Source 1

Extract from Dr James Barry’s personal army service record. This page shows his training at Edinburgh University in medicine. Catalogue ref: WO 25/3910.


[N.B. list of named doctors teaching classes shown on the left of document is not transcribed]




Return of the Services    3 


                                               [Added comment: ‘See Statements of Services 1, 614’] 

                                                 Professional Education  

James Barry M.D. Assistant Staff Surgeon                [Added comment: ‘a woman’] 


From 5th July 1813 to 7th April 1824 


I commenced the Study of my Profession at the University of Edinburgh as Literary & Medical Student in the year 1810 


The following are the classes I attended before and since my entry into the Service  


Practice of Physic 

Theory of Medicine: Two courses & clinical lectures 3- 6 months 1811 &1812 

Chemistry 18 courses 1810, 1811, 1812 

Pharmacy 3 courses of Clinical lectures  


Anatomy 3 courses & Morbid Anatomy 2 courses 

Military Surgery 


Dissections 3 courses 1810, 11, 12 

Clinical surgical lectures 

Surgery course 

Barclay & Murray’s Private lectures, Dr Duncan Just. Medical Jurisprudence [how scientific/medical knowledge is involved in the law, e.g., in an inquest] 

Literary classes in Greek, Natural & Moral Philosophy 

Private pupil to Mr Fyfe 


Likewise attended the undermentioned Hospitals a regular Pupil, during the Period… 


Guys & St Thomas in London for 6 months in the year 

Royal Infirmary, Dispensary of Lying in Hospital in Edinburgh for 12 months in the year 1811 as perpetual pupil 

                               in Dublin for       Months in the year 

                               in Glasgow for    Months in the year 


I received a Diploma in 1812 as Doctor of Medicine from the University 




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  • When did Dr James Barry start his studies at Edinburgh University?  
  • When did he finish? 
  • What subjects did he study at Edinburgh University? 
  • Why do you think he studied ‘Botany’ and ‘Medical jurisprudence’? Check the meaning of these terms if necessary. 
  • What practical training in medicine did James Barry do as part of his studies? Why was this important? 
  • Why did he study ‘Greek and natural & moral philosophy’ do you think? 
  • How do you explain the additional comments written on this document by others? 
  • Can you suggest any other sources which could be used concerning James Barry’s medical training? 
  • How different is James Barry’s training to that of a doctor in the 18th century or today, according to your own knowledge/research?