Alexander Monro secundus (1733-1817)

Alexander Monro secundus (1733-1817)Secundus was born in Edinburgh on the 10th of March 1733, and was the third and youngest son of Alexander Monro primus. He was well educated from an early age, and when he was twelve, he enrolled in an arts course at the University. In 1750 he began his medical studies under the tutelage of his father, and showed a predilection for anatomy. His insatiable thirst for medical knowledge and an incredible memory meant that he was well positioned to assist his father in teaching. By the session of 1753/4, the anatomy classes were so popular that they were split into a morning and afternoon session, with Secundus teaching the latter. Such was the success of this arrangement that Primus successfully petitioned the Town Council to allow himself and his son to conjointly hold the Chair of Anatomy in the College of Edinburgh. Secundus accepted the position of Professor of Anatomy on the 10th of July 1754, at the very young age of 21. Throughout his career, Alexander wrote thirty-four volumes of case notes. Unfortunately, only the index volume remains extant, which in itself is valuable because it reveals the huge variety of clinical experience he obtained.

On the 25th of September 1762 Alexander Monro secundus married Katharine Inglis, by whom they had two daughters and three sons (the eldest dying in infancy). The surviving sons were Alexander (Tertius) and David. In 1766, Secundus purchased a house in Nicholson Street, near the University, where he lived until 1801. He also purchased a country estate at Craiglochkart in 1773 to indulge in his passion for gardening. In 1798 his eldest son (Tertius) became joint Professor of Anatomy. In 1808 Secundus retired at seventy-five. He died nine years later of apoplexy, on the 2nd of October 1817.

On the Walls:

University of Otago Monro Exhibition <