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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 249 gentleman of our acquaintance relates that he one day happened -to pounce upon him at his seat of Tarlogie. Lord Ankerville had then reached his seventy-fifth year. Being alone, he had just sat down to dinner ; and not having expected a strauger, he apologised for his uncropped beard. Our friend was, of course, welcomed to the board, and experienced the genuine hospitality of a Highland mansion. After having done ample justice to the table, and when his lordship had secured a full allowance of claret under his belt, he went to his toilette, and, to the astonishment of his guest, appeared at supper cleanly and closely shaved, to whom he remarked, that his hand was now more steady than it would have been in the morning. Lord Ankerville died at his seat of Tarlogie on the 16th August 1805, in the seventy-eighth year of his age. His residence in Edinburgh was in St. Andrew Square. No. CI. FRANCIS HOME, M.D., PROFESSOR OF MATERIA MEDICA IN THE UNIVERSITY OB EDINBURGH! AND ONE OF THE KING’S PFIYSICIANS FOR SCOTLAND. DR. HOME was born on the 17th November 1719. He was the third son of Mr. Home of Eccles, an advocate, and author of fieveral works, professional and historical. He placed his son under the charge of Mr. Cruickshanks of Dunse, then esteemed one of the best classical scholars and teachers, and who had the faculty of inspiring his scholars with a taste for classical learning. Mr. Home having chosen medicine as a profession, served an apprenticeship with Mr. Rattray, then the most eminent surgeon in Edinburgh. He afterwards studied under the medical Professors of the University of Edinburgh of the period ; and applied with so much zeal and assiduity as frequently to obtain the approbation of his teachers. He contracted friendships with many of his fellow students, which lasted through life ; and he was among the few who founded the Royal Medical Society, which has continued to the present day, and has contributed greatly to the celebrity of the Edinburgh school of medicine. After finishing his studies Mr. Home obtained a commission of surgeon in a regiment of dragoons, and joined it on the same day with his friend the late Sir William Erekine. He served in Flanders with that regiment during the whole of the “ seven-years’ war.” Amidst the din of arms, and the desultory life of soldiers, Mr. Home did not spend his time in idleness. He discharged his duty so faithfully that he often received the approbation of his superior officers, and especially of Sir John Pringle, the head of the medical department of that army ; and he laid up a store of medical facts, many of which he afterwards published. At the end of several campaigns, instead of partaking of the relaxation and dissipation . of winter quarters, Mr. Home, as often as he could obtain leave of absence, went 2 K
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250 BI 0 GR AP HI C AL S'KET C HES. to Leyden, which still retained a high reputation as a medical school ; and he studied there under the medical teachers of that time. At the termination of the war Mr. Home settled in Edinburgh, and graduated in the year 1750, choosing for the subject of his inaugural dissertation, the remittent fever which had prevailed very severely in the army- a treatise which is yet quoted as one of the best on the disease, In 1768 he obtained the Professorship of Materia Medica in the University of Edinburgh, the duties of which he executed for thirty years with great industry, zeal, and reputation. During this period he contributed, along with his other eminent colleagues, to maintain the high character of the University of Edinburgh as a medical school. He died on the 15th of February 1813, at the very advanced age of ninety-four, preserving his faculties entire till within a short period of his death. Few physicians have done more to promote the advancement of medicine, as a science and as an art, than Dr. Home. He published several valuable and esteemed works. His " Principia Jledicinar I' contains a very excellent and scientific history of diseases. It is written in correct and elegant Latinity, showing his intimate acquaintance with the best ancient classical authors. This work contributed materially to raise his reputation, especially on the Continent, where.it was soon adopted by several professors as a text-book. It has undergone several editions ; and even now, after the lapse of three-fourths of a century, and notwithstanding the great improvements in medicine, it is still one of the best and most useful compendiums on the subject. Dr. Home added numerous and very important facts to the history and treatment of many diseases, and contributed much to establish the art of medicine on the basis of experience and observation. He was the first who described " the Croup " as a separate and distinct disease ; and his account of it first called the attention of physicians to it. Although, since its first publication, much has been added to its pathology, yet Dr. Home's treatise still remains as a standard and much esteemed work on the history and treatment of this very fatal disease. His works, entitled " Medical Facts and Experiments," and his " Clinical Experiments, Histories, and Dissertations," cqntain a most valuable collection of very important factls regarding the history of diseases and their treatment ; and they introduced several new remedies, many of which still stand the test of the experience of more than half a century. Dr. Home did not confine his observations and publications to medicine alone. His work, entitled " Experiments on Bleaching," for which he obtained a gold medal from the Honourable Board of Trustees for the Improvement of Manufactures in North Britain, was published in the year 1756, by request of the Board ; and he received many testimonies of eminent manufacturers, whose art it had much improved. His treatise on Dunse Spa, published in 1751, brought that mineral spring into much notice. His Essay on the Principles of Agriculture long continued to be the best scientific account of that most important art, and obtained for him the first Professorship of Agriculture in the University of Edinburgh, which he afterwards resigned in' favour of the late Dr. Coventry.
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