Lives of the fellows

Alexander Tweedie

b.1794 d.?
MD Edin(1815) LRCP(1822) FRCP(1838)

Alexander Tweedie, M.D., was born in Edinburgh, in 1794, and educated at the High school of that city, under the mastership of Christison, Carson, and the rector, Dr. Adams. He commenced his medical studies at the university of Edinburgh, in 1820, about the same time that he became the pupil of Mr. Wishart, one of the surgeons to the Royal infirmary, a sound practitioner, in extensive general practice, and distinguished in Edinburgh for what was then uncommon, a good knowledge of ophthalmic disease. He graduated doctor of medicine, 1st August, 1815 (D.M.I. de Cataracta). From a strong conviction that every physician should possess a competent knowledge of surgery, Dr. Tweedie devoted his attention after graduation to surgical pathology, and in 1817 became a member of the Edinburgh College of Surgeons. He was then elected one of the two house surgeons to the Edinburgh Royal infirmary, Robert Liston, the future surgical celebrity, being the other.

Dr. Tweedie was strongly urged to devote himself to the practice of ophthalmic surgery, and with this in view commenced business in Edinburgh in 1818, but having early in life imbibed the desire to practise in London as a physician, he removed thither in 1820, and on the 25th June, 1822, was admitted a Licentiate of the College of Physicians. He became a Fellow of the College 4th July, 1838, was Consiliarius in 1853, 1854, 1855, and Lumleian lecturer in 1858, 1859.

In the year 1822 Dr. Tweedie was appointed assistant physician to the London Fever hospital, and in 1824, on the retirement of Dr. Armstrong, physician to the hospital, an office which he filled for thirty-eight years, resigning it in the spring of 1861, when he was appointed consulting physician and one of the vice-presidents of that institution. In 1836 he was appointed one of the physicians to the Foundling hospital.

Dr. Tweedie was the original and sole projector of The Cyclopœdia of Practical Medicine, comprising treatises on the Nature and Treatment of Diseases, Materia Medica and Therapeutics, Medical Jurisprudence, &c., &c. 4 vols, royal 8vo. Lond. 1831, 1835;(1) of which work he was one of the editors, and to which he contributed several valuable articles, among the most complete and important of which were those on Continued Fever, Inflammation, Scarlatina, and Diseases of the Throat.

At a subsequent period Dr. Tweedie planned and edited The Library of Medicine. 8 vols. 8vo. Lond. 1840. The first five volumes comprehended practical medicine, the sixth, midwifery, and the seventh and eighth, a translation with illustrations of Cruvelheir’s celebrated work on anatomy.

Dr. Tweedie is the author of—
Clinical Illustrations of Fever. 8vo. Lond. 1828.
On the Distinctive Characters, Pathology, and Treatment of Continued Fevers. 8vo. Lond. 1862.

William Munk

[(1) It had appeared to Dr. Tweedie somewhat singular, that while French and German physicians had by joint labours brought out their dictionaries, no similar work had been attempted in Britain. On communicating a plan for such a work to two enterprising publishers, they at once undertook the publication of the work. Among the physicians to whom Dr. Tweedie applied for co-operation was Dr. (afterwards Sir John) Forbes, though previously unacquainted with him except by his writings. The scheme was so much approved by him that he came up from Chichester, to talk over the matter, and undertook not only to write several articles, but offered spontaneously to join in the editorship. It was agreed that he should do so. It was soon evident that the details and correspondence connected with such a work would leave little time for the mechanical duties of superintending the press, and it was suggested and arranged that this should be confided to Dr. Conolly. The first number was published in 1831; it was issued in monthly parts, and was finally completed in 1835. The whole edition (3,000) sold, and afforded a handsome profit to the publishers.]

(Volume III, page 252)

<< Back to List