Monro, Donald (1727-1802) (DNB00)

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MONRO, DONALD, M.D. (1727–1802), medical writer, born in 1727, was second surviving son of Alexander Monro primus [q. v.], by Isabella, second daughter of Sir Donald MacDonald of the Isle of Skye. He was educated at Edinburgh under the care of his father, and graduated M.D. on 8 June 1753, the subject of his inaugural dissertation being 'De Hydrope.' Soon afterwards he was appointed physician to the army. On 12 April 1756 he was admitted a licentiate of the College of Physicians, London, and on 3 Nov. 1758 was elected physician to St. George's Hospital. During his absence abroad as army physician, from December 1760 until March 1763, Dr. (afterwards Sir) Richard Jebb [q. v.] was chosen to fill his place at the hospital. He was admitted a fellow of the College of Physicians, by a special grace, on 30 Sept. 1771; was censor in 1772, 1781, 1785, and 1789; and was named an elect on 10 July 1788. He delivered the Croonian lectures in 1774 and 1775, and the Harveian oration in 1775. Ill-health obliged him to resign his office at St. George's Hospital in 1786. At the same time he withdrew himself altogether from practice, and in great measure from society. He died in Argyll Street on 9 June 1802 (Gent. Mag. 1802, pt. ii. p. 687).

Monro, who is represented as a man of 'varied attainments, of considerable skill in his profession,' and in high esteem with his contemporaries, was admitted a fellow of the Royal Society on 1 May 1766. He published:

  1. 'Dissertatio … de hydrope,' &c., 8vo, Edinburgh, 1753; reprinted in vol. ii. of the Edinburgh 'Thesaurus Medicus,' 1785. The second edition was published in English as 'An Essay on the Dropsy and its Different Species,' 8vo, London, 1756; 3rd edit. 1765.
  2. 'An Account of the Diseases which were most frequent in the British Military Hospitals in Germany from January 1761 to … March 1763,' c., 8vo, London, 1764. Appended is an essay on the means of preserving the health of soldiers, and conducting military hospitals.
  3. 'A Treatise on Mineral Waters,' 2 vols. 8vo, London, 1770.
  4. 'Prælectiones Medicæ,' 8vo, London, 1776, being his Croonian lectures and Harveian oration.
  5. 'Observations on the Means of Preserving the Health of Soldiers, and of conducting Military Hospitals, and on the Diseases incident to Soldiers,' 2 vols. 8vo, London, 1780, a greatly enlarged edition of the 'Essay' appended to his 'Account.' John Millar, M.D. (1733-1805) [q. v.], published in 1784 a reply to Monro's arguments in 'Observations,' &c.
  6. 'A Treatise on Medical and Pharmaceutical Chymistry and the Materia Medica,' 3 vols. 8vo, London, 1788, with a translation of the 'Pharmacopeia.'

He likewise contributed various papers to 'Essays, Physical and Literary,' and to the 'Transactions' of various medical societies, and wrote the memoir prefixed to the quarto edition of his father's collected works, published at Edinburgh in 1781.

[Munk's Coll. of Phys. 1878, ii. 293-5; Life of Dr. A. Monro, prefixed to his Works, 1781; Watt's Bibl. Brit.; Cat. of Libr. of Med. and Chirurg. Soc.]

G. G.