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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


280 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. No. CXIV. DR. ALEXANDER MONRO, SECUNDUS, PROFESSOR OF ANATONY. THE father of this celebrated anatomist was the first efficient professor of the science in the Uoiversity of Edinburgh, and may be considered as the founder of the medical school which has been subsequently so justly famed.’ He was a descendant of the Munros of Milntoun, and grandson of Sir Alexander Monro of Beerscroft-a strenuous opponent of Oliver Cromwell. MONROse, mndus, was born in Edinburgh in 17 32 ; and, although the youngest son, his father early designed that he should be his successor, and no exertion was spared to initiate him in the practice as well as the theory of his profession. That his whole time and attention might be devoted to the science, his father-presuming on the strength of thirty years’ devotion to the medical chair, and emboldened by the fame which the seminary had acquired under his professorship-ventured to memorialise the Town Council on the subject of appointing his son assistant and successor. Among other motives which urged the professor to this step, it is stated in the memorial that the acquisition of so much knowledge of an extensive science as a teacher ought to have cannot be obtained without some neglect of the other branches ; and, therefore, a prospect of suitable advantage from that one branch must be given, to induce any person to bestow more time and pains on it than on others. ’ The memorial thus proceeds :-“That the professor’s youngest son has appeared to his father, for some years past, to have the qualifications necessary for a teacher ; and this winter he has given proof, not only dissecting all the course of his father, but prelecting in most of it. That he is already equal to the office ; for testimony of which, it is entreated that inquiry may be made at the numerous students who were present at his lectures and demonstrations.” It was farther stated that, if “the patrons agreed to the proposition, the education of the young professor should be directed, with a view to that business, under the best masters in Europe. He should have all his father’s papers, books, instruments, and preparations, with all the assistance his father can give in teaching, while he is fit for labour.” This document throws great light upon the history of the young anatomist, and of the profitable manner in which he had spent his time. It contains also a plain but sensible statement of his father’s sentiments concerning his proficiency. Dr. Mom, primus, waa the author of n 6‘ System of bsteology ” which has never been attempted to be rivalled.
Volume 8 Page 392
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