Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ogston, Francis

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OGSTON, FRANCIS (1803–1887), professor of medical jurisprudence at Aberdeen, born in Aberdeen in July 1803, was third son of Alexander Ogston, the founder of an extensive soap manufactory at Aberdeen. He was educated at the grammar school and at Marischal College, Aberdeen, completing his medical course at Edinburgh University, where he graduated M.D. in 1824. Subsequently he travelled and studied on the continent. Having settled at Aberdeen, he soon acquired a large practice. In 1827 he began to teach chemistry privately, and in 1839 he was appointed lecturer on medical jurisprudence at Marischal College. When the lectureship was converted into a professorial chair in 1857, Ogston became the first professor, teaching medical logic in addition to his special subject. In 1860, when Marischal College was united to King's College, to form the university of Aberdeen, under the Universities (Scotland) Act, 1858, Ogston's appointment was maintained, and he continued to occupy the chair of medical jurisprudence till his retirement in 1883. His lectures were published in London in 1878, under the title 'Lectures on Medical Jurisprudence,' and were accepted both in this country and in Germany as a standard work. From 1831 Ogston held the appointment of police-surgeon in Aberdeen, and he was also medical officer of health for the city from 1862 till 1881. He had frequently to give evidence on important cases in the justiciary courts, and the lucidity of his reports called forth the commendations of the judges. He was chosen dean of the faculty of medicine in Aberdeen, and was twice representative of the senatus at the university court. In 1883 he retired from the chair of medical jurisprudence. Two years afterwards the university conferred the honorary degree of LL.D. upon him. He died suddenly at Aberdeen on 25 Sept. 1887. Both of his sons followed the medical profession; the elder, Dr. Alexander Ogston, being professor of surgery at Aberdeen University, and the younger, Dr. Frank Ogston, holding an appointment as professor of public health and medical jurisprudence at the university of Otago, New Zealand. Besides the lectures referred to, Ogston contributed many papers to the British and continental medical journals.

[Rodger's Aberdeen Doctors, pp. 201, 301, 312; Lancet, October 1887, No. 8345, p. 739; People's Journal (Aberdeen), 1 Oct. 1887.]

A. H. M.