Andrew Halliday (physician)

This article is about the Scottish physician, reformer, and writer. For other uses, see Andrew Halliday (disambiguation).
Andrew Halliday

A black & white photograph from a oil portrait of Sir Andrew Halliday, from Wellcome Library, London

Source: Wellcome Library, London
Born (1782-03-17)17 March 1782
Copewood, parish of Dryfesdale, Dumfries, Scotland
Died 7 September 1839(1839-09-07) (aged 57)
Dumfries, Scotland
Resting place Saint Michael's, Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway, UK[1]
Nationality Scottish
Other names Andrew Hallidie
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
Occupation physician
Years active 1806-1837
Known for Royal physician to William IV and Queen Victoria, military surgeon, author, reformer
Notable work Annals of the house of Hanover; A General View of the Present State of Lunatics, and Lunatic Asylums; The West Indies: the Nature and Physical History of the Windward and Leeward Colonies
Religion Presbyterian
Spouse(s) Helen Carmichael[2]
Parent(s) Thomas Halliday, esq. and Margaret Porteous[2]
Relatives Andrew Smith Hallidie, nephew

Sir Andrew Halliday, KH (also spelt Hallidie; 17 March 1782 in Copewood, parish of Dryfesdale, Dumfries 7 September 1839 in Dumfries) was a Scottish physician, reformer, and writer.[3][4][5]


He was born in Copeland, Dryfsedale in Dumfriesshire.[6]

When he was nine years old, Halliday had to earn his own living by tending cattle because of his father's financial problems. He later advanced himself by qualifying as a schoolteacher.[3] Halliday subsequently entered the University of Edinburgh and started training for the Presbyterian ministry, but switched to medicine, his preference. He graduated with an MD on 24 June 1806 from the University of Edinburgh with a thesis entitled De pneumatosi that he later published as a book. After travelling in Russia, he set up in practice at Halesowen, Shropshire.[7]

In 1807, he became a surgeon in the 13th Light Dragoons.[3] Whilst in the British Army, Halliday served in the Napoleonic Wars in Portugal, Spain, and the West Indies, at the Siege of Bergen op Zoom (1814) and the Battle of Waterloo.[7][8][9]

He was later the domestic physician to the Duke of Clarence (who became William IV), and traveled on the continent with him. In 1817, he was made a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and, in 1819, of the Royal College of Physicians, London. While traveling on the continent, he became familiar with the medical applications of iodine, introducing it to Britain upon his return in 1819 and publishing an article on it in 1821.[10][11][12] He was appointed a Knight of the Royal Guelphic Order in 1820 and a Knight Bachelor in 1821.[13] In August 1827 he was elected a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.[7] In 1829, he helped to establish King's College London.[3] He also served as the majesty's justice of the peace for the county of Middlesex.[2]

He was appointed Deputy Inspector-General of hospitals in the West Indies in 1832, but returned to his native Dumfries in 1837 because of ill health.[3] He died at Huntingdon Lodge in Dumfries on 7 September 1839.[7]

Halliday was the first physician to the Seamen's Hospital Society,[9] which was established in 1821 with the purpose of helping people currently or previously employed in the Merchant Navy or fishing fleets. Halliday was the royal physician to William IV[9] and to Queen Victoria.[14] Before and after his military service he publicized the deplorable state of British and Irish insane asylums.[4] He wrote Annals of the house of Hanover and The West Indies: the Nature and Physical History of the Windward and Leeward Colonies, published in 1826 and 1837, respectively.[4][5]

His nephew, Andrew Smith Hallidie, promoted the Clay Street Hill Railroad in San Francisco, the world's first practical cable car system.[14]


Halliday also contributed obituaries to The Gentleman's Magazine.[15]


  1. Rumsby, John H (2011-05-14). "Memorial to Sir Andrew Halliday, Deputy Inspector General of Hospitals". Leeds, UK: University of Leeds. Retrieved 2014-02-20. gravestone of Sir Andrew Halliday KH, Deputy Inspector General of Hospitals
  2. 1 2 3 Burke, John (1835). "Hallidays, of Scotland". A genealogical and heraldic history of the commoners of Great Britain and Ireland enjoying territorial possessions or high official rank, but uninvested with heritable honours. 2. London, UK: Henry Colburn. p. 133. OCLC 10968098, 851706868. Retrieved 2014-03-01. For a CD-ROM edition, see History of the commoners of Great Britain and Ireland. Chilmark: S&N. 2007. ISBN 9781847271747. OCLC 153551949.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Rogers, Charles (1871). Monuments and monumental inscriptions in Scotland. 1. London, UK: C. Griffin for the Grampian Club. pp. 287–288. OCLC 681882749. Archived from the original on 2007-09-13. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  4. 1 2 3 ."Halliday". The Scottish Nation. Muskegon, MI, USA + Chatham, Ontario, Canada: Electric Scotland USA LLC. 6 May 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  5. 1 2 Houston, Robert A. (Winter 2006). "Poor Relief and the Dangerous and Criminal Insane in Scotland, c. 1740-1840". Journal of Social History. Fairfax, VA, USA: George Mason University. 40 (2): 453–476. doi:10.1353/jsh.2007.0017. Also available at R. A. Houston. "Poor Relief and the Dangerous and Criminal Insane in Scotland, c. 1740-1840". Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  6. BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX OF FORMER FELLOWS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF EDINBURGH 1783 – 2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Moore, Norman. "Halliday, Andrew (1781-1839) (DNB00)". pp. 110–111. Retrieved 2014-05-01.
  8. Munk, William (1878). The roll of the Royal College of Physicians of London: comprising biographical sketches of all the eminent physicians whose names are recorded in the Annals. 3 (2d ed., rev. and enl. ed.). London, UK: Royal College of Physicians of London. pp. 211–212. OCLC 681752020. Retrieved 2014-03-01.
  9. 1 2 3 Cook, GC (Aug 2004). "Andrew Halliday, Kt FRCPE (1781-1839): service in the Napoleonic Wars and West Indies, and first physician to the Seamen's Hospital Society". Journal of Medical Biography. London: Royal Society of Medicine Press Ltd. 12 (3): 125–6. ISSN 0967-7720. PMID 15257343. (subscription required (help)).
  10. Granville, A. B. (January 1822). "An Historical Essay on the Progress of the Medical Sciences in Great Britain and on the Continent During the last Six Months of 1821". London Medical and Physical Journal. London, UK: J. Souter. XLVII: 32. ISSN 0267-0259. OCLC 558637645, 1756135. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  11. Hooper, Robert (1833). The Physician's Vademecum. London. p. 364. OCLC 559855461. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  12. Ryan, Michael (1833). "Lecture on the Use of Iodine in the Cure of Diseases". London Medical and Surgical Journal. London, UK: Renshaw and Rush. 3: 204. OCLC 560767046. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  13. Shaw, William Arthur (1906), The Knights of England: A complete record from the earliest time to the present day of the knights of all the orders of chivalry in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and of knights bachelors, incorporating a complete list of knights bachelors dubbed in Ireland, 2, London: Sherratt and Hughes
  14. 1 2 Kahn, Edgar Myron (June 1940). "Cable Car Inventor - Andrew Hallidie - 1873". San Francisco: California Historical Society Quarterly. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  15. Moore, Norman (2004) [1890]. Halliday, Sir Andrew (1782–1839). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. revised by Patrick Wallis. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 4 Oct 2013. (subscription required (help)).

External sources

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