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Monro


MONRO, the name of the clan Roich. See MUNRO.

MONRO, ALEXANDER, M.D., an eminent anatomist, the founder of the medical school at Edinburgh, styled Primus, to distinguish him from his son and successor, was descended, by his father, from the family of Munro of Milntoun, in Ross-shire, and by his mother, from that of Forbes of Culloden, though he himself was born in London, September 8, 1697. His father John, youngest son of Sir Alexander Monro of Bearcrofts, who was a colonel in the army of Charles II. at the battle of Worcester, served for some years as a surgeon in the army of King William in Flanders; and, on his retirement, settled at Edinburgh, where he soon acquired an extensive practice. He gave his son Alexander the best education which that city afforded, and then sent him to London, where he attended the anatomical lectures of Cheselden. Young Monro afterwards pursued his studies at Paris and Leyden, at the latter place under the celebrated Boerhaave. On his return to Edinburgh in the autumn of 1719, Messrs. Drummond and M’Gill, who were then conjunct nominal professors and demonstrators of anatomy to the Company of Surgeons, resigned in his favour. In 1720 by the advice of his father, he began to give public lectures on anatomy; and at the same time Dr. Alston, then a young man, also at the suggestion of the elder Monro, commenced delivering lectures on the materia medica and botany. His father likewise communicated to the physicians and surgeons of Edinburgh a plan for having the different branches of physic and surgery regularly taught at Edinburgh; and by their interest, professorships of anatomy and medicine were instituted in the university. To complete the plan, subscriptions were set on foot for the establishment of an hospital, and considerable sums raised, chiefly by the exertions of Mr. George Drummond, lord provost, and Dr. Alexander Monro, who wrote a pamphlet, strongly pointing out the advantages of such an institution. The Royal Infirmary was in consequence founded, Provost Drummond and Dr. Monro being appointed a committee to superintend its building; and on its being opened, he delivered clinical lectures there for the benefit of the students. Thus was commenced at Edinburgh that regular course of instruction which obtained for the medical school of that city the reputation of being the best in the world.

Dr. Monro had been elected, in 1721, the first professor of anatomy in the college of Edinburgh, but he was not received into the university till 1725, when he was inducted along with the celebrated mathematician, Mr. Colin Maclaurin. In 1726, when he was inducted along with the celebrated mathematician, Mr. Colin Maclaurin. In 1726 appeared his ‘Osteology, or Treatise on the Anatomy of the Bones,’ which passed through eight editions during his life, and was translated into various foreign languages. In the later editions he added a concise description of the Nerves, and of the Lacteal Sac and Thoracic Duct. A society having been established at Edinburgh by the professors, and other practitioners of the town, for the purpose of collecting and publishing papers on professional subjects, Dr. Monro was appointed secretary, and under his active superintendence, six volumes of ‘Medical Essays’ were published, the first of which appeared in 1732. Of this collection many of the most valuable papers were written by Dr. Monro, on anatomical, physiological, and practical subjects. When the society was afterwards extended to the admission of members eminent in literature, and philosophical as well as medical papers were received, Dr. Monro became one of its vice-presidents, and furnished several useful contributions to the two volumes which were published of its Memoirs, entitled ‘Essays, Physical and Literary.’ In 1759 he resigned the anatomical chair to his youngest son, Dr. Alexander Monro, Secundus, but still continued his clinical lectures at the Infirmary. He died July 10, 1767, at the advanced age of 70. by his wife Isabella, daughter of Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat, baronet, he had several children.

His works are:

Osteology; or a Treatise on the Anatomy of the Bones. To which are added, A Treatise of the Nerves, an Account of the Reciprocal Motions of the Heart, and a Description of the Human Lacteal Sac and Duct. Edin. 1726, 1732, 8vo. 6th edit. Corrected and enlarged. 1758, 8vo. Also, 1763, 8vo. And frequently since. To the latter editions of this Work he added a concise Neurology, and a very accurate account of the Lacteal System and Thoracic Duct. In German. Lips. 1761, 8vo. I French, entitled, Traite d’Osteologie. Traduit de l’Anglois, anquel M. Sue a ajoute des Planches avec leurs Explications. Avig. 1759. Paris, 1759, 2 vols. Folio. With splendid plates, by Cl. Sue.

Essay on Comparative Anatomy, Lond. 1744, 8vo. A new edition, with considerable improvements and additions, by his son, and other hands. Edin. 1783, 8vo.

Observations Anatomical and Physiological; wherein Dr. Hunter’s claim to some Discoveries is examined. Illustrated with figures. Edin. 1758, 8vo.

Answer to Notes on the Postscript to Observations Anatomical and Physiological. 1758, 8vo.

An Expostulatory Epistle to Dr. William Hunter. Edin. 1762, 8vo.

An Account of the Inoculation of Small Pox in Scotland. Edin. 1765, 8vo.

Essay on the Art of Injecting the Vessels of Animals. Ed. Med. Ess. i. 94. 1731.

On the Articulation, Muscles, and Luxation of the Lower Jaw. Ib. 124.

Improvements in performing the Operation of the Paracentesis or Tapping of the Belly. Ib. 214.

Of a Tympany. Ib. 294.

Essay on the Nutrition of the Foetus. Ib. ii. 121. 1743. Sequel to the same. Ib. 203.

On the Nourishment of Plants while in a Foetus state. Ib. 225.

Practical Corollaries from the same. Ib. 232.

On the Coats of the Arteries, their Diseases, and particularly Aneurism. Ib. 264.

On the Aneurism occasioned by Blood Letting. Ib. 279.

Anomalous appearance after an Ague. Ib. 22, 301. 1733.

On the Effects of the Conissi Bark. Ib. iii. 32. 1734.

Remarks on Chalybeate Waters. Ib. 47.

Essay on the Method of Preparing and Preserving the Parts of Animal bodies for Anatomical use. Ib. 107.

On the Diseases of the Lachrymal Canals. Ib. 280. Account of a Procidentia Uteri. Ib. 305.

An uncommon Angina. Ib. 342.

Asthma, with uncommon Symptoms. Ib. 349.

Description and Uses of the Intestinum Duodenum. Ib. iv. 65.

An Aneurism caused by a Puncture in Bleeding. Ib. 299.

Of a White Swelling. Ib. 302.

Of a Loose Cartilage in the Joint of the Knee. Ib. 305.

History of an Ulcer of the Leg. Ib. 313.

Remarks on the Amputations of the Larger Extremities. Ib. 321.

Dropsy from Steatomatous Omentum. Ib. 429.

On Peruvian Bark in Gangrenous Ulcers and Small Pox. Ib. v. 98. 1736.

A Skull, uncommon for the number and size of the Ossa Triquetra. Ib. v. 220, 1736.

Mechanism of the Cartilage between the true Vertebrae. Ib. 224.

Remarks on the Spermatic vessels and Scrotum, with its Contents. Ib. 249.

On Inguinal Hernia in Men. Ib. 270.

Of Hydrocele, Haematocele, Pneumatocele, Variocele, spermatocele, and Sarcocele. Ib. 299.

An Essay on Caries of the Bones. Ib. 339.

Histories of the Cure of Lymphatics opened in Wounds. Ib. v. 395. 1736.

Artificial Passages for Natural Liquors. Ib. 403.

On Collections of Bloody Lymph in Cancerous Breasts. Ib. 410.

Description of several Chirurgical Instruments. Ib. 454.

Histories of Successful Indulgence of Bad Habits in Patients. Ib. 491.

Dissection of a Cataractous Eye. Ib. v. 603.

The Ureters obstructed by Small Stones. Ib. 665.

Four Cures of the Tumified Ovarium. Ib. 770.

Proofs of the Contiguity of the Lungs and the Pleura. Ess. Phys. And Lit. ii. 276. 1756.

Of a Child escaping at a rent of the Womb into the Abdomen. Ib. 339.

Histories of Tophacious concretions in the Alimentary Canal. Ib. 345.

Remarks on Prodicentiae Ani, Intersusceptio, Inflammation, and Valvula of the Intestines. Ib. 353. 1756.

Attempt to determine by Experiments how far some of the most powerful Medicines, such as Opium, Ardent spirits, &c. affect Animals by acting on the Nerves, to which they are primarily applied. Ib. iii. 292.

A collected edition of his works, including several Essays left in manuscript, was published by his son, Dr. Alexander Monro, Secundus, at Edinburgh in 1781, with a Life prefixed, by another of his sons, Dr. Donald Monro, the subject of the following article.

MONRO, DONALD, M.D., Physician in London, an elder son of the preceding, was born at Edinburgh in 1731. He obtained an extensive practice in the metropolis, and became a fellow of the royal college of physicians, and senior physician to the army. He died in July 1782, aged 71. His works are:

Thesis de Hydrope. Edin. 1753, 8vo.

An Essay on the Dropsy, and its different Species. Lond. 1755, 12mo. 1756, 1765, 8vo. Par. 1760, Leips. 1761.

An Account of the Diseases which are most frequent in the British Military Hospitals in Germany, from January, 1761, till the return of the Troops to England, in March, 1763; to which is added, An Essay on the Means of Preserving the Health of Soldiers, and conducting Military Hospitals. Lond. 1764, 8vo.

Treatise on Mineral Waters. Lond. 1770, 2 vols, 8vo.

Praelectiones Medicae ex Cronii Institute, &c., et Oratio Harveii, &c. Lond. 1775, 8vo.

Observations on the Means of Preserving the Health of Soldiers, and of Conducting Military Hospitals; on the Diseases incident to Soldiers in the time of service; and of the same Diseases, as they have appeared in London. Lond. 1780, 2 vols. 8vo.

A Treatise on Medical and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, and the Materia Medica; to which is added, An English Translation of the Pharmacopeia of the Royal College of Physicians in London, of 1788. Lond. 1788, 3 vols, 8vo. Appendix 1789, 8vo. To this a 4th volume was added in 1790, 8vo.

An Account of some Neutral Salts, &c. Phil. Trans. Abr. Xii. 479. 1767.

On the good Effects of the Quassia Root in some Fevers. Ib. 515, 1768.

Of a pure Native Crystallized Natron, or Fossil Alkaline Salt, found in the Country of Tripoli, in Barbary. Ib. xiii. 216, 1771.

On the Sulphureous Mineral Waters of Castle-Leed and Fairburn, in Ross-shire, and of the Salt Purging Water of Pitcaithly, in Perthshire, Scotland. Ib. 271, 1772.

Dissection of a Woman with Child, and Remarks on Gravid Uteri. Plates. Ess. Phys. And Lit. i. 403, 1754.

Cases of Aneurism; with Remarks. Ib. iii. 178. 1771.

Account of the Lisbon Diet Drink, in Venereal Cases. Ib. 402.

On the State of the Intestines in Old Dysenteries. Ib. 516.

On the Use of Mercury in Consumptive Disorders. Ib. 551.

Uncommon Cases, Violent Scurvy, Venereal Disorders. Obstinate intermittent Fever. Tumour in the Brain, Hydrocephalus. Ossifications in the Mysentery. Med. Trans. Ii. 325. 1772.

Of the Method of making the Otto of Roses, as it is prepared in the East Indies. Trans. Soc. Edin. i. 12. 1796.

He also wrote the life of his father, prefixed to the edition of his works of 1781, as above stated.

MONRO, ALEXANDER, M.D., styled Secundus, also a distinguished physician and professor, youngest son of Dr. Alexander Monro, Primus, was born at Edinburgh March 21, 1733. He received the rudiments of his education under Mr. Mundell, an eminent teacher of languages, and went through the usual academical course at the university of his native city. About the eighteenth year of his age, he entered on his medical studies under his father, and soon became a useful assistant to him in the dissecting room. In October 1755 he obtained the degree of M.D., on which occasion he published and defended an inaugural dissertation, ‘De Testibus et Semine in variis Animalibus.’ In July 1756 he was admitted joint-professor of anatomy and surgery with his father; but previous to entering upon the duties, with the view of further prosecuting his studies, he visited both London and Paris, and afterwards attended for some time the anatomical lectures of the celebrated Professor Meckell at the university of Berlin. He returned to Edinburgh in the summer of 1758, when he was admitted a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians, of which he was afterwards president. He was soon chosen a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians; and on the resignation of Dr. Monro, Primus, in 1759, he became full professor of anatomy. He also succeeded his father as secretary of the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh, in whose ‘Essays and Observations. Physical and Literary,’ appeared several able articles from his pen, on important subjects in medical science.

Having early adopted the idea that the valvular lymphatics over the whole of the animal body were one general system of absorbents, he published at Berlin, in 1758, a short treatise, ‘De Venis Lymphaticis Valvulosis.’ This idea was afterwards claimed by Dr. William Hunter of London, which led to a controversy between these two distinguished physicians, and produced from Dr. Monro his ‘Observations, Anatomical and Physiological, wherein Dr. Hunter’s claim to some discoveries is examined,’ and his ‘Answer to the Notes in the Postscript to Observations, Anatomical and Physiological.’ In 1782 the Philosophical Society was incorporated by royal charter, when it took the name of the royal Society of Edinburgh. Dr. Monro was elected one of its first fellows, and enriched its Transactions with various valuable contributions. In 1783 he published a large folio volume ‘On the Structure and Functions of the Nervous System,’ illustrated by numerous engravings, which was translated into the German and other languages. In 1785 he produced another folio volume ‘On the Structure and Physiology of Fishes,’ illustrated with figures, which also was honoured with various foreign translations. In 1788 appeared his ‘Description of all the Bursae Mucosae of the Human Body,’ which at once became a standard work. His last publication was a quarto volume, consisting of three treatises, on the Brain, the Eye, and the Ear, published at Edinburgh in 1797. His reputation, both as a lecturer and author, extended throughout Europe, and he was elected a member of the Royal Academies of Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Moscow, and other learned institutions.

IN 1798, increasing years caused him to receive at his class the assistance of his son, Dr. Alexander Monro, Tertius, then appointed conjunct professor of anatomy with him. He continued, however, to deliver lectures till the session of 1808-9, when he finally retired from the anatomical chair. At the same time he relinquished his practice, which was very extensive. He died October 2, 1817, in his 85th year. – His works are:

De Testibus et Semine in Variis animalibus. Dis. Inaug. Edin. 1755, 8vo.

De Venis Lymphaticis Valvulosis et de earum, imprimis origine. 1757. 1770, 8vo. Edin. 1773, 12mo.

Oratio Anniversaria Harveiana in Theatro Coll. Reg. Medic. Lond. Habita die 18, Oct. 1757. 1758, 4to.

State of Facts concerning the First Proposal of performing the Paracentesis of the Thorax, on account of Air effused from the Lungs into the Cavities of the Pleuriae, in answer to Mr. Hewson. Edin. 1770, 1772, 8vo and 12mo.

Observations on the Structure and functions of the Nervous system. Illustrated with Tables. Edin. 1783, fol.

The Structure and Physiology of Fishes explained and compared with those of Men and other Animals. Illustrated with Figures. Edin. 1785, fol.

A Description of all the Bursae Mucosae of the Human Body, their Structure explained and compared with that of the Capsular Ligaments of the Joints, and of these Sacs which line the Cavities of the Thorax and Abdomen; with Remarks on the Accidents and Diseases which affect these Sacs, and on the Operations necessary for their Cure. With Plates. Edin. 1788, fol. In German. Leipsic, 1800, fol.

Experiments on the Nervous System with Opium and Metallic Substances; made chiefly with a view of determining the Nature and Effects of Animal Electricity. Edin. 1793. 4to.

Observations on the Muscles, and particularly on the Effects of their Oblique Fibres. Edin. 1794, 4to.

Also in Trans. Soc. Edin. Iii. 250.

Three Treatises, on the Brain, the Eye, and the Ear. Illustrated by Tables. Edin. 1797, 4to.

Description of the Seminal Vessels, Ess. Phys. and Lit. i. 390, 1754.

Observations on Gravid Uteri. Ib. 426.

Remarks on the Intercostal Muscles. Ib. 447.

The Cure of a Fractured Tendo Achilles. Ib. 450.

History of a Genuine Valvulus of the Intestines. Ib. ii. 368.

Description of a Human Male Monster; illustrated by Tables and Remarks. Trans. Soc. Edin. Iii. 215. 1794.

Experiments relating to the Animal Electricity. Ib. 231.

MONRO, ALEXANDER, M.D., Tertius, the successor of his father in the anatomical chair, born Nov. 5, 1773, was educated at the High school and university of Edinburgh. He studied medicine, anatomy, and surgery in London, and subsequently repaired for a short time to Paris. In 1799 he took his degree of M.D. In 1803 the class of practical anatomy in the university of Edinburgh was instituted by him, and in 1808 he succeeded his father as professor of anatomy. His works are:

Observations on Crural Hernia. To which is prefixed, A General Account of the other varieties of Hernia. Illustrated by engravings. Edin. 1803, 8vo.

The Morbid Anatomy of the Human gullet, Stomach, and Intestines. Plates. Edin. 1811, 8vo. New ed. 1830, 8vo.

Outlines of the Anatomy of the Human Body, in its Sound and Diseased State. Edin. 1813, 4 vols. 8vo.

Observations on the Thoracic Duct. 1814, 4to.

Observations on the different kinds of Small-Pox, and especially on that which follows Vaccination. Edin. 1818. 8vo.

Three Cases of Hydrocephalus Chronicus; with some Remarks on that disease. Illustrated with a plate. Annals of Med. Viii. 364. 1803.

The Elements of Anatomy, 1825.

A Treatise on the Nervous System, 1825.

The Morbid Anatomy of the Brain. Edin. 1827, 8vo.

The Essays and Heads of Dr. Munro, Secundus, 1840.

The Anatomy of the Perinaeum. 1842.

In 1828 he was president of the Royal College of Physicians of Scotland. He retired from his chair in 1847, with the title of Emeritus Professor of Anatomy; and thus ended the connection between the college of Edinburgh and the family of Monro, which had occupied professional chairs within her walls for upwards of one hundred years.

He died at his seat of Craiglockhart, near Edinburgh, March 10, 1859. At the time of his death he was actively engaged in the execution of a work upon ‘Craniology and Idiotcy.’ He was the father of the Royal Society of Scotland, and contributed valuable and instructive papers both to that Society and the Royal College of Physicians.


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