CodeDS/UK/53
Person NameFoulis; David (1710-1773); Dr; composer; physician
Dates1710-1773
TitleDr
Epithetcomposer; physician
HistoryFoulis was born on 8 October 1710 at Woodhall, Currie. He studied medicine at Edinburgh University under Alexander Monro from 1729 to 1732 before pursuing further medical studies in Leiden and Rheims in 1734-5. He graduated MD from Rheims on 10 October 1735 and was admitted a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh on 2 August 1737. From June 1741 until his death, Foulis was employed as physician to George Heriot's Hospital, the prestigious charity school in Edinburgh, a position which he shared with his good friend Colin Drummond from 1766.

Foulis is more noteworthy as one of very few Scottish-born composers of the eighteenth century. It is unknown where he gained his musical education, but he probably learned some music as a boy before being exposed to the work of Italian composers when a student in the Netherlands and France. As well as contributing two pieces to Neil Stewart's Collection of Marches & Airs, published in Edinburgh about 1761, Foulis wrote a distinguished set of six violin sonatas which were privately published about 1770 in Edinburgh as Six Solos for the Violin with a Bass for a Violoncello or Harpsichord.

Foulis's finances seem to have run into difficulties after 1750. On 20 June 1753 he was struck off the membership list of the Edinburgh Musical Society for failing to pay his subscriptions, but later that year he negotiated a pay rise from £20 to £30 p.a. from Heriot's. His absence from the meetings of the Royal College of Physicians between January 1758 and July 1761 may suggest ill health. His situation had recovered sufficiently for him to serve as a councillor of the college from December 1764 to December 1765. It was the College that subsidized his nursing care from February 1773 (when he was lodging with Miss Paton on Castle Hill, Edinburgh) until he died, presumably in Edinburgh, at some time before 19 April 1773.

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