James Drummond Earl of Perth

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Portrait of: William Hunter
By: J. Thomson
After: Tyne
Style: Line engraving
Dimensions: 13. 9 x 18. 9 cm

William Hunter (1718–1783) was a physician, anatomist, and man-midwife born in Lanarkshire. Hunter studied at the University of Glasgow but left before he had graduated. He became the apprentice to William Cullen. In Edinburgh Hunter attended the anatomy lectures of Alexander Monro ‘Primus’. In 1740 Hunter travelled to London to study midwifery under William Smellie. In 1741, Hunter became the anatomy assistant to James Douglas.

Hunter was considerably involved in links of patronage and was aware of the benefits influential relationships could bring him. He cultivated polite manners and personal characteristics that granted him access to prominent members of society. His patients included the Pitts, Hertfords, Lady Ossory, the Fitzroys, the Earl of Sandwich, Lord North, the Coutts, and the Hollands. ‘I have’, he wrote, ‘the pleasure of thinking that every soul of my acquaintance wishes me well and would be ready to serve me’.

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