The saviour of Hunter’s collectionBMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f6450 (Published 24 October 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6450
- Wendy Moore, freelance writer and author, London
When, during Great Britain’s war with revolutionary France, Prime Minister William Pitt was asked to buy John Hunter’s anatomical collection for the nation, he thundered, “What! Buy preparations! I have not got money enough to buy gunpowder!” That the Hunterian Museum celebrates its bicentenary this year despite Pitt’s apathy is due to the tenacity of William Clift (1775-1849).⇑
Clift was born near Bodmin, the youngest of seven children. Orphaned at 11, he worked in a plant nursery but was sacked for drawing a caricature of the owner. Luckily his artistic skills were spotted …
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