Memorial to the Managers of the Royal Infirmary. Edinburgh: Printed by Murray & Cochrane,… 1800. [And:] Additional Memorial to the Managers of the Royal Infirmary. Edinburgh: Printed by Murray & Cochrane,… 1803. [And:] Memorial for the Managers of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh—Chargers, against the Incorporation and Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh—Suspenders. Edinburgh: Printed by D. Willison, 28 January 1801. [And:] Memorial for The Royal College of Surgeons; against the Managers of the Royal Infirmary. [No place or printer,] 13 February 1801. [And:] Memorial for John and Charles Bell, Members of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, against the Managers of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

[Edinburgh: Printed by Mundell & Son,] 26 February .1801

5 works in 2 volumes, 4to, pp. v, 260; xxx, 513; 72, 30 (Appendix); 38, 11 (Appendix); 78, 30 (Appendix). Contemporary calf, spines gilt with red morocco labels, Greek key pattern border in gilt on sides. Bindings a bit rubbed, and short cracks at ends of joints, but a very good set. Armorial bookplates of Kinnaird. Presentation copy of the Additional Memorial, inscribed on the verso of the title “To Archibald Irwinton Esqr. From The Author” (the word “To” is partly cropped).

FIRST EDITIONS of Gregory’s two principal publications in his controversy with the managers of the Royal Infirmary at Edinburgh and with John and Charles Bell. Gregory (1753–1821) was a successful professor of medicine at Edinburgh, but “wasted his great powers on temporary and irritating controversies. He was keen-witted, sarcastic, and bitterly personal, though probably from pleasure in the exercise of his powers rather than from malice... He afterwards attacked, with considerable justice, in his Memorial to the Managers, the prevailing practice of allowing all the surgeons in Edinburgh to officiate at the infirmary in turn” (DNB). One result was the limitation of the number of surgeons to six, and the exclusion of John Bell himself, from which Bell never quite recovered. Gregory was eventually expelled from the College in 1808. Several of the published works of John Bell and Andrew Duncan senior give detailed accounts of this controversy. An exceptional set including three of the separate printings in this extremely prolix controversy.


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