John Kinnis

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The grave of Dr John Kinnis, Dunfermline Abbey churchyard

Dr John Kinnis (c. 1794- August 1852) was a medical superintendent to the British military forces in Ceylon in the nineteenth century, and wrote several papers for the Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal on, for example, elephantiasis[disambiguation needed], smallpox vaccination and military medical statistics.[1] He retired from medical service in 1851.[2]

He was also an energetic and successful amateur naturalist and was seconded by Robert Templeton of the Royal Artillery to investigate and collect the local flora and fauna.[3]

The Ceylon subspecies of the blackbird, Turdus merula kinnisii, was named for him by English zoologist and chemist Edward Blyth in 1841.[4]

He is buried on the north side of Dunfermline Abbey in Scotland.


  1. ^ Kinnis, John (July 1851). "Contributions to the Military Medical Statistics of the Bombay Presidency". Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal. 76 (188): 1–33. 
  2. ^ Bulletins of state intelligence, etc.; 1849-1884
  3. ^ Tennent, Sir J. Emerson (1861). Sketches of the Natural History of Ceylon with Narratives and Anecdotes Illustrative of the Habits and Instincts of the Mammalia, Birds, Reptiles, Fishes, Insects, &c. including a Monograph of the Elephant. London. Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts. 
  4. ^ Clement, Peter; Hathway, Ren; Wilczur, Jan (2000). Thrushes (Helm Identification Guides). Christopher Helm Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-7136-3940-7.