|Died||1722 (aged 80–81)|
|Education|| Edinburgh High School |
University of Edinburgh
|Known for||President and founder of Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, |
Founder of Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
First Professor of Medicine at University of Edinburgh
|Profession||physician, antiquary, geographer|
|Institutions||President, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (1684), Edinburgh|
Professor of Medicine, Edinburgh University (1685)
Sir Robert Sibbald (15 April 1641 – August 1722) was a Scottish physician and antiquary.
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.
A physician, medical practitioner, medical doctor, or simply doctor, is a professional who practises medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining, or restoring health through the study, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments. Physicians may focus their practice on certain disease categories, types of patients, and methods of treatment—known as specialities—or they may assume responsibility for the provision of continuing and comprehensive medical care to individuals, families, and communities—known as general practice. Medical practice properly requires both a detailed knowledge of the academic disciplines, such as anatomy and physiology, underlying diseases and their treatment—the science of medicine—and also a decent competence in its applied practice—the art or craft of medicine.
Robert Sibbald was born into a prosperous landed family in Fife. His father was David Sibbald (brother of Sir James Sibbald, Bt. Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland) of Rankeillor and his mother was Margaret Boyd (January 1606 – 10 July 1672) the daughter of Robert Boyd of Kipps in West Lothian. Sibbald's family lived first in Kipps but in 1645, to escape an outbreak of the plague, moved to the Sibbald's country home in Fife.Sibbald was educated at the Royal High School and in 1659 graduated MA and began to prepare for a career in the church. His theological studies only lasted six months before shifting his attention to medicine.
In March 1660, Sibbald set off to study at the University of Leiden. There he learned anatomy, surgery, botany, chemistry, and natural philosophy. Shortly after arriving in Leiden, Sibbald's father died and he was obliged to cut his medical studies short owing to financial strain. After only 18 months in Leiden, Sibbald moved to Paris to study for nine months. There he presented himself to be examined for 'his patent as Doctor' at Angers where fees were lower than Leiden.After graduating in 1662, he spent three months in London where he met Sir Robert Moray, president of the Royal Society.
Leiden University, founded in the city of Leiden, is the oldest university in the Netherlands. The university was founded in 1575 by William, Prince of Orange, leader of the Dutch Revolt in the Eighty Years' War. The Dutch Royal Family and Leiden University have a close association: Queen Juliana, Queen Beatrix and King Willem-Alexander are former students. The university came into particular prominence during the Dutch Golden Age, when scholars from around Europe were attracted to the Dutch Republic due to its climate of intellectual tolerance and Leiden's international reputation. During this time Leiden was home to such figures as René Descartes, Rembrandt, Christiaan Huygens, Hugo Grotius, Baruch Spinoza and Baron d'Holbach.
The President, Council and Fellows of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, commonly known as the Royal Society, is a learned society. Founded on 28 November 1660, it was granted a royal charter by King Charles II as "The Royal Society". It is the oldest national scientific institution in the world. The society is the United Kingdom's and Commonwealth of Nations' Academy of Sciences and fulfils a number of roles: promoting science and its benefits, recognising excellence in science, supporting outstanding science, providing scientific advice for policy, fostering international and global co-operation, education and public engagement.
Upon returning to Scotland, Sibbald set out to recreate the institutions he had encountered in Europe. Without such institutions, Sibbald believed Scotland would never be fit to take its place amongst the modern nations of Europe. He was a physician by profession and thus focused his attentions on founding institutions for the advancement of medicine.
In 1685 he was appointed the first professor of medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He was also appointed Geographer Royal in 1682, and his numerous and miscellaneous writings deal with historical, antiquarian, botanical and medical subjects.He based many of his cartographical studies on the work of Timothy Pont. Sibbald and his cousin, Andrew Balfour, were key figures in the creation of the Edinburgh Pharmacopoeia.
Timothy Pont was a Scottish cartographer and topographer, the first to produce a detailed map of Scotland. Pont's maps are among the earliest surviving to show a European country in minute detail, from an actual survey.
The Edinburgh Pharmacopoeia was a medical guide consisting of recipes and methods for making medicine. It was first published by the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh in 1699 as the Pharmacopoea Collegii Regii Medicorum Edimburgensium. The Edinburgh Pharmacopeia merged with the London and Dublin Pharmacopoeia's in 1864 creating the British Pharmacopoeia.
The wild flower Sibbaldia procumbensis named after him.
Throughout his life, Sibbald concerned himself not only with medicine, but also with the improvement of agriculture, mining, industry and commerce. He is buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh in a vault against the southern wall.
Sibbald's first project for improvement of Scotland was the creation of a physic garden to rival the King's Garden in Paris where he had studied botany in 1661. He enlisted the help of his cousin, Andrew Balfour and Patrick Moray, a prosperous landowner and well-known plant collector. In 1667, they created a garden near Holyrood Abbey and within a short time the garden contained over 800 medicinal plants.
Sibbald gained the financial support of the Town Council, the Town's College and the Faculty of Advocates. The garden was fully established by 1670 and in 1699 received a royal warrant.
The purpose of the garden was to supply fresh plants for medical prescriptions and to teach medical botany to students. The garden was looked after by James Sutherland who later became the Professor of Botany in the Town's College. In 1676, Balfour leased from the Town Council a second garden which belonged to the Trinity Hospital. The site of this garden can be found by platform 11 in Edinburgh Waverley Station, where there is a commemorative plaque. In 1763 the garden moved to an expanded site near Gayfield Square.
After years of expansion and development Sibbald's garden moved to its present site at Inverleith Row in 1820. The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is the second oldest in Britain.
One of the concepts that made up Sibbald's grand design for the advancement of Scotland was the foundation of a College of Physicians. As a student, Sibbald admired the medical colleges in Europe, which had been given the authority to license their graduates to practise medicine. In Scotland, it had long been the practise to go abroad to receive medical training, though there were no medical universities within Scotland to license practitioners.
Earlier attempts had been made to receive a royal charter to found a College of Physicians, though all had failed. Sibbald began holding meetings in 1680. A Royal Charter was signed on St Andrew's Day in 1681 and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh was founded.
The blue whale was originally named after Sibbald, who first described it scientifically.
Although the blue whale is today usually classified as one of eight species in the genus Balaenoptera, one authority still places it in a separate monotypic genus, Sibbaldus,but this is not widely accepted.
The blue whale was once commonly referred to as Sibbald's rorqual.
Sibbald's historical and antiquarian works include:
John Hutton Balfour was a Scottish botanist. Balfour became a Professor of Botany, first at the University of Glasgow in 1841, moving to the University of Edinburgh and also becoming the 7th Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Her Majesty's Botanist in 1845. He held these posts until his retirement in 1879. He was nicknamed Woody Fibre.
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is a scientific centre for the study of plants, their diversity and conservation, as well as a popular tourist attraction. Founded in 1670 as a physic garden to grow medicinal plants, today it occupies four sites across Scotland — Edinburgh, Dawyck, Logan and Benmore — each with its own specialist collection. The RBGE's living collection consists of more than 13,302 plant species, whilst the herbarium contains in excess of 3 million preserved specimens.
His/Her Majesty's Botanist is a member of the Royal household in Scotland.
The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE) is a Medical Royal College in Scotland. It is one of three organisations that sets the specialty training standards for physicians in the United Kingdom. It was established by Royal Charter in 1681. The college claims to have 12,000 fellows and members worldwide.
Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour, KBE, FRS, FRSE was a Scottish botanist. He was Regius Professor of Botany at the University of Glasgow from 1879 to 1885, Sherardian Professor of Botany at the University of Oxford from 1884 to 1888, and Professor of Botany at the University of Edinburgh from 1888 to 1922.
Patrick Murray, 1st Lord Elibank, known as Sir Patrick Murray, 1st Baronet, from 1628 to 1643, was a Scottish peer.
The University of Edinburgh Medical School is the medical school of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and part of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, the head of which is Sir John Savill. Moira Whyte has been head of the school since 2016. It was established in 1726, during the Scottish Enlightenment, making it the oldest medical school in the United Kingdom and is one of the oldest medical schools in the English-speaking world.
Hugh Francis Clarke Cleghorn of Stravithie, FRSE FLS LLD was a Madras-born Scottish physician who worked in India and pioneered as a botanist and in forest conservancy. Cleghorn, sometimes known as the father of scientific forestry in India, was instrumental in the creation of the forest department in the Presidency of Madras. The plant genus Cleghornia was named after him by the botanist Robert Wight. Cleghorn returned to Scotland in 1869 and developed forestry education in Scotland and established a lecturership at the Edinburgh University.
Professor John Hope was a Scottish physician and botanist. Although he did enormous work on plant classification and plant physiology, due to an absence of publications, he is now best known as an early supporter of Carl Linnaeus's system of classification.
Balgarvie Castle was located at Balgarvie, near Cupar in Fife, Scotland. The castle was sacked by an English army led by Sir John Pettsworth during the reign of Robert the Bruce (1306–1329). Balgarvie was a possession of the Balfours of Burleigh, and was later sold to the Earl of Melville. It was demolished circa 1938–1940, and there are no remains surviving.
James Sutherland was the first professor of botany at the University of Edinburgh, from 1676-1705. He was intendant of the Physical Garden, and his innovative publication Hortus Medicus Edinburgensis placed Scotland at the forefront of European botany.
Clan Bethune is a Lowland Scottish clan. The clan does not currently have a clan chief recognized by the Lord Lyon King of Arms and therefore it is considered an Armigerous clan. It is a branch of the noble House of Bethune.
Sir Andrew Balfour was a Scottish doctor, botanist, antiquary and book collector, the youngest brother of the antiquarian Sir James Balfour, 1st Baronet.
Thomas Graham Balfour was a Scottish physician noted for his work with medical statistics, and a member of Florence Nightingale's inner circle.
The Royal status of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is intrinsically linked to the issue of a Royal Warrant to the first Intendant of the Gardens in 1699. Since that date, the appointment of each new Director of RBGE has required the assent of the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, the appointee receiving the unique title RegiusKeeper.
The Sheriff of Fife was historically the office responsible for enforcing law and order in Fife, Scotland and bringing criminals to justice.
The Sheriff of Stirling was historically the office responsible for enforcing law and order in Stirling, Scotland and bringing criminals to justice. Prior to 1748 most sheriffdoms were held on a hereditary basis. From that date, following the Jacobite uprising of 1745, the hereditary sheriffs were replaced by salaried sheriff-deputes, qualified advocates who were members of the Scottish Bar.
William Borthwick of Pilmuir (1641-1689) was a Scottish surgeon who, having studied at Leiden and Padua, was the first to bring an international perspective to the Incorporation of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He served as Deacon (President) of the Incorporation from 1675-1677 and again from 1681-1683.
Sir John Sibbald FRSE FBSE was a 19th-century Scottish physician and amateur botanist. He served as president of the Royal Medical Society 1855/56.