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Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (H)
Hunter, John

John Hunter (1728-1793) moved to London in 1748 to join his brother William and worked with him for ten years developing the skills of dissection.  He became the leading surgeon of the day and built a large house in Earl’s Court which had dissecting rooms, and he also collected a menagerie of unusual animals which were dissected when they died.  He moved to Jerym Street to the property of his brother William when the latter moved to Great Windmill Street and at these premises took apprentices for 5 years at a fee of 500 guineas.  Among his pupils were his brother-in-law, Everard Holme, Edward Jenner, Astley Paston Cooper (born 1768), Anthony Carlisle, John Abernethy and William Clift.  In 1783 John started to build a new museum and lecture room near Leicester Square.  Eventually Hunter’s collection of anatomical samples became the basis of the Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons but was damaged in the blitz on 10 May 1941.   John Hunter became surgeon to the King in 1776.  He published The Natural History of Human Teeth in 1771, On Venereal Disease, in 1786, Observations on Certain parts of the Animal Economy, in 1786, and Treatise on the Blood, Inflammation and Gunshot Wounds in 1794. (Following John Hunter's death, Sir Everard Holme, published under his own name, work from Hunter's manuscripts, which had been deposited in the College of Surgeons. He then destroyed the original manuscipts, setting fire to his house in the process. This must rank as one of the most disgraceful episodes in the history of medicine.)

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