James Hill of Dumfries (1703–1776): A Surgeon of Excellence

AUTHORS

Jeremy Ganz 1 , *

AUTHORS INFORMATION

1 Jeremy Christopher Ganz, Ulverston, Cumbria, United Kingdom

ARTICLE INFORMATION

Archives of Neuroscience: 1 (3); e93450
Published Online: October 01, 2014
Article Type: Review Article
Received: May 12, 2019
Accepted: December 07, 2013
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Abstract

James Hill began his surgical career in Dumfries in 1732. He had not received any formal training in operation technique. He was the son of an illegitimate Presbyterian minister who suffered from depression and who was much distressed by the interference of the state in his parish. Dr. Hill married a woman whose family had also suffered from the conflicts between the Episcopalian and Presbyterian churches. Hill, despite the importance of religion in his home life was much influenced by the Scottish Enlightenment with its emphasis on evidence rather than authority. He pursued this principle of basing his practice on experience and observation rather than on received wisdom. In a book he wrote ‘Cases in Surgery’ published in 1772 he presents 18 patients who had suffered cranial trauma. By reason of his approach, and presumably also because of considerable surgical skill he managed to achieve surgical results which were the best of his century. He was much respected by colleagues and those who came after but he has undeservedly been forgotten. The purpose of this paper is to present his achievements in support of the contention that this great surgeon deserves to be re-instated as a significant contributor to the early management of cranial trauma.

Keywords

Scotland History 18th Century Craniocerebral Trauma

© 2014, Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.
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