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Sir Thomas Smith Clouston (1840–1915)

© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

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Born in Orkney and educated at Aberdeen Grammar School, Thomas Smith Clouston studied medicine at Edinburgh where he came under the influence of Goodsir, Syme, Simpson and Laycock. Laycock in particular had original ideas on the care and treatment of the insane. Clouston graduated with an MD (gold medal) in 1861 with a thesis on the nervous system of the lobster. His first post on graduation was as assistant to Dr Skae at the Royal Edinburgh Asylum and from there, at the age of 22 years, he was appointed Superintendent of Westmorland Asylum, Carlisle. Ten years later he returned to Edinburgh as Physician Superintendent of the Royal Edinburgh Asylum. His contributions to the literature of psychiatry produced a fundamental change in the attitude of the profession towards the insane and placed Clouston at the forefront of his specialty.

Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh



oil on canvas


H 81.2 x W 66 cm

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Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

9 Queen Street, Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH2 1JQ Scotland

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