Page:A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, vol 6.djvu/246

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


40 DR. MONRO, SECUNDTJS.

but he bore his distresses with great patience and resignation, and at last died in perfect calmness, July 10, 1767, in the seventieth year of his age.

Dr Monro had in early life married Miss . Isabella Macdonald, daughter of Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat, by whom he had eight children, four of whom, three sons and a daughter, reached maturity. Two of his sons became distin- guished physicians namely, Dr Donald Monro, who attained an eminent prac- tice in London, and became the author of several valuable treatises, an Essay on Dropsy, 1765 on the Diseases of Military Hospitals, 1764 on Mineral Waters, 1771 on preserving the Health of Soldiers, &a, and died in 1802; and Dr Alexander Monro secundus, of whose life we shall proceed to give an extended notice.

Dr Monro secundus, was the youngest son of Dr Alexander Monro primus, whose life has just been commemorated, and was born at Edinburgh, on the 20th of March, 1733. He learned the first rudiments of classical education, under the tuition of Mr 31 undo 11, then an eminent teacher of languages, at Edinburgh. At the university of his native city, Dr Monro went through the ordinary course of philosophy, preparatory to his medical studies. During that course, he was a pupil of the celebrated Maclaurin, for Mathematics, of Sir John Pringle, for ethics., and of Dr Matthew Stewart, for experimental philo- sophy. About the 1 8th year of his age, he entered on his medical studies un- der his illustrious father, who, from his lectures and writings, had, by that time, justly obtained very great celebrity. Young Monro soon became a very useful assistant to his father in the dissecting-room, and was highly respected for his early acquirements, among the companions of his studies ; several of whom, Dr Hugh Smith of London, Dr Matthew Dobson of Liverpool, Dr William Farr of Plymouth, and some others, were afterwards justly celebrated in the annals of medicine, by their writings.

Dr Monro, after completing the academical course of medical study at Edin- burgh, under Drs Rutherford, Plumer, Sinclair, Alston, and other eminent men, obtained the degree of Doctor of Medicine, on the 17th of October, 1755. On that occasion, he published and defended an inaugural dissertation, De Testibus et Se- mine in variis Animalibus. That dissertation, which manifests his accurate knowledge of minute anatomy, was illustrated by five capital engravings, each plate containing several different figures ; and it laid the foundation of the important discoveries which he afterwards made with regard to the lymphatic system. The public testimony which Dr Monro thus gave of his anatomical knowledge, and the reputation which he had acquired both as a demonstrator and lecturer, when occasionally assisting his father, naturally attracted the attention of the patrons of the university of Edinburgh ; and to secure to the seminary under their care a young man of such distinguished abilities, he was, on the 12th of July, 1755, when he had but just entered on the twenty-third year of his age, admitted into the university as professor of anatomy and surgery, in conjunction with his father ; but that father, still in the vigour of life, and fully able to execute every part of the duties of his office, did not require the immediate assistance of his son. Accordingly, young Monro, after finishing his academical studies at home, resolved to prosecute them abroad. With this intention, he visited both London and Paris, where he had an opportunity of being a pupil of the most eminent professors in these cities. But his foreign studies were principally prosecuted at the university of Berlin. There he had every opportunity of improving -himself under the celebrated professor Meckell, who was at that time justly esteemed one of the first anatomical teachers in Europe. During his residence in Berlin, he was not only a pupil at the prelections of Meckell, but lived in his house, and thus enjoyed the benefit of his instructions both in public and private. That