American Medical Biographies/Hunter, William

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Hunter, William (1729–1777).

William Hunter was born in 1729 in Scotland and educated under the elder Monro, at Edinburgh, afterwards studying with great assiduity, both at Edinburgh and Leyden.

He came to Rhode Island about 1752, gave lectures at Newport, on anatomy, on the history of anatomy, and comparative anatomy, during the years 1754–56, these being among the first lectures given on science in New England. He was soon appointed by the colony of Rhode Island, surgeon to the troops sent by them to Canada, and afterwards he returned to Newport. He married the daughter of Godfrey Malbone.

Independent of his lectures, his literary contributions in behalf of his profession were principally letters addressed to his London namesakes. He was a most eminently successful practitioner, as well as operator and obstetrician.

He was a very handsome man, his manners courtly and amiable, his opinions liberal. His medical library was the largest in New England at his day, and contained most of the standard Greek and Latin authors of antiquity, as well as the modern works of his own time. The latter were mostly dispersed by the accidents of the Revolutionary War; what remained of the former were distributed to individuals and medical institutions by his only son, the Hon. William Hunter.

According to the New York Medical Repository, his manuscript lectures were said still to be in existence.

He died at Newport in 1777.

Amer. Med. Biog., J. Thacher, 1828.