Part of
Reminiscences of some old Edinburgh Friends
an article in the
Journal of the Friends Historical Society
Vol. 10, pp. 10 & 11
I am not quite sure when John Barlow (d. 1856, aged 40) appeared on the scene. He came from Cheshire as a student, and became professor in the Veterinary College in Clyde Street: "a talented man and rather a pioneer in microscopic work", a friend remarks. When he was a student, the bitter controversy between the followers of Hahnemann and the "orthodox" school of medicine was in full swing. As the result of many experiments on the animal world which John Barlow made, he ranged himself on the "orthodox" side; whether he ever changed his views, I know not. Knee breeches were by this time the exception amongst Friends, but the collarless coat was still a sine qua non for old and young alike, I remember John Barlow appearing in an ordinary fancy coloured overcoat, "Coderingtons", I think they were called, and when he was taken to task by one of the Overseers, he defended the garment by pointing out how convenient it was in cold or wet weather to be able to turn the collar up. Whilst on the subject of dress, I may recall the fact that mourning garments were considered to be most un-Friendly. I remember the half-astonished, half-grieved comments made on the dress of a woman Friend, as she appeared at her husband's funeral in 1856, though I fancy it was only ordinary black silk, and a Friends' black bonnet and veil which she wore. Even in those days there were Friend women students at the Ladies' College in Moray Place, one of the earliest institutions established for the higher education of women. William F. Miller

More about John Barlow.
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