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The Scottish Nation

MORISON, THOMAS, a learned physician of the sixteenth century, was born at Aberdeen, and studied at the university of Montpelier, at which he is supposed to have taken a degree. In 1593 he published at Frankfort a treatise, ‘De Metallorum Causis et Transubstantiatione,’ and in 1594 he produced at Edinburgh a work on the Popedom, entitled ‘Papatus; seu depravatae Religionis Origo et Incrementum;’ both dedicated to James VI. The latter volume, which is now exceedingly rare, is said to be highly prized by the learned for its singular erudition. He was the friend of Lord Bacon, with whom, as well as with his brother, Mr. Anthony Bacon, he maintained a correspondence. We are also informed that he was employed to furnish intelligence from Scotland to the earl of Essex. From a letter addressed to him by Bacon, dated “from his chambers in Gray’s Inn,” in 1603, soliciting his influence with the king in his favour, it appears that Dr. Morison’s death must have taken place after that year, though Dempster places it in 1601.

MORISON, ROBERT, M.D., an eminent physician and botanist of the 17th century, was born at Aberdeen in 1620, and received his education at Marischal college in that city. In June 1639, on the breaking out of the civil wars in Scotland, he signalized his zeal in the cause of the king, by appearing in arms at the battle of the Bridge of Dee, where he was dangerously wounded in the head. Soon after his recovery his attachment to the royal cause obliged him to retire to France, when, fixing his residence at Paris, he applied assiduously to the study of botany and anatomy, and took the degree of M.D. at Angers in 1648.

His reputation as a botanist induced the duke of Orleans to appoint him, in 1650, to the charge of the royal gardens at Blois, of the plants in which he afterwards published an accurate catalogue, under the title of ‘Hortus Regius Blesensis.’ On the Restoration he removed to London, and was appointed by the king his physician and royal professor of botany, with a salary of £200. In 1669 he published his ‘Praeludium Botanicum,’ and soon after he was elected professor of botany in the university of Oxford. In 1672 appeared his ‘Plantarum Umbelliferarum Distributio Nova,’ the substance of which is incorporated in the ‘Plantarum Historia,’ 2 volumes, 1678. A 3d was added after the author’s death by Jacob Bobart. Dr. Morison died at London, Nov. 9, 1683, aged 63.

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