Record

Ref NoDEP/MAB
TitleCollection of Alexander Blackhall-Morison
DescriptionBlackhall-Morison was the grandson of Sir Alexander Morison (1779-1866), one of the pioneers of humane psychiatric treatment, adding the prefix Blackhall to his name in 1919. He was born on a ship bound for India where his father was an assistant surgeon with the East India Company. He entered Edinburgh University in 1866 to study medicine, passing his finals in 1871. He obtained his MD in 1878 with a thesis on heart disease, while already pracitsing in London. After the death of his partner in 1879, Blackhall-Morison purchased the rest of the practice, taking on his brother Basil as his assistant. The brothers had a serious disagreement and in 1892 Basil bought the practice, Alexander moving to Portman Square as an indpendent practitioner. He held various posts at the Great Northern Central Hospital, Marylebone Dispensary and the Paddington Green Children's Hospital amongst others but always worried about his financial security.

He was opposed to any threat to medical freedom which included opposition to the National Insurance Act 1911 and the formation of the Ministry of Health in 1919. He was also deeply religious and many of his journals are taken up with notes and drafts for a proposed work titled 'Divine Revelation' which he never published.

His professional life included membership of numerous medical societies including the Aesculapian Society and the Marylebone division of the British Medical Association. He took an active interest in the Morison lectureship of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, founded to commemorate his grandfather, and gave the lecture himself in 1897 and 1923. He also presented his grandfather's diaries to the College as well as the portrait of Sir Alexander painted by Richard Dadd, now with the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
[Source: biography written by archivist Joy Pitman, c1990; see biographical file]

Contents: Testimonials, 1872-1893; journals and notebooks, 1870-1927; lectures, 1884-1923; articles and books, 1879-1921; genealogical research, 1877-1901; photographs, 1926, 1990; passport, 1922; books by Sir Alexander Morison, 1829-1856
Date1829 - 1990
TermMental illness
Extent120 items
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