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Document dated 27 July 1816 Document certifying that Mrs. Sarah Boreland from Dumfries had been regularly instructed by James Hamilton MD, Professor of Midwifery, University of Edinburgh,

 Fonds
Identifier: Coll-1302

Scope and Contents

The certificate - which is in a fragile state - is on board with an engraved drawing of the General Lying-in Hospital (presumably). It is dated, 'University of Edinburgh. July 27th 1816'. It is signed 'Jas. Hamilton MD, Professor of Midwifery'. The certificate states: 'These do certify that Mrs. Sarah Boreland from Dumfries / has been regularly instructed by me in the knowledge of the practice of midwifery, / that during the time of her study she attended the Edinburgh General Lying-in / Hospital, where she had every opportunity of improvement in the line of her / profession, and that I consider her to be properly qualified for the impor / tant duty of a midwife'.

Dates

  • 1816

Creator

Language of Materials

English

Conditions Governing Access

Open to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance of visit.

Biographical / Historical

Sarah Boreland of Dumfries had been instructed 'in the knowledge of the Practice of Midwifery' by Professor James Hamilton and had attended the Edinburgh General Lying-in Hospital. Hamilton considered 'her to be properly qualified for the important duty of midwife'. Boreland may have continued her career later on in Australia. The qualifying certificate issued to Boreland by Professor Hamilton had been discovered in New South Wales.

James Hamilton was born in Edinburgh in 1767. He was one of two sons of Alexander Hamilton (1739-1802), Professor of Midwifery at Edinburgh University. James Hamilton was given medical training by his father and became his assistant at the age of twenty-one. He and his father founded Edinburgh's Lying-in Hospital in Park Place in 1793, and later on this enterprise would become supported partly from his own funds. In 1800, Hamilton succeeded his father as Professor of Midwifery at the University. Their subject however had been slow to be accepted by the Senate as part of the medical curriculum and in 1815 Hamilton raised the matter of recognition for midwifery. He faced hostility however, particularly from Dr. James Gregory (1753-1821), and recognition would not be achieved until 1830.

Although his classes were, for a long time, non-essential for graduation, they were well attended, and Hamilton's contribution to midwifery included advocacy of uterine suture after Caesarian operations and the introduction of the term 'eclampsia' for convulsions in labour or peurperium.

Hamilton's publications included A collection of engravings designed to facilitate the study of midwifery (1796), Hints for the treatment of the principal diseases of infancy and childhood (1809), and Practical observations on various subjects relating to midwifery (1836-1837).

Professor James Hamilton died in November 1839.

Extent

1 folder

Physical Location

E2011.17

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Material acquired by donation May 2011. Accession no: E2011.17.

Processing Information

Compiled by Graeme D. Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections.
Title
Document dated 27 July 1816 certifying that Mrs. Sarah Boreland from Dumfries had been regularly instructed by James Hamilton MD, Professor of Midwifery, University of Edinburgh, 'in the knowledge of the Practice of Midwifery' [etc].

Repository Details

Part of the Edinburgh University Library Special Collections Repository

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