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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0100 TH/PP18
CULLEN, William (1710-1790)
Level of description
Collection (fonds)
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
2 volumes


Name of creator(s)

Cullen, William, 1710-1790, physician

Administrative / Biographical history

Born, Hamilton, Lanarkshire, 1710; educated, Glasgow University, and became pupil of a physician; surgeon to a merchant ship, 1729; apothecary's assistant, London; practiced at Auchinlee, near Hamilton, 1731-1732; student, Edinburgh Medical School, 1734-1736; practiced as a surgeon in Hamilton, 1736-1744; chief magistrate of Hamilton, 1739-1740; graduated MD, Glasgow, 1740; practiced in Glasgow, 1744-; founded a medical school, lecturing on medicine and several other subjects; made some discoveries on the evolution of heat in chemical combinations and the cooling of solutions; Professor of Medicine, Glasgow University, 1751; joint Professor of Chemistry, Edinburgh University; began to give clinical lectures in the infirmary, 1757; delivered a course of lectures on materia medica, continuing his chemistry course, 1760-1761; Professor of the 'Institutes' or theory of physic, Edinburgh University, 1766-1773; lectured in alternate years on the theory and the practice of medicine with John Gregory; Professor of the Practice of Physic, Edinburgh University, 1773-1789; President, Edinburgh College of Physicians, 1773-1775; helped prepare the new edition of the 'Edinburgh Pharmacopeia', 1774; foreign associate of the Royal Society of Medicine at Paris, 1776; Fellow, Royal Society of London, 1777; died, 1790. Publications include: Lectures on the Materia Medica, etc (T Lowndes, London, 1773); A Letter to Lord Cathcart ... concerning the recovery of persons drowned and seemingly dead (J Murray, London, 1776); Of the Cold produced by evaporating Fluids, and of some other means of producing cold (1777); Institutions of Medicine. Part I. Physiology. For the use of students in the University of Edinburgh Second edition (W Creech, Edinburgh, 1677 [1777]); First Lines of the Practice of Physic, for the use of students in the University of Edinburgh Second edition 4 volumes (William Creech, Edinburgh, 1778-1784); The Substance of Nine Lectures on Vegetation and Agriculture, delivered to a private audience in the year 1768 (1796); Clinical Lectures delivered in the years 1765 and 1766 (Lee & Hurst, London, 1797); Nosology: or, a Systematic arrangement of diseases, by classes, orders, genera, and species; with the distinguishing characters of each, and outlines of the systems of Sauvages, Linnæus, Vogel, Sagar, and Macbride. Translated from the Latin of W Cullen (William Creech, Edinburgh, 1800); The Works of William Cullen ... Containing his Physiology, Nosology and First Lines of the Practice of Physic: with numerous extracts from his manuscript papers, and from his Treatise of the Materia Medica Edited by John Thomson 2 volumes (William Blackwood, Edinburgh; T & G Underwood, London, 1827).

Archival history

The volumes were owned by the Webb Street School of Anatomy and Medicine, London.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Transferred from St Thomas's Hospital Medical School Library in 2002.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Papers of William Cullen, comprising notes of his lectures, taken by an unidentified student, 1771, entitled 'Methodus medendi febrium', including lectures on arthritis and gout, malaria and measles.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Director of Archive and Corporate Record Services.

Language/scripts of material


Finding aids

Detailed catalogue

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals

King's College London College Archives

Related units of description

Correspondence and papers, 1737-1790, held by the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (reference: Cullen); correspondence, lectures and notes, held by Glasgow University Library, Special Collections Department; medical papers, [1763]-1772, held by the Royal College of Physicians of London; medical manuscripts, held by Exeter Cathedral Archives; lecture notes, held by the Bodleian Library, (reference: MSS Eng misc d 298-306); medical and lecture notes, 1766-1787 (reference: Dc 1, 6, 7, 10; Dk 3, 5) and lectures on chemistry and pharmacy, 1773 (reference: MS 3143) held by Edinburgh University Library; lecture notes, 1760-1775 (reference: MSS 1918-71) and for 1763-1764 (reference: MS 5487), held by the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine; lecture notes, 1760, held by Northwestern University Medical School Library, Chicago, USA; lecture notes, 1762-1763, held by the John Rylands Library; lecture notes, 1767-1768, held by University of Kansas, USA; lecture notes, 1762-1772, held by the National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division (reference: MSS 2078-83, 3472, 3535-37, 3543, 3759); lecture notes, 1772-1773, held by the National Library of Wales, Department of Manuscripts and Records (reference: J E Griffith MSS 19064); lecture notes, held by the National Library of Medicine, Maryland, USA.



Previous reference: M45

Description control

Archivist's Note

Sources: Dictionary of National Biography CD ROM (Oxford University Press, 1995); Catalogue of the Printed Books and Manuscripts in the Library of St Thomas's Hospital Medical School (1491-1900) D T Bird (London, 1984); Historical Manuscripts Commission On-line National Register of Archives; British Library Public On-line catalogue. Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions

April 2002; Revised January 2003

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  • Arthritis
  • Diseases
  • Gout
  • Higher science education
  • Infectious diseases
  • Joint diseases
  • Malaria
  • Measles
  • Medical education
  • Medical personnel
  • Medical profession
  • Medical sciences
  • Pathology
  • People
  • People by occupation
  • Personnel
  • Physicians
  • Surgery

Personal names

  • Cullen, William, 1710-1790, Chemist and Physician

Corporate names

  • King's College London College Archives

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