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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0100 TH/PP43
MURCHISON, Charles (1830-1879)
Level of description
Collection (fonds)
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
33 volumes,1 file


Name of creator(s)

Murchison, Charles, 1830-1879, physician

Administrative / Biographical history

Charles Murchison was born in Jamaica in 1830. In 1833 his family returned to Scotland and settled at Elgin. he was educated at University of Aberdeen as a student of arts, 1845; studied medicine, University of Edinburgh, 1847; excelled in surgery, and passed the examination of the College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, 1850; house surgeon to James Syme, 1850; graduated MD, 1851, with a dissertation on the 'Structure of Tumours'; Physician to the British embassy at Turin; Resident Physician, Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh; studied at Dublin and Paris; entered the Bengal army of the East India Company, 1853; Professor of Chemistry, Medical College, Calcutta; served with the expedition to Burmah, 1854; Physician to the Westminster General Dispensary, London, 1855; Lecturer on botany and curator of the museum, St Mary's Hospital, London; member, 1855, President, 1877-1881, Pathological Society; member, Royal Medical and Chirurgical, Clinical, and Epidemiological Societies; Assistant Physician, King's College Hospital, London, 1856-1860; Assistant Physician and lecturer on pathology, 1860, Physician, 1866-1871, Middlesex Hospital; Assistant Physician, 1856-1861, Physician, 1861-1870, London Fever Hospital; Physician and lecturer on medicine, St Thomas's Hospital, 1871-1879; traced the origin of an epidemic of typhoid fever to polluted milk supply, 1873; Fellow, Royal Society, 1866; member, Royal College of Physicians, 1855, Fellow, 1859; Croonian lecturer, 1873; Examiner in medicine to the university of London, 1875; Physician to the Duke and Duchess of Connaught; died, 1879. Publications include: Medical Notes on the Climate of Burmah, and on the diseases which have prevailed among European Troops, etc Reprinted from the Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal, etc (Edinburgh, 1855); On Gastro-Colic Fistula. A collection of cases and observations on its pathology, diagnosis, etc [Reprinted from the Edinburgh Medical Journal] (Edinburgh, 1857); Remarks on the classification and nomenclature of Continued Fevers (Edinburgh, 1858); A Treatise on the Continued Fevers of Great Britain (London, 1862); On the Causes of Continued Fevers, etc [Reprinted from the London Medical Review] [London, 1863]; Hytadid Tumours of the Liver: their dangers, their diagnosis, and their treatment, etc (Edinburgh, 1865); On a peculiar disease of the Cranium, Hyoid Bone and Fibula [Reprinted from the Transactions of the Pathological Society of London] (London, [1866]); On the Morbid Anatomy of the Cattle-Plague now prevalent in Britain, in reference to its supposed identity with Enteric Fever, etc [Reprinted from the Transactions of the Pathological Society of London] London, [1865]; Clinical Lectures on Diseases of the Liver, jaundice and abdominal dropsy (London, 1868); On Functional Derangements of the Liver; being the Croonian Lectures delivered at the Royal College of Physicians in March 1874 (London, 1874). Contributor to the Edinburgh Medical Journal , British and Foreign Medico-Chirurgical Review , Beale's Archives of Medicine , St Thomas's Hospital Reports , British Medical Journal and other medical papers.

Archival history

The case books, 1877-1878, was presented to St Thomas's Hospital Medical School by Mrs Murchison.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Transferred from St Thomas' Hospital Medical School Library, 2002.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Papers of Charles Murchison, 1845-1879, comprising school essays, 1845-1846; notebook containing notes and extracts on anatomy and zoology, 1846-1847, including an account of a meeting of the Edinburgh Botanical Society, 1847; notes on the New Testament, 1846; notes on Homer's Iliad, 1846 (3 vols); notes on the skin and subcutaneous cellular structure, with sketches, 1847; notes entitled 'observations on the spleen', with pencil sketches, 1849; note book entitled 'observations on temperature'; lecture notes taken by Charles Murchison as a student, comprising notes on Professor John Hutton Balfour's lectures on botany, delivered at Edinburgh University, 1847, including ink and pencil sketches; notes on Sir Robert Christison's lectures on vegetable material medica, delivered at Edinburgh University, 1847-1848, including diagrams and some notes on electricity (2 vols); notes on Professor James David Forbes' lectures on heat, delivered at Edinburgh University, 1846, with diagrams (2 vols); notes on John Goodsir's lectures on comparative anatomy, delivered at Edinburgh University, 1846-1847, including sketches (5 vols); notes on Robert Jameson's lectures on natural history, including geology and zoology, delivered at Edinburgh University, 1848, including ink diagrams (3 vols); notes on Professor Allen Thomson's lectures on the institutes of medicine, delivered at Edinburgh University, 1848; case notes taken at Edinburgh, 1850, containing details of six cases and an autopsy; case notes taken at Edinburgh, 1850, of fifty cases, and at Westminster General Dispensary, 1854-1855, of one hundred and fifty six cases; four volumes of case notes of (mainly male) patients at St Thomas's Hospital, 1871-1879, including temperature charts and letters, written in a variety of hands (4 vols); case books, 1877-1878 containing case notes of female patients at St Thomas's Hospital (4 vols); Letter to Murchison from [R Cokam] relating to a report of operations (undated); manuscript notes on Metals, 1847; black and white photograph of letter from Mr Snow to Murchison relating to presentation of a book by the late brother of William Snow.

System of arrangement

The records are arranged as outlined in the scope and content.

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

Papers relating to milk epidemic and to proposed fever hospital at Hampstead, 1873-1875, held by the Royal College of Physicians of London (reference: MSS 710, 4082).



Previous references: M4, M5, M23, M57, M62, M80, M97-M103, M105, M 126, M135.

Description control

Archivist's Note

Sources: Dictionary of National Biography CD ROM (Oxford University Press, 1995); Historical Manuscripts Commission On-line National Register of Archives; British Library Public On-line Catalogue; Catalogue of the Printed Books and Manuscripts in the Library of St Thomas's Hospital Medical School (1491-1900) D T Bird (London, 1984). 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, January 2004

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  • Anatomy
  • Biologists
  • Biology
  • Body regions
  • Botany
  • Documents
  • Electricity
  • Engineering education
  • Geology
  • Geology education
  • Health services
  • Heat
  • Higher science education
  • Information sources
  • Medical education
  • Medical personnel
  • Medical profession
  • Medical records
  • Medical sciences
  • Mineralogists
  • Pathology
  • Patients
  • People
  • People by occupation
  • Personnel
  • Physicians
  • Scientific personnel
  • Scientists
  • Skin
  • Social sciences
  • Social welfare
  • Surgery
  • Thermodynamics
  • Toxicology
  • Zoology

Personal names

  • Balfour, John Hutton, 1808-1884, Botanist
  • Christison, Sir, Robert, 1797-1882, 1st Baronet, Toxicologist
  • Forbes, James David, 1809-1868, Natural Philosopher
  • Goodsir, John, 1814-1867, Anatomist
  • Jameson, Robert, 1774-1854, Mineralogist
  • Murchison, Charles, 1830-1879, Physician
  • Murchison, Charles, 1830-1879, Physician
  • Thomson, Allen, 1809-1884, Biologist

Corporate names

  • Edinburgh Botanical Society
  • King's College London College Archives
  • St Thomas' Hospital, London
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Westminster General Dispensary


  • Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
  • Southwark, London, England

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