|Sir Gilbert Blane, Bt|
Gilbert Blane by Martin Archer Shee, 1833
|Born||29 August 1749
Blanefield, by Kirkoswald, Ayrshire, Scotland
|Died||26 June 1834
|Alma mater||Edinburgh University
Glasgow University (MD 1778)
|Known for||Use of lemon juice obligatory to prevent scurvy|
Born in Blanefield, by Kirkoswald, in Ayrshire, he studied medicine at Edinburgh University and Glasgow University (MD 1778) before moving to London, where he served as private physician to Lord Rodney. Blane was appointed Physician to the Fleet (1779–1783) and accompanied Rodney to the West Indies in 1779. Blane did much to improve the health of sailors by heeding their diet and enforcing due sanitary precautions. Largely due to his advocacy, the entire navy in 1795 made the use of lemon juice mandatory to prevent scurvy. For this reason, "limey" (lemons being replaced by limes, which could be obtained from Britain's Caribbean colonies) later became a common slang word for a British person. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in December 1784 and delivered their Croonian lecture in 1788.
He became Physician to St Thomas' Hospital (1783–1795), Physician Extraordinary to the Prince of Wales (1785) and Physician in Ordinary to the King (George IV and William IV). By virtue of these court and hospital appointments, he built up a good practice for himself in London, and the government constantly consulted him on questions of public hygiene. In 1812 he became a baronet, of Blanefield in the County of Ayr, in reward for services he rendered in connection with the return of the Walcheren expedition.
His printed works include Observations on the Diseases of Seamen (1795) and Elements of Medical Logic (1819).
- Waterston, Charles D; Macmillan Shearer, A (July 2006). Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002: Biographical Index I. Edinburgh: The Royal Society of Edinburgh. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- Stephen R. Bown, Scurvy. How a Surgeon, a Mariner and a Gentleman Solved the Greatest Medical Mystery of the Age of Sail (Penguin Books Australia, 2003), page 222.
- One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Blane, Sir Gilbert". Encyclopædia Britannica 4 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- Allison, R S (1990). "Chirurgeon: look to the wounded". Journal of the Royal Naval Medical Service 76 (1): 15–23. PMID 2197404.
- Beasley, A W (1985). "Sir Gilbert Blane Bt (1749–1834)". Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England 67 (5): 332–3. PMC 2499530. PMID 3901866.
- Wharton, M (1984). "Sir Gilbert Blane Bt (1749–1834)". Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England 66 (5): 375–6. PMC 2493700. PMID 6385804.
- Leach, R D (1980). "Sir Gilbert Blane, Bart, MD FRS (1749–1832)". Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England 62 (3): 232–9. PMC 2492378. PMID 6994573.
- King, L S (1978). "Medical logic". Journal of the history of medicine and allied sciences 33 (3): 377–85. doi:10.1093/jhmas/XXXIII.3.377. PMID 361812.
- Coulter, J L (1960). "The Gilbert BLANE medal". Journal of the Royal Naval Medical Service 46: 183–91. PMID 13695943.
- "Blane, Gilbert". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- "Notables" from Maybole, Ayrshire (with picture)