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A vindication of the University of Edinburgh





THESE remarks owe their origin to a paper published in the "Pamphleteer," for May, 1814, under the title of "Observations on Medical Reform, by a Member of the University of Oxford," and which has just fallen under the observation of the Author.

The Oxonian commences by saying, "it might naturally have been expected that the morbid tendency of the present generation to reform, would have received such a check from the dreadful examples that have exhibited themselves in many situations, as at least to deter the prudent from dangerous attempts. Those examples, it is true, have been chiefly displayed by political reformers, they have run their course, their day is past, and most of them have experienced the lot they deserved. There is, however, a sign of the times, a portentous contempt of the greater masters of ancient genius, which makes me suspect that the Political Reformer has only changed his garb, that he has descended from palaces and courts, to colleges and academies, only to play a surer game.”

Now, as I have a right to my suspicions, as well as himself, I suspect, that, as there is no connection between Politics and Medicine, the Political Reformer who steps so much out of his way, as to engage in, or foment disputes among Medical Men, will find, to his cost, that his time has been mis-spent, and that he will only receive his trouble for his pains. As to any "contempt of the great masters of ancient genius," as far as medicine is concerned, I confess I know of none such, and I believe I shall be fully borne out in asserting, that the writings of the great Father of Physic, as well as the other ancient Physicians, obtain at this day, quite as much attention as they deserve; especially, as very great portions of them, can now only be perused as matter of curiosity. He further says, "I think myself justified in this remark, by the insolent tone of the medical reformers, as they styled themselves, by the clamorous audacity of their partisans, and by the levelling system they openly promulgated, before the Apothecary's Bill or Act, was hissed out of the House of Parliament last year, (1813.")[1]

As one assertion is as good as another, I assert, that the medical reformers evinced no insolence, unless a manly and independent spirit be insolence; many of them were feelingly alive to their wrongs, and sought redress, "even a worm will turn when trod upon."

In order, that reformers may not in future, have the plea of ignorance; the Oxonian here gives an account of the establishment of the Royal College of Physicians of London, and the end that was proposed to be answered by it: he further states, that the College was to consist of Doctors of Physic of Oxford and Cambridge, who had regularly taken their degrees, and upon due examination, were found qualified; "in order that a fit body of men might never be wanted for executing these beneficial regulations," (i.e. those enjoined the College, by their charter.)

The author of the observations, speaking of the examination of a Candidate before the Royal College, says, "this examination is perhaps one of the most arduous that can be imposed. For three several days the Candidate is questioned in Latin, on Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Therapeutics, and all other branches of medical science, and thrice is he obliged to display his knowledge of Greek Literature, by reading publickly and extemporaneously difficult passages of Aretœus or some other medical classic."

What sort of an examination does the candidate undergo upon the subject of Medical Pharmacy? With this brief account given by the Author for the examination of a candidate for admission into this royal and chartered institution, I have no fault to find, but he goes on to say, "such is the stream, which perpetually replenishes the College of Physicians, and I believe, that in no period of its history, has any other corporate body contained more wise, more learned, more virtuous, or more illustrious men, in proportion to its numbers. Shades of Caius, of Mayerne, of Harvey, of Sydenham, of Willis, of Freind, of Lister, of Morton, of Petit, of Mead, of Lawrence, of Nichols, of Baker, and of Heberden, ye are immortal witnesses."

Does the Author of the observations wish it to be believed, that the illustrious men he has mentioned, obtained their medical knowledge at either Oxford or Cambridge? He knows full well, (whatever he may wish the public to believe) that they neither could, or did obtain their knowledge of medicine, at either of these Universities, as they neither are, or have been, schools of medicine.

The streams that actually replenish the College of Physicians with Fellows, are the London Hospitals, for to them do the young gentlemen resort, who afterwards graduate, at either Oxford or Cambridge; well aware, that the University which afterwards is to confer the degree of Doctor upon them, cannot teach the science, the highest honors of which, it so pompously confers. The truth is, that at our English Universities, the medical lectures are very few in number, their subjects treated very diffusely; in fact, they are mere popular lectures, and there are no opportunities for anatomical dissection; indeed, any hospital in the Kingdom is as good a school of medicine, as either of the English Seminaries. Here then a reform is most sadly wanted. Either let them put themselves on an equality, as to means of medical instruction, with those North of the Tweed, especially Edinburgh and Glasgow, or let them not insolently domineer over Physicians, educated at other Universities, nor arrogate to their own members the sole right of becoming Fellows of the College of Physicians. Doctors of Physic of the Scotch, Irish, and Foreign Universities, are allowed to become Members of the Royal College of Physicians of London, if, after due examination, they be found qualified, but are not allowed the least share in the government of the College; nor, observe reader, in the publication of the Pharmacopeia: indeed, all Physicians residing in London, or practising within seven miles of it, are compelled to undergo an examination before the Royal College, and are either allowed to practise or prevented from practising, within the limits of their jurisdiction; any Physician offending in this respect is liable to a prosecution; several, in consequence, have been prosecuted by the College, and verdicts obtained against them. The charter of the College was given them by King Henry the Eighth, for the purpose of examining all Physicians who practise medicine, in London, and within a district of seven miles round, (this part of their duty they punctually and very authoritatively perform,) for the prevention of Quackery, (which flourishes most luxuriantly in spite of them;) for the inspection of medicines, in the shops of the London Apothecaries; they are also authorized by an Act of Parliament to elect a Committee of their body to license and inspect the Madhouses, in London and its neighbourhood; they are likewise empowered to frame a Pharmacopeia, which is ordered by Government, to be the standard by which all medicines are to be prepared, which are vended by Apothecaries, in England and Wales. Now, as the Pharmacopeias of 1809 and 1815, are universally allowed by the profession to be extremely imperfect, might not some reform be reasonably introduced into this chartered body, especially as the proper composition of medicines, is of such vast and serious importance to the public?

The Oxonian says, "and here let me ask the reformers from what purer source, or on what better principle they would improve the system of discriminating those practitioners who should be licensed, and those who should be restrained."—I will take the liberty of pointing out a purer source.

Let them admit all Doctors of Physic of the British Universities, who have studied a number of years at the University at which they have taken their Doctor's Degree, after having satisfactorily passed a full, fair, and strict examination, of their classical and medical acquirements; to the station of Fellow and all its privileges, with which their charter has encircled them. The Author of the observations here asks, "do they," (the Apothecaries) "wish to prefer their own body to the English Universities ? Would they prefer the ancient University of St. Andrew's, or the modern school of Edinburgh, or put them upon the same footing as the English Universities?" What the Apothecaries wish, I know not, but I answer, both good policy and common justice demand that Doctors of Physic of all the Universities of this land, provided they have regularly studied a certain period, at their respective Colleges, should be put upon the same footing as those who have graduated at Oxford and Cambridge, especially as the latter are not schools of medicine.[2] It matters not, to his Majesty’s subjects, at what Universities, Physicians are bred, provided they are properly qualified to exercise their profession; which, after all, must be allowed the only requisite. One great desideratum in medicine, a general Pharmacopeia, for the United Kingdom and Colonies, might be accomplished, by admitting all Physicians, having regularly studied at their respective Universities, after approval by the College to the station of Fellows; a regulation which would not produce any inferiority in point of excellence in their next Pharmacopeia, compared with their two last. It may be proper in this place to mention, that all dissenters from the established Church, are prevented from taking degrees, at either Oxford or Cambridge; consequently, no one but a member of the Church of England can become a Fellow of the College in Warwick-lane. This is a strictness of rule, not adopted, by at least, some of the Catholic Universities; for it was very common for English Protestants to study medicine, and graduate at some Foreign Catholic University, as Louvain, or Padua, before Edinburgh became celebrated for the study of Physic; for instance, the immortal Harvey, studied medicine, and took his degree of M. D. at Padua,[3] and the celebrated and beautiful Poet, Goldsmith, became Bachelor of Physic at Louvain.

In page 4, of his "Observations," the Oxford Gentleman gives an account of what he calls the constitutional character, and station of this Physician, and then proceeds to mention the length of time requisite, and the different degrees to be taken, previously to that of M. D. at the English seats of learning, but he forgets to inform his readers, that the time requisite, before a Candidate can obtain the degree of M. D. is not all, or nearly all, spent at College, there being many vacations in the course of the year, and, that even the keeping of many of the Terms, enjoined by the regulations of the University, are dispensed with to the Medical Students, in order, that they may acquire their Medical knowledge, by attendance at Hospitals, Dissections, &c. in London. There is, to be sure, a Hospital in Oxford, and one very small one in Cambridge, but there is no regular full course of Anatomical Lectures delivered in either University, nor any regular Anatomical demonstrations, and it is a very rare circumstance, for a Student to be found with a scalpel and forceps in his hands. The author of the "Observations," omits all mention of the course of medical instruction pursued at the English Seminaries, and for this reason, he knows, that it will not bear criticism. After speaking in terms of commendation, upon the residence required and the caution used, in conferring the degree of M. D. at Oxford and Cambridge, he says, "and hence we may conclude, if we look to the experience of the eminent characters formed at these celebrated Universities, that the system is the best calculated to improve the human genius, that has been yet hit upon by human genius." Now, as far as medicine is concerned, which is the only subject at issue, every one acquainted with the practice of physic, will acknowledge, that Edinburgh has produced as celebrated Physicians, really educated there, and a far greater number of them, than Oxford and Cambridge united.—He proceeds, "For here did Milton, Newton, Bacon, and Locke, and most of the luminaries of our country, reach the pinnacles of science and literary glory." I am equally ready to pay every homage to the illustrious characters he adduces, but as his mentioning these highly celebrated persons, in discussing the subject of medical instruction, is entirely gratuitous and merely thrust in for the sake of an exhibition, I need not say any thing further respecting it.

In page 6, our Author says, "In the School of Edinburgh, (for it is miscalled an University.") How miscalled? I should be glad to know. If Doctor Johnson be considered authority, (and I presume our Oxonian will scarcely dispute it,) Edinburgh is essentially, and to all intents and purposes, an University, and even more deserving the name, than either Oxford or Cambridge; our great lexicographer, and illustrious and immortal countryman, gives this definition of it. "A School where all the arts and faculties are studied." Now, if he will look at the Oxford and Cambridge Calendars, and at the article "University of Edinburgh," in the Court Calendar for 1815, he will find, that there are a greater number of Professors, actually lecturing at Edinburgh, than at either of our English Seminaries, for the whole of those at Edinburgh regularly lecture, whilst several of those at Oxford and Cambridge do not.[4] Still, if he considers the being founded or patronized by a Sovereign, as an essential in the constitution of an University, I might inform him, that the University of Edinburgh was founded by Robert Reid, Bishop of Orkney, in the year 1581, and James the Sixth of the name, of Scotland, and the First of England, confirmed it as such, ordered it to be called by his name, declared himself its Godfather, and endowed it with Lands, in the Counties of Lothian and Fife.[5]

The chief differences between the University of the Capital of Scotland, and those in England, are, that in the former, very little discipline is exercised over the students; they do not live in College,[6] but in Lodgings, in the City; the Students wear no academical dress, except during the ceremony of being admitted to a degree; they are not obliged to attend public worship in the College; nor to subscribe to any articles of religious belief, either when they are first entered, or at any time afterwards.—The fact is, that Edinburgh is upon the plan of the majority of the Universities upon the Continent, and in so far as it approaches more nearly to the general rule adopted in the establishment of such institutions, just so much more is it entitled to the appellation of University, whilst Oxford and Cambridge should be considered as exceptions. Members of all religious sects are often candidates at the same time; there are no Fellowships, either ecclesiastical or lay, and I believe, no livings, in the gift of the University; but there are bursaries or scholarships, of small amount, appropriated chiefly, if not solely; to the Divinity Students.

He might, with as much justice and propriety have asserted, that there are no Universities in Europe, except Oxford, Cambridge, and Dublin, because, no one forsooth, except perhaps, Salamanca, is so richly endowed; but endowment, according to Doctor Johnson, himself an Oxford man, is not a necessary ingredient, in the constitution of an University, as it has no place, whatever, in his definition.

But to return to page 6, of the observations, he says, "In the School of Edinburgh, for it is mis-called an University, the teaching is elementary, adapted to the understanding of those, who have had little previous instruction: and indeed, whoever has sat among the rabble, attending the Anatomy class, or has seen the classes, as they are called, let loose from the several lectures of the College of Edinburgh, must instantly be aware of the necessity of the instruction being placed upon this footing."

How this Oxford Student has got so intimately acquainted with the anatomical and other classes, of the College of Edinburgh, is not very easy to guess, unless he has condescended for once, to step outside the walls of his College and journeying to the North, has sneaked into the splendid anatomical theatre, in the University of Edinburgh, and then condescended, further, to have squatted himself down, amongst the rabble he so much despises, in order to pick up some of that "elementary" learning, he could not acquire on the banks of the Isis; otherwise, I presume, he would not have travelled above three hundred miles in search of it. As to the instruction being "elementary," it is no more so, than at Oxford and Cambridge; by what process of reasoning does he arrive at the conclusion, that it is so? Why, by this, because the Anatomical Students are what he chooses to miscal a rabble; and further, because the classes when let loose from their different lectures, somehow or other, do not please him.[7] Does he mean to say, that the anatomical or any of the other Lectures in the medical department of the University are elementary? Why does he not compare the medical lectures at Edinburgh with those at Oxford and Cambridge?—Every medical man can give the reason.

The Students attending the lectures of the Professors of Greek and Latin, (or as the latter is there called, Humanity), are youngest in point of age, but they are obliged to possess some knowledge of Greek and Latin, before they are matriculated at the University. If it is the dress of the Students that is offensive, it must still offend, as neither he, or any body else has the power of altering it, except the Senate of the University, to which body, I recommend him to apply. It is very difficult to please a pampered appetite; but as epicures are generally charmed by variety, this gentleman's must be extremely depraved, as certainly every sort of dress is observable amongst the students; many whose circumstances can afford it, dress handsomely and elegantly, (for here are educated, as well as at Oxford and Cambridge, the sons of the Nobles and mighty Commoners of the land), most, respectably, and some, as is the case in all large assemblies of people, shabbily. Is there no gown in Oxford and Cambridge that conceals shabby clothes? Though the discipline is lax, there are as few disturbances amongst the Students as at either of the English Seminaries. During the Session of 1815 and 1816, there were at least 2000 Students actually attending the university. Had this Gentleman conversed with any of the "rabble," I dare say, he would have found some of them, as well educated as himself; and he might have learnt, that a shabby coat does not, in Scotland, (owing to the general diffusion of learning) always cover an ignorant person. The Panegyrist of our English Universities says, speaking of Edinburgh, "In three years, the medical education is finished, or may be completed by graduation, the title of Doctor of Medicine, (a title by the bye without any settled rank, or without any of those privileges conferred by the English University degree,) is granted to the young Candidate, on his publishing a Latin Thesis, and he is sent out with this fragment of Education, to practise as a Physician, wherever he can get practice." Does he mean to insinuate that the degree of M. D. is conferred as a matter of course, after the Candidate has studied three years? That is not the case, for at the end of that period the Candidate has to undergo several strict examinations, as to his medical acquirements, in Latin, in private, and to write four papers in Latin, upon medical subjects, chosen by the Professors, these examinatious being undergone, and the papers written to the satisfaction of the medical Professors, he is then allowed to defend his Thesis, (which must have been previously inspected and approved,) on the day of public graduation. This is, shortly, the routine of medical study at Edinburgh; previous to the conferring the degree of M D. and let me observe, medical study, at the London Hospitals, counts as nothing here: but that I may not commit any error, I will insert the "Statuta Solennia" of the University, upon this subject.

"Q. F. F.q. S.


In Academia Edinburgena Capessendo,


"NEMO ad doctoratus in medicina gradum promoveatur, nisi Duobus Dicbus Solennibus, XXIVTO nempè mensis Junii, et XIIMO Septembris, vel diebus proximè sequentibus.


Nemo Candidatorum numero adscribatur priusquam triennium, in hac aut aliâ Academiâ, Medicinæ studio impenderit, et omnibus quas Scientia Medica complectitur Disciplinis, scilicet, anatomiæ et chirurgiæ, chemiæ, botanicæ, materiæ medicæ et pharmaceuticæ, medicinæ que theoreticæ et practicæ et prælectionibus clinicis, à Medicinæ Professoribus habitis, de ægris in Nosocomio decumbentibus, operam dederit.


Quicunque honores Medicinæ ambierit, ante diem XXIV Martii vel XII Junii, alicui Medicinæ Professorum tradat dissertationem medicam inauguralem, à seipso compositam, ut Professor eam perlegat, si opus fuerit emendet, et perlectæ scriptam suam testificationem, notato simul die quo candem acceperat, apponat.


Tum, ad vel ante diem XXUM mensis Aprilis vel Julii Medicinæ Honores ambiens consilium suum cum facultatis Medicæ Decano communicet, et simul Dissertationem suam inauguralem (adjectâ Professoris qui perlegerat testificatione) illi tradat, Facultatis Medicæ judicio subjiciendam.


Postea Quæstio a Facultate Medica, vel vivâ voce, vel scripto habenda est, ut nemo nisi literarum et Medicinæ scientia probé imbutus, Candidatorum numero adscribatur.


Die XVIIIVO mensis Maii vel VITO Augusti, Candidatus, coram Facultate Medicâ, à duobus Professoribus interrogatus, progressum suum in variis disciplinis medicis, suprà enumeratis, ulterius ostendat.


Candidato hactenus probato proponatur, ab aliquo Professorum, unus ex aphorismis Hippocratis; et simul, ab alio Professore, quæstio medica; quorum priorem à se ipso explicatum et Commentario illustratum; posteriorem, unà cum Responsione idoneis argumentis confirmata, die XXVIIIVO die mensis Maii vel XVITO Augusti, Professoribus proponentibusCandidatus reddat; suumque demum Commentarium et Responsionem, XXXMO die mensis Maii vel XVIIIVO Augusti, coram Facultate Medici defendat.


Si, his ritè peractis, Candidatus promoveri merebitur, illi tradantur, a duobus Professoribus, duæ morborum historiæ, cum questionibus subjunctis, ut, scripturâ, illas illustret, his commoda Responsa reddat; tum Historias ita illustralas, unà cum Responsis suis, die XIIMO mensis Junii vel IMO Septembris, Professoribus proponentibus tradat, atque easdem, die XVTO Junii vel IIITIO Septembris, coram Facultate Medicâ defendat.


Candidato, si, post primum periculum, die XVIIIVO mensis Maii vel VITO Augusti, factum, probatus fuerit, Dissertationem suam inauguralem prelo subjicere liceat, cujus accuratè excusæ sex exemplaria, paginâ verò titulum et Academiæ: auctoritatem præferente carentia, Facultatis Medicæ Decano, XVTO mensis Janii vel IIITIO Septembris, tradat.


Si Candidatus, Dissertatione jam excusâ, tertiò a Medicinæ Facultate fuerit probatus, ejusdem Facultatis Decanus omnia quæ gesta fuerint senatui academico renunciabit; cujus approbatione et auctoritate Candidatus Dissertationem suam edere; eandemqne in Comitiis Academicis, diebus antea statutis, XXIVTO nempè Junii vel XIIMO Septembris, defendere jubeatur: Tum, si Senatui placuerit, laboris tandem et studiorum præmium, summos in Medicinâ Honores, gradum nempè doctoralem, more solenni, consequatur.


Facultas Medica, quo major sit horum omnium solennitas, semper intra Academiæ pomœria, Horâ Nonâ ante meridiem, diebus supradictis, conveniet. Et si quis Candidatus, sine gravi causa, horâ abfuerit statuta, occasione neglectâ, ei hac vice, vel ad ulteriora pericula progredi, vel Gradum Doctoralem assequi, non licebit.


Exercitationes omnes anteadictæ, Linguâ Latinâ peragantur."

Data Edinburgi, in Acad. Jac. Reg.
Anno Salutis Humanæ M.DCCC.I."

As to the rank and privileges bestowed upon the Candidate, by the University of Edinburgh, at the same time it confers the degree of M.D.; see the title page of any Thesis published by any medical graduate of Edinburgh.

Now the 4th article of the Act of Union between England and Scotland, runs thus, "There shall be a communication of all rights and privileges between the subjects of both Kingdoms, except where it is otherwise agreed." I am well aware, that in the Cause, Jones v. Smart,[8] tried before Lord Mansfield, for killing game contrary to the Statute, judgment was given against the defendant, a Doctor of Physic of the University of St. Andrew's, who rested his defence on the ground of being qualified by his degree to kill game; but the Court was not unanimous upon the subject, as Justice Willes held that a Scotch Doctor of Physic was so qualified by the fourth article of the Act of Union, taking it for granted, that an English M. D. had that privilege; and Justice Buller was of opinion that no Doctor of Physic was qualified by his degree, from what University soever obtained. Here,then, the matter rests at present, but it remains still undecided, whether the privilege of killing game he possessed by a Doctor of Physic of Oxford or Cambridge, by Virtue of his degree, or not; therefore the judgment in this case, cannot be said to draw a line of distinction between a Scotch and English degree, either as to this sort of qualification or as to rank.

Neither does the decision of the Court in this case prove, that an M. D. of a Scotch University, is not to all possible intents and purposes for which he was educated, a Doctor of Physic in England. It may do this and this only, it may possibly in future, prevent his killing game unless otherwise qualified. Is there to be found in this empire, a single person so enamoured of the "luxury of the law," as to prosecute any M. D. of an University, North of the Tweed, for practising Physic in any part of England, except London and its neighbourhood, on the ground of his not being qualified? Assuredly the will has not been wanting so to have done, had there been a Statute, on the authority of which, a prosecution could have been commenced.

"And oftentimes does the young Gentleman, after he has been buffetted about in the world, become a very useful member of society, and sometimes the foundation of characters of the greatest eminence has been laid in this imperfect education." Really, this is too bad from the eulogist of an University, which does not teach the science of Medicine. If young men, from the College of Edinburgh, or any other University, in the course of a profession they have embraced, are buffeted about in the world, is it any disgrace? No! it proves this, that such persons are active members of the body politic, and not indolent, useless beings. As to the latter part of the Sentence, I may observe, that if eminent medical characters are not produced at Edinburgh and Glasgow, there will be scarcely any found in the Kingdom, educated at any other place, as the average number of degrees of M. D. at both Oxford and Cambridge is scarcely one in a year.

"It is not to decry the School of Edinburgh that I make this comparison, but to place the truth in a proper point of view. Even in its imperfect form, that School is highly useful, and even necessary, to the empire at present. London has more anatomical advantages and better chirurgical means of instruction than Edinburgh; but it wants the same show of a sanction, though I believe degrees conferred by the different Physicians of the hospitals of London, would be equally legal. Such schools, in the present extended scale of colonization, and martial temper of the empire, are become absolutely requisite."—It appears to me, that the Gentleman has done his utmost to decry Edinburgh; as a seminary of learning, but he may rest assured, that any flippant remarks of his, will not produce the effect he evidently aims at and any observations from a rival University will always be subject to suspicion.

As to the imperfect form of the "School of Edinburgh" as he maliciously terms it, it is in such repute, whether imperfect or not, that it is resorted to, in time of peace, by men from all the European Nations, from every Island in the West Indies, and from every State of North America. The anatomical advantages possessed by Edinburgh, are sufficiently great, and more than requisite to refute any calumnies on this head[9]; I willingly agree, in the opinion, that London is as good a school for Surgeons as Edinburgh. As to degrees conferred by the Physicians to the London Hospitals, being equally legal, with those granted at Edinburgh, I believe no man in his senses would venture to practise under the sanction of such a degree[10]. It may be amusing to the medical man, to see an account of some of the lectures in the department of Medicine, given at the English Universities, then he will be able to judge for himself, how far such a mode of instruction will go, in educating a Physician.

The following extracts are taken from the "Cambridge University Calendar," for 1805, published by Deighton, Cambridge.

"Professor Harwood's Lectures," vide p. 37.

"The anatomical lectures are calculated for the purpose of conveying general instruction to the Student, and are not confined to any particular profession. The Professor delivers annually, a course of lectures on Comparative Anatomy and Physiology; in which, the structure and animal economy of quadrupeds, birds, fishes, and amphibia are investigated; the several organs which constitute the animals of the different classes, compared with each other, and with those of the human body; the most striking analogies pointed out, and remarkable varieties accounted for, from the natural history of the animals belonging to each class. Pathological remarks, on the diseases to which man and other animals are liable, are introduced, with observations on the nature and effects of the medicines usually employed for their removal. The anatomia medico-forensis, together with the effects of various poisons, and also of suspended animation, and the recovery of drowned persons, occupy a share of these lectures.—At the commencement of the course, the blood of various animals is compared with that of the human species: the doctrine of transfusion is investigated; its probable advantages and defects enquired into, and the practice illustrated by an actual experiment."

"Professor Farish's Lectures," vide page 34.

"The professorship of Chemistry was originally an appointment of the University. It received the encouragement of Government whilst it was held by the present Bishop of Landaff, which has since been continued to the present professor; who on his election, found the province of reading lectures on the principles of Chemistry already ably occupied by the Jacksonian professor, and was therefore obliged to strike out a new line. The application of Chemistry to the arts and manufactures of Britain, presented a new and an useful field of instruction, which however could not be cultivated with effect, without exhibiting whatever else was necessary to the full illustration of the subject. After having taken an actual survey of almost every thing curious in the manufactures of the Kingdom, the professor contrived a mode of exhibiting the operations and processes that are in use, in nearly all of them. Having provided himself with a number of brass wheels of all forms and sizes, such, that any two of them can work with each other, the cogs being all equal; and also with a variety. of axles, bars, screws, clamps, &c. he constructs at pleasure, with the addition of the peculiar parts, working models of almost every kind of machine. These he puts in motion by a water wheel, or a steam engine, in such a way as to make them in general do the actual work of the real machines, on a small scale; and he explains at the same time the chemical and philosophical principles, on which the various processes of the arts exhibited depend—In the course of his lectures, he explains the theory and practice of mining, and of smelting metallic ores; of bringing them to nature; of converting, purifying, compounding, and separating the metals; and the numerous and various manufactures which depend upon them, as well as the arts which are remotely connected with them, such as Etching and Engraving. He exhibits the method of obtaining Coal and other minerals, the processes by which sulphur, alum, common salt, acids, alkalies, nitre, and other saline substances are obtained, and in which they are used, the mechanical process in the formation of gunpowder, as well as its theory and effects—He shews the arts of procuring and working animal and vegetable substances; the great staple manufactures of the country, in wool, cotton, linen, silk, together with the various chemical arts of bleaching, of preparing cloth, of printing it, of using adjective and substantive colours, and mordants or intermemediates in dying. He explains in general, the nature of machinery, the moving powers, such as water-wheels, wind-mills, and particularly the agency of steam, which is the great cause of the modern improvement and extension of manufactures.—He treats likewise on the subjects which relate to the carrying on, or facilitating the commerce of the country, such as inland navigation, the construction of bridges, aqueducts, locks, inclined planes, and other contrivances, by which vessels are raised or lowered from one level to another; of ships, docks, harbours, and naval architecture.—On the whole, it is the great design of these lectures, to excite the attention of persons already acquainted with the principles of mathematics, philosophy, and chemistry, to real practice; and by drawing their minds to the consideration of the most useful inventions of ingenious men, in all parts of the Kingdom, to enlarge their sphere of amusement and instruction, and to promote the improvement and progress of the arts.

Professor Farish's lectures are generally allowed to be very instructive, as well as amusing, but they cannot be said to be adapted to the Student of medicine.

"Professor Wollaston’s lectures.

"The subjects for these lectures named by the founder, are Experimental Philosophy, Chemistry, Anatomy, Materia Medica, Botany, Agriculture. Though the grand object to which he would confine the Professor, is the having exhibitions, as he terms it, experiments or facts in natural history, shewn before the audience. The president of Queen’s, the first professor on the foundation, gave alternate courses in experimental philosophy and chemistry, there being then no lectures read by the Plumian professor.—This practice was continued by the present professor, till the appointment of Mr. Vince, to the Plumian professorship, since which time, the subject has been chemistry only. Following the steps of his predecessor, Dr. Milner, the professor introduces, agreeably to the direction of the founder, as many facts as possible, into the course of these lectures; and not less than three hundred experiments have been annually exhibited, either in their processes or results, according as the one or the other was judged to be most interesting or instructive."

As it seems the subjects named for these lectures by the founder, are Experimental Philosophy, Chemistry, Anatomy, Materia Medica, Botany, and Agriculture, and as the professor has the liberty of choosing any one of these subjects, it may happen that he may choose either Agriculture or Experimental Philosophy, neither of which subjects are included in a medical education. It appears from this calendar, that there are no clinical lectures, on the diseases of patients, in the Hospital, no lectures on the practice of physic, the theory of physic, materia medica, and pharmacy, medical jurisprudence, or midwifery, on all which subjects there are lectures at Edinburgh. At Oxford, there are the following medical professorships, one Regius professorship of medicine, do. do. of botany, anatomy, a clinical professorship, and one professorship of anatomy, one of medicine, and one of chemistry, the three last, founded in compliance with the will of Dr. Aldrich, in 1803, a Physician of the county of Nottingham; these offices are nearly sinecures, as the lectures are very few in number, and scarcely attended by any Students.

The writer of the observations, continues, "Such Schools, (alluding to Edinburgh,) in the present extended scale of colonization, and martial temper of the empire, are become absolutely requisite. Were the School of Edinburgh on the footing of the English Universities, few would be the labourers going out to harvest. For what highly accomplished Physician would depart and sit down to be frozen in Newfoundland, Hudson's bay, or the Orkney's, or broiled for a pittance in the West Indies, or starved in a little dirty Scotch, Irish, or Welsh Borough, or waste his health, his vigour, and his talents, amongst the out-casts and convicts of New Holland, &c. &c."

To this bold and daring flight of the Oxford Gentleman, I have to remark, that Edinburgh, as a School of physic, is celebrated throughout the world, and that Oxford and Cambridge, as Schools of physic, are celebrated no where, and I most cordially agree with him, that if the School of Edinburgh were on the footing of the English Universities, few would be the labourers going out to harvest, either to Newfoundland, Hudson's bay, the Orkrneys, London, Westminster, or any where else, as doubtless, the same causes at Edinburgh, would produce the same effects they produce at the English Seminaries; or in other words, a paucity of medical instruction would produce empty benches, and about one Candidate for the degree of Doctor of Medicine in a year. I no more approve of medical degrees being granted, without study and strict examination, at the same University that confers them, than the Oxford man does. I would propose that an Act should be passed to prevent any University conferring a medical degree, except after the Candidate has studied a certain appointed time, and passed with approbation, several strict examinations, as to his medical acquirements.

As some few Doctors of medicine have combined the business of an Apothecary, with the practice of a Physician, let such be content with the rank and emolument of an Apothecary; and when Physicians condescend to become Surgeons either in the army or navy, they must no doubt lose their rank, for the time, at least: I am as well aware as any one, that there must be a gradation of ranks, and I am equally zealous as the Gentleman whose opinions I have been combating, that each individual should keep within the sphere in which he has been educated. He says, page 10, "the rank of the Physician is what it is, from the usefulness it has been of to society;" in this we are agreed, but will he venture to assert, that the Edinburgh M.D. is looked upon as a person of less rank and consequence, than a Gentleman possessing the same degree, from either Oxford or Cambridge, except at either of these places, or in Warwick-lane. Is not an Edinburgh M.D. equally eligible to the situation of Physician to their Majesties, or to any other members of the Royal Family? to fill the office of Physician to the fleet or army, or to any Hospital in London or elsewhere? Is it not equally legal for him to practise in England? Does he not obtain as large a fee, if equally eminent? Or, would an Oxford M.D. if attending a patient along with a Physician of the University of Edinburgh, venture, in consequence of his pretended rank, to sign his name to a prescription, before the Edinburgh man, if the latter were the older Physician? The truth is, that in the eyes of the world, and by the common courtesy of Europe, they are upon an equality.

In page 14, he says, "it is well known, also, that Scotch Doctors often become Surgeons in the army and navy. Now, no such instance was ever known of an Oxford or Cambridge Doctor, and indeed it would be a degradation, as the English Universities in their Doctorate give a rank above Colonels in the army, or Captain's of ships." I am ready to admit, that Scotch Doctors sometimes do become Surgeons in the army and navy, at the commencement of their medical career, and doing so, must, as I have before observed, be content with the rank of Surgeon, for the time. But the army and navy are good Schools for the attainment of medical experience, and the author of the "Observations" will not deny, that many who have thus set out, have afterwards attained to the highest eminence in their profession. As to there having been no such instance ever known, of an Oxford or Cambridge Physician having entered the army or navy as Surgeon, I really am not prepared to say, but if there is one Physician, of either of the English Universities, now occupying such a situation, it is as great a proportion for either of them, as sixty would be for Edinburgh. Though I do not recollect any M. D. of either of the English Seminaries, at present, acting as Surgeon in the navy or army, I do happen to know that there is an M. D. of an English University, now practising as Physician and Surgeon in England, and I believe the Gentleman will not find sixty Doctors of Medicine of Edinburgh similarly occupied.—This stickler for rank proceeds to say, (and it is all he can say in favor of Oxford and Cambridge, as medical Schools, even supposing it to be granted, that the English degree is higher in rank than the Scotch degree,) "a Physician, however, is not necessarily a Doctor. The English Universities may grant licenses to practise, to Masters of Arts. Gentlemen who practise on such licenses, are Physicians, and their rank is the same as that of Barristers and Clergymen, that is, they rank as Esquires.[11] But in order to give dignity to so learned and useful a profession, the English Universities grant the rank of Doctor to those of mature age, not to beardless youths or striplings, and this rank elevates the individual above all Esquires not honourable, and above all Field-Officers, not Generals or Admirals." I am not prepared to assert, that the English Universities do not confer this rank, but I may observe, as to the estimation in which these degrees are held, that the Physicians to the crowned heads on the Continent, who have been British subjects, have all, or nearly all, been medical graduates of Edinburgh, and that when the present Emperor of Russia founded the Imperial University of Wilna, in Lithuania, it was to Edinburgh, and not to Oxford or Cambridge, that he sent to invite Physicians, to fill the chairs of the professorships of medicine, and Baron Dimsdale, who was chosen to inoculate the late Empress Catharine of Russia, was certainly neither of Oxford nor Cambridge.[12]

I shall now conclude my remarks, by inserting this Gentleman's proposed regulations so far as they regard Physicians, and giving my own opinion upon them.

"Let the College of Physicians sit as a quorum, in every part of England, where three Fellows can be assembled, to grant licenses. Let these licenses be granted without expense. Let none but English graduates practise, without these licenses. If three Fellows cannot be assembled monthly, in each County, to examine and to grant licenses, let one Fellow and two M. Ds. of Oxford or Cambridge be a quorum: North of the Tweed, and for the Colonies, let Edinburgh and Glasgow grant licenses to practise. Aberdeen and St. Andrew's will do well enough for granting distinctions to the Solomons, Brodums, &c. but let not their degrees be a sanction or a license, even for Scots' or Colonial practice unless they reform."

This regulation would go immediately to make the power of the College of Physicians of London, co-extensive with England, Wales, and Town of Berwick-upon-Tweed: but I would inform the Gentleman, that this charter, in all human probability, will never extend one jot further than it does at present, and that Parliament will not legislate upon a medical subject, in direct opposition to the opinion of an immense majority of the Physicians in the Kingdom. Besides the plan itself is totally impracticable, as neither three Fellows of the College of Physicians, nor even three M. Ds. of Oxford or Cambridge, are to be found in any County in England, except Middlesex, Oxford, and Cambridge. As to St. Andrew's and Aberdeen, it would greatly conduce to uphold the dignity of the profession, if they would come to the resolution not to grant degrees to any, except their own Students. The medical department of the University of Edinburgh, consists of the following professorships.

I. Professorship of Anatomy.
I. ———————— Practice of Physic.
I. ———————— Chemistry.
I. ———————— Theory of Physic.
I. ———————— Materia Medica.
I. Regius do. Botany.
I. Regius do. Medical Jurisprudence.
I. Professorship of Clinical Medicine.
I. ———————— Midwifery.
I. Regius do. Military Surgery.
I. Professorship of Clinical Surgery.

There are large dissecting rooms in the College, well attended by the Students, where anatomical demonstrations are regularly given. And private lecturers have dissecting rooms in different parts of the City.

The University possesses a very fine library; the original collection of books, was presented in 1580, by Clement Little, Esquire, Advocate; it enjoys, like the libraries of the other Universities, and of some other institutions in the Empire, the right to a copy of every book entered in Stationers' Hall.

The lectures on anatomy, practice of physic, chemistry, materia medica, theory of physic, and midwifery, commence at the latter end of October, and terminate about the 30th of April in the ensuing year, in the course of which time, between one hundred and forty and one hundred and fifty lectures are delivered, of an hour each, by each of the Professors of these subjects: the clinical Professor begins his first course a little later, he delivers two courses in the winter, and one in the summer session; the Professor of midwifery also delivers two courses in this session, and one in the summer session, which commences on the first of May and terminates about the last day of July; the Regius Professor of Botany begins his course about the first of May, and terminates about the time above mentioned, at the Botanical Garden belonging to the University.

There is only one vacation, from the latter end of July to the latter end of October. Attached to, and in the immediate vicinity of the University, are a very large Infirmary, of Royal foundation, and a Midwifery-Hospital, at the former the medical Students attend from 12 to 1 o'Clock every day in the week, Sundays not excepted, to see the practice of the clinical Professor, as well as that of the other Physicians and Surgeons of the institution; the Gentlemen more immediately attending the clinical Professor, attend at other times also, to copy the history of the diseases of the patients before they are admitted into the Infirmary, and the reports and prescriptions of the Physician afterwards. At the Midwifery-Hospital, poor women are admitted gratis, and the Students attending the midwifery-class, upon paying a small fee, in addition to the one paid to the professor, are practically taught this most useful art. Also attached to the University, are the Royal medical and Royal physical societies, founded by his present Majesty; these consist chiefly of medical Students: each society meets once a week, during the winter session, when two papers on medical or philosophical subjects are read and discussed: each society possesses an excellent library, and some philosophical apparatus.

The reader will recollect, that it is only against Oxford and Cambridge, as schools of medicine, that I have advanced any thing in the preceding pages. The former as a seminary for classical erudition, and the latter for mathematical science, most justly, enjoy a high reputation, and I respect and venerate them as the learned, the magnificent institutions of our ancestors; and can most cordially say to each of them

"Esto perpetua."


The "Act for better regulating the practice of Apothecaries throughout England and Wales," passed in 1815, contains clauses, amongst others, under the following heads.

"Penalty on Apothecaries refusing to compound, or unfaithfully compounding medicines prescribed."

"Persons not to practise as Apothecaries, &c. without due examination."

"Assistants to Apothecaries, &c. to be examined."

"Power for Master and Wardens to appoint five Apothecaries as examiners for assistants."

"Penalty for acting without a certificate."

By reference to these clauses, it will be seen, that the society or company of Apothecaries of London, have the power, either by themselves or deputies, of examining all persons who have commenced practice as Apothecaries, or assistants to Apothecaries, since the first of August, 1815, in any part of England and Wales, and all persons intending to practise as Apothecaries or assistants to Apothecaries, within the above-mentioned parts of the United Kingdom, are required by this Act to subject themselves to such examination, under certain penalties.

As this Act is co—extensive with England and Wales, the clause under the following head, is rendered nearly Nugatory, "Penalty on Apothecaries refusing to compound, or unfaithfully compounding medicines prescribed." As the penalty attaches only to Apothecaries or their assistants, refusing to compound, or unfaithfully, negligently, falsely, fradulently making, mixing, or compounding any medicines, as directed by any prescription, &c. of any Physician lawfully licensed to practise physic, by the President and commonalty of the faculty of physio, or by either of the two Universities of Oxford and Cambridge: for the number of medical graduates of the English Universities, and also of licentiates of the Royal College is so very small, compared to the number of Physicians, who are not graduates of either Oxford or Cambridge, or members of the College, that Apothecaries, and their assistants, by this clause (said to have been inserted at the express command of the College of Physicians, and under an understanding, that the Royal College would oppose the Act, in its progress through Parliament, with the whole of their authority and influence, if the company of Apothecaries refused its insertion,) are almost entirely prevented from transgressing; as not one prescription in ten, is written by either a Fellow or Licentiate of the College of Physicians. So much for the positive enactment of this clause, and negatively, it incapacitates any Physician, not of Oxford or Cambridge, or not licensed by the College of Physicians, from prosecuting to conviction, any Apothecary or his assistant, offending in the manner above specified; consequently, it leaves Apothecaries and their assistants at perfect liberty to compound the prescriptions of Physicians, who have been educated at actual schools of medicine, but who are not Members of the College of Physicians, fraudulently or negligently, without fear of punishment. This is indeed carrying illiberality and injustice as far as they can be carried, for it is well known, that a Doctor of physic, being a British subject, of any University in Scotland, of that in Ireland, or in any kingdom or country upon the Continent, has an equal right to practise physic in England, except in London, or seven miles round it, as Physicians of Oxford and Cambridge, or members of the College of Physicians have. If this illiberal clause is meant as an inducement to Englishmen to graduate at Oxford and Cambridge, it will, like others that have preceded it, fail of producing the intended effect; for it needs no uncommon penetration to predict, that medical Students, in any considerable number, will never resort to the English Universities, until they become really SCHOOLS of MEDICINE.


Printed by C. Clark, Market-Place, Lancaster.


No. l.

Charter granted to the University of Edinburgh by James VI. of Scotland.

JACOBUS, Dei gratia, Rex Scotorum, omnibus probis hominibus totius terrae suae, clericis et laicis, salutem:

Sciatis, nos cum avisameuto Dominorum nostri Secreti Concilii, quandam chartam et infeofamentum per nostram charissimam matrem, pro tempore regni nostri Reginam, post suam perfectam aetatem, cum avisamento et consensu Dominorum ejus Secreti Concilii, factum, datum et concessum dilectis nostris Praeposito, ballivis, consulibus et communitati burgi nostri de Edinburgh, et eorum successoribus, super donatione, dispositione et confirmatione, omnium et singularum terrarum, tenementorum, domorum, aedificiorum, ecclesiarum, capellaniarum, hortorum, pomoeriorum, croftarum, annuorum reddituum, fructuum, devoriarum, proficuorum, emolumentorum, firmarum, eleemosinarum, 1e Daill-silver, obituum et anniversariorum quorumcunque, quovismodo pertinuerunt, aut pertinere denoscuntur, ad quascunque capellanias, altaragia, praebendas, in quacunque ecclesia, capella aut collegio, infra libertatem dicti burgi nostri de Edinburgh, fundata sen fundanda per quemcunque patronum, in quorum possessione capellani et praebendarii earundem perprius fuerant; ubicunque praefatae domus, tenementa, aedificia, pomoeria, horti, annui redditus, anniversaria, fructus, proventus et emolumenta. jacent, aut prius levata fuerunt, respective; cum manoribus, locis, hortis, pomariis, terris, annuis redditibus, emolumentis et devoriis, quibuscunque, quae Fratribus Dominicalibus, seu praedicatoribus et minoribus, seu Franciscanis, dicti burgi nostri de Edinburgh, perprius pertinuerunt.

Una cum omnibus et singulis terris, domibus, tenementis et hortis, jacentibus infra dictum nostrum burqum et libertatem cjusdem: cum omnibus annuis redditibus de quacunque domo, terris aut tenementis infra dictum nostrum burgum, levandis quibuscunque capellaniis, altaragiis, ecclesiis, mortuariis aut anniversariis, ubicunque sunt infra regnum nostrum Scotiae, donatis, dotatis et fundatis. Ac etiam cum omnibus et singulis annuis redditibus et aliis devoriis solitis, aut quae per quamcunque ecclesiam extra dictum nostrum burgum a praeposito aut ballivis ejusdem de communi redditu ejusdem pro suffragiis celebrandis, cum pertinentiis: ac de omnibus aliis privilegiis, libertatibus et facultatibus in charta et infeofamento, donatione et dispositione praedictis, desuper consedis ad longum specificatis et contentis; tenendis de dicta charissima nostra matre et successoribus suis; de mandato nostro visam, lectmn, inspectam et diligenter examinatam, sanam, integram, non rasam, non cancellatam, nec in aliqua sui parte suspectam, ad plenam intellexisse, sub hac forma:

"Maria, Dei gratia, Regina Scotorum, omnibus probis hominibus totius terrae suae, clericis et laicis salutem:

"Sciatis, quia nos impensum munus nostrum crga Divinum Spiritum perpendentes, et pro ardenti zelo, quem ob inter tenendam politiam et aequabilem ordinem inter subditos nostros, praecipue vero infra burgam nostrum de Edinburgh, praeservandum habemus: Considerantes itaque, nos ex officio teneri, munus erga Deum complecti debere, cujus providentia reginam hujus regui promovimus, sic quae ex officio incumbere, omni honesto modo pro ministris verbi Dei providere; et ut hospitalia pauperibus mutilatis et miseris personis, orphanis, et parentibus destitutis infantibus, infra dictum nostrum burgum praeserventur: Post nostram perfectam aetatem, cum avisamento Dominorum Secreti Concilii nostri, dedimus, concessimus, disposnimus, ac pro nobis et successoribus nostris pro perpetuo confirmamus, praedilectis nostris praeposito, ballivis, consulibus, et communitali dicti nostri burgi de Edinburgh, et ipsorum successoribus in perpetuum, omnes et singulas terras, tenementa, domos, aedificia, ecclesias, capellas, hortos, pomoeria, croftas, annuos redditus, fructus, devoria, proficua, emolumenta, tirmas, eleelnosinas, le Daill-silver, obitus et anniversaria quaecunqne, quae quovismodo pertinuerunt, aut pertinere denoscuutur, ad quaseunque capellanias, altaragia, praebendarias, in quacunque ecclesia, capella aut collegio, infra libertatem dicti nostri burgi de Edinburgh, fundata seu fuudanda, per quemcunque patronum, in quarum possessione, capellaui aut praebendarii earundem perprius fuerant, ubicunque praefatae domus, tenementa, aedificia, pomoeria, horti, annui redditus, anniversaria, fructus, proventus et emolumenta jacent, aut prius levata fuerunt respective; cum maneriis, locis, pomoeriis, terris, annuis redditibus, emolumeutis et devoriis quibuscunque, quae Fratribus Dominicalibus, seu praedicatoribus et minoribus, seu Franciscanis, dicti nostri burgi de Edinburgh, perprius pertinnerunt; una cum omnibus et singulis terris, domibus, tenementisque jacentibus infra dictum nostrum burgum et libertatem ejusdem, cum omnibus annuis redditibus, de quacunque domo, terris aut tenementis infra dictum nostrum burgum levandis, datis, fundatis, et douatis, quibuscunque capellanis, ecclesiis, mortuariis, aut anniversariis, ubicunque sunt infra regnum nostrum. Ac etiam, cum omnibus et singulis annuis redditibus, et aliis devoriis solitis, aut quae per quamcunque ecclesiam extra dictum nostrum burgum, a praeposito, aut ballivis ejusdem, de communi redditu ejusdem, pro suffragiis celebrandis demandari poterit, cum pertinentiis.

"Tenendas et habeudas omes et singuias praefatas terras, tenementa, domos, aedificia, pomoeria, hortos, croftas, annuos redditus, fructus, devoria, proficna, emolumenta, firmas, eleemosinas, obitus, anniversaria, ecclesias, capellas, fratrum loca, hortos, cum pertinentiis, praefatis praeposito, ballivis, consulibus et communituti, et eorum successoribus, de nobis et successoribus nostris, in perpetuum, prout eadem jacent in longitudine et latitudine, in domibus, aedeficiis, muris, mureniis, lignis, lapide et calce, cum libero introitu et exitu, &c. ac cum omnibus aliis et singulis libertatibus, commoditatibus, proficnis, et asiamentis, ac justis suis pertinentiis quibuscunque, tam non nominatis, quam nominatis, tam sub terra quam supra terram, ad praedictas terras, tenementa, domos, aedificia, pomocria, hortos, croftas, annuos redditus, fructus, devoria, et alia praescripta, cum pertinentiis spectantibus, seu juste spectare valentibus, quomodo libet in futurum, libere, quiete, plenarie, integre, honorifice, bene et in pace, absque revocatione aut contradictione quacunque; cum potestate memoratis praeposito, ballivis, consulibus et communitati, et ipsorum suecessoribus, per seipsos et ipsorum collectores, quos constituent praefatos annuos redditus, fructus, devoria, proficua, emolumenta quaecunque, levandi et recipiendi, ubicunque perprius levata fuerunt; praefati terras et tenementa locandi et removendi, loca diruta extruendi et reparandi, eademque in hospitalia, aut alios similes usus legitimos, prout ipsis, cum avisamento ministrorum et seniorum dicti nostri burgi videbitur, reducendi et applicandi, adeo libere in omnibus, sicuti praefati praebendarii, capellani et fratres praescripti eisdem perprius gaudere, easdemque possidere potuissent: memorati antem praepositus, ballivi, consules et eorum successores, tenebuntur ac restricti crunt, ministros, lectores, et alia ecclesiastica onera, praefatis annuis redditibus, proficuis et devoriis, secundum valorem et quantitatem eorundem, sustinere, loca et aedificia reparanda, in hospitalitatem et alios usus praescriptos applicare.

"Considerantes itaque quanta fraude, ingens numerus dictorum praebendariorum, capellanorum et fratrum praescriptorum, qui post altercationem religionis, terras, annuos redditus et emolumenta ipsorum capellanis, praebendis et aliis locis respective perprius mortificata, disposuerunt, alienarunt, et in manibus quorundam particularium virorum extra donarunt: ac etiamque legii nostri quarundam terrarum, tenementorum et annuorum reddituum, per ipsorum praedecessores mortificatorum, jus sibi acclamarunt, per brevia capellae nostrae, aut alias sasinam, tanquam hacredes suorum praedecessorum (qui easdem ecclesiae perprius dotarunt) recuperarunt; quod evenit, partim negligentia officiariorum dicti burgi nostri, et partim collusione dictorum praebendariorum, capellanorum fratrumque praescriptorum. Quocirca, cum avisamento praescripto ommnes et singulas hujusmodi alienationes, dispositiones et sasinas, quibus primum propositum et animi fundatorum infringitur, alteratur et variatur, deducendo easdem in particulares usus, ad effectum quo eaedem in usus suprascriptos converti poterint, per praesentes rescindimus et annullamus, quam quidem hanc nostram declarationem volumus tanti esse roboris et efficaciae, ac si personae quod easdem dispositiones obtinuerunt, particulariter citate essent, ipsorumque infeofamenta absque ulteriori processu rescinderentur.

"Ac etiam, cum avisamento praescripto, unimus et incorporamus, omnes et singulas terras, tenementa, domus, aedificia, ecclesias, caemeteria, capellas, pomoeria, hortos, croftas, annuos redditus, fructus devoria, proficua, emolumenta, firmas, eleemosinas, obitus, anniversaria, fratrum et loea eorundem, cum suis pertinentiis, in unum corpus, in posterum appellandum, Fundatio nostri Ministerii et Hospitalitalis de Edinburgh.

"Volumus etiam, quod unica sasina per praefatos praepositum et ballivos, aut ipsorum aliquem dicti ministerii, et hospitalitatis nomine, apud praetorium dicti nostri burgi, semel accepta, tam sufficiens erit sasina perpetuo in futurum, ac si eadem super particulares terras, ad dictos capellanos, praebendarios, fratres, pertinentes, aut ipsos in praefatos annuos redditus, anniversaria, firmas, proficna et devoria praescripta debitas sumeretur, non obstante locorum distantia. Praeterea, per praesentes, nolumus capellanos, praebendarios et fratres (qui ante dictam alterationem proviso erant) per hoc praesens nostrum infeofamentum praejudicare, sed reservamus illis usum dictorum fructuum et devoriarum durante eorum vita tantum. Praecipiendo itaque nostrorum, computorum rotulatoribus, praesentibus et futuris, ipsorum collectoribus, factoribus et aliis quorum interest, in genere nec non in specie, quod neque eorum recipere aut levare praesumat dictos fructus particulariter supra scriptos, pro quovis tempore praeterito sen futuro, nec impediant aut impedimentum ullum faciant, memoratis praeposito, ballivis, consulibus, communitati et eorum successoribus, in pacifica possessione earundem: requirendo et ordinando etiam Dominos Sessionis nostrae, quatenus liferas in omnibus quatuor formis ad instantiam dictorum praepositi, ballivorum, consulum, communitatis, et ipsorum successorum, ad effectum subscriptum dirigant. Nec non praecipiendo quibuscunque intromissoribus cum dictis fructibus quatenus ipsis de eisdem prompte intendant, pareant et gratiam solutionem facient.

"In cujus rei testimonium huic praesenti cartae nostri Magnum Sigillum nostrum apponi praecipimus, testibus Reverendissimo in Christo Patre, Joanne, Archiepiscopo Sancti Andreae, et dilectis nostris consanguineis, Georgio, Comite de Huntley, Domino Gordoun et Badenoch, Cancellario nostro: Jacobo, Comite de Bothwell, Domino Haillis, Chrichtoun, et Liddisdale, regni nostri Magno Admirallo; dilectis nostris familiaribus consiliariis, Richardo Maitland de Lethingtoun, nostri Secreti Sigilli Custos; Jacobo Balfour de Pittindriech, nostrorum Rotulorum Registri ac Concilii Clerico; et Johanni Balladine de Auchnoule, nostrae Justiciariae Clerico, Equitibus Auratis: Apud Edinburgh, decimo tertio die mensis Martii, anno Domini millesimo quingentesimo sexagesimo sexto, et regni nostri vigesimo quinto."

Quamquidem cartam et infeofamentum in omnibus suis punctis et articulis, conditionibus et modis, ac circumstantiis suis quibuscunque, in omnibus et per omnia forma pariter et effetu ut praemissum est, approbamus, ratificamus, ac pro nobis et successoribus nostris pro perpetuo confirmamus.

Insuper, nos cum avisamento praedicto pro diversis rationalibus, causis bonis et considerationibus, nos moventibus, de novo, tenore praesentium, damas, concedimus et disponimus, praefato Praeposito, ballivis, consulibus, et commmunitati dicti burgi nostri de Edinburgh, et eorum successoribus, omnes et singulas praenominata terras, tenementa, domus, aedificia, annuis redditus, capellas, locos, hortos, pomoeria, croftas, census, firmas, proficua, et emolumenta, et alia respective, et particulariter superius specificata; per ipsos in perpetuum applicanda in sustentationem ministerii, pauperum auxilium, reparationem scholarum, propagationem literarum et scientiarum pro eorum et successorum suurum arbitrio, uti eis magis utile videbitur. Quibus etiam pro nobis et successoribus nostris, plenariam ac liberam committimus potestatem quos cunque alios annuos redditus, annua proficua quaecunque, tam extra quam intra dictum nostrum burgum, quae in posterum per quoscunque bono zelo, ac libertate sua motos, ad alliamentum ministrorum evangelii, auxilium pauperum, ac sustentationem gymnasiorum, pro instaurandis scientiis et doctrina, donari et dotari contingerent, acceptandi: Quas etiam terras, annuos redditus et proficua supra scripta, perprius donata et fundata, et in posterum donanda et fuudanda ut promissum est; Nos, pro nobis et successoribus nostris, nunc prout extant, et tunc prout exinde, confirmamus, ratificamus, at admortizamus, et easdem adeo libere motificamus, sicuti aliquae terrae, redditus, tenementa et possessiones, ecclesiae ullo tempore praecedenti mortificatae fuerunt.

Praelerca, nos pro nobis et successoribus nostris, ratificamus, approbamus, et confirmamus renunciationem et dimissionem per familiarem servitorem nostrum, Joannem Gib, factam de omnibus jure ac titulo quae ipse virtute nostrae donationis praelendere posuit, ad praeposituram ecclesiae beatae Mariae de Campis, (vulgo the Kirk of Field), cum fructibus, terris, possessionibus, redditus et devoriis ejusdem, praeteritis, pracsentibus et futuris, in favorem dicti Praepositi, ballivorum, consulum, et communitatis, pro seipsis et eorum successoribus, ac nomine et ex parte ministerii et pauperum, ac privilegia et libertatem dicti nostri burgi nunc diversa extant, vasta et spatiosa loca quae praeposito, praehendariis, sacerdotibus et fratribus tempore praeterito pertinucrunt, maxime apta et commoda pro constructione domorumm et aedificiorum ubi professoros bonarum scientarum et literarum, ac studentes earundem, remanere et suam diuturnam exercitationen habere potuerit; ultra et praeter alia loca convenientia pro hospitalitate.

Ideo, nos enixe cupientes, ut in honorem Dei et commune bonum nostri regni, literatura iedies augeatur; volumus et concedimus, quud licebit praefatis Praeposito, consinibus et eorum successoribus, aedificare et reparare sufficientes domos et loca, pro receptione, habitatione et tractatione professorum, scholarum grammaticalium, humanitatis et linguarum, philosophiae, theologiae, medicinae, et jurium, aut quarumcunque aliarum scientiarum liberalium, quod declaramus nullam fore rapturam praedictae mortificationis; ac etiam praefati Praepositus, ballivi et consules, ac eorum successores, cum avisamento tamen eorum ministrorum, pro perpetuo in posterum plenum habeant libertatem, personas ad dictus professiones edocendas, maxime idoneas, uti magis convenienter poterint, elegendi, cum potestate imponendi et removendi ipsos sicuti expediverit; ac inhibendo omnibus aliis, ne dictas scientias intra dicti nostri burgi libertatem profiteantur aut doceant, nisi per praefatos Praepositum, baliivos et consules, eorumque successores admissi fuerunt. Proviso, quod praesentes nullatenus praejudicabunt nec actoribus nec reis nec aliis interesse habenlibus in ejectione et causa prosecuta penes decimas garbales de Dunibernie, Pottie et Moncrief, ad capellanos ecclesiae beatae Aegidae de Edinburgh pertinentes; neque juri patronatus ejusdem; sed quod utrisque parti, et omnibus interesse habentibus usque ad finalem exitum et decisionem in hujusmodi, ut congruit, prosequi et defendere liceat, praesentibus aut quibuscunque in eisdem contentis non obstantibus. Proviso etiam, quod ministri deservientes apud dictas ecclesias, pro praesenti et in futurum, sustinebuntur de promptioribus fructibus earundem, secundum ordinem desuper sumptum seu sumendum.

In cujus rei testimonium, huic praesenti chartae nostrae confirmationis Magnum Sigillum nostrum apponi praecipimus, testibus praedilectis nostris consanguineis et consiliariis, Esino, Lenociae Duce, Comite de Dernelie, Domino Fairboltoun, Dalkeith et Aubigny, &c. Magno regni nostri Camerario; Cosino, Argalheliac Comile, Domino Campbel et Lorne, &c. Cancellario ac Justiciario nostro Generali; Reverendissimis et Venerabilibus in Christo Patribus, Patricio, Sancti Andreae Archiepiscopo; Roberto, Commendatorio Monasterii nostri de Dunfermling, nostro Secretario; dilectis nostris familiarist et consilariis, Alexandro Hay, nostrorum Rotulorum Registri ac Concilii Cleric; Ludovico Ballenden de Auchnoule, milite, nostrae Justiciariae Clerico; Roberto Scott, nostrae Cancellariae Directore; et Magistro Thoma Buquhanan de Ybert, nostri Secreti Sigilli Custode: Apud castrum nostrum de Striviling, decimo quarto die mensis Aprilis, anno Domini millesimo quingentesimo octogesimo secundo, regni nostri anno decimo quinto.

No. II.

Copy of a Letter respecting General Reid's Funds, directed to the Principal of the College and University of Edinburgh.


For the information of the College and University of Edinburgh, we beg leave to inform you. that, by the directions of the late General John Reid's executors, we shall this evening forward, by the Edinburgh Mail Coach, a parcel addressed to the Principal of the College and University of Edinburgh, containing a copy of the General's Will: From this you will observe, that, in the event of Mrs. Robertson (General Reid's only child) dying without issue, the College and University of Edinburgh will have the benefit of the bulk of his personal property in Great Britain, which, as far as it can at present be ascertained, consists of the following particulars, viz.

L. 54,000:0:0 Bank 3 per cent. consolidated annuities.
3,900:0:0 East India Stock.
326:9:0 Bank long annuity.
155:0:0 Bank short annuity.
1,216:16:1 Balance of the General's accounts with Messrs. Coutts, his bankers.
3,000:0:0 About L.3,000 is expected to be due for arrears of pay.
Off reckonings, &c.
But the expence of the Funeral, proving the Will, and the pecuniary legacies, together with a few trifling debts, will, it is presumed, exhaust the balance of cash in the banker’s hands.

The executors are informed, Mrs. Robertson, who now resides in Paris, has not any children.

We shall very shortly forward to you the several portraits of the General, and the Music, severally bequeathed to the University, and shall apprise you when they are sent, and by what conveyance.

The executors have desired us to add, they shall always be ready to give every information respecting the General’s affairs, which the University may require, on application being made either to Messrs. Coults, bankers, in the Strand, in which house Marjoribanks, one of the executors, is a partner, or to us, who have the honour to be,


Your most obedient and very humble servants,

P. & J. Farries, Atkinson & Johnson.

Lincoln’s-Inn Fields,
3d March, 1807.

To the Principal of the College and University of Edinburgh.


Printed by C. Clark, Market-Place, Lancaster.


Page 4, line 11, instead of for, read of.
5, 4, instead of or, read nor.
5, 6, instead of or, read nor.
11, 11, instead of are read is.
17, 13, instead of or, read nor.
25, 10, instead of an read any
39, 2, instead of an, read a.

  1. Vide the papers published on the subject of "Medical Reform."
  2. As the author of the observations applies the adjective modern, to the University of Edinburgh, it may not be amiss to observe, that some of the medical professorships, at Oxford and Cambridge, were founded later than those of Edinburgh; for instance, at Oxford, the professorship of clinical medicine, was founded by the Earl of Lichfield, in 1771, and the professorship of chemistry, by Doctor Aldrich, in 1803; at Cambridge, the botanical professorship was founded in 1724, and the professorship of anatomy 1707; all of which are of later foundation than those on the same subjects at Edinburgh; as the foundation of the chair of clinical medicine at the last-mentioned University, may fairly be dated in 1740, those of botany and anatomy at the latter end of the seventeenth century, between the years 1685, and 1700, and the chemical chair in 1720. Vide Encyclopedia Britannica, Article Edinburgh, and the Oxford, and Cambridge Calendars.
  3. Harvey was also created Doctor of Physic at Cambridge, soon after his return to England, and at Oxford in 1742, after his discovery of the circulation of the blood, to which place he had attended King Charles I. and in 1645, he was elected Warden of Merton College, in the latter University, by virtue of the King's letters patent, sent to that Society for the purpose. Vide Bibliotheca Biographica. The celebrated Doctor Mead, studied medicine at Leyden, under Doctor Pitcairn, and took the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy and Medicine, at Padua, August 26th, 1695: in 1707, he was also created Doctor of Physic, by the University of Oxford. Sir Richard Blackmore, M. D. who espoused the cause of the Revolution, took his degree in Medicine, at Padua, though he had previously studied at Oxford, where he had resided thirteen years. Doctor Bastwick, who was so inhumanly punished along with Burton, the clergyman, and Prynne, the barrister, in the reign of Charles the First, also took his degree of Doctor of Medicine, at Padua, though he had been previously a student in Emmanuel College, Cambridge. The learned Sir Thomas Browne, M. D. also a Protestant, was permitted to study Medicine at Montpellier and Padua: many other instances might be adduced to the same effect. Vide Flloyd’s Bibliotheca Biographica.
  4. Perhaps it may be here objected, that at Oxford and Cambridge the business of instruction is not so much confided to the Professors, as to the Tutors of the respective Colleges, and that the former are rather expected to advance the progress of their particular branches of science or literature, than to instruct the Students; but as the Tutors are entirely ignorant of Medicine, and consequently do not attempt to teach it, the Medical Students, at the English Seminaries, cannot possibly deriye the smallest advantage from them.
  5. The University in its diplomas, &c. stiles itself, "Acdemia Jacobi sexti Scotorum Regis," this is presumptive proof, at least, that it is of Royal foundation or confirmation.
  6. This is the case, also, in the greater number of Foreign Universities.
  7. If he alludes to the youth of the Students at Edinburgh. they are much of the same age as those actually studying at Oxford and Cambridge, except perhaps those attending the Latin Class. Here are no Fellowships to detain men after they have finished their studies.
  8. Vide Burn's Justice, article Game.
  9. Doctor Barclay, though not a professor in the University, is highly eminent as a Lecturer on Anatomy, and probably, at this day, the most correct and minute anatomist in Europe.
  10. Surely the author of the paper in question forgets, that several of the Physicians to the London Hospitals and of the Medical Lecturers are graduates of Edinburgh; consequently, it is to these men, as well as to others, that Students who graduate afterwards at Oxford and Cambridge resort, to obtain their medical knowledge, and which is not to be obtained at either of those Universities. As he does not think the University of Edinburgh competent to grant degrees, why should he think graduates of Edinburgh competent? In what essential, in the constitution of an University, is Edinburgh deficient? He has asserted, it is "mis-called an University," but he does not condescend to prove that it is not one. Perhaps, even he, may entertain a different opinion, after having perused the Charter. Vide Appendix, No. l.
  11. This rhapsody, about the laughing stock of the profession, the pretended rank of the English degree of M. D. is only worthy of a valet de chambre, a lady’s maid, a master of the ceremonies, or some such consequential personage: a rank too, not generally acknowledged in the profession.

    Is it not to be lamented that the English Seminaries do not educate men sufficiently well, to enable them to obtain this high rank, without the aid of the London lecturers?

  12. The author does not condescend to tell us, how the English Seminaries became possessed of the right of conferring this rank, whether by Charter from the Crown, or Act of Parliament; however, custom which in such affairs is nearly equivalent to an Act of Parliament, makes no distinction between a Physician of Oxford, Cambridge, or Edinburgh; but the profession of medicine in general, consider Edinburgh as the first medical University in the world, whilst Oxford and Cambridge, as schools of medicine, can scarcely be said to exist.

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.