Enlightenment to Reform, Incorporation to College, 1726–c. 1830

Helen M. Dingwall

in A Famous and Flourishing Society

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2005 | ISBN: 9780748615674
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653355 | DOI:
Enlightenment to Reform, Incorporation to College, 1726–c. 1830

Show Summary Details


It has been claimed that, in the eighteenth century, the Incorporation's ‘principles of value were largely economic and utilitarian’. Evidence for this was that in most of the surviving documentation relating to litigation and maintenance of rights, the language was of ‘legal rights and social utility’ rather than of ‘learning and rank’. This is true in some ways, but does not adequately reflect the much broader spectrum of ‘aims and objectives’ held by the Incorporation. Events that helped to draw the Incorporation out into a more public forum, in spite of the difficulties, include the foundation of the Medical School at the University in 1726; the small beginnings of hospital medicine following the opening of the first Infirmary building in 1729; the institution of a diploma examination in the later decades of the century; and, of course, the achievement of Royal College status in 1778. All of these factors ensured that the surgeons became more prominent in Edinburgh medicine and medical politics. This chapter considers all of these factors in terms of the combination of continuing and new influences within the sphere of Scottish medicine and the much larger one of Britain.

Keywords: Incorporation; legal rights; social utility; surgeons; Scottish medicine; medical politics

Chapter.  27845 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.