Daniel John Cunningham

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Daniel John Cunningham
Cunningham grave, Dean Cemetery

Prof Daniel John Cunningham M.D., D.C.L., LL. D. F.R.S., F.R.S.E. (15 April 1850 in Crieff – 23 July 1909) was a Scottish physician, zoologist, and anatomist, famous for Cunningham's Text-book of Anatomy and Cunningham's Manual of Practical Anatomy.[1]


Cunningham was born in the manse at Crieff - the son of Rev John Cunningham (1819-1893) and of his wife Susan Porteous Murray.[2]

Following education at Crieff Academy he studied Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, where he attained his M.D. in 1876. From 1876 until 1882 he acted as a Demonstrator for his professor at the university. From 1883 to 1903 he held the Chair of Anatomy at Trinity College, Dublin. From 1903 until his death he was Professor of Anatomy at the University of Edinburgh.[3][4] His Text-book of Anatomy, first published in 1902, went through 15 editions under various editors; the first three editions were prepared under Cunningham's editorship.

He was at various times President of the Royal Zoological Society of Ireland, Secretary and vice-President of the Royal Dublin Society and President of the Anatomical Society (1893–95). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Royal Society (1891) and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.[5]

In 1878 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were Sir William Turner, John Hutton Balfour, Alexander Crum Brown, and James Bryce.[6]

He is buried with his wife, Elizabeth, and children near the eastern side of Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh, close to the Dean Gallery entrance.


In 1878, he married Elizabeth Cumming Browne, eldest daughter of Rev Andrew Browne, minister of the parish of Beith in Ayrshire, and had by her three sons and two daughters.[7] His two younger sons were Admiral of the Fleet Andrew Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope, and General Sir Alan Cunningham, both decorated veterans of World War II.

His eldest son Lt Col John Cunningham MD FRSE (1882-1968) was an army physician and bacteriologist.[8]

Cunningham's daughter married Edwin Bramwell FRSE (1873-1952), a prominent neurologist and son of Byrom Bramwell.[9]


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