CodeDS/UK/31
Person NameFordyce; George (1736-1802); Dr; physician
Dates1736-1802
TitleDr
Epithetphysician
HistoryFordyce was born in Aberdeen on 18 November 1736r Aberdeen. He attended Aberdeen University, where he graduated MA in 1750 at the age of fourteen. He then spent four years as assistant to his uncle John Fordyce, physician at Uppingham, Rutland, where he learned the basics of medical practice before entering the medical school at Edinburgh University in 1754. One of William Cullen's earliest and most favoured pupils, he graduated MD in 1758 with a thesis entitled 'De catarrho', in which he already showed a good knowledge of chemistry.

Fordyce next moved to London, where he attended John Hunter's lectures on anatomy and studied medical botany at the Chelsea Physic Garden. In the autumn of 1759 he went to Leiden, where he studied anatomy with Bernard Albinus. Returning to London, he settled in Essex Street, the Strand, and began to give a course of lectures on chemistry to a class of nine pupils. His classes became very popular and he continued them for thirty years, during which time several thousand pupils passed through his hands.

In 1765 Fordyce became a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians and five years later was chosen physician to St Thomas's Hospital. He published several papers in the Philosophical Transactions and in 1776 was elected FRS. The clearest evidence of the high regard in which he was held in the medical profession came in 1787, when he was admitted to the fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians (speciali gratia), despite his Scottish origins and his activities in the disputes in the 1760s between licentiates and fellows. The college was preparing a new edition of the Pharmacopoeia Londinensis and Fordyce played a leading role in preparing the new edition.

In 1793 Fordyce assisted John Hunter to establish the Society for the Improvement of Medical and Chirurgical Knowledge. Fordyce was also involved in founding the Lyceum Medicum Londinense (1785), which promoted meetings of medical students and young doctors at Hunter's lecture rooms.

He died at his house in Essex Street, London, on 25 May 1802.

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