Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Reid, John (1809-1849)

655098Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 47 — Reid, John (1809-1849)1896Alexander Hastie Millar

REID, JOHN (1809–1849), anatomist, sixth child of Henry Reid, farmer, was born at Bathgate, West Lothian, on 9 April 1809. He studied medicine at Edinburgh University, taking his diploma on 12 July 1830, and being admitted a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, on 4 Oct. 1836. He was appointed assistant physician in the clinical wards of Edinburgh Infirmary in 1830, and in the succeeding year went to Paris to pursue his medical studies. Returning in 1832, he was sent, with three other Edinburgh physicians, to Dumfries during the outbreak of cholera there, and remained for several months actively engaged in arresting the progress of the epidemic. He subsequently became one of the most skilful demonstrators in the school of anatomy established at Old Surgeons' Hall, Edinburgh, and won further distinction by the publication of essays on subjects connected with his profession. In 1836 he was appointed lecturer on physiology at the Edinburgh Extra-Academical Medical School, and in 1838 pathologist to the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh. On the death of Dr. Robert Briggs in 1841, Reid was appointed to the Chandos chair of anatomy in the university of St. Andrews, where he began a course of lectures on comparative anatomy and physiology, in addition to the regular work of the professorship. He also conducted systematic researches into the natural history of the marine fauna of the Fife coast, and in 1848 published a collection of papers on the subject, entitled ‘Physiological, Anatomical, and Pathological Researches,’ a volume remarkable for originality and accuracy of observation. He died, after protracted suffering, from cancer of the tongue in 1849.

[A biography of Reid was published by Dr. George Wilson, Edinburgh. See also Conolly's Eminent Men of Fife, p. 377, Statutes, Charter, &c. of the Royal Coll. of Physicians, Edinburgh; Chambers's Eminent Scotsmen.]

A. H. M.