John Pringle

1707 (Stichill, Scotland) – 1782 (London)

Pringle was responsible for making military hospitals immune from hostilities, and for promoting healthier conditions in hospitals, barracks, prisons, etc. (he coined the term ‘antisepsis’). He studied with Boerhaaave and Albinus in Leiden, his fellow-students Haller and van Swieten becoming lifelong close friends. Among other friends were Franklin (a great travelling companion), Cook (who took his advice about sailors’ living conditions), Monboddo, William Hunter and Smith. Boswell (whose father had been a close friend), Banks, Solander and Lalande were all dining companions. Pringle got John Hunter to do post-mortems for him, and sent Hume to Bath for his declinining health.