Person NameBaillie; Matthew (1761-1823)
HistoryBaillie was the Lanarkshire-born nephew of the anatomists William and John Hunter (John's is also included in the College’s collection). In 1780 Baillie went to live with his uncle William Hunter in London where he had founded an anatomy school and museum. William bequeathed control of the school to Baillie, which he received upon William’s death in 1783.

One of Baillie’s most significant works was The Morbid Anatomy of some of the most Important Parts of the Human Body (1793) which was inspired by his desire to improve the quality of extant literature on morbid anatomy and his belief that observation of diseased structures led to better medical understanding. This work was also the first to connect cirrhosis of the liver with alcoholism. The work ran to five British editions as well as three editions in America, as well as a number of editions in foreign languages including French, German, and Italian. A further four British editions also appeared after the Baillie’s death as well as an edition in Russian.

In 1799 Baillie ceased to teach anatomy and work as a physician at St George’s Hospital in order to devote his time to his private practice. This practice was hugely popular and by 1810 his annual income from fees had reached £10,000, although the popularity of his practice often required him to work sixteen hour days. In 1811 he became physician-extraordinary to George III. During the king’s madness Baillie visited him hundreds of times at Windsor and was present at his death on 29 January 1820.

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