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Hunter-Jenner Letters

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0114 MS0015
Held at: Royal College of Surgeons of England
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Full title: Hunter-Jenner Letters
Date(s): 1773-1793
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 volume
Name of creator(s): Hunter | John | 1728-1793 | anatomist and surgeon
Jenner | Edward | 1749-1823 | physician and naturalist
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

John Hunter and his brother William ran a School of Anatomy in Great Windmill Street, London which was opened by William in 1768. John practised as surgeon in Golden Square from 1763, was Surgeon to St George's Hospital from 1768, and enjoyed widespread recognition as the leading teacher of surgery of his time. Edward Jenner was born in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, 1749, and was a resident pupil of John Hunter from 1770 to 1772. He returned to practice medicine at Berkeley in 1773, but continued to correspond with John Hunter on many subjects until Hunter's death in 1793. Jenner went on to investigate and experiment with vaccinations for small pox with cow pox, publishing articles and books on the subject. Hunter maintained a long correspondence with his former pupil which ended only with Hunter's death in 1793. Only Hunter's letters survive.


Scope and content/abstract:

Volume containing 32 letters from John Hunter to Edward Jenner, 1773-1793. The letters were written whilst Jenner practiced medicine at Berkeley, Gloucestershire, having been a pupil of Hunters in London from 1770 to 1772. The letters record Hunter's encouragement of Jenner in his botanical, ornithological and medical observations and experiments, and include requests for Jenner to send him animal specimens, including fossils.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

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

Conditions governing access:

Open to bona fide researchers by written appointment.

Conditions governing reproduction:

At the discretion of the Librarian.

Finding aids:

Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Library of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (1928) by Victor G Plarr.

Archival Information

Archival history:

The letters were apparently bequeathed by Jenner to John Baron, his biographer.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Purchased by the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1877.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Papers are also held by the Royal Society and Natural History Museum. Anatomical notes (Ref.: Add MS 34407) are held by the British Library, Manuscript Collections; surgical lecture notes (Ref: KCLCA Hunter) are held by King's College London; lecture notes, [1765-1787] (Ref: MSS 2959-64, 5597-98)and notes on the principles of surgery and venereal diseases (Ref: acc 349837) are held by the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine; lecture notes (copies), 1813 (Ref: MS Don e 116) are held by Oxford University: Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts; lecture notes (Ref: NUC MS 66-1486) are held by the National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, USA; lecture notes, [1770], are held by the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.
Jenner: Correspondence and papers, 1772-1823, are held by the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine (Reference: MSS 3014-28); papers (64 items), 1800-1822, held by the Duke University Medical Library, North Carolina, USA; diary and papers, 1787-1821, held by the Royal College of Physicians of London (Reference: MS 372); correspondence, diary and papers (Reference: D18/659) and letters to TGB Estcourt, 1805-1809 (Reference: D1571) held by Gloucestershire Record Office; papers, 1790, held by McGill University: Osler Library, Montreal, Canada; observations on the cuckoo, 1787, held by the Royal Society; letters, held by the Jenner Museum (Reference: MGC); letters (18) to AJC Marcet held by the Royal Society of Medicine; letters (c100), 1787-1822, held by Johns Hopkins University Libraries; correspondence and papers (transcripts), 1788-1823, held by the University of Michigan: William L Clements Library.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Dictionary of National Biography (Smith, Elder and Co, London, 1895); Historical Manuscripts Commission On-line National Register of Archives; British Library Public On-line Catalogue. 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:
October 2002

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