James Miller (surgeon)

Prof James Miller FRCSEd, FRSE (2 April 1812 – 17 June 1864) was a surgeon and medical author in Edinburgh. He was author of the important 19th century textbook, Principles of Surgery. Like his father he became a member of the Free Church of Scotland in 1843 and was a firm believer in temperance.

James Miller
Bust of Prof James Miller, by Sir John Steell, Old College, University of Edinburgh
Bust of Prof James Miller, by Sir John Steell, Old College, University of Edinburgh
Born2 April 1812
Eassie, Angus
Died17 June 1864 (1864-06-18) (aged 52)
Other namesProf Miller
OccupationScottish surgeon
51 Queen Street, Edinburgh


He was born on 2 April 1812 in the manse of Eassie in Angus, the son of Rev James Miller (1777–1860) and Barbara Martin. He studied Medicine at both St Andrews University and Edinburgh University.[1]

From 1832 to 1834 he served as assistant to Robert Liston, taking over his practice in 1834. He continued this until 1842 then took up the role of Professor of Surgery at Edinburgh University. At the same time he acted as principal surgeon to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.[2] During this period he lived at 51 Queen Street, a handsome Georgian townhouse in Edinburgh's First New Town.[3] Dr James Young Simpson was his immediate neighbour.

He later moved to 23 York Place, Edinburgh.[4]

He died at Pinkhill House near Edinburgh on 17 June 1864, and is buried in Grange Cemetery in Edinburgh. The grave lies on the northern wall.

The grave of Prof James Miller, Grange Cemetery, Edinburgh

Positions heldEdit


  • Principles of Surgery (1844)
  • Practice of Surgery (2 vols: 1844 and 1846)
  • Neuenahr A new spa on the Rhine (1861)


He was brother to Robert Miller, Surgeon to the Governor of Madras.[5]

He married Penelope Garden Campbell Gordon (1813-1873) in 1836. Their daughter, Elizabeth Gordon Miller, married Patrick Heron Watson.

His sons included Dr Alexander Gordon Miller.


  1. ^ "Miller, James (1812-1864) (DNB00) - Wikisource, the free online library". en.wikisource.org. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Former Fellows of The Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 | Biographical Index" (PDF). 29 June 2006. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  3. ^ Edinburgh and Leith Post Office directory 1850-51
  4. ^ Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1840
  5. ^ "List of fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh [electronic resource] : from the year 1581 to 31st December 1873". Edinburgh : Printed by George Robb. 5 June 1874 – via Internet Archive.