Dublin Anatomy 1600-1900 – Presented by Conal Hooper

Dublin Anatomy 1600-1900 – Presented by Conal Hooper

Mount Merrion Historical Society – April Talk

Until the middle of the nineteenth century, the careful dissection of the human body was the only scientific training available to aspiring surgeons and physicians. The first statutes of Dublin University (c. 1620) required a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Medicine to have attended three anatomical dissections. However, it was not until 1711 that a building designed specifically for anatomy was established in Trinity College. The College of Surgeons School, founded in 1784, led to the development of a second anatomy facility in Dublin. The early nineteenth century saw the development of numerous private medical schools, largely devoted to the teaching of anatomy. One of these, the Apothecaries School, would later house the Catholic University of Ireland Medical School, the forerunner of the UCD school. This period also saw the emergence of Dublin’s two most famous anatomists James McCartney in TCD and Abraham Colles in RCSI.

The small number of bodies legally available for dissection led to the practice of “resurrectionism”. Dublin’s graveyards were the frequent site of such wide-spread grave-robbing. The outcry following the Burke and Hare murders in Edinburgh led to the cessation of the practice with the introduction of the 1832 Anatomy Act which regulated the supply of bodies for dissection and which still operates in Ireland today.

Conal Hooper is Emeritus Professor of Anatomy at UCD. His interests include medical history, sports history and the role of sport in the works of James Joyce. He is a past Chairman and long time member of the Mount Merrion Historical Society.

8.00pm Thursday 4th April, 2024

Admission: Members – No charge (Season Membership); Non-Members – €5.00; (Students – €2.00)
While the Society will endeavour to deliver the published agenda, lectures and speakers may be  changed due to circumstances outside its control.