Biography of James Begbie
James Begbie was first a pupil of John Abercrombie (1780-1844), then Abercrombie’s assistant. He obtained his medical doctorate from the University of Edinburgh in 1821 and became fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1822. He commenced his medical career as a practitioner, but for the last 20 years of his life he was consulting physician. In 1847 he was elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physician, of which he was president 1854-1856, after having been president of the Royal Medico-Chirurgical Society 1850-1852. For almost 40 years he was physician to the Scottish Widow’s Fund and Life Assurance Society. Based on the experiences thus gained he published works on vital statistics.
Besides the works mentioned below, he wrote a series of papers, on the use of arsenic in chronic rheumatism, the use of nitritic-hydrochloric acid in oxaluria, and potassium bromide in nervous diseases.