John Gray McKendrick

Prof John Gray McKendrick FRS FRSE FRCPE LLD (12 August 1841 – 2 January 1926) was a distinguished Scottish physiologist. He was born and studied in Aberdeen, Scotland, and served as Regius Professor of Physiology at the University of Glasgow from 1876 to 1906. He was co-founder of the Physiological Society.[1]

John Gray McKendrick
Born(1841-08-12)12 August 1841
Aberdeen, Scotland
Died2 January 1926(1926-01-02) (aged 84)
Glasgow, Scotland
Alma materUniversity of Aberdeen
University of Edinburgh
University of Glasgow
AwardsMakdougall-Brisbane Prize
Scientific career

Early life

John Gray McKendrick was born in Old Machar, Aberdeen in 1841 the son of James McKendrick, an Aberdeen merchant.

He was initially apprenticed as a lawyer (1855–1861)[2] but left law to study medicine at the University of Aberdeen and the University of Edinburgh before graduating in 1864 as an MB ChB.[3] He worked in Chester General Infirmary, Eastern Dispensary at Whitechapel then the Belford Hospital in Fort William.[4]

In 1869, he became the assistant to the Professor of Physiology at the University of Edinburgh, John Hughes Bennett, pursuing his own research into the nervous system and special senses. McKendrick went on to be elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1873, having been proposed by Sir William Turner, serving as a councillor and eventually the Vice-President from 1894 until 1900. He won the Society's Makdougall-Brisbane Prize for the period 1894–96.[5]


He took up a post at the University of Glasgow in 1873, first as an extramural lecturer (one of his students was the physician Sophia Jex-Blake) and then as Regius Professor of Physiology in 1876.[6] John McKenrick was a popular lecturer, raising significant funds for modernising his department and leading it into concentrating on the study and teaching of physiology. McKendrik sought to reflect his modernising efforts in the renaming his position, from Chair of "Theory of Physic or Institutes of Medicine" to Chair of Physiology in 1893.[7]

McKendrick was a founder member of the Physiological Society and Fullerian Professor of Physiology and Comparative Anatomy at the Royal Institution from 1881 to 1884;[8] he resigned the Fullerian Professor on 5 March 1884 due to ill health.[9] He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1884.[10]

In 1891 and 1895 was invited to deliver the Royal Institution Christmas Lecture on Life in Motion; or the Animal Machine and Sound, Hearing and Speech respectively. He retired from his university chair in 1906.[11]

Later life

He became Provost of Stonehaven upon his retirement in 1910. He returned to Glasgow around 1925 and died at his home in Rosslyn Terrace on 2 January 1926, aged 84.[11]


He married Mary Souttar in 1867 and two of their children, John Souttar McKendrick and Anderson Gray M'Kendrick, would go on to become fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.[12]

Partial bibliography


  1. J.G.McKendrick (editor) Textbook of Physiology. 1888–1889.
  2. 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.
  3. "People: John Gray McKendrick". University of Glasgow. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  4. "Obituary Notices of Fellows Deceased". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B. 100 (705): xiv–xviii. 10 December 1926. doi:10.1098/rspb.1926.0061.
  5. Waterston, Charles D; Macmillan Shearer, A (July 2006). Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002: Biographical Index (PDF). II. Edinburgh: The Royal Society of Edinburgh. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 October 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  6. "University of Glasgow. Opening of the Physiology classes". The Glasgow Herald. 3 November 1876. p. 3. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  7. "Department of Physiology - Records of the University of Glasgow, Scotland - Archives Hub". Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  8. "Professor John Gray McKendrick appointed Fullerian Professor of Physiology for 3 years". The Medical Times and Gazette. 2. 1881. p. 695.
  9. "Professor McKendrick resigns on March 5th 1884 due to ill health". Notices of the Proceedings of the Members of the Royal Institution of Great Britain. XI. 1884–1886. p. 68.
  10. "Fellow details". Royal Society. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  11. "Loss to Science. Death of Professor J. G. M'Kendrick". The Glasgow Herald. 4 January 1926. p. 6. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  12. "John Gray McKendrick". St. Andrews University. School of Mathematics and Statistics. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Edward Albert Sharpey-Schafer
Fullerian Professor of Physiology
Succeeded by
Arthur Gamgee
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.