Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
William Hunter (anatomist)
He was born in East Kilbride, the elder brother of John Hunter. After studying divinity at the University of Glasgow, he went into medicine in 1737, studying under William Cullen. He was trained in anatomy at St George's Hospital , London, and specialised in obstetrics.
He used to relate the following anecdote:—During the American war, he was consulted by the daughter of a peer, who confessed herself pregnant, and requested his assistance; he advised her to retire for a time to the house of some confidential friend; she said that was impossible, as her father would not suffer her to be absent from him a single day. Some of the servants were, therefore, let into the secret, and the doctor made his arrangement with the treasurer of the Foundling Hospital for the reception of the child, for which he was to pay 190l.—The lady was desired to weigh well if she could bear pain without alarming the family by her cries; she said "Yes,"—and she kept her word. At the usual period she was delivered, not of one child only, but of twins. The doctor, bearing the two children, was conducted by a French servant through the kitchen, and left to ascend the area steps into the street. Luckily the lady's maid recollected that the door of the area might perhaps be locked; and she followed the doctor just in time to prevent his being detained at the gate. He deposited the children at the Foundling Hospital, and paid for each 100l. The father of the children was a colonel of the army, who went with his regiment to America, and died there. The mother afterwards married a person of her own rank.
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