William Smellie, obstetrician

1697 (Lanark, Scotland) – 1763 (Lanark)

More than anyone else, Smellie (not to be confused with the encyclopaedist of the same name) was responsible for putting obstetrics and midwifery on a scientific basis. Cullen was a helpful friend in Scotland. Smollett, a lifelong friend, helped him with his magnum opus, contributing to its lively fluent style of writing; Camper, who came to learn from Smellie, also contributed to the illustrations. Hunter (younger, and the other great founding father of obstetrics) stayed with Smellie when he first arrived in London; the shady manner of their acquisition of pregnant corpses for dissection has excited recent attention.

William Smellie, obstetrician knew…