1902 Encyclopedia > David Abercromby

David Abercromby
Scottish physician
(fl. 17th C.)

DAVID ABERCROMBY, M.D. This Scottish physi-cian was sufficiently noteworthy half a century after his (probable) decease to have his Nova Medicinae Praxis reprinted at Paris in 1740; while during his lifetime his Tuta ac efficax luis venereae sospe absque mercurio ac semper-absque salivatione mercuriali curando methodus (1684, 8vo) was translated into German and published at Dresden in 1702 (8vo). In 1685 were published De Pulsus Varia-tione (London; Paris, 1688, 12mo), and Ars explorandi medicas facidtates plantarum ex solo sap. (London). His Opuscula were collected in 1687.. These professional writings gave him a place and memorial in Haller's Biblio-theca Medicinae Pract. (4 vols. 8vo, 1779, torn. iii. p. 619); but he claims passing remembrance rather as a meta-physician by his remarkable controversial books in theo-logy and philosophy. Formerly a Roman Catholic and Jesuit, he abjured Popery, and published Protestancy proved Safer than Popery (London, 1686). But by far the most noticeable of his productions is A Discourse of Wit (London, 1685). This treatise somehow has fallen out of sight—much as old coined gold gets hidden away —so that bibliographers do not seem to have met with it, and assign it at hap-hazard to Patrick Abercromby, M.D. Notwithstanding, the most cursory examination of it proves that in this Discourse of Wit are contained some of the most characteristic and most definitely-put metaphysical opinions of the Scottish philosophy of common sense. Of this early metaphysician nothing biographically has come down save that he was a Scotchman (" Scotus ")—bom at Seaton. He was living early in the 18th century. (Haller, as supra; Lawrence Charteris's M.S., s. v.) So recently as 1833 was printed A Short Account of Scots Divines by him, edited by James Maidment, Edinburgh. (A. B. G.)

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