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MURCHISON, Charles (1830-1879)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0100 TH/PP43
Held at: King's College London College Archives
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Full title: MURCHISON, Charles (1830-1879)
Date(s): 1845-1879
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 33 volumes,1 file
Name of creator(s): Murchison | Charles | 1830-1879 | physician


Administrative/Biographical history:

Charles Murchison was born in Jamaica in 1830. In 1833 his family returned to Scotland and settled at Elgin. he was educated at University of Aberdeen as a student of arts, 1845; studied medicine, University of Edinburgh, 1847; excelled in surgery, and passed the examination of the College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, 1850; house surgeon to James Syme, 1850; graduated MD, 1851, with a dissertation on the 'Structure of Tumours'; Physician to the British embassy at Turin; Resident Physician, Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh; studied at Dublin and Paris; entered the Bengal army of the East India Company, 1853; Professor of Chemistry, Medical College, Calcutta; served with the expedition to Burmah, 1854; Physician to the Westminster General Dispensary, London, 1855; Lecturer on botany and curator of the museum, St Mary's Hospital, London; member, 1855, President, 1877-1881, Pathological Society; member, Royal Medical and Chirurgical, Clinical, and Epidemiological Societies; Assistant Physician, King's College Hospital, London, 1856-1860; Assistant Physician and lecturer on pathology, 1860, Physician, 1866-1871, Middlesex Hospital; Assistant Physician, 1856-1861, Physician, 1861-1870, London Fever Hospital; Physician and lecturer on medicine, St Thomas's Hospital, 1871-1879; traced the origin of an epidemic of typhoid fever to polluted milk supply, 1873; Fellow, Royal Society, 1866; member, Royal College of Physicians, 1855, Fellow, 1859; Croonian lecturer, 1873; Examiner in medicine to the university of London, 1875; Physician to the Duke and Duchess of Connaught; died, 1879.
Publications include: Medical Notes on the Climate of Burmah, and on the diseases which have prevailed among European Troops, etc Reprinted from the Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal, etc (Edinburgh, 1855); On Gastro-Colic Fistula. A collection of cases and observations on its pathology, diagnosis, etc [Reprinted from the Edinburgh Medical Journal] (Edinburgh, 1857); Remarks on the classification and nomenclature of Continued Fevers (Edinburgh, 1858); A Treatise on the Continued Fevers of Great Britain (London, 1862); On the Causes of Continued Fevers, etc [Reprinted from the London Medical Review] [London, 1863]; Hytadid Tumours of the Liver: their dangers, their diagnosis, and their treatment, etc (Edinburgh, 1865); On a peculiar disease of the Cranium, Hyoid Bone and Fibula [Reprinted from the Transactions of the Pathological Society of London] (London, [1866]); On the Morbid Anatomy of the Cattle-Plague now prevalent in Britain, in reference to its supposed identity with Enteric Fever, etc [Reprinted from the Transactions of the Pathological Society of London] London, [1865]; Clinical Lectures on Diseases of the Liver, jaundice and abdominal dropsy (London, 1868); On Functional Derangements of the Liver; being the Croonian Lectures delivered at the Royal College of Physicians in March 1874 (London, 1874). Contributor to the Edinburgh Medical Journal, British and Foreign Medico-Chirurgical Review, Beale's Archives of Medicine, St Thomas's Hospital Reports, British Medical Journal and other medical papers.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Charles Murchison, 1845-1879, comprising school essays, 1845-1846; notebook containing notes and extracts on anatomy and zoology, 1846-1847, including an account of a meeting of the Edinburgh Botanical Society, 1847; notes on the New Testament, 1846; notes on Homer's Iliad, 1846 (3 vols); notes on the skin and subcutaneous cellular structure, with sketches, 1847; notes entitled 'observations on the spleen', with pencil sketches, 1849; note book entitled 'observations on temperature';

lecture notes taken by Charles Murchison as a student, comprising notes on Professor John Hutton Balfour's lectures on botany, delivered at Edinburgh University, 1847, including ink and pencil sketches; notes on Sir Robert Christison's lectures on vegetable material medica, delivered at Edinburgh University, 1847-1848, including diagrams and some notes on electricity (2 vols); notes on Professor James David Forbes' lectures on heat, delivered at Edinburgh University, 1846, with diagrams (2 vols); notes on John Goodsir's lectures on comparative anatomy, delivered at Edinburgh University, 1846-1847, including sketches (5 vols); notes on Robert Jameson's lectures on natural history, including geology and zoology, delivered at Edinburgh University, 1848, including ink diagrams (3 vols); notes on Professor Allen Thomson's lectures on the institutes of medicine, delivered at Edinburgh University, 1848;

case notes taken at Edinburgh, 1850, containing details of six cases and an autopsy; case notes taken at Edinburgh, 1850, of fifty cases, and at Westminster General Dispensary, 1854-1855, of one hundred and fifty six cases; four volumes of case notes of (mainly male) patients at St Thomas's Hospital, 1871-1879, including temperature charts and letters, written in a variety of hands (4 vols); case books, 1877-1878 containing case notes of female patients at St Thomas's Hospital (4 vols);

Letter to Murchison from [R Cokam] relating to a report of operations (undated); manuscript notes on Metals, 1847; black and white photograph of letter from Mr Snow to Murchison relating to presentation of a book by the late brother of William Snow.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records are arranged as outlined in the scope and content.

Conditions governing access:

Open, subject to signature of reader's undertaking form.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Director of Archive and Corporate Record Services.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue

Archival Information

Archival history:

The case books, 1877-1878, was presented to St Thomas's Hospital Medical School by Mrs Murchison.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Transferred from St Thomas' Hospital Medical School Library, 2002.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Papers relating to milk epidemic and to proposed fever hospital at Hampstead, 1873-1875, held by the Royal College of Physicians of London (reference: MSS 710, 4082).

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Dictionary of National Biography CD ROM (Oxford University Press, 1995); Historical Manuscripts Commission On-line National Register of Archives; British Library Public On-line Catalogue; Catalogue of the Printed Books and Manuscripts in the Library of St Thomas's Hospital Medical School (1491-1900) D T Bird (London, 1984). Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
April 2002; revised January 2003, January 2004

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