Hunter, William (1718-1783)

Distinguished London physician and anatomist.

Surgeon (1747); practiced at the Middlesex Hospital and the British Lying-in Hospital. Elected to the Society of Physicians (1756). Became London’s leading obstetrician; attended Queen Charlotte, among others, and popularized use of male obstetricians in place of midwives. Fellow of the Royal Society (1767). First professor of anatomy at the Royal Academy (1768). Best known for his popular anatomy lectures, which he gave in cooperation with his brother John Hunter (1748-59), William Hewson (1762-71), and later W. C. Cruikshank. Founded an anatomical and surgical museum to support his lectures and research.

Son of John and Agnes Hunter of East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, Scotland. Educated at Glasgow (M.D. 1750); studied medicine with William Cullen and James Douglas.