John Hunter, M.D., was born in Perthshire, and, after a good preliminary education, proceeded to Edinburgh, and commenced the study of medicine. He took the degree of doctor of medicine there 12th September, 1775 (D.M.I. de Hominum Varietatibus et harum Causis) ; was admitted a Licentiate of the College of Physicians 24th March, 1777; and about that time was appointed physician to the army. He was admitted a Fellow of the College, speciali gratiâ, 25th June, 1793; was Censor in 1793,1799; Gulstonian Lecturer in 1796; and Croonian Lecturer in 1797, 1799, 1800, 1801. Dr. Hunter was a fellow of the Royal Society, and physician extraordinary to the prince of Wales. He would seem to have been the first to recognise softening of the brain as a distinct pathological condition, and he made this subject the topic of his Gulstonian lectures in 1796.(1) He died at his house, in Hill-street, Berkeley-square, 29th January, 1809.(2) He was the author of—
Observations on the Diseases of the Army in Jamaica, and on the best means of Preserving the Health in Hot Climates. 8vo. Lond. 1788.
[(1) Bright’s Reports on Medical Cases, vol. ii, part i, p. 195.
(2) "Hunterus cum in insulas occidentales cum exercitu profectus esset, ita militum curam agebat, ut ejus operam et sedulitatem satis laudare non possim. Nihil quidem, quod ad sanitatem tuendam ullo modo pertinebat, videtur neglexisse; sed et tempestates cœli accuratissime observavit; et locorum opportunitates providentissime monstravit; morborumque causas, et signa, curationem que sedulo investigavit; postremo, quod nostra præcipue interest, omnia, ut scitis, libro perutili comprehensa edidit." Oratio Harveiana habita anno MDCCCIX a Gulielmo Heberden, p. 23]