A photograph of Fraser by Andrew Swan Watson
|Died||4 January 1920 78) (aged|
Sir Thomas Richard Fraser(5 February 1841 – 4 January 1920) was a British physician and pharmacologist. Together with Alexander Crum Brown he discovered the relationship between physiological activity and chemical constitution of the body.
He was born in Calcutta in India on 5 February 1841.
Fraser attended the University of Edinburgh Medical School and graduated MD with gold medal in 1862. His award-winning thesis was based upon the positive medical applications of physostigmine. This had been discovered by Sir Robert Christison in 1846 but its suggested uses were largely as a humane killing mechanism than as a medical tool.
In 1869 Fraser was a medical assistant professor at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. In 1877 he was a member of an arctic expedition and later in 1877 was appointed professor of medicine at the University of Edinburgh until 1918. In 1880 he was nominated Dean of the Medical Faculty.
In his later life he was both a consultant of insurance companies and of the Scottish Prisons Commission.
In 1867 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposer was Sir Robert Christison. He served as the Society's Vice President from 1911 to 1916. He won the Society's Keith Prize for 1891-3 and its Makdougall-Brisbane Prize 1866-8. In 1877 he also was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.
In 1889 and 1890 he reported about an arrow poison used in coastal areas of Kenya and Nigeria and analyzed the highly poisonous Calabar bean and Strophanthus hispidus.From 1898 to 1899 he was president of the Government Commission for the research on the plague in India. He served as President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh from 1900 to 1902. That year he was knighted in the 1902 Coronation Honours for his work on the Indian Plague Commission, receiving the accolade from King Edward VII at Buckingham Palace on 24 October 1902. In 1908 he was elected President of the Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland.
He received honorary doctorates from the University of Aberdeen (LLD), the University of Glasgow (LLD), the University of Edinburgh (LLD), the University of Cambridge (DSc) and the University of Dublin (MD).
In later years he lived at 13 Drumsheugh Gardens in Edinburgh's West End.
He died in Edinburgh on 4 January 1920. He is buried in Dean Cemetery in western Edinburgh, not far from his home. The grave lies in the south-west of the first northern extension, on the wall backing onto the original cemetery.
With his wife Susanna Margaret Duncan Fraser (1850–1929) he had eight sons and three daughters. His eldest son, Thomas, was given the middle name Christison in honour of the discoverer of Physostygmine. His second son was George Moir Fraser (1878–1832). His third son, John Duncan Fraser, died in infancy in 1882. His fourth son, Lieutenant Commander William St. John Fraser (1883–1915), was commander of the submarine E 10 when it was destroyed by enemy action in the North Sea near Heligoland with the loss of all hands. His fifth son, Sir Francis Richard Fraser (1885–1964), also became a Professor of Materia Medica in Edinburgh. His sixth son was Henry Chapman Fraser (1887–1916). His seventh son, Frederick Palmer Fraser (1891–1907) died young. His youngest son was Eric Malcolm Fraser (1896–1960). His daughters were Mary Susanna Fraser (1877–1956), Gertrude Agnes Fraser (b. 1882) and Caroline Annie Fraser (1889–1966).
His sketch portrait of 1884, by William Brassey Hole, is held by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
The Dean Cemetery is a historically important Victorian cemetery north of the Dean Village, west of Edinburgh city centre, in Scotland. It lies between Queensferry Road and the Water of Leith, bounded on its east side by Dean Path and on its west by the Dean Gallery. A 20th-century extension lies detached from the main cemetery to the north of Ravelston Terrace. The main cemetery is accessible through the main gate on its east side, through a "grace and favour" access door from the grounds of Dean Gallery and from Ravelston Terrace. The modern extension is only accessible at the junction of Dean Path and Queensferry Road.
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