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Allen Thomson

Nature volume 29, pages 510511 | Download Citation



BORN in Edinburgh, April 2, 1809, Allen Thomson had nearly completed his seventy-fifth year when he died on the evening of Friday last, March 21. He was the son of John Thomson, a distinguished physician, who was the first occupant of the Chairs of Military Surgery and of Pathology in the University of Edinburgh, and it is remarkable that both chairs were founded on his own recommendation. Allen Thomson graduated as M.D. at the University of Edinburgh in 1830, and in 1831 he became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Soon after graduation he became an extra-mural Lecturer on Anatomy along with William Sharpey. The atmosphere of the Edinburgh school at this time was highly charged. A number of men, afterwards famous, were either students or extra-mural teachers. It is sufficient to mention the names of John Reid, John Goodsir, Martin Barry, Edward Forbes, William B. Carpenter, and John Hughes Bennett. All of these became distinguished in biological science, and amongst them in these days there was the clash of intellect and the rivalry of a noble ambition. None of these remain except Dr. Carpenter, who must feel that the death of his friend Allen Thomson is the severance of another link connecting him with what was undoubtedly a brilliant epoch in the history of the Edinburgh medical school.

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