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1 The Making of an Imperial Doctor Also please do not clwnge "England" to "Scotland": the sense ofthe passage is that he left home too young to lwve made acquaintance with any big men atheadquarters (which isLondon, notScotland) who might lwve been a weight onto his feet afterwards andmight have done for him wlwt he [Manson] did for Ross. So it should be "England." Scotland would be grotesque, since all Soctchmen come to England for their opportunity. COLONEL A. ALCOCK TOP. H. MANSON·BAHR 8 October 1926, regardiTI(J their biography ofPatrick Manson Quinine is as valuable to a man shivering with ague as a piece ofgrey shirting; and when he knows this he will ask for it, and get it. But if grey shirtings were only to be got from one or two clwritable individuals , either the mass would probably remain ignorant oftheir existence, or the clwrity ofthese individuals be soon exlwusted. Private enterprise would be choked by the give-away-for-nothing system ofthe philanthropist , andcertainly clothes for the millions wouldnot be forthcoming. Left to the wholesome influence ofsupply and demand, we know how marvelous has been the result, and so it should be with quinine. PATRICK MANSON Medical and Surgical Report for thl' Amoy (China) Missionary Hospital for 1873 14 CHAPTER 1 ftT first sight, the village of Takow on the island of Taiwan (or Formosa, as ~ it was then known) appears to be an unlikely place for Patrick Manson to have launched his career in medicine. Takow could not have been farther from his birthplace in Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire, or from his medical training at Aberdeen University in Scotland. But Manson's career path was hardly an anomaly. It goes without saying that most graduates of English, Irish, and Scottish medical schools would have preferred to pursue lucrative careers as London consultants. Many tried, but few succeeded. This sobering reality did little to check demand for medical training after 1850. Most toiled away as providers in a competitive domestic medical market. Yet, as Britain's formal territorial and informal commercial empire grew, an increasing number of practitioners pursued their careers abroad. Many sought the security of a salaried appointment in the state services, that is, the Army Medical Department, the Indian Medical Service, the Naval Medical Service, or the colonial medical services of the dependent empire. Others served on merchant and passenger vessels in hopes of a better situation. Still others preferred to gamble on the promise ofcultivatingmarkets for medicine in British colonies or in Britain's spheres of influence. Regardless of their occupational status, as a group they practiced medicine as imperial physicians and, consequently, participated in the transformation of Victorian medicine into imperial medicine. As this chapter will show, Manson was both a product and an agent of this process. The Making ofa Doctor in Victorian Scotland In a parish church in the farm town ofOld Machar in northeast Scotland, Patrick Blaikie, a retired Royal Navy surgeon, gave his eighteen-year-old daughter Elizabeth away in marriage on 16 June 1842.1 The groom was John Manson, a thirty-five-year-old property owner and bank agent for the North of Scotland Banking Company in Oldmeldrum, a prosperous farm town in the county of Aberdeenshire.2 Shortly after their marriage, John and Elizabeth moved to a large four-bedroom house with surrounding farmland on Cromlet Hill in Oldmeldrum . The Manson family quickly outgrew their home. First came John Blaikie in June 1843. Patrick followed him in October 1844. Forbes was born in March 1846, David in July 1847, Margaret Knight in November 1848, Alexander Livingstone in July 1850, Elisabeth Livingstone in August 1852, Helen in May 1854, and Alice in January 1856.3 In 1859, John and Elizabeth relocated the family to 22 King Street in the eastern portion ofAberdeen. Their decision to migrate to the city, some twenty THE MAKING OF AN IMPERIAL DOCTOR 15 miles from Oldmeldrum, conformed to a well-established pattern of internal migration in northeastern Scotland. As the regional center of banking, higher education, insurance, and law, Aberdeenwas the magnet for the growingpopulation in the hinterland ofthe county. Between 1801 and 1851, Aberdeen's population nearly tripled, from 26,900 to 72,000.4 In moving, John and Elizabeth gave up the rural gentility of Cromlet Hill for a plain townhouse in a middle-class district of the city. The loss in charm was more than made up for in space. The twelve rooms comfortably accommodated a household consisting of...


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