Dr Thomas Shortt FRSE FRCPE (17 June 1788 – 1843) was a Scottish physician. He is chiefly remembered for drafting Napoleon's official autopsy report while serving as the Principal Medical Officer on St Helena.
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, and his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.
An autopsy is a surgical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse by dissection to determine the cause, mode and manner of death or to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present for research or educational purposes.. Autopsies are usually performed by a specialized medical doctor called a pathologist. In most cases, a medical examiner or coroner can determine cause of death and only a small portion of deaths require an autopsy.
Principal Medical Officer is a senior position in the Royal Army Medical Corps, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Army Medical Corps (India) and the Irish Health Service Executive.
Shortt was born near Dumfries on 17 June 1788, the son of Francis Shortt (of Courance & White Laird) and his wife, Bridget Smith.
Dumfries is a market town and former royal burgh within the Dumfries and Galloway council area of Scotland. It is located near the mouth of the River Nith into the Solway Firth. Dumfries is the traditional county town of the historic county of Dumfriesshire. Dumfries is nicknamed Queen of the South. People from Dumfries are known colloquially in the Scots language as Doonhamers. The nickname has also given name to the town's professional football club.
He studied Medicine at the University of Edinburgh graduating MB ChB. He joined the British Army in 1806 as assistant surgeon to the 10th Regiment of Foot. Most of his service was spent in Italy, Sicily, and Egypt. In 1813 he was promoted surgeon to the 20th Light Dragoons and in 1815 Physician to the Forces, before returning to practice in Edinburgh. In 1815 he gained his doctorate (MD) from the University of Edinburgh.
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582, is the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's ancient universities. The university has five main campuses in the city of Edinburgh, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university. The university played an important role in leading Edinburgh to its reputation as a chief intellectual centre during the Age of Enlightenment, and helped give the city the nickname of the Athens of the North.
Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea and traversed along its length by the Apennines, Italy has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. The country covers a total area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi), and land area of 294,140 km2 (113,570 sq mi), and shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian Sea (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy. It is one of the five Italian autonomous regions, in Southern Italy along with surrounding minor islands, officially referred to as Regione Siciliana.
In 1819 he was appointed Physician Extraordinary to the King in Scotland and Principal Medical Officer in St Helena, arriving on St Helena in December 1820, during Napoleon's period of exile there. Shortt never saw Napoleon professionally, but was repeatedly consulted by the other doctors on St Helena.
Physician to the Queen is a title held by physicians of the Medical Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Part of the Royal Household, the Medical Household includes physicians, who treat general conditions, and extra physicians, specialists who are brought in as required.
Saint Helena is a volcanic tropical island in the South Atlantic Ocean, 4,000 kilometres (2,500 mi) east of Rio de Janeiro and 1,950 kilometres (1,210 mi) west of the mouth of the Cunene River, which marks the border between Namibia and Angola in southwestern Africa. It is part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. Saint Helena measures about 16 by 8 kilometres and has a population of 4,534. It was named after Saint Helena of Constantinople.
From 1828 he worked at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. He was then living at 54 Queen Street in Edinburgh's New Town.
The New Town is a central area of Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. A masterpiece of city planning, it was built in stages between 1767 and around 1850, and retains much of its original neo-classical and Georgian period architecture. Its best known street is Princes Street, facing Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town across the geographical depression of the former Nor Loch. Together with the Old Town, the New Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.
He died on 5 March 1843.
He married Henrietta Young. they had five children.
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.
Thomas Charles Hope was a Scottish physician, chemist and lecturer. He proved the existence of the element strontium, and gave his name to Hope's Experiment, which shows that water reaches its maximum density at 4 °C (39 °F).
James Roche Verling (1787–1858) was a British Army surgeon who became personal surgeon to Napoleon Bonaparte on St Helena.
Sir James McGrigor, 1st Baronet, LLD was a Scottish physician, military surgeon and botanist, considered to be the man largely responsible for the creation of the Royal Army Medical Corps. He served as Rector of the University of Aberdeen.
Sir Andrew Douglas MaclaganPRSE FRCPE FRCSE FCS FRSSA was a Scottish surgeon, toxicologist and scholar of medical jurisprudence. He served as president of 5 learned societies: the Royal Medical Society (1832), the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (1859–61), the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (1884–87), the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1890–5), and the Royal Scottish Society of Arts (1900).
Greyfriars Kirkyard is the graveyard surrounding Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is located at the southern edge of the Old Town, adjacent to George Heriot's School. Burials have been taking place since the late 16th century, and a number of notable Edinburgh residents are interred at Greyfriars. The Kirkyard is operated by City of Edinburgh Council in liaison with a charitable trust, which is linked to but separate from the church. The Kirkyard and its monuments are protected as a category A listed building.
Andrew Duncan, the elder FRSE FRCPE FSA(Scot) was a British physician and professor at Edinburgh University. He was joint founder of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
William Somerville FRS FRSE FLS LRCP was a Scottish physician and inspector of the Army Medical Board. He was the husband of eminent mathematician and scientist Mary Somerville and father of four.
David Craigie FRSE was a Scottish physician, known as a medical author.
Thomas Campbell was a Scottish sculptor in the early 19th century. He has several important public works, most notably a statue of Sarah Siddons in Westminster Abbey. He also has several works in the National Gallery in London. He was heavily patronised by the British aristocracy, as evidenced by his works.
Prof James Miller LRSCSE FRSE was a surgeon and medical author in Edinburgh. He was author of the important 19th century textbook, Principles of Surgery. He became a member of the Free Church of Scotland in 1843 and was a firm believer in temperance.
Dr David Maclagan FRSE was a prominent Scottish doctor and military surgeon, serving in the Napoleonic Wars. He served as President of both the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He served as Surgeon in Scotland to Queen Victoria.
Dr John Gordon FRSE FRCSE was a short-lived but influential Scottish anatomist. In 1806 he served as President of the Royal Medical Society. In 1815 he caused an international stir by debunking the new science of phrenology and publicly criticising its principal European exponents, Johann Spurzheim and Franz Joseph Gall.
Dr John Hennen FRSE was an Irish-born military surgeon and author of the acclaimed medical textbook The Principles of Military Surgery.
William Jameson CIE FRSE (1815-1882) was a Scottish physician and botanist linked to the massive spread of tea plantations in North India in the 19th century.
William Preston Lauder FRSE FRCPE FRCSE was a Scottish physician, specialising in obstetrics.
Prof William Rutherford Sanders FRSE was a 19th-century Scottish pathologist. He was one of the first to advocate the use of digitalis in heart conditions. He served as President of the Royal Medical Society 1847/8.
Nathaniel Spens was a Scottish medical doctor who qualified as Fellow of the Incorporation of Surgeons and then became increasingly interested in the practice of physic. He qualified as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and went on to become President of that College.
Dr George Smyttan FRSE (1789–1863) was a 19th century Scottish physician who helped to run the Medical Missionary Society in India.
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