contributed to the third volume of the `Medical Transactions published by the College of Physicians' (a work mainly supported by Heberden and Baker) three papers: one on the common occurrence of typhus fever in the crowded and unventilated houses of the poor in London, another on two interesting observations in morbid anatomy, and a third on the cause of the 'dry belly-ache' of the tropics. In the last of these the discovery made by Baker two years earlier, that lead in the cider was the cause of Devonshire colic, was extended by Hunter to rum which had been distilled through a leaden worm, an observation of Benjamin Franklin's being adduced in proof. In 1788 appeared his principal work, 'Observations on the Diseases of the Army in Jamaica' (2nd ed. 1796; 3rd ed. 1808, with 'observations on the hepatitis of the East Indies'), which gives an amplified account of the 'dry belly-ache,' and deals with yellow fever and other diseases of the troops, as well as briefly with some of the more curious negro maladies; it was translated into German, Leipsic, 1792. Previous to 1787 he had been elected a fellow of the Royal Society, and contributed to the 'Philosophical Transactions,' 1788, vol. lxxviii., a paper on 'Some Observations on the Heat of Wells and Springs in the Island of Jamaica, and on the Temperature of the Earth below the Surface in different Climates,' the subject having been suggested by Cavendish to him when he was about to embark for Jamaica in 1780. He contributed to the first volume of 'Transactions of a Society for the Improvement of Medical and Chirurgical Knowledge,' 1793, a valuable memoir on canine madness, drawn up at the society's request, and another on hydatids. In London he practised first in Charles Street, St. James's Square, and afterwards in Hill Street, Berkeley Square. He was admitted a fellow of the College of Physicians speciali gratia in 1793, and was made censor the same year. As Gulstonian lecturer in 1796 he lectured on 'softening of the brain,' which he is said to have been the first to treat as a distinct pathological condition. The lecture was not published. He delivered the Croonian lectures from 1799 to 1801 (subjects not stated). He was afterwards physician extraordinary to the Prince of Wales. He died on 29 Jan. 1809 at Hill Street, Berkeley Square, London.
[Hunter's writings; Munk's Coll. of Phys. ii. 425; Gent. Mag. 1809, pt. i. p. 188.]
HUNTER, JOHN (1738–1821), vice-admiral and governor of New South Wales, the son of a master in the merchant service, was born at Leith in September 1738. While a child he accompanied his father in a northern voyage, and was wrecked on the coast of Norway. On his return he was sent to his uncle, Robert Hunter, a merchant at Lynn Regis, where he went to school. He was afterwards at school in Edinburgh, and studied for a short time at the university of Aberdeen, being intended for the church. He, however, had made up his mind to go to sea, and in May 1754 was entered on board the Grampus sloop. In 1757 he was serving in the Neptune, in the expedition to Rochefort [see Hawke, Edward, Lord; Knowles, Sir Charles], and continuing in her through the cruise off Brest in 1758, was still in her at the reduction of Quebec in 1759, when she carried the flag of Sir Charles Saunders [q. v.] At this time Hunter made the acquaintance of John Jervis (afterwards Earl St. Vincent) [q. v.], then first lieutenant of the Neptune. Hunter afterwards served as midshipman of the Royal George, in the Bay of Biscay till the peace. In 1767 he went out to North America as master's mate of the Launceston, with Commodore (afterwards Viscount) Hood, who in the following year gave him an acting-order as master. After passing at the Trinity House on his return to England in 1769, the order was confirmed, and he was appointed to the Carysfort in the West Indies. In her he had various opportunities of making charts and plans of parts of the coast, and especially of the Spanish works in progress at Havana, which were afterwards sent to the admiralty. In 1771, while in charge of a pilot, the Carysfort ran ashore on Martyr Reef, in the Gulf of Florida, but mainly by Hunter's personal exertions was got off again, though with the loss of her masts and guns. From 1772 to 1775 he was master of the Intrepid in the East Indies, and in 1775 was appointed master of the Kent, by desire of Captain Jervis, whom he followed to the Foudroyant, where he was a messmate of Evan (afterwards Sir Evan) Nepean, the purser. In 1776, at the request of Lord Howe, then going out as commander-in-chief in North America, he was moved into his flagship, the Eagle; and continuing in her during the commission, acted virtually as master of the fleet, more especially in the expeditions to the Delaware and Chesapeake, and in the defence of Sandy Hook [see Howe, Richard, Earl]. Howe's interest was not of much use with Lord Sandwich's administration, and Hunter's modest request, on his return to England, to be made a lieutenant, passed unheeded. In 1779, on the invitation of Captain Keith Stewart, he joined the Berwick as a volunteer, and was shortly afterwards appointed by Sir Charles Hardy to be a lieutenant of the Union. The