Daniel Rutherford

Daniel Rutherford

Physicist and chemist

Daniel Rutherford was born in Edinburgh and educated at the university there, where his father held the first chair of the theory and practice of medicine. After spending three years examining continental medical practices he set up his own in Edinburgh. He became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and later its secretary and president. In 1786 he was appointed Professor of Medicine and Botany at Edinburgh as well as Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden. He succeeded Dr Cullen as Physician to the Royal Infirmary and was a pupil of Joseph Black (1728-1799) who discovered carbon dioxide. In 1772 he described his own discovery of 'noxious' or 'phlogisticated' air, now known as nitrogen. Daniel Rutherford and his two sisters became ill on the same day and died within a week of each other. His sister, Anne, was the mother of Sir Walter Scott.

Marriage in 1786

Daniel Rutherford, physician in Edinburgh and professor of botany, married Harriet Mitchelson, youngest daughter of John Mitchelson of Middleton, on 11 December 1786. The first entry in the Old Parish Register for Borthwick (her parish), dated 9 December, is for the proclamation of their marriage.

Marriage entry for Daniel Rutherford

Marriage entry for Daniel Rutherford in the OPR for Borthwick (31 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 674/2

The second entry in the Old Parish Register for Edinburgh (his parish) is dated 13th December provides the same details.

Marriage entry for Daniel Rutherford in the OPR for Edinburgh (16 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 685-1/51, page 298

Testament of Daniel Rutherford

(National Records of Scotland, CC8/8/146 pp 265-266)

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