Prof. James Hamilton

1767 - 1839

Obstetrician and medical lecturer. Born in Edinburgh, the son of Alexander Hamilton (1739 - 1802), the Professor of Midwifery at the University, a role into which the son would follow in 1800. Hamilton was educated first by his father and graduated from the University of St. Andrews in 1792. In the same year he was elected to the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Noted for his argumentativeness, he publicly battled with his colleagues, including Sir Robert Christison (1797 - 1882), Prof. Thomas Charles Hope (1766 - 1844) and Prof. James Gregory (1753 - 1821), over the curriculum and the merits of his subject. His publications include Hints for the Treatment of the Principal Diseases of Infancy and Childhood adapted for the use of Parents (1808), Observations on the Use and Abuse of Mercurial Medicine in Various Diseases (1819) and Practical Observations on Subjects relating to Midwifery (two volumes; 1836).

Hamilton was also the last to be conveyed around Edinburgh is a sedan chair, which is preserved in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. He was succeeded in the Chair of Midwifery by Sir James Young Simpson (1811 - 1870).

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