The London Of John Hunter...Mapped

By M@ Last edited 178 months ago

Last Updated 30 September 2009

The London Of John Hunter...Mapped

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As anyone who's been following our Museum of the Month thread will by now be aware, John Hunter was something of a superstar in London. Hunter was among Europe's foremost surgeons of the 18th century, championing the use of evidence-based medicine over the superstitious traditions of the establishment. In the process, he dissected more corpses than probably any person ever (making use of bodysnatchers); hob-nobbed with, and occasionally dissected, the great and good, including Benjamin Franklin and Joshua Reynolds; built up an outrageous menagerie of beasts at his Earls Court retreat; stole the corpse of an Irish giant; and opened a museum-cum-college in Leicester Square which became the inspiration for the house in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

He's not exactly a household name among Londoners of today, but his legacy lives on. The city contains at least three public memorials to the good surgeon, probably more than for any other commoner. The greatest tribute to Hunter, however, is at the Hunterian Museum in the Royal College of Surgeons. If you haven't yet visited, then we cannot reccommend it highly enough.

So as a final salutation to our Museum of the Month, here's a map of John Hunter's London, including images of key locations. Green pins show locations with memorials. John's brother William was also a leading surgeon, and important locations in his life are also noted. Much of the information comes from the excellent biography of Hunter, The Knife Man, by Wendy Moore.

Feel free to suggest additions and amendments in the comments.

Previous entries: Museum of the Month, Sci-fi Surgery review, a cockerel's tooth, phossy jaw, and a clockwork saw.