Lives of the fellows

Alexander Blackhall-Morison

b.25 December 1850 d.23 December 1927
MB CM Edin(1872) MD Lond FRCP Edin FRCP(1903)

Alexander Morison, who took the additional surname of Blackhall in 1919, was born in India, the son of Alexander C. Morison, a medical officer in the East India Company’s service, and the grandson of Sir Alexander Morison, F.R.C.P. He went to school at Edinburgh Academy and Dollar Academy and studied medicine at Edinburgh University, taking the degrees of M.B, C.M, in 1872. A house appointment in the Royal Infirmary, an assistantship in the south of Scotland, and visits to Berlin and Würzburg preceded his settling in general practice in North London. Some twenty years elapsed before he set up as a consultant in the West End. He was then appointed to the staffs of the Great Northern Central Hospital, the Paddington Green Children’s Hospital and the St. Marylebone General Dispensary. Later, when he had made his name as a heart specialist, he was elected physician in charge of heart cases at the Mount Vernon Hospital. In 1897 and again in 1923 he delivered the Morison Lectures, founded by his grandfather, at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Blackhall-Morison’s faith in simple clinical observation, to the exclusion of the ancillary scientific methods then in process of development, led to sharp differences of opinion between him and some of the foremost cardiologists of the day. He was a man of strong convictions, and, as an opponent of the National Health Insurance Act of 1911, became president and a mainstay of the National Medical Union. Golf, fishing, sketching and antiquarian studies were his recreations. He was married but left no children. He died in London.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1927; B.M.J., 1928; Presidential Address to R.C.P., 1928, 20]

(Volume IV, page 444)

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