TitleCollection of Sir Alexander Morison
DescriptionMorison was born on 1 May 1779 at Anchorfield, near Edinburgh, and was educated at the University of Edinburgh, where he graduated MD on 12 September 1799. His graduation thesis was 'De hydrocephalo phrenitico', and he continued throughout life to take special interest in cerebral and mental diseases. He became a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh in 1800, a fellow in 1801, and president in 1827. He practised in Edinburgh for a time, but became a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians, London, in 1808, and became a fellow in 1841. He was made inspecting physician of lunatic asylums in Surrey in 1810, and in 1835 physician to the Bethlem Hospital and later to several other asylums. Unable to find an institution in Edinburgh willing to let him have teaching facilities he nevertheless organized his own course of lectures. In 1816 he was appointed physician-in-ordinary to Princess Charlotte of Wales, and later to her husband, Prince Leopold, and in 1838 he was knighted. His publications included Outlines of Lectures on Mental Diseases (1826), Cases of Mental Disease, with Practical Observations on the Medical Treatment (1828), and The Physiognomy of Mental Diseases (1840). These works are notable for a large series of interesting portrait drawings of the insane, among which is a striking one of Jonathan Martin, the man who set fire to York Minster. He died at Balerno Hill House, Currie, near Edinburgh, on 14 March 1866 and was buried at Currie. Morison endowed a prize and lectureship to the College of Physicians of Edinburgh with funds realized by the sale of his property at Larchgrove, which he left to the college.
[Source: Dictionary of National Biography]

Contents: Diaries, 1807-1862; genealogical notebook of Morison's grand-daughter Mary Cushnie Morison, 1869; printed drawings from 'The Physiognomy of Mental Diseases', 1838-1839; volume of 249 original drawings for the same book, 1837-1848
Date1807 - 1869
Extent22 volumes; 3 items; 352 drawings
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