John Hunter

1728 (East Kilbride, Scotland) – 1793 (London)

Hunter transformed the art of surgery, giving it a firm scientific basis, and anticipated the scientific understanding of fossils and geological time. Pott and Cheselden taught him, while he taught Jenner, who became a friend for life, and Carlisle. He chaired the scientific group meeting at Slaughter’s Coffee House (Banks, Maskelyne, Solander, Cook, Smeaton, et al.), sent Boulton a figure of Death, and treated his neighbour Reynolds (and Gainsborough) gratis. He assisted his brother William, dined with Smollett, sent Banks his paper about fish’s ears, and was friends with Hume, Franklin and Haydn (offering to operate on Haydn, Haydn declined).