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Sir James Wylie, Baronet
by Barbara Neish


He was born in Tulliallan, Kincardine November 20, 1768 and died in St. Petersburg on March 2, 1854. He bequeathed his vast fortune to the People of Russia with instructions that they use it to built a Hospital. The hospital was built and still bears his name. A huge statute of him still stands in the courtyard of the hospital.
 
Doctors visit back and forth until this day. In fact, A group of Doctors from Greenock are going there at the end of January and will be delivering yet another  paper on Sir. James - and - lucky me - I am going with them...!!!!
 
The people of Kincardine also have plans to honour their "Son of the Soil" ; arrangements are now underway to erect a plaque in his memory - perhaps in the Old Kirkyard there on the old wall which once was the School he attended as a child.
 
There is much on the Internet about him but here follows a bit of an outline on his early years in Russia. Sir James Wylie was private Physician to 3 Czars in succession and ever so much more.
 
From the Concise Dictionary of National Biography:
WYLIE (Sir James (1768-1854), physician; MD, King's College, Aberdeen,
1790; entered Russian service as senior surgeon in Eletsky Regiment,
1794; physician to imperial court at St Petersburg,
1798; surgeon-in-ordinary to tsar and physician to heir-apparent,  the Grand Duke Alexander,
1799; founder,
1804, and president,
1804-34, of Medical Academy of St Petersburg and Moscow;  inspector-general of  Army Board of Health,
1806; director of medical department of Ministry of War,
1812; physician-in-ordinary,
1814, to Tsar Alexander I, whom he accompanied to England, being knighted by Prince Regent; published medical works.
 
........ from a book, quote .... In 1840 on the Anniversary of The Battle of Borodino, a medal was struck by the Emperor Nicholas bearing on one side a profile of Sir James Wylie. From the site of the Battle, where celebrations were being held, the Emperor wrote to Sir James, now in his 73 year, "I cannot but call to mind the services which you rendered on that memorable epoch when, at the head of the Corps of medical and surgical officers of the Army, you yourself ceased not to give a grand example of zeal and self-denial for the welfare and relief of the suffering warriors."....
 
........From another writing  "Scots doctors made an extraordinary contribution, directing Russian medical bodies, publishing novel essays and practising modern methods of treatment. Probably the most eminent of them was James Wylie, who rose from regimental surgeon to personal doctor of three Emperors, President of the Medico-Chirurgical Academy and Russia’s sole baronet." .......
 
Enokhin took an active part in the construction of Mikhailovian clinical hospital
by the will of Ya.V.Wylie (Sir James Wylie, Bart)
(he was his teacher`s will executor) and in the erection of the monument to Ya.V.Wylie.
 
In his speech at the monument unveiling Enokhin said:
........ “The monument to Wylie will make deep moral impression on young pupils of the Academy, will inspire them with enthusiasm, they will become inflamed with new diligence in studying one of the most important branches of human knowledge and will serve an example of how one must fulfill high mission of the physician and to serve faithfully his sovereign and Fatherland”........
 
There is more detail and a useful bibliography in
John H Appleby, "Through the Looking Glass: Scottish doctors in Russia (1704-1854)"
And in 'The Caledonian Phalanx: Scots in Russia'  (Edinburgh: National Library of Scotland,  1987, pp 47-64).
 
       His Coat of Arms  This entry from Burke's 'General Armory'
WYLIE [Bart., extinct 1854; Sir James Wylie,
 first Physician to the late Emperor of Russia,
was so created 1814, and d.s.p].

Az. a bend ar. betw. a fox pass. in chief and two mullets in base of the second,
on a chief of honourable augmentation or, the imperial eagle of Russia.
Crest
  A Cossack on horseback at full speed holding a spear fessways ppr.
Supporters
Two Russian foot soldiers sustaining by the exterior side a gun with bayonet fixed ppr.
Motto
  Labore st scientia.
 
And a Few Lines written by me and my Sister  <:))
 
SIR JAMES WYLIE, BARONET
 
Wily by Nature - Wylie by Name
Our Uncle James Wylie of Historical fame.
Born there in Scotland in a wee Seaside Town
He ventured to Russia to become quite Renown
Personal Physician to Three Czars in succession
Immortalised now by the Medical Profession.
With no more than a Scalpel and a Prayer up to God
He treated the wounded as they lay on the Sod
He rebuilt the Hospitals and ran them with Skill
Rewrote the text books and took charge of the ill.
‘Though he lived a grand life in the Palaces there,
Of grandeur and riches, he showed little care,
A Soldier, A Surgeon, this was his Life
Never time for a family or a pretty young wife.
He was Knighted at Ascot with his Czar by his side
Family came down to share in his Pride
He lived a Good Life and thought always of Others
Convinced as he was that the World were all Brothers
He envisioned a Grand Hospital in his adopted Homeland
So as he lay dying, took his pen in his Hand
And Bequeathed his vast Fortune for this worthy cause
He died thinking of others and not the Applause
So standing to-day in St. Petersburg’s town
You’ll still the Vision of this Scot of renown
The Hospital was built and still bears the Name
Of our Uncle James Wylie of Historical Fame
 
By
Frances and Barbara Neish
written
July 2002
 
See also Wylie, Sir James
Doctor to the Czar's of Russia.

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