Innes, John (1739-1777) (DNB00)

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INNES, JOHN (1739–1777), anatomist, was born in 1739 at Callart in the highlands of Scotland. He went to Edinburgh as a boy, and was employed by the second Dr. Alexander Monro [q. v.], then professor of anatomy in the university. He became a dexterous dissector, and when eighteen was made dissector to the anatomical theatre. It was his duty to dissect out the parts for each of the professor's lectures, and he thus acquired a minute knowledge of human anatomy. The students liked him, and with the consent of his employer he used to give evening demonstrations of anatomy, and became so famous for the clearness of his descriptions that his audience numbered nearly two hundred students. In 1776 he published at Edinburgh ‘A Short Description of the Human Muscles, chiefly as they appear on Dissection,’ and this book, with some additions by Dr. Monro, continued to be used in the dissecting rooms at Edinburgh for fifty years after his death. Though its descriptions in places show signs of being written by a man without literary education, they are generally terse and lucid, and copies of the book often bear evidence that it was placed, as intended by the author, upon the body which the student was dissecting. Later in the same year he published ‘Eight Anatomical Tables of the Human Body.’ The plates represent the skeleton and muscles, and are copied from Albinus, with brief original descriptions of each plate. Both books were published in second editions by John Murray in London in 1778 and 1779 respectively. After a long illness Innes died of phthisis, 12 Jan. 1777, in Edinburgh.

[Works; Memoir by Dr. Alexander Monro prefixed to both works.]

N. M.