|Description||Hamilton was born in Glasgow on 31 July 1758, the son of Thomas Hamilton (1728-1782), Professor of Anatomy and Botany at the University of Glasgow. He went to Glasgow University in 1770 and graduated BA in 1775 and MA in 1776. He studied medicine for two years at Edinburgh under Joseph Black and William Cullen, and afterwards in London, under William Hunter, who took him into his house and put him in charge of his dissecting room. |
In 1780 he returned to Glasgow, and conducted his invalid father's anatomical class. Next year he was appointed, on the recommendation of William Hunter, to his father's chair. On the death of the latter, in 1782, he succeeded to a large surgical practice, to which he added obstetrics. He was in constant demand as a consultant, his anatomical knowledge and obstetric skill being highly valued by his colleagues and old pupils.
In 1783 Hamilton was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He kept notes of his cases, intending to write a system of surgery. He died in Glasgow on 13 March 1790 after an illness brought on by overwork. He published nothing, but his biographer preserved four specimens of his accurate method (on treatment of inversio uteri, on dislocations of the shoulder, on hydrothorax, and on a form of hernia).
[Source: Dictionary of National Biography]
This collection was originally catalogued in the 1990s into alphabetical correspondence files. Although the collection includes some correspondence of Thomas Hamilton, in the absence of any information on original order it was decided to catalogue it with the correspondence of William Hamilton as it is likely that he kept his father's letters. This previous catalogue is available for consultation.
Contents: correspondence of Thomas Hamilton, 1765-1781; correspondence of William Hamilton, 1781-1806; transcripts of correspondence, c1933