Morison, Alexander (DNB00)

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MORISON, Sir ALEXANDER, M.D. (1779–1866), physician, was born 1 May 1779 at Anchorfield, near Edinburgh, and was educated at the high school and university of Edinburgh, where he graduated M.D. 12 Sept. 1799. His graduation thesis was 'De Hydrocephalo Phrenitico,' and he continued throughout life to take special interest in cerebral and mental diseases. He became a licentiate of the Edinburgh College of Physicians in 1800 and a fellow in 1801. He practised in Edinburgh for a time, but in 1808 removed to London, and on 11 April was admitted a licentiate of the College of Physicians of London, and 10 July 1841 was elected a fellow. He was made inspecting physician of lunatic asylums in Surrey in 1810, and 7 May 1835 physician to Bethlehem Hospital. He used to give an annual course of lectures on mental diseases, and became a recognised authority on the subject. He was physician to the Princess Charlotte, and in 1838 he was knighted. He published in 1826 'Outlines of Lectures on Mental Diseases,' in 1828 'Cases of Mental Disease, with Practical Observations on the Medical Treatment,' and in 1840 ' The Physiognomy of Mental Diseases.' His remarks in these works are brief, but are illustrated by a large series of interesting portraits of lunatics, among which is a striking one of Jonathan Martin [q. v.], the man who set fire to York Minster. Morison died in Scotland, 14 March 1866, and was buried at Currie.

[Works; Munk's Coll. of Phys. iii. 61.]

N. M.