Andrew Douglas Maclagan
Sir Andrew Douglas Maclagan PRSE FRCPE FRCSE FCS FRSSA (17 April 1812, Ayr – 5 April 1900, Edinburgh) 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).
He was the elder brother of William Dalrymple Maclagan, who would become Archbishop of York; and of the engineer and soldier Sir Robert Maclagan. Douglas was educated at the Royal High School and the University of Edinburgh, graduating in 1833. He subsequently toured hospitals in London and in continental Europe with James Young Simpson.
On his return to Scotland, Maclagan was appointed Assistant Surgeon at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. He lectured on Materia Medica at the Extramural School of Medicine 1845-1862. Maclagan was a close friend of toxicologist Robert Christison, and he developed an interest in toxicology and forensic medicine.
Maclagan was appointed to the Chair of Medical Jurisprudence and Public Health at the University of Edinburgh in 1862, retiring in 1897. This included some of the world's first lectures on Forensic Science.
He is buried with his wife and children in Dean Cemetery on the west side of Edinburgh. He is buried in his father's plot, against the north wall of the original cemetery, backing onto the north extension.
Trials of Note
In his role both as a toxicologist and forensic scientist Maclagan gave evidence in many trials, including some very notable cases:
- Junior assistant to Robert Christison in the evidence at the Burke and Hare trial
- Affirmed the victim was poisoned by arsenic in the Madeleine Smith trial (1857)
- Affirmed use of poison in the trial of Eugene Marie Chantrelle (1878)
Positions of Note
- President of the Royal Medical Society 1832
- President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh 1859-1861
- President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh 1884-1887
- President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1890-1895
- Honorary Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Britain
- President of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts 1900
- Brigade Surgeon to the Royal Company of Archers
Maclagan was knighted in 1886.
- A probationary essay on carbuncle (1833)
- Cases of Poisoning with Remarks (1849)
- Nugae canorae medicae: lays by the poet laureate of the New Town Dispensary (1850)
Maclagan was married to Elizabeth Allan Thomson (d.1885). They had twin daughters who died in infancy in 1842, plus a further infant daughter died in 1850.
Nellie, their only surviving daughter, died in 1892 aged 48.
His son Robert Craig Maclagan lived to old age, and was a prominent physician and anthropologist.
- Waterston, Charles D; Macmillan Shearer, A (July 2006). Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002: Biographical Index (PDF). II. Edinburgh: The Royal Society of Edinburgh. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5. Retrieved 25 September 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>