John Hunter, British surgeon and anatomist, 1829.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Stipple engraving by J Shury, after a painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds. John Hunter (1728-1793), FRS, eminent Scottish physiologist, investigated many subjects, from venereal disease and embryology to blood, inflammation and gunshot wounds. Called the 'founder of scientific surgery', his writings revolutionised dentistry. His lectures on the theory and practice of surgery attracted numerous students, including Edward Jenner, Astley Cooper, and John Abernethy, who continued his methods. He was surgeon-extraordinary to George III, and surgeon-general to the army. After his sudden death his manuscripts were destroyed, but his collections were acquired by the College of Surgeons. The Hunterian Society was founded in 1819 to honour his life and works.