CodeDS/UK/29
Person NameFletcher; John (1792-1836); Dr; physician
Dates1792-1836
TitleDr
Epithetphysician
HistoryFletcher was born in 1792, the son of Thomas Fletcher, a merchant in London. Finding work in his father's counting-house tedious, he began the study of medicine at Edinburgh after having heard some of the London lectures of John Abernethy and Charles Bell. He graduated MD in 1816. After making a start in practice at Henley-on-Thames, he returned to Edinburgh and took private pupils in medicine. His Latin scholarship and systematic methods made him a popular teacher. In 1822 he published 'Horae subsecivae', or, 'First steps to composing and conversing on medical subjects in the Latin language'. In 1828-9 he joined the Argyll Square school of medicine, having McIntosh, Argyle Robertson, and, for a time, James Syme, as his colleagues. He lectured on physiology, and afterwards on medical jurisprudence. His reputation as a lecturer was very high and in 1836 he gave a course of popular lectures on physiology to large audiences of the educated laity of both sexes, illustrated by preparations and diagrams of his own making. He died of a sudden illness the same year.

His Elements of Pathology, published several years after his death (1842) by two of his pupils, John J. Drysdale and J. R. Russell, shows a certain leaning to the teaching of Hahnemann. A paper entitled 'Vieles Sprechen ist gesund' (in Behrend's Wöchentl. Repert. iv.175, 1837) is attributed to him. His other writings include Rudiments of Physiology (1835-7) and Remarks on the Trial of R. Reid for the Murder of his Wife on 29 June 1835 (1835). His earliest publication Rubi epistolae Edinburgenses (n.d.) was quite different, providing a light-hearted satirical look at students and professors.

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