Dr. John Barclay

1758 - 1826

Anatomist. Born in Perthshire, the nephew of the Rev. John Barclay (1734-98), who founded the Berean religious sect. Living in Edinburgh's Surgeon's Square, Barclay was a respected teacher of anatomy, running private classes from his home. His specialism was comparative anatomy and he built up a sizeable collection of specimens, which he gifted to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1821. Barclay's pupils included the surgeons Sir George Ballingall (1780 1855), Robert Liston (1794 - 1847), James Syme (1799 - 1870) and veterinary surgeon William Dick (1793 - 1866). Barclay encouraged Dick to set up his Veterinary School and used his position as a Director of the Highland Society of Scotland to obtain financial support for the venture from the Society. The infamous anatomist Dr Robert Knox (1791 - 1862) was an assistant of Barclay's, becoming his partner in 1825 and taking over his classes after his death.

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