John Clerk

From Book Owners Online

Dr. John CLERK

Biographical Note

Unidentified; possibly Dr John Clerk, 1689-1757, elected president of the Edinburgh Royal College of Physicians in 1740, who graduated M.D. at St. Andrews in 1711, was one of the first Vice Presidents of the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh and was editor of three editions of the Edinburgh Royal College of Physicians' pharmacopoeia.


His library was sold at auction after his death, along with the library of his son, Dr David Clerk; the extent of his library within the auction catalogue is unclear. It was sold from 23rd January-9th February 1769, 4-8pm, by William Gibb at the auction-room below Balfour's coffee-house. The catalogue comprises at least 2934 lots, a collection of 'MEDICAL BOOKS, antient and modern; A fine Collection of CLASSICS, of many various Editions, and many excellent Books of ARTS, SCIENCES, the MATHEMATICS, and BELLES LETTRES', as well as at least 100 lots of religious books, including a collection of religious pamphlets. The pages of the catalogue are missing after p104, but appear from the catchword to be the appendix rather than further lots.


  • Comrie, John D. History of Scottish Medicine. 2d ed. London: Published for the Wellcome historical medical museum by Baillière, Tindall & Cox, 1932. 282.
  • Emerson, Roger L. “The Philosophical Society of Edinburgh, 1737-1747.” The British Journal for the History of Science 12, no. 2 (1979): 154–91. 165.
  • A catalogue of books; being the library of the learned Dr. John Clerk, physician in Edinburgh; and of Dr David Clerk, his son: consisting of a large and valuable collection of medical books, antient and modern; a fine collection of classics ... which will begin to be sold by auction, on Monday the 23d of January 1769, by William Gibb, ... (Edinburgh, 1768). Pp.[2],104. NLS: K.R.32.f