National Records of Scotland

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William Cullen (1710-1790)

William Cullen (1710-1790)

Chemist and physician

William Cullen studied at Edinburgh University. In 1740 he set up as a physician in Glasgow and lectured on medicine at the university there. He was interested in chemistry and convinced that it could benefit agricultural and industrial growth. In 1747 he was appointed lecturer in chemistry at Glasgow University. This was the first chemistry post anywhere in the United Kingdom. His academic output includes 'Institutions of Medicine' (1772), 'Practice of Physic' (1776-84) and 'Materia Medica' (1789) which is mentioned in the testament dative. He died in Edinburgh on 5 February 1790.

Birth in 1710

William Cullen was 'brought forth on Saturday morning about six of the clock' on 15 April 1710, the son of William Cullen, writer in Hamilton and Elizabeth Roberton. The entry in the Old Parish Register (OPR) for Hamilton records that he was baptised 'on Sunday forenoon the 2d of May 1710' in the kirk of Hamilton by Alexander Findlater, minister. The witnesses were John Roberton, Sheriff Clerk of Lanark and John Hamilton of Fairholm.

Birth and baptism entry for William Cullen

Birth and baptism entry for William Cullen (68 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 647/20

Testament of William Cullen

National Records of Scotland, CC8/8/28 pp 671-3

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