This John Hunter was a Scotsman when
Scotland led the way in medicine,
its schools in Glasgow and in Edinburgh
the most advanced in Europe in the Age
of Reason, seventeen hundreds. He invented
or dissection with a healing aim. Because
of Hunter, healers were anatomists.
He promoted learning not through books
but through experiment and observation.
He collected specimens for future
reference and was responsible
for first enabling a young married pair
to have a child without the usual
process. The man had hypospadias
or penis malformation which meant he
ejaculated at a faulty angle.
Hunter gave him a syringe and tips
on how to fill it. Pregnancy ensued.
A miracle! A virgin birth of sorts!
Parliament discussed it and it's there
in Hansard, the official log. The nuts
and bolts of reproduction, even these
were not beyond enquiry though there must
have been some laughs. Hunter had
a brother, Dr William Hunter who
pioneered obstetrics, bringing science
to midwifery which had been stuck
in superstitious practices for years.
John and William came to London in
the seventeen forties and remained. They helped
make London the top city in the world
for medicine and John is buried in
the Abbey with the greats, William in
St James's Piccadilly with the also-rans.