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Reference MS.MSL.140 a-d
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Level Item
Extent Vol. i (140A) 182 folios; Vol. ii (140B), 175 folios; Vol. iii (140C); 176 folios; Vol. iv (140D) 83 folios.
Title Minute Books of the Lyceum Medicum Londinense
Date 1793-1805
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Description The minute books which have survived give little information on scientific subjects beyond the titles of the papers, but they are a valuable record for medical biographers and indicate the movements and activities of many prominent men of the profession. 1. Minutes of Ordinary Meetings, 3 vols. (140 A-C) covering respectively the periods: (i) 27 Feb., 1792 to 13 Feb., 1795; (ii) 27 Feb., 1795 to 4 Mar., 1801; (iii) 12 Mar., 1801 to 16 April, 1805. 2. Committee Minutes. One volume (140 D) covering the period 30 Oct., 1798 to 26, Nov., 1800.
Historical Background The Lyceum Medicum Londinense was established in 1785 under the patronage of John Hunter and George Fordice. The meetings were held until 1793 in John Hunter's anatomical theatre, which he allowed the society to use without charge. The membership was of several classes; Honorary, Corresponding and Ordinary, the last-named being subdivided into three sub-classes. In the first sub-class, which consisted of qualified medical men in practice, were the distinguished names of Abernethy, Astley Cooper, Everard Home, Babington, Cleghorn and about seventy others. The second sub-class, some three hundred in number, consisted of students at the hospitals who had attended at least one course of academic lectures, whilst the third class was very small and included only beginners at the commencement of their studies. Strict discipline and obedience to rules was enforced and fines were inflicted for late or non-attendance, leaving before the end of a meeting and for other infringements of the Society's laws. There is a copy of the rules and a list of the members for the year 1792 in the library of the Royal College of Surgeons. At the meetings a certain amount of time was allocated to the communication of "medical news," i.e., reports of interesting operations or cases, etc., and afterwards communications were made by the members, each and every one of whom was required in turn to read a paper. The meetings were held fortnightly throughout the winter session, but towards the end of 1804 the Society showed signs of declining vitality, and in the spring of 1805 several successive meetings were abandoned owing to the absence of a chairman and the poor attendance of members. No further meetings were held after April 1805, and the Society continued a torpid existence until the surviving members were absorbed by the Westminster Medical Society in 1809, and the latter, in turn, was merged in the Medical Society of London in 1850. The Lyceum, prior to 1804, had played a great part in stimulating medical education, and many important communications were made to its meetings.
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Physical Description 4to. 24 19 cm. Original vellum bindings.
Finding Aids Described in: Warren R. Dawson, Manuscripta medica. A descriptive catalogue of the manuscripts in the Library of the Medical Society of London (London, 1932).
Subject Societies, Medical
MaterialType Archives - Non-digital
System No. 97926e96-d7cb-40f0-9d9e-15e3e607ec6f