- A dictionary of medical eponyms

William Saunders

Born  1743
Died  1817

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Scottish physician, born 1743, Banff; died May 29, 1817, Enfield.

Biography of William Saunders

William Saunders was the son of a distinguished physician. He studied in Edinburgh and received his doctorate at that university in 1765 with the dissertation De antimonio. He subsequently settled in London, where he assisted Sir George Baker, who investigated the Devonshire colic, with his knowledge of chemistry.

In 1770 Saunders was appointed physician in Guy’s Hospital. He made a brilliant career and in 1790 became a fellow of the College of Physicians. He was several times censor to the same body, and in 1792 Gulstonian lecturer, in 1796 Harveian orator, and in 1807 he was appointed Physician Extraordinary to the Prinzy-Regent. I 1814 he retired to Enfield, where he died three years later.

In 1768 Saunders translated Joseph Jakob Edler von Plenck’s paper on the use of mercury in syphilis from Latin.


  • De antimonio. Doctoral dissertation, Edinburgh, 1765.
  • Syllabus of a course of lectures on chemistry and pharmacy.
    London, 1766.
  • A letter to Dr. Baker on the endemical colic of Devonshire.
    London, 1767.
  • An answer to Geach and Alcock on the endemical colic of Devonshire. London 1768.
  • Observationes de antimonio ejusque usu in morbis curandis.
    London, 1773.
  • Observations and experiments on the power of the mephitic acid in dissolving stones in the bladder. London, 1777.
  • Observations on the superior efficacy of the red Peruvian bark in the cure of aques and other fevers.
    1782, 1783; Boston, 1783.
  • A treatise on the structure, oeconomy and diseases of the liver, with an inquiry into the proportions and component parts of the bile and biliary concretions.
    1793, 1795, 1803, 1809; Boston, 1797; Walpole, 1810.
  • A treatise on the chemical history and medical powers of some of the most celebrated mineral waters; etc.
    London, 1800, 1805.
  • Observations on the hepatitis of India, and on the prevalent use of mercury in the diseases of that country. 1809.
  • J. J. von Plenck:
    Methodus nova et facilis argentum vivum aegris venerea labe infectis exhibendi etc.
    Wien, 1766; 4th edition, 1766. German 2nd edition, 1869. English translation, 1767, 1768, 1772.

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