Alexander secundus Monro

(1733—1817) anatomist

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Alexander Monro (1697—1767) surgeon and anatomist

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Alexander Monro, the third son of Alexander Monro primus, was born in Edinburgh on 10 March 1733 and died on his estate on 2 October 1817. He was educated in Edinburgh and entered the University in 1745, aged twelve, to study arts. He enrolled at the Medical School in 1750 and by 1753 was demonstrating from dissections and taking his father's evening anatomy lectures. Having proven his son's teaching abilities Monro primus successfully petitioned to have his son appointed conjoint Professor of Anatomy in June 1754 even though he was still a student. Monro secundus graduated MD in 1755. His later studies were interrupted by calls to take over his father's teaching during bouts of ill health; in 1757 he returned from studies in London with William Hunter to lecture and in 1758 was forced to break off his studies in Leiden for the same reason. From the 1758/9 session, Monro secundus took on sole responsibility for the anatomy class. During the period of his tenure the Edinburgh Medical School became the pre-eminent school in Europe, boasting a faculty including William Cullen, Joseph Black, John Gregory and James Gregory. Monro secundus consistently drew the largest audience of students; when the number rose to over two hundred by 1764, he had to petition the university for a larger anatomy theatre.


From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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