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Diaries of Dr. S. W. Carruthers

Identifier: Coll-1134

Scope and Contents

The collection is composed of notes and news cuttings at Dc.2.76/17, a dissertation at Gen. 1931, and three manuscript diaries at E2008.14.

The material at Dc.2.76/17 consists of a notebook (circa 17 pages) with notes accompanying several newspaper cuttings on various University activities. The front cover is noted 'Edinburgh University / Various Student Activities / 1887-1888'. It contains clippings relating to: the Rectorial Elections 1887 and 1888 and from the Scottish Leader 28 March 1887, and Evening News 30 October 1888; Scottish university life, 10 December 1887; the Funeral of Professor Dickson, The Scotsman 5 January 1888; Mme Fanny Moody of the Carl Rosa Opera Company, Evening Dispatch 8 December 1888; the Morrell Mackenzie incident in December 1888, Evening Dispatch 6 December, 7 December 1888, and Pall Mall Gazette 12 December 1888; and various relating to the Universities Bill, 1888.

At Gen. 1931 there is a bound manuscript dissertation on 'Aphasia' given by Carruthers before the Royal Medical Society in Edinburgh in 1888.

The three manuscript diaries at E2008.14 begin on 13 October 1885 with Carruther's arrival in Edinburgh early in the morning having travelled on the night-train from Kings Cross, London. He writes about unpacking at his 'digs' in Warrender Park Terrace, and taking a 'constitutional' on Blackford Hill. The first volume ends in 1886. The second diary begins on Saturday 1 January 1887 when he began the year 'in a cab on the way home'. After breakfast he helped 'in some toffee-making' but 'burnt the toffee'. During 1887 there occurred Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee and on 21 June, Carruther's notes the 'long-to-be-remembered Jubilee day' . The third diary begins on Sunday 1 January 1888 and ends August 1888. The diaries contain notes about his medical studies too.

The diaries also contain newspaper cuttings, including press reports about the Diamond Jubilee, the Rectorial Elections 1887, and Edinburgh University Graduation Ceremonial 1888.


  • Creation: 1885-1888

Language of Materials


Biographical / Historical

The doctor and anaesthetist writer Samuel William Carruthers was born on 7 February 1866 in Islington, London. In 1883, while in his 6th Form at Dulwich College, he was awarded a Royal Geographical Society Prize Medal. He studied at Edinburgh University obtaining the degrees of M.B., C.M. on 1 August 1889, and then the M.D. on 29 July 1899 having written 'A contribution to the mechanism of articulate speech'. His doctoral piece was 'deemed worthy of competing for Gold Medals'. In 1888 he had read a dissertation on aphasia before the Royal Medical Society in Edinburgh. While at University too he was Secretary of the Rectorial Association and in 1887 he seconded the nomination of the Marquis of Lothian for the Lord Rectorship in succession to Lord Iddesleigh.

Carruthers was registered as a doctor on 17 October 1889, in Scotland. Prior to the award of his M.D., in 1896 he had married Emily Hopkins Haldeman (1864-1932).

During the First World War he treated many of the refugees from Belgium without charge. He had practiced medicine in Norwood and retired at the outbreak of the Second World War. Throughout that war however, he served as an anaesthetist at Norwood Cottage Hospital.

Carruthers had also been a writer and historian, and Latin and Greek scholar, and had been Elder of the Presbyterian Church. Towards the end of his life he learned Danish in order to translate the British Medical Journal for Denmark.

Dr. Samuel William Carruthers died on 6 April 1962 at Norwood Cottage Hospital, Norwood, London.


3 folders containing 3 diaries

Physical Location

Dc.2.76/17; Gen. 1931; E2008.14

Material relating to Dr. Samuel William Carruthers (1866-1962)
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379