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William Fergusson papers

Call Number: MS 1287

Scope and Contents

The papers consist of the correspondence and related papers of William Fergusson, a British physician who served as inspector-general of military hospitals during the early 1800s. The material documents his military experiences in Portugal, in the service of the British Army from 1804-1812, and includes a small quantity of items from 1813-1831. The papers are arranged in chronological order, with typescripts of most items filed with the originals.

Correspondence includes letters from medical and military figures, reports of hospital statistics regarding the c are and treatment of sick and wounded soldiers, and exchanges relating to the charges of professional misconduct filed against Fregusson. As inspector-general of military hospitals Fergusson oversaw the administration of medical operations, including staffing nad personnel matters, supply and equipment needs, and financial considerations. Included among the correspondents are: Robert Arbuthnot, Andrew Halliday, and Adam Neale.

The William Fergusson Papers were collected by Harvey W. Cushing. The papers were transferred from the Historical Medical Library in 1981.


  • 1808-1814


Conditions Governing Access

The entire collection is available on microfilm. Patrons must use HM 275 instead of the originals.

Existence and Location of Copies

Entire collection is also available on microfilm (594 frames on 1 reel, 35mm.) from Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, at cost.Order no. HM275.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Yale University Medical Historical Library, 1980.


Arranged in chronological order.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers consist of letters and other materials which document the military career of William Fergusson, a British physician. The papers detail Fergusson's experiences in Portugal, during the Peninsular War, and include material relating to the administration of military hospitals. Typescripts of several items are included in the papers.

Biographical / Historical

William Fergusson was born in Ayre, England on June 19, 1773. He attended medical classes in Edinburgh, Scotland, and practiced in London hospitals. Fergusson became assistant-surgeon in the army and saw duty in Holland, the West Indies, the Baltic, the Iberian Peninsula, and the expedition against Guadaloupe in 1815. He retired from the service in 1817, and practiced in Edinburgh until 1821, when he moved to Windsor. Fergusson was disabled by paralysis in 1843 and he died in January 1846. He published medical papers on syphilis, malaria fevers, and malaria.

Guide to the William Fergusson Papers
Under Revision
compiled by William E. Brown, Jr.
July 1985
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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