George Ballingall

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George Ballingall
George Ballingall.jpg
Born 2 May 1780
Forglen, by Bogton, Banffshire, Scotland
Died 4 December 1855 (aged 75)
Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland
Nationality Scottish
Citizenship Great Britain
Alma mater University of St Andrews
University of Edinburgh
Occupation Physician
Employer Army Surgeon (1806)
Army Surgeon in India (1815–18)
Surgeon, 33rd Foot (1818–23)
Practicing Physician and Surgeon, Edinburgh
Lecturer in Military Surgery, Edinburgh University (1823)
Professor of Military Surgery, Edinburgh University (1823–55)

Sir George Ballingall FRSE FRCPE FRCSE FSAScot (2 May 1780 – 4 December 1855) was a Scottish physician and surgeon. He was regius professor of military surgery at Edinburgh University.


Ballingall was son of the Rev Robert Ballingall, minister of Forglen, Banffshire, where he was born. He studied at St Andrews University, and in 1803 proceeded to the University of Edinburgh (MD 1803),[1] where he was assistant to John Barclay, lecturer on anatomy.

Army surgeon[edit]

He was appointed assistant-surgeon of the 2nd battalion 1st Royals in 1806, with which he served some years in India; in November 1815 he became surgeon of the 33rd foot, and retired on half-pay in 1818.

Academic career[edit]

In 1823 he was chosen (in preference to the more experienced David Maclagan[2]) as lecturer on Military Surgery at the University of Edinburgh, which then, and for some years afterwards, was the only place in the United Kingdom where special instruction was given in a department of surgical science, the importance of which had too plainly been demonstrated during the long war just ended.

In 1825 Ballingall succeeded to the chair of military surgery, the duties of which he discharged with untiring zeal for thirty years, only ending with his death.

He was knighted in 1830[3] on the occasion of the accession of King William IV.

In 1832-3 his address is recorded as 13 Heriot Row in Edinburgh.[4]

In 1836 he was elected President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh.


Ballingall, who was a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and corresponding member of the French Institute, was author of various professional works, the most important being:

  • Observations on the Diseases of European Troops in India
  • Observations on the Site and Construction of Hospitals
  • Outlines of Military Surgery

The last, which is still regarded as an instructive work, went through five editions, the fifth appearing at the time of the Russian war, shortly before the Ballingall's death.


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Ballingall, George". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.