National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

William Hunter (1718-1783)

William Hunter (1718-1783)

Physician and anatomist

William Hunter matriculated from the University of Glasgow, attended lectures given by Alexander Munro in Edinburgh, was apprenticed to William Cullen in Hamilton and studied anatomy and surgery in Paris. He set up a school of anatomy in London and helped his younger brother, John Hunter, establish his career. Following the safe delivery of the royal baby in 1761 he was made Physician Extraordinary to Queen Charlotte. He opened his collection of anatomical preparations, books, coins and other artefacts to researchers. He was elected fellow of the Royal Society in 1767 and of the Society of Antiquities in 1782. He died on 30 March 1783 and was buried at St James Piccadilly. William Hunter bequeathed his collections to the University of Glasgow. The museum became the foundation for The Hunterian. His books, manuscripts and papers are held in the Hunterian Library, one of the university's special collections. His birthplace and childhood home, now Hunter House, is a community centre.

Birth in 1718

William Hunter was baptised on 1 June 1718, the son of John Hunter in Kirktoun. The entry in the Old Parish Register (OPR) for East Kilbride doesn't record the name of his mother [Agnes Paul] or his date of birth.

Baptism entry for William Hunter

Baptism entry for William Hunter (12 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 643/1