WILLIAM HUNTER: M.D., (1755-1812), orientalist, was born at Montrose in 1755, and was educated at the Marischal College and University at Aberdeen, where he took the degree of M.A. in 1777. He began his career with mechanical contrivances, and an improvement of the screw invented by him was dignified by notice in the “Philosophical Transactions” in 1780. After serving as an apprentice to a surgeon for four years, he became doctor on board “East Indiaman;” but, on his arrival in India in 1781, was transferred to the company’s service. In July 1782 he was medical officer on board the “Success Galley,” which was employed to convey reinforcements from Bengal to the Carnatic. The ship was dismasted by a storm, and obliged to put into the river Syriam in Pegu, where it was detained for a month. On 1 Nov. 1805 he succeeded Rothman as secretary of the college, a post which he retained until his resignation in 1811. In 1808, being then surgeon at the general hospital of Bengal, he received the degree of M.D. from a Scottish University. Hunter was a foreign member of the Medical Society of London, and an honorary member of the Academical Society of Sciences of Paris. He contributed to the “Asiatic Researches” a number of scientific articles, chiefly botanical and astronomical. The latter comprise the results of his own observations and an “Account of the Labours of Jayasimha,” the celebrated Hindu astronomer with a detailed account of his observatory at Delhi. Hunter also contributed to the “Memoirs” of the Medical Society, “A History of an Aneurism of the Aorta;” and to the “Transactions” of the Linnean Society, a paper “On Naucela Gambir,” on the plant producing the drug called Gutta Gambier.
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