Collection K/PP185 - HUNTER, John (1728-1793)

Key Information

Reference code



HUNTER, John (1728-1793)


  • 1777 (Creation)

Level of description



1 volume

Scope and content

The collection comprises one manuscript volume of notes on lectures delivered by John Hunter, Surgeon Extraordinary to King George III, at the operating theatre in Great Windmill Street, London, summarised under the general heading 'The true principles of surgery'. The subject of the lectures include comparison of plant and animal life, such as sensation and movement; treatment of inflamed organs; the effects of poisons; bone fractures; and the identification and cure of various diseases including those of the urinary tract and reproductive organs, 1777.

System of arrangement

Single volume with subject index

General Information

Name of creator


Biographical history

Born 1728; worked as cabinet maker for brother-in-law in Glasgow; assisted brother William at his London dissecting room, 1748; attended Chelsea Hospital, 1749-1750; studied at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, 1751; appointed a master of anatomy at the Surgeons' Corporation, 1753; surgeon's pupil at St George's Hospital, London, from 1754; matriculated, St Mary Hall, Oxford, 1755; staff surgeon on expedition to Belleisle, 1761; served with British Army in Portugal, 1762; practised as surgeon in Golden Square, London, 1763; Surgeon, St George's Hospital, 1768; takes in house pupils including Edward Jenner, 1768; begins to lecture on the principles and practice of surgery, 1773; work on the human placenta including paper read before the Royal Society, London, 1780; builds new museum to house his extensive collection of anatomical specimens, 1785; died, 1793; posthumous publication of major work, A treatise on the blood, inflammation, and gunshot wounds (London, 1794). Publications: include A treatise on the natural history of the human teeth (London, 1771, 1778); A treatise on the venereal disease (London, 1786); A treatise on the blood, inflammation, and gunshot wounds (London, 1794); Directions for preserving animals and parts of animals for anatomical investigation (London, 1809); James Palmer ed., The works of John Hunter , 4 vols (London, 1835-1837); Observations and reflections on geology (London, 1859); Sir R Owen ed., Essays and observations on natural history, anatomy, physiology, psychology and geology , 2 vols (London, 1861).

Archival history

The volume was in the possession of William White of St James's, London, 1808, and was inherited by his son, George Francis White, surgeon, in 1849. White presented the book as a gift to the medical library of King's College Hospital in 1867.

Custodial history

King's College Hospital Library.

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied from open material for research purposes only.

Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archives.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Finding aids

Collection level description online and due to be published in hard copy.

Related materials

Royal College of Surgeons of England: correspondence and papers (Ref.: NRA 9521 RCS scientific); Royal Society, London: papers; Natural History Museum, London: papers; British Library, Manuscript Collections: anatomical notes (Ref.: Add MS 34407); St Georges Hospital Medical School Library: miscellaneous papers (Ref.: NRA 9767 London St Georges); Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine: lecture notes, [1765-1787] (Ref.: MSS 2959-64, 5597-98), notes on the principles of surgery and venereal diseases (Ref.: acc 349837); Oxford University: Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts: lecture notes (copies), 1813 (Ref.: MS Don e 116); National Library of Medicine: lecture notes (Ref.: NUC MS 66-1486); Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh: lecture notes, [1770] (Ref.: Hunter; NRA 16015 Coll of Physicians); Royal College of Surgeons of England: letters (32) to Edward Jenner, 1773-1793.

Related descriptions

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Rules and/or conventions used

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000.


Archivist's note

Sources: National Register of Archives; John Hunter, 1728-1793 by George Quist (London, 1981); Dictionary of national biography. Entry compiled by Geoff Browell.

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