Page:A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, vol 6.djvu/245

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DR. MONRO, PRIMUS. 39


superstructure. His being at once engaged in two departments, the anatomical theatre and the clinical chair, furnished him with opportunities for experiment both on the dead and living body, and placed him in the most favourable situa- tion for the improvement of medicine ; and from these opportunities he derived every possible advantage which they could afford.

None of the professors connected with medicine in the Edinburgh university, contributed so much to the formation of the school as Dr Monro, who was inde- fatigable in the labours of his office, and in the cultivation of his art, and soon made himself known to the professional world by a variety of ingenious and valuable publications. During a period of nearly forty years he continued, without any interruption, to deliver a course of lectures ; extending from the end of October to the beginning of May ; and so great was the reputation which he acquired that students flocked to him from the most distant parts of the king- dom. His first and principal publication was his Osteology, or Treatise on the Anatomy of the Bones, which appeared in 1726, when he was as yet under thirty years of age. This treatise, though intended originally for the use of his pupils, speedily became popular among the faculty in general, and was trans- lated into most of the languages of Europe. The French edition, in folio, published by M. Sue, demonstrator of sculpture to the Royal Academy of Paris, was adorned with masterly engravings. In the later editions, Dr Monro added a concise Neurology, or description of the nerves, and a very accurate account of the lacteal system and thoracic duct.

In every society at Edinburgh, for the improvement of arts, or of letters, Dr Monro was one of the most distinguished ornaments. He was a member of the Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons ; of the Medical Society ; of the Philoso- phical Society ; of the Select Society for questions in morality and politics ; and of the Society for promoting arts, sciences, and manufactures in Scotland. He was also a member of several foreign societies, to which he had been recom- mended by his great reputation. It was to his zeal and activity that the world was chiefly indebted for the six volumes of Medical Essays and Observations, by a society at Edinburgh, the first of which appeared in 1732. Dr Monro acted as editor of this work, and contributed to it many valuable papers on anatomi- cal, physiological, and practical subjects ; the most elaborate of which was an Essay on the Nutrition of the Foetus, in three dissertations. On this society be- ing afterwards revived under a different title, Dr Monro again took an active part in its proceedings as one of the vice-presidents, and was a liberal contribu- tor to its publications, of which three volumes appeared, under the title of Eft- says, Physical and Literary. His last publication was an Account of the Suc- cess of Inoculation in Scotland, written originally as an answer to some inquiries addressed to him from the committee of the faculty of physicians at Paris, ap- pointed to investigate the merits of the practice. It was afterwards published at the request of several of his friends, and contributed to extend the practice in Scotland. Besides the works which he published, he left several manuscripts, written at different times, of which the following are the principal : A History of Anatomical Writers, an Encheiresis Anatomica, Heads of many of his Lectures, a Treatise on Wounds and Tumours, a Treatise on Comparative Anatomy, and an oration De Cuticula. The last two were printed in an edi- tion of his whole works, in one volume, 4to, published by his son, Dr Alexander Monro, 1781.

The advance of age and infirmity, induced Dr Monro to resign his chair, in 1759, in favour of his son ; but he continued almost to the close of his life to perform his duties in the Royal Infirmary. Several of his latter years were imbittered by a severe disease, a fungous ulcer in the bladder and rectum ;