John Barlow by his colleagues

John became a notable figure in the intellectual and literary society of Edinburgh, a group who were all strong Liberals in politics. A particularly close friend of his was another Edinburgh Quaker, Joseph Lister, who later reformed surgery with the use of antiseptics and greatly revered his colleague: ‘One of the best scientists of his generation’. John was soon elevated to the title of Professor and his short successful career in Edinburgh was summed up by his illustrious peers.

Professor William Gardner who became Glasgow’s first Medical Officer of Health described John Barlow as a: ‘great and original thinker, so truthful and unselfish’.

Sir James Simpson the pioneer of chloroform wrote:

He was a man destined to advance and elevate veterinary medicine’

Professor John Goodsir (Professor of Anatomy, Edinburgh University) wrote:

John Barlow’s achievements were the result of a very remarkable ability; regulated and fostered during the time he spent as a pupil and later as a teacher in the Edinburgh Veterinary College. When Professor Barlow was selected to lecture on Anatomy and Physiology and to supervise the dissecting room, he established a course every bit as eminent as the School of medicine.’

Mr Finlay Dun who taught Materia Medica and Diatetics wrote:

I never knew anyone whose influence on those with whom he came into contact was so wholly and powerfully good. Professor Barlow’s scientific investigations and writings were at the very front of his profession.”

William Williams, Principal of the Dick Veterinary College in Edinburgh and President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, said in a speech made at the opening of a new college, declared that:

John Barlow was the pioneer of Veterinary science...a man living one hundred years before his time. Others were rule-of-thumb practitioners, while he brought the light of science to bear upon his profession.”

Professor James McCall (Founder of Glasgow Veterinary College) who was taught by Professor Barlow, said “There is no question but that he was at the very front of his profession and no-one who had the pleasure of his acquaintance would attempt to question this.”

Dr George Fleming, another student of Professor Barlow recalled:

He had an almost paternal kindness and interest in the students which made him greatly beloved, nay revered by them.”


Barlow, J. (1846), 'On the Breech Presentation of the Foetus', The Veterinarian, vol 19, (Sep) pp.500-501

Barlow, J. (1848), 'Shoulder Lameness', The Veterinarian, vol 21, (Sep) pp. 507-509 [Clinical point made about Percivall's paper on pp. 357-365, Jul 1848]

Barlow, J. (1854), 'Cases of Cancer in Horses', The Veterinarian, vol 27, (Aug) pp. 429-434. [In which he mentions his friend W. T. Gairdner 'the eminent pathologist'].

Barlow, J. 1854), ‘Cases of Irregular Strangles’ The Veterinarian, vol 27, (Sep) pp. 490-497. [In which he mentions his friend Mr. Hallen, V.S., now at Cavalry Depot, Canterbury]

Barlow, J. (1854), ‘Acute Laminitis with Enteritis and Pneumonia’ The Veterinarian, vol 27, (Nov) pp 625-629

Barlow, J. (1855), ‘Pleurisy. Formation of Fluid in the Pleural cavities; Tapping; and Death', The Veterinarian, vol 23, (Jan) pp.4-9

Barlow, J. (1855), ‘On the conformation of the chest in horses and cattle’ North British Agriculturist and Edinburgh Evening, Journal, No 39, Vol 7, pp. 281 (col.3)-284 (col. l)

Barlow, J. (1856), 'Note on the occurrence of paralysis and muscular atrophy in the horse in connection with arterial obstruction and obliteration’ by the late John Barlow' Edinburgh Metlical Journal vol l, No 12 (Jun)

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