Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Old Smellie certificate

It doesn't actually smell like anything in particular, but this 1757 certificate awarded to Doctor Robert McKean upon completion of two courses taught by William Smellie is one of the more unexpected items in our collections. The certificate itself measures 31.5 x 19.5 cm, and is mounted on a board 38 x 25 cm. While many certificates from this period do survive, testaments to the authority of the graduate to practice medicine, the large format and illustrated nature of this certificate appear to make it somewhat unusual.


Helen King said...

Do we know anything else about Robert McKean? I was delighted to see this certificate as I am trying to compile a list of those that survive!

Sara Piasecki said...

Unfortunately, we don't have more information about Kean. In fact, we're not sure where this item came from--more likely it was picked up by an alumnus and then deposited in the archives, than it was given to us by a descendant of Kean's. Since the certificate was issued in London, it's possible that the Wellcome Institute would have more resources for locating additional information about Kean.

Anonymous said...

Thanks - there is one other that was issued to someone from Boston, so Smellie's pupils did travel! I shall try and find out more about your guy when next at the Wellcome Library.