Matthew Baillie

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Matthew Baillie
Matthew Baillie.jpg
Matthew Baillie
Born 27 October 1761
Died 23 September 1823
Nationality Scottish
Fields medicine
Institutions Royal College of Physicians
Alma mater University of Glasgow
University of Oxford

Matthew Baillie (27 October 1761, Shotts Manse, Lanarkshire, Scotland – 23 September 1823, Duntisbourne, Gloucestershire, England) was a Scottish physician and pathologist.


He was born the son of Rev James Baillie and the brother of poetess Joanna Baillie. He was a pupil of his uncle, the anatomist John Hunter and his father-in-law, Dr. Thomas Denman, a pre-eminent obstetrician in London at the turn of the nineteenth century, whose textbook on childbirth had been first published in 1788. Baillie was educated at the Old Grammar School of Hamilton (renamed the Hamilton Academy in 1848), the University of Glasgow, and obtained his MD from the University of Oxford in 1789, having been named Snell Exhibitioner in 1779. His uncle William Hunter bequeathed him in 1783 £5,000, his house in Great Windmill Street, and use of his museum for 30 years.

He then taught anatomy and was appointed Physician at St George's Hospital in 1789, but gave up both posts to establish his own medical practice in Grosvenor Square, becoming Physician Extraordinary to George III. He became Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1790, specialising in morbid anatomy.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1790 and delivered their Croonian Lecture in 1791 (on the subject of muscles).[1]

Baillie died of tuberculosis in 1823 at the age of 61 and was buried in Duntisbourne Abbots, Gloucestershire. He had married Sophia Denman, the sister of Thomas Denman.


His 1793 book, The Morbid Anatomy of Some of the Most Important Parts of the Human Body, is considered the first systematic study of pathology, and the first publication in English on pathology as a separate subject.[2] He is credited with first identifying transposition of the great vessels (TGV) and situs inversus.

See also[edit]


  • The Morbid Anatomy of Some of the Most Important Parts of the Human Body (1793)
  • Anatomy of the Gravid Uterus, by William Hunter published by Baillie (1794)
  • A Series of Engravings, tending to illustrate the Morbid Anatomy of some of the most Important Parts of the Human Body (1799, 1802, 1812)
  • Lectures and Observations on Medicine by the late Matthew Baillie (1825)
  • An Account of a Particular Change of Structure in the Human Ovarium (Philosophical Transacations, London, 1789,Vol.79, pp. 71–78)


  1. ^ "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  2. ^ Matthew Baillie Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved on 11 August 2007.

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