Poole studied Medicine and graduated M.D. at the University of St Andrews in 1805. He was editor of the New Edinburgh Review, and published articles promoting phrenology in the early 1820s; it existed 1821 to 1823. Poole was also first editor of the Phrenological Journal. Poole joined the editorial staff of the Encyclopædia Edinensis under James Millar.
In 1820 he was living at 23 Broughton Street, a flat in Edinburgh's east end.
From 1820 Poole campaigned for a new infirmary in Edinburgh. In 1825 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. In the late 1830s he was a pioneer advocate of mental health reform, and in 1838 he became superintendent of the Montrose Asylum, succeeding W. A. F. Browne. He remained at Montrose until 1845. He then kept a private asylum at Middlefield, Aberdeenshire.
- An Essay on Education (1825). In this work, from the Encyclopædia Edinensis, Poole acknowledges help in early life from Archibald Alison. He advocated education in cases of mental retardation.
- A Letter to Andrew Duncan, Senior, M.D. ... Regarding the Establishment of a New Infirmary (1825). Pamphlet addressed to Andrew Duncan, the elder on the infirmary question; Duncan replied to the agitation for a new infirmary in a letter to William Fettes.
- Report on Examination of Medical Practitioners (1833)
- Memoranda regarding the Royal Lunatic Asylum, Infirmary, and Dispensary, of Montrose (1841)
- Roger Cooter (1984). The Cultural Meaning of Popular Science: Phrenology and the Organization of Consent in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Cambridge University Press. p. 314 note 66. ISBN 978-0-521-22743-8.
- Roger Cooter (1984). The Cultural Meaning of Popular Science: Phrenology and the Organization of Consent in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Cambridge University Press. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-521-22743-8.
- UM-MEDSEARCH Gateway (1870). The Lancet. J. Onwhyn. pp. 467–8.
- Williamson's Edinburgh Directory 1784
- Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1800
- Hewett Cottrell Watson (1836). Statistics of phrenology: being a sketch of the progress and present state of that science in the British Islands. Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green, and Longman. Paternoster- Row. p. 194.
- James J. Sack (1993). From Jacobite to Conservative: Reaction and Orthodoxy in Britain, C. 1760–1832. Cambridge University Press. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-521-43266-5.
- R. J. Cooter (1976). "Phrenology and British alienists, c. 1825–1845. Part I: Converts to a doctrine". Medical History. 20 (1): 1–21 (5–6). doi:10.1017/s0025727300021761. PMC 1081688. PMID 765647.
- James Millar (1827) Encyclopedia Edinensis; or, Dictionary of arts, sciences, and literature vol. 1, p. vi.
- Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1820
- Charles W. J. Withers (2001). Geography, Science and National Identity: Scotland Since 1520. Cambridge University Press. p. 170. ISBN 978-0-521-64202-6.
- M. Barfoot (2009). "The 1815 Act to Regulate Madhouses in Scotland: A reinterpretation". Medical History. 53 (1): 57–76. doi:10.1017/s0025727300003318. PMC 2629162. PMID 19190749.
- Richard Poole (1825). An essay on education, applicable to children in general;. Waugh and Innes.
- Journal of psychological medicine. 1855. p. 587.
- Richard Poole; Andrew Duncan (1825). A Letter to Andrew Duncan, Senior, M.D. ... Regarding the Establishment of a New Infirmary. Archibald Constable.
- The Lancet. Elsevier. 1827. pp. 416–8.
- Richard Poole (1841). Memoranda regarding the Royal Lunatic Asylum, Infirmary, and Dispensary, of Montrose. J. & D. Nichol.
- Ralston Inglis (1868). The Dramatic Writers of Scotland. G.D. Mackellar. pp. 95–.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley (1829). The Edinburgh literary journal: or, Weekly register of criticism and belles lettres. Ballantyne. p. 42.
- John Bulloch, John Alexander Henderson (editors), Scottish Notes and Queries (1888), p. 40; archive.org.
- Alexander Macdonald Munro, Records of Old Aberdeen vol. 2 (1909), p. 248; archive.org.
- David M. Bertie (2000). Scottish Episcopal Clergy, 1689–2000. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 403. ISBN 978-0-567-08746-1.
- "Art Listing".