The Consultation Letters of Dr William Cullen (1710-1790) at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh


People [PERS ID:312]

First NameJohn
Middle Name/Initial(s)
Last NameHope
Maiden Name
OccupationPhysician and Lecturer in Botany
Medical Professional?Medical Professional


Birth (year) 1725
Date of death (year) 1786


The son of surgeon Robert Hope, he was a distinguished physician and botanist. He studied at the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as studying botany under Bernard de Jussieu at the University of Paris, eventually graduating with an MD from the University of Glasgow in 1750. In 1760, he succeeded Charles Alston as Professor of Botany and Materia Medica at the University of Edinburgh, and in 1762 elected a fellow of the RCPE. His greatest passion, however, was botany; he served as king's botanist for Scotland and established the Royal Botanical Garden in Edinburgh. He was a physician in the Royal Infirmary, and from 1784 until his death in 1786, served as President of the RCPE. He married Juliana, daughter of John Stevenson, in 1760; they had five children, including the physician and chemist Thomas Charles Hope (1766-1844). His death is mentioned in a letter from Thomas Logan to William Logan, saying "he was a sincere friend". Hope and Cullen sometimes undertook joint consulations.

Cases that this person appears in:

CountCase IDCase Name
1Case 1Case of the Reverend Mr Cuthbert Allen of Wooler, suffering from consumption, and later anasarca and a hernia to his scrotum.
2Case 20Case of Mrs Douglas, weakening with a chest complaint.
3Case 79Case of John, 2nd Earl of Hopetoun, who in the 1750s reports a persistent cough and other effects of 'the Epidemic', including 'Lowness and Oppression'. In 1777 he is being treated for a recurring 'watery tumour'.
4Case 121Case of Mrs Campbell who has had several miscarriages and who is diagnosed as having a 'weak uterine system'.
5Case 368Case of David McLean who sends a very long account of his various 'nervous' symptoms following an injury to his foot; later, in 1784, he contacts Cullen again over the ill-effects of living in a damp house.
6Case 524Case of Miss Margaret Douglas who has recently been in extremis with a pulmonary condition (consumption).
7Case 621Case of Colonel Skene's brother Captain David Skene, who is given detailed instructions on taking medicines sent to relieve him of his 'feverish fits'. This patient presents different symptoms in later years.
8Case 659Case of Miss Betty Binning who has an abdominal disorder with increasing fluid retention associated with a menstrual irregularity.
9Case 746Case of Lord Dalzell who has a protracted illness which includes pains in abdomen.
10Case 1124Case of Sir Adolphous Oughton, who is given directions on increasing his perspiration.
11Case 1152Case of Captain Green who has had stomach pains and is given detailed advice on taking a journey for his health.
12Case 1222Case of Miss Amelia Clephane who in late-1779 is thought to have a temporary 'affection of the stomach and nerves'; in 1783 Cullen detects no particular disorder, but provides a regimen to manage her 'weak nerves'.
13Case 1380Case of Miss Ross whose illness is attributed to an internal glandular 'obstruction'.
14Case 1447Case of 'Mr Y. Z' who is being advised by Cullen and 'J.H.' [probably Dr John Hope].
15Case 1606Case of James Haig, a medical practitioner, who is much improved, but for a little hoarseness.
16Case 1954Case of the Hon. Mr Murray of Aiton who has a pectoral complaint and an unspecified disorder of his leg.
17Case 1998Case of Mrs Murray who has a swollen leg.
18Case 1999Case of Hector Turnbull, who has a stomach disorder and becomes increasingly emaciated.
19Case 2005Case of Colin Robertstone [Robertson], a Perth practitioner, who has been very depressed with jaundice. He improves after he consults Dr Cullen and Dr Hope when on a visit to Edinburgh, but also suffers from gallstones.
20Case 2014Case of Mrs Murray who experiments with using a swing according to the published method devised by Dr Smith.
21Case 2135Case of Lord Dalziel's servant who is prescribed pectoral pills.
22Case 2143Case of Mr Cowan, who has recovered well but still retains some symptoms of his earlier illness.
23Case 2144Case of Mr C. I. who is diagnosed with a hydrocele.
24Case 2278Case of Mr James Hay.
25Case 2429Case of an unnamed man of business (who attends parliament), suffering from a severe nervous condition. He last consulted Cullen and Dr Hope in 1781, when the symptoms included bad dreams and irrational fears. Now he cannot concentrate on his affairs.