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Hamilton Letters

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0114 MS0190
Held at: Royal College of Surgeons of England
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Full title: Hamilton Letters
Date(s): 1748-1788
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 box
Name of creator(s): Hamilton | William | 1758-1790 | anatomist
Hamilton | Thomas | d 1782 | anatomist
Hunter | John | 1728-1793 | surgeon and anatomist
Irvine | William | 1743-1787 | chemist
Hamilton | William | fl 1748 | Minister of Bothwell


Administrative/Biographical history:

Thomas Hamilton was a surgeon in Glasgow, and was Professor of Anatomy and Botany at the University of Glasgow. He retired in 1781 and died in 1782. His son was William Hamilton.

William Hamilton was born in Glasgow, in 1758. His father was Thomas Hamilton, a surgeon, and Professor of Anatomy and Botany at Glasgow University. William Hamilton studied his MA in 1775. He then studied medicine at Edinburgh under William Cullen and Joseph Black, although returned to Glasgow early due to his father's ill health. William Hamilton continued his studies in London under William Hunter. He then returned to assist his father in his lectures, and in 1781 was nominated as his father's successor in the professorship. After the death of his father in 1782, William was left with a successful practice. He died in 1790. He had two sons, William and Thomas.

John Hunter was an anatomist and surgeon working in London until his death in 1793. Please see MS0189 for a biographical account.

William Irvine was born in Glasgow in 1743. He worked as a chemist in Scotland and was assistant to Joseph Black. He died in 1787.


Scope and content/abstract:

The Hamilton letters, 1748-1788, comprising 3 letters from John Hunter to Professor William Hamilton (1758-1790), 1783-1788; 3 letters from the donor Louisa Hamilton to Sir Arthur Keith, 1928; letter from Reverend William Hamilton, Minister of Bothwell, to his son Thomas Hamilton (d 1782), 18 Oct 1748; 2 letters and transcripts from Dr William Irvine to Thomas Hamilton (d 1782), 1771; 4 letters from William Hamilton (1758-1790) to his mother, 1777-[1778] and 7 letters to his father, 1777-[1778], referring to his activities in London, including his acquaintance with William and John Hunter and the attendance of their lectures.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Arranged in order of donation.

Conditions governing access:

By written appointment only.

Conditions governing reproduction:

No photocopying permitted.

Finding aids:

Library card catalogue.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Donated by Dr Louisa Hamilton, a descendant of William Hamilton. The letters were presented on the occasion of the John Hunter Bicentenary in 1928. Letters from Lousia Hamilton to Sir Arthur Keith regarding the donations are with the collection.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Material relating to John Hunter, MS0189.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Anya Turner.

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:
Sep 2008

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