I Macintyre, A Munro
Journal Issue: 
Volume 45: Issue 1: 2015



From origins in their heartlands in Easter Ross, clan Munro produced no fewer than three distinct medical dynasties, all descended from Hugh Munro, 9th Baron Foulis (c1352–1425), 12th chief of the clan. This paper describes what we believe to be a unique family of related medical dynasties which were influential in Edinburgh, London and the Scottish Highlands. It sets out in detail the family genealogy, provides some biographical information, and explores the reasons for the development of such medical dynasties, which appear to be different for each of the three dynasties within this family.

The ‘Edinburgh Monros’ included the three Alexanders Monro, primus, secundus and tertius, who between them occupied the university chair of Anatomy at the University of Edinburgh for 126 years from 1720. Dr David Monro, son of Alexander Monro tertius, emigrated to New Zealand where his descendants included several doctors, the last of whom died in 2013. The ‘Bedlam Monros’ achieved fame, and some notoriety, in managing mental illness in London for the 154 years from 1728–1882. In contrast, the ‘Bonesetter Munros’ practised their skills in the local community in Ross-shire and one of them attracted patients from all over Britain. They practised their