Apr 192016

Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9BZ

Surgeons' Hall Museums

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh was founded in 1505. Its Museum began to amass anatomical specimens in 1699 and it grew rapidly in the 19th century through the donations of the collections of the famous Edinburgh anatomists Sir Charles Bell and John Barclay. Perhaps the museum’s most famous curator was Robert Knox, who worked here from 1825 until 1831, when  enemies within the College used his association with the murders committed by Burke and Hare to force his resignation. Today the museum is open to the public for a small fee.

Robert Knox (1791–1862).

Robert Knox (1791–1862).

Surgeons' Hall, 1890.

Surgeons’ Hall, 1890.

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Mar 042016

10 Surgeon’s Square, Edinburgh EH1 1LZ

surgeon's square

At number 10 Surgeon’s Square Robert Knox ran his extra-mural anatomy school from the death of its original proprietor, John Barclay, in 1826 until 1844. Knox bought the bodies of many of the victims of Burke and Hare. He was a flamboyant character, whose controversial views made him popular with his students. Although he was found innocent of any involvement in the murders, the scandal ruined his career. Robert Grant, who taught invertebrate zoology in the same school, was an early evolutionary thinker and friend of Charles Darwin while a student in Edinburgh in 1825-27.

No public access.

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