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Department of Forensic Medicine, tbc

Identifier: EUA IN1/ACU/F1

Scope and Contents


  1. Notebooks (notes, correspondence and cuttings) compiled by Henry Duncan Littlejohn.
  2. Post-mortem notebooks compiled by Henry Harvey Littlejohn, with accompanying photograph albums.
  3. Texts of lectures and presentations given by Sir Sydney Smith
  4. Notes, cuttings etc. on specific cases
  5. Offprints, reports and similar papers


  • Creation: tbc


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Due to the subject matter of some of the material, special access arrangements will be put in place to avoid others seeing any items of a graphic or otherwise disturbing nature. This will be detailed at relevant lower-level descriptions.

Biographical / Historical

Andrew Duncan senior (1744-1828) was the first in Britain to lecture in forensic medicine, beginning in 1789. In 1807, the University of Edinburgh was the first in the country to establish a Chair of Medical Jurisprudence. The full title was 'Regius Chair of Medical Jurisprudence and Medical Police'. Andrew Duncan junior (1773-1832) was the first to hold the post. He was succeeded by William Pultney Allison (1790-1859), who held the Chair 1820-1821.

On the appointment of Robert Christison (1797-1882) in 1822, the Chair was moved from the Faculty of Law to the Faculty of Medicine. He was succeeded in 1832 by Thomas Stewart Traill (1781-1862). In turn he was succeeded, in 1862, by Andrew Douglas Maclagan (1812-1900).

Henry Duncan Littlejohn was appointed to the then Chair of Forensic Medicine and Public Health in 1897. However the University established a separate Chair in Public Health the following year, that element was removed from Littlejohn's immediate remit and became the responsibility of Charles Hunter Stewart, the first Professor of Public Health. The Institute of Public Health was established 3 years later. In 1906, Henry Harvey Littlejohn (1862-1927) succeeded his father, holding the post until his death in 1927. In 1906 he also became Police Surgeon in Edinburgh.

The next incumbent was Sydney Alfred Smith (1883-1969), who had previously been an assistant under Henry Harvey Littlejohn and also frequently acted as a medical expert in court. He succeeded in 1928 and held the post until 1953 when he was was succeeded by John Kenyon Mason.


11 boxes

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Assumed to have been transferred directly from the department, although documentation to this has not been identified.


Accruals possible

Related Materials

[to be completed]

Archivist's Note

Grant Buttars 29 April 2009

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
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Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
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