Father, Dr. Poole, in the form of a Bust. I got one for myself, and as to it, he has expressed a wish that I should give it to the RCPE and I have much pleasure in acceding to his desire. It is in the house of my Sister Mrs. Kirkwood and as she is to remove to Coupar Angus, I should have it sent to the College on hearing from you that such a thing would be received and valued. You may be aware my Father is now in his 86th year but I am sorry to say very frail in mind and body.

Richard Poole (1780/3 - 1870)

Edinburgh-born Poole obtained his MD from St Andrews University in 1805. He became a fellow of the college in 1825 and established a private medical practice in the city. Poole was closely involved in College affairs as councillor and honorary librarian. He also assumed the role of historian and the College still possesses his preparatory notes for a history of the College which were also later utilised by Craig in his history of the RCPE (1980).

Poole became physician to the Royal Public Dispensary and developed a particular interest in mental illness. This was reflected in his appointment as medical superintendent at the Royal Lunatic Asylum at Montrose, a position which he held until 1845. Following this he purchased Middlefield House, a small private asylum near Aberdeen and he managed this facility until shortly before his death.