Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Hunter John

Hunter, John (1728-93), celebrated anatomist, surgeon, and physiologist, was born in Lanarkshire. It was not till his twentieth year that he took a post as assistant anatomist to his brother William, then a surgeon practising in London. He showed so much talent, and studied pathology with such effect at Chelsea Hospital, that in 1750 he could take his brother's place in the dissecting-room. In 1754 he entered as a pupil in St. George's Hospital, and, after holding the post there of house-surgeon, became a partner in 1755 in his brother's anatomical school, where he lectured for some years; his lectures being- distinguished for their profound anatomical knowiedge rather than for their style, since his early education had been neglected. For his researches into comparative anatomy he was diligent in dissecting animals that died in menageries. He also experimented on living animals. In 1761 he went as staff-surgeon with the army to Belle lie and to Portugal, gaining valuable experience in the treatment of gunshot wounds. In 1763 he set up in practice as a surgeon in London, and lectured in anatomy and surgery, but his greatest efforts were applied to the investigations, which an appointment in 1768, as surgeon to St. George's Hospital, and the consequent influx of paying pupils, enabled him to carry out more fully. Among his pupils were Jenner, and Sir Everard Home, afterwards his brother-inlaw. In his later years he suffered greatly from heart disease, which interrupted his labours and eventually killed him. In 1776 he was appointed surgeon-extraordinary to the king, and in 1790 inspector-general of hospitals and surgeon-general to the army. Three years later the emotion consequent upon a dispute at a meeting of governors of his hospital killed him. He is best known to later times by his magnificent museum, now in the College of Surgeons, containing upwards of 10,000 preparations illustrating various branches of his science. He never finished a catalogue of it which he had begun, and after his death many of his papers were burnt by Sir Everard Home, for what reason is not clear. Among his more important writings are a Natural History of the Human Teeth, a Treatise on Venereal Disease, and a Treatise on the Blood, Inflammation and Gunshot Wounds. His works were collected and published in 1835.