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Individual Record for: James Matthews Duncan (male)

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James Matthews Duncan      Family Record  
  Isabella Matthews       

Spouse Children
Jane Hart Hotchkiss
  (Family Record)
James Hotchkiss Duncan
William Matthews Duncan
Margaret Hart Duncan
Andrew Jameson Duncan
Richard Hotchkis Duncan
John Finlay Duncan
Isobel Duncan
Jane Hart Hotchkiss Duncan
Mary Rose Duncan
Anne Montgomery Duncan

Event Date Details
Christening 29 APR 1826 Place: Aberdeen, Kincardine, Scotland

!Source: Margaret Hotchkiss nee Hart's will.
!Source: Will of Mary Hotchkiss, dated 4 May 1900. Mentions Mary Rose Matthews Duncan, daughter to the late James Matthews Duncan Doctor of Medicine London.
!http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk Marriage Record 1 1860 DUNCAN JAMES MATHEWS HOTCHKIS JANE HART DUMFRIES DUMFRIES 821/00 0067 - Was 34 when married.
!Source: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/articleHL/8218?docPos=1&anchor=matc h Duncan, James Matthews (1826-1890), obstetric physician, was born and baptized in Aberdeen on 29 April 1826, the fifth child of Wi lliam Duncan, a merchant and later shipowner, and his wife, Isabella Matthews. After education at the local grammar school and at Marischal College, Aberdeen, where he graduated MA in April 1843, Duncan began to study medicine at the same college . He continued his studies in Edinburgh in 1845, where he rapidly emerged as James Young Simpson's most promising midwifery student. On returning to Aberdeen in 1846 Duncan took his MD degree. He spent the winter of 1846–7 as a student in Paris an d in April 1847 he returned to Edinburgh to take up an appointment as Simpson's assistant. He helped Simpson in his experiments with anaesthetics, and on 4 November 1847 took part in the famous experiment which established the anaesthetic propert y of chloroform. - In 1849, after some months of travel as personal physician to the marquess of Bute, Duncan settled in Edinburgh and soon established his reputation as one of the leading obstetricians of his day. In 1851 he became a fellow of th e Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and in May 1853 he began a course as an extra-academical lecturer on midwifery. In 1861 he was elected physician to the ward for diseases of women at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. He was instrumental i n founding the Sick Children's Hospital (1860) and for a while he was one of its physicians. He was a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and from 1873 to 1875 was president of the Obstetrical Society of Edinburgh. - On the death of Sir Jame s Young Simpson in 1870, Duncan was widely expected to be his successor in the chair of obstetrics at the university, but he was passed over, and Simpson's nephew Alexander Russell Simpson was elected to the professorship. Duncan bore his disappoi ntment with equanimity and continued to practise in Edinburgh until 1877, when he was offered the posts of lecturer on midwifery and obstetric physician to St Bartholomew's Hospital, London. He accepted and went to live at 71 Brook Street, Grosven or Square. After becoming MRCP, in 1883 Duncan was elected a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London, and on 7 June 1883 he became FRS; in the same year he was nominated a member of the General Medical Council. Duncan received many hon ours, including LLD degrees from the universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh, an MD from Dublin University, and the honorary fellowship of the King and Queen's College of Physicians, and he was a member of the most important medical societies in t he United States, Russia, Austria, Germany, and Norway. - Besides contributions to various medical journals, Duncan published Researches in Obstetrics (1868); Treatise on Parametritis and Perimetritis (1869); The Mortality of Childbed and Maternit y Hospitals (1870); Papers on the Female Perineum (1879); and Clinical Lectures on Diseases of Women (1879, 1883, 1886, 1889). His chief claim to fame, however, was his influential work Fecundity, Fertility and Sterility (1866), a subject he furth er developed in the Goulstonian lectures entitled ‘On sterility in woman’ delivered at the Royal College of Physicians in 1883. Duncan's approach, based on extensive statistical work, was widely regarded as a breakthrough in the study of fecundit y and sterility, establishing the book's reputation well into the twentieth century. - Duncan was a great admirer of William Harvey, of William Hunter, and of William Smellie. He was well known as a fierce critic of surgical gynaecology and veheme ntly opposed the view propounded by his chief rival in London, Robert Barnes, that ovariotomy should be performed by obstetricians rather than by general surgeons. As one of the leaders of the Obstetrical Society of London, Duncan was prominentl y involved in the dispute that led Barnes to found the British Gynaecological Society in 1884. Powerfully built, with a massive head and an impassive expression, Duncan was a reserved man with few great friends and no hobby other than reading. Kin d but inflexible, he was a dedicated teacher who always aimed at clarity rather elegance in his lectures. - On 21 August 1860 Duncan married Jane Hart Hotchkis (b. 1838/9) of Castlemilk, Dumfriesshire; they had thirteen children. In 1890 he bega n to suffer from angina and did not finish his usual course of lectures. He died at the Hotel Minerva, Baden-Baden, Germany, on 1 September 1890, of a heart attack, and was buried at Islington cemetery, London, on 8 September 1890. Queen Victori a informed his widow that ‘the country and Europe at large have lost one of their most distinguished men’ (Munk, 287). - Ornella Moscucci Sources - The Lancet (13 Sept 1890), 594–6 · BMJ (13 Sept 1890), 655–6 · CGPLA Eng. & Wales (1890) · Munk, Ro ll, 4.286–7 · O. Moscucci, The science of woman: gynaecology and gender in England, 1800–1929 (1990), 172–3 · Edinburgh Medical Journal, 36 (1890–91), 392–7 Archives - Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh · Wellcome L. - Likenesses - G. Jerrar d, photograph, 1881, Wellcome L. · Barraud, photograph, Wellcome L. · Dawsons, photogravure, Wellcome L. · wood-engraving (after photograph by Bassano), NPG; repro. in ILN (13 Sept 1890) Wealth at death - £86,436 11s. 8d. in UK: probate, 8 Nov 189 0, CGPLA Eng. & Wales

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