French, George

French, George

Biography: George French was born in 1765, the son of John French, advocate, and Christian, the daughter of Thomas Blackwell, principal of Marischal College.

He was the nephew of Sir William Fordyce, physician in London, and after a short spell in the army, he joined his uncle in London. His attempt to establish a career there was apparently unsuccessful and he returned to Aberdeen to become one of the two physicians to the Royal Infirmary. He studied for his M.A. at Marischal College, Aberdeen, from 1764 to 1768 and graduated M.D. in 1786.

With his infirmary colleague, Dr William Livingston, he attempted to establish a course of lectures in medicine and surgery in 1786 but this plan was abandoned two years later due to lack of support.

He was said to have been an irascible man and when invited to become an honorary member of the newly founded Medical Society, he declared publicly that he had no intention of having anything to do with it. Later he became reconciled to the society and when he died, he left a number of books to the society.

He was appointed professor of chemistry at Marischal College in 1793 and held that post for 40 years. He was not highly regarded as a professor of chemistry and towards the end of his life, he gave up teaching and engaged an assistant to take over this duty. He owned a shop in the Upper Kirkgate of the town where he sold medicines and perfumery. He also supplied the infirmary with medicines and wines.

He died in 1833.

Biography Date: 1752-1833

Biography References: Marischal Fasti


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