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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


424 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. No. CLXVII. MR. JAMES RAE, DR. WILLIAM LAING, AND DR. JAMES .HAY. MR JAMES RAE, the first figure to the left, was born in 1716, and was descended of a family of long standing as landed proprietors in Stirlingshire. Having been educated for the medical profession, he entered the Incorporation of Surgeons in 1747, and was Deacon during the years 1764-5. Mr. Rae was considered a talented and experienced surgeon, and as such was in extensive and respectable practice. He obtained much reputation as a dentist, and was among the first (if not the very first) in Edinburgh, to rescue that department from the ignorant and unskilful hands in which it was then placed. He occasionally gave private lectures on the diseases of the teeth. About the year 1766, Mr. Rae began delivering a course of general lectures on surgery, and after having continued these for some time, in 1769 he was requested by the students ta deliver Practical Lectures on the Surgical Cases in the Royal Infirmary, which request being highly approved of, both by the Incorporation of Surgeons and by the Managers of the Royal Infirmary, he conducted two separate courses of lectures for a period of several years. He had thus the merit of becoming the founder of that branch of surgical teaching- Clinical Lectures-which has been found so useful in giving a practical knowledge of the science, and for which an academical chair has been provided in the University of Edinburgh, and in many other schools of medicine. Mr. Rae married, about the year 1742, a daughter of Cant of Thurston, in East-Lothian, a very old and respectable family,$ormerly Cant of Giles's Grange, (now the property of Sir Thomas Dick Lauder). He died in 1791, leaving one son, the late Mr. John Rae, and three daughters, all of whom were married.' The house in which Mr. Rae lived at the Castle Hill, is the large land with an arched entry, immediately opposite the water-house. It was built of stones from the North Loch, by Dr. Webster, minister of the Old Tolbooth Church-after whose death the pl'emisea were occupied as Hogg's banking-office-then by Mr. Rae-and, in 1794, purchased from that gentleman's executors by the Society of Antiquaries. From this period till 1813, the house continued to be occupied by the Society for their mueum, and as the residence of their Secretary, Mr. A. Smellie. Previous to his removal to the Castle Hill, Mr. Rse resided in a house at the head of the Old Fleshmarket Close, now occupied by a pawnbroker,
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