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Biographical entry McWhinnie, Andrew Melville (1807 - 1866)

MRCS Jan 1st 1830; FRCS Dec 11th 1843 one of the original 300 Fellows.

27 February 1866
Anatomist and General surgeon


Born in London and was educated chiefly at Verdun, where he gained a mastery of French and an affection for French people and their institutions. He was apprenticed to Edward Stanley (qv), Surgeon to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, in 1825. Having become MRCS in 1830, he attended wounded at the Hôtel-Dieu during the three days' Revolution in 1830, and came under the favourable notice of Larrey, Dupuytren, and others. In the following year, 1831, he accompanied Stanley to Paris, and interpreted Stanley's observations. Under Biett at the Hôpital Saint-Louis, McWhinnie first acquired his knowledge of skin diseases which afterwards served him when with James Startin he developed the Skin Hospital at Blackfriars.

After returning to London he became Junior Demonstrator of Anatomy at St Bartholomew's Hospital in succession to Frederick Skey; in 1834 he was appointed Assistant Prosector to Thomas Wormald; in 1839 he succeeded Dr Arthur Farre as Lecturer on Comparative Anatomy and Medical Jurisprudence, holding office until Sept. 11th, 1860; in 1841 he became Assistant Surgeon at the Blackfriars Skin Hospital. But it was only after previous failures (see PAGET, SIR JAMES) that he was elected Assistant Surgeon to St Bartholomew's Hospital on May 14th, 1854, when he received 154 votes, and his opponent, Holmes Coote (qv), 65. He lived at Blackfriars, near the hospital, so that many operations at night fell to him. His health began to fail and he resigned on June 27th, 1860, to die after an exhausting illness at 5 The Crescent, Blackfriars, on Feb 27th, 1866.

He added a number of anatomical preparations to the Museum of the Hospital. A peculiarity of manner is said to have interfered with his success as a lecturer. He was a staunch friend, much beloved, with a high sense of honour.

Translation of Cloquet's Anatomical Description of the Parts Concerned in Inguinal and Femoral Hernia, 8vo, London, 1835.
Illustrations of the Effects of Poisons (with Dr GEORGE LEITH ROUPELL), fol, London, 1833, illustrated by McWhinnie.
A Series of Anatomical Sketches and Diagrams (with THOMAS WORMALD), 4to, with 5 plates, 1838, and 1843, with 28 plates, which for simplicity and accuracy can hardly be surpassed.
"On the Varieties in thc Muscular System of the Human Body," 8vo; reprinted from London Med Gaz, 1846, xxxvii, 184.
"Account of the History of Dissection of a Case of Malformation of the Urinary Bladder." - Lond Med Gaz, 1850, xlv, 360. It was republished by Dr Charles A Pope, Boston, USA with his case of congenital inversion of the bladder.
Introductory Address at the opening of the Medical Session at St. Bartholomew's on 1st October, 1856.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Norman Moore's History of St Bartholomew's Hospital, ii, 676].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England