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Title: The Montreal Medical Gazette, Volume 1, Extra

Date of first publication: 1845

Author: William Sutherland (1815-1875), Francis Badgley (1807-1863) (Editors)

Date first posted: June 20, 2015

Date last updated: June 20, 2015

Faded Page eBook #20150648

This ebook was produced by: Marcia Brooks, Paulina Chin & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net




In accordance with the promise made by the Editors of this Journal in their last number, they hasten to put their subscribers in possession of the proposed Provincial “Medical Bill” of the Honorable Attorney General Smith; at the same time, to lay before them the Bill for the Incorporation of the College of Medicine and Surgery of this City, as framed and unanimously agreed upon by the Select Committee, to whom was referred the petition of the Lecturers and Students of that Institution; the petition of the Medical Faculty of McGill College against the latter will also be found with remarks, shewing the untenability of their grounds of objection.

Leave was granted for the introduction of the “Medical Bill,” and it was read a first time on Friday the 17th inst.; its second reading is fixed for Tuesday next, the 28th inst.

The ideas of the Editors on the “Medical Bill” will be found below; but they beg to state, that they shall be happy to be the medium for the communication of any suggestions, (postage paid) which members of the profession may be desirous of offering on its details.

They take this opportunity also of gratefully acknowledging the promptitude and politeness of the Honorable Attorney General, in furnishing them with a copy of his Bill, so early as Saturday morning.


An Act to regulate the study and practice of Medicine, Surgery, and Midwifery within this Province.


Whereas it is expedient to provide more effectual regulations than those at present existing, with respect to persons practising Physic, Surgery and Midwifery within this Province, and to regulate Druggists and others vending or distributing Medicines by retail:—


The 1st clause repeals all Acts and Ordinances or parts of Acts relating in any manner to the Practice of Physic, Surgery, or Midwifery in Lower and Upper Canada, or in any manner relating to the mode of obtaining licenses to practice Physic, Surgery or Midwifery.

II. And be it enacted, That from and after the passing of the Act, no person shall be allowed to commence the study of Medicine, until he has first satisfied some Medical Board to be appointed and nominated as hereinafter mentioned, either by certificate or examination, that he is at least          years of age and has received a liberal education, including a competent knowledge of the classics.

III. And be it enacted, That from and after the passing of this Act, no person shall receive a license to practice Medicine, Surgery or Midwifery for gain or profit within this Province, who shall not have obtained a Certificate from some Medical Board to be appointed and nominated as hereinafter mentioned, which shall be founded on the production of a Diploma or Degree from some University, College, or Incorporated School of Medicine within the dominions of Her Majesty, or on a commission or warrant as Physician or Surgeon in Her Majesty’s Naval or Military Service,—or in default of such diploma, degree or commission, a certificate founded on a satisfactory examination by such Medical Board as to his qualification, competency and ability to practice Medicine, Surgery, and Midwifery: Provided always, that previous to examination as aforesaid, he shall give satisfactory proof of his having studied Medicine, Surgery and Midwifery, for at least four years under some competent Practitioner or Practitioners, and of his having during at least two of those years attended courses of lectures at some University, College or Incorporated School of Medicine, on the following branches of Medical Study, that is to say: Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry and Pharmacy, Materia Medica, Theory and Practice of Physic, Principles and Practice of Surgery, Midwifery, and Diseases of Women and Children, Practical Anatomy, Clinical Medicine and Surgery,—each of which courses of lectures shall in each of the said two years have continued at least six months, and have consisted of at least           lectures of not less than           hour each, and also of his having attended regularly for at least one year, the practice of some Public Hospital where there are on the average, at least fifty patients, and at least two medical attendants: Provided always, that if any Student of Medicine, Surgery or Midwifery, shall have commenced his studies within the four years next before the passing of this Act and more than three years and a half before the passing thereof, he shall be entitled to apply for a license after the termination of four years of such study, and after having undergone a satisfactory examination by the said Medical Board, without being required to exhibit testimonials of having attended such courses of lectures as aforesaid: and if he shall have commenced his studies more than two years and a half before the passing of this Act, then his having attended one such course of lectures shall be sufficient.

IV. And be it enacted, That every person so receiving and obtaining such certificate from any Medical Board, shall forthwith pay to the Secretary of such Board the sum of           currency, Which sum shall be expended in defraying the incidental expenses of such Medical Board, as well in keeping the Register thereof, as in the execution of the several duties hereby assigned to them.

V. And be it enacted, That every person so receiving and obtaining such certificate from such Medical Board, shall transmit the same to the Governor of this Province, and it shall and may be lawful, on the application of such person, for the Governor to grant to such applicant a License under his hand and seal, to practice Medicine, Surgery and Midwifery, or any of them, according to such certificate, within this Province.

VI. And be it enacted, That before the issuing of such License to practise as aforesaid, the applicant shall pay into the hands of the Provincial Secretary, the sum of           currency, to the public uses of the Province.

VII. And be it enacted, That if any doubt or suspicion should arise regarding the identity of any person presenting a diploma, degree, commission or warrant as aforesaid, before any Medical Board, with the person named in such diploma, degree, commission or warrant, it shall be lawful for the said Medical Board, through the Chairman presiding for the time being, and he is hereby required and authorized to administer an oath or solemn affirmation, (if such person be one of those authorized to affirm instead or taking an oath in civil cases,) to the person presenting such diploma, degree, commission or warrant, as to such identity; and if any person so presenting such diploma, degree, commission or warrant, and applying for a certificate or license as aforesaid, shall be guilty of false swearing or false affirmation in such oath or affirmation, such person shall be deemed guilty of wilful and corrupt perjury, and on conviction thereof, shall be liable to the pains and penalties to which any person convicted of that offence is liable by the laws of the Province.

VIII. And be it enacted, That no person shall, from and after the passing of this Act, receive a License to sell drugs or medicines, as a Druggist or Apothecary, within any city or town corporate in this Province, who shall not have served a regular and continued apprenticeship of at least three years with some Medical Practitioner or licensed Druggist or Apothecary, and have attended at least one course of lectures on Chemistry, and one course of lectures on the Materia Medica, (each of the duration of at least six months, and each consisting of at least           lectures,) or, in default of attendance on such course of lectures, who shall not have served a regular apprenticeship with some Medical Practitioner or licensed Druggist or Apothecary, during the period of at least five years, or who shall not, in either case, have undergone a satisfactory examination touching his knowledge of the qualities, characters and effects of drugs and medicines, before one of the Medical Boards hereinafter mentioned, under like formalities and on like conditions as are by this Act required for persons applying for a License to practice Physic, Surgery or Midwifery.

IX. And be it enacted, That the practice of Medicine, Surgery or Midwifery within this Province, for hire, gain or lucre, or hope of hire, gain or lucre, or the selling of any drugs or medicines within any city or town corporate, as a Druggist or Apothecary, by any person not having a License, or not specially excepted, shall be deemed and considered to be a misdemeanor, and may be prosecuted and punished as any other misdemeanor may be; and every act of so practising on a separate day shall be a separate offence; and upon the trial of any person charged with such misdemeanor, the burthen of proof as to the License or right of the person tried, to practice Medicine, Surgery or Midwifery in the Province, shall be upon the defendant; but no prosecution shall be commenced for such misdemeanor after three months from the commission of the supposed offence, and no person convicted of such misdemeanor shall be sentenced to a longer period of imprisonment than three months, nor to a greater fine than           pounds, nor to a less fine than           pounds currency; Provided, always, that nothing herein contained shall extend or be construed to extend to prevent any Physician or Surgeon, or other Medical Officer, of Her Majesty’s Navy or Army, on full pay, from practising as such, while stationed within the said Province, and actually employed in the said Navy or Army.

X. And be it enacted, That for the purpose of carrying this Act into execution, it shall be lawful for the Governor of this Province to constitute, nominate and appoint under his Hand and Seal at Arms, one or more Medical Boards within this Province, consisting respectively of at least eleven persons legally authorized to practise as Physicians, Surgeons or Man-Midwives, and actually practising as such, (not being Physicians or Surgeons on full pay in Her Majesty’s Army or Navy,) and from time to time to remove any or all of the Members of any such Board, and to appoint another or others in his or their place or stead; and seven Members of any such Board shall be a quorum, and a majority of such quorum may exercise any of the powers of the Board; and each such Board is hereby required to hold a stated meeting once in every three months, at such place as shall be appointed by the Governor of this Province, of which meeting at least two weeks notice shall be given in at least two newspapers published in the city or town at which such Board shall hold its meeting, or if there be no such newspaper, then in two newspapers published nearest to the place at which such meeting shall be so held; and at any such meeting, the Member present whose License shall be of the oldest date shall preside; and each such Board shall have power and authority to frame By-Laws and Regulations for its government, and from time to time to alter and amend the same by other By-Laws, provided such By-Laws or Regulations be not repugnant nor contrary to the laws of this Province, nor to the true intent and meaning of this Act, and be approved of by the Governor of this Province before they shall have any force or effect.

XI. And be it enacted, That each such Medical Board, at any of its stated meetings as aforesaid, or at any extraordinary meetings that may be called together in conformity with its By-Laws and Regulations, shall hear and examine the testimonials and qualifications of each and every person so appearing before such Board, and who shall be desirous of obtaining a License to practice Physic, Surgery or Midwifery, or either of them, and who shall have notified the Secretary of the said Board of his or their intention thereof, and deposited his testimonials at least           day previous to such meeting; and such Board upon being satisfied of the correctness of the diploma, degree or commission exhibited by the applicant, and of the identity of the person presenting the same, or in default of such document, having examined into and become satisfied of the qualification, competency and ability of such applicant to practise Medicine, Surgery or Midwifery, and of his having attained the age of twenty-one years, and of his having studied four years as aforesaid, and of his having attended in two separate years complete courses of lectures on the different branches before mentioned of the Medical Profession, in some University, College or Incorporated School of Medicine, where the courses of lectures are continued during at least           months, and of having attended for at least one year the practice of some public Hospital where there are at the least on an average, fifty patients, and at least two Medical attendants, or of having examined into the qualification, competency or ability of any applicant to sell drugs or medicine, as a Druggist or Apothecary within any city or town corporate within this Province, and of his having served a regular and continued apprenticeship with some regular Medical Practitioner, or licensed Druggist or Apothecary during a period of four years at the least, and of his having attended the two complete courses of lectures hereinbefore mentioned, of the duration of six months each, or of having served a regular and continued apprenticeship of five years as aforesaid, shall be bound to grant a certificate of the same, under the hands and seals of the Members of the said Board present at such meeting, or a majority thereof, which shall entitle the person to whom it shall be so given, to apply for and obtain a License to practise Medicine, Surgery and Midwifery, or any of them as the case may be, or to sell drugs and medicines as a Druggist and Apothecary as aforesaid, from the Governor of this Province.

XII. And be it enacted, That nothing in this Act contained shall extend or be construed to extend to prevent females from practising as Midwives in this Province; Provided always, that after the expiration of one year from the passing of this Act, no female shall practise for gain or hope of gain as a Midwife unless she shall have presented herself before some Medical Board to be examined as to her qualification and ability to act as such Midwife, and shall have obtained a certificate of qualification from such Board, and a License as aforesaid founded on such certificate.

XIII. And be it enacted, That all penalties imposed by this Act shall be payable to Her Majesty, and reserved to the public uses of the Province, and shall make part of the Consolidated Revenue Fund thereof, and the application of the same shall be accounted for to Her Majesty, Her Heirs and Successors, through the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty’s Treasury for the time being, in such manner and form as Her Majesty, Her Heirs and Successors shall be pleased to direct.

With the general provisions of this Bill, (we know that we are stating the opinions of a large majority of the members of the profession in this city,) there is every reason to be satisfied; but there are certain points in the details, which no doubt, will be attended to when it is committed, upon which we beg to offer a few remarks;—and first as to the age at which persons shall be qualified to commence their professional studies. We think this specification superfluous, for if no candidate for the license can apply for it before attaining the age of 21 years and before completing four full years of apprenticeship with two full courses of lectures, it matters not whether he commence his studies at the age of 16 or 17.

The third clause, in specifying the duration of the courses of lectures, &c. enacts, that each course shall have continued at least six months and have consisted of at least ——— lectures of not less than ——— hours each; now, in the first place, in no School of Medicine with which we are acquainted, are lectures on Practical Anatomy given; demonstrations on what the Professor of Anatomy has already lectured, are repeated, and explanations afforded to students while dissecting. We see in the prospectus of King’s College Toronto, that Mr. Sullivan’s hour for Practical Anatomy is 10 A. M. We presume, that he is in the rooms of practical anatomy for the purposes above stated, at that time and remains there for one hour a day. Next as to Clinical Medicine and Surgery. We know, that in the University of Edinburgh, two lectures on the former and one on the latter branch each week are all that constitute the course; in London also two lectures on each of those branches are the utmost that are delivered at any of the Hospital Schools. King’s College, Toronto, provides for only two lectures on Clinical Medicine and Surgery each week, and until this session, it is certain that no regular Clinical lectures at all have ever been required by the Medical Faculty of McGill College, as a part of their curriculum, for the degree of M. D. Then as to the number of lectures composing each course, it is to be remarked, that at King’s College, Toronto, two of the courses for the degree of M. D. only consist of three lectures a week (Midwifery and Materia Medica) while the others consist of five a week, making a difference in these courses of 0[unclear; see Transcriber’s Notes] at the least. The full course from October to May gives 182 days, from which are to be deducted 26 Sundays and 26 Saturdays and we presume 10 days at Christmas = 62 days, leaving 120 days for lectures on four branches—while in these two other courses alluded to, there are only 81 lecture days. And again, although, the number of lecture days at McGill College may be made to extend to 110, (it cannot be more) yet by the 4th Clause of the 2nd Chapter of their Statutes, they recognize certificates of lectures delivered at Universities, Colleges or Schools of Medicine, in which the courses are of four months duration, provided five lectures are delivered each week. Let us try this arithmetically. Let the four months comprise, Nov. Dec. Jan. and February—we have 120 days; from this number deduct 17 Sundays, 17 Saturdays and 10 Christmas holidays, and we shall have 76 as the total number of lectures delivered during the session. But if at McGill College, Dr. Bruneau give each day, as we are informed he did last session, a resumé in French of twenty minutes’ duration of his previously delivered English lecture, then does his English class lose during the session 110 twenty minutes, or nearly 37 hours, which reduces his course in English to seventy three lectures.

Therefore, we would suggest, that the courses of lectures of Anatomy, Chemistry, Materia Medica, Theory and Practice of Medicine, Surgery and Midwifery, should be of not less than six months duration, and consist of not less than 85 lectures of one hour’s duration each. That the courses of Clinical Medicine and Surgery and Practical Anatomy should also be of six months duration, and that the former should consist of two lectures weekly. We would also strongly recommend the necessity of attending one three month’s course on the following branches; Medical Jurisprudence, Practical Chemistry, and Botany; each consisting of at least 40 lectures.

Clause 9th. enacts the penalty for practising or selling drugs without licence, but we think it should be stipulated by whom the conviction shall be made, whether by one of the Justices of the Court of Queen’s Bench or a Circuit Judge, or a Justice of the Peace, and also as to the number of witnesses required to convict; then as to the limitation of the prosecution, we think it should be six months, for few unlicensed practitioners would claim payment for services rendered within three months, but most would within six. We may here also remark of Midwives, (in clause 12) while they are declared ineligible to practice without license, yet there is no penalty specified against their doing so.

And lastly, the tenth clause provides for the formation and constitution of the District Medical Boards. A difficulty has so often been felt in assembling a sufficient number of the members of the Medical Board of the District of Montreal to form a quorum for the despatch of business, (consisting though it does of nearly twenty,) that we should desire much that such a Board might be organized from among the resident practitioners of the city, that disappointment, vexation, and anxiety may no longer be subjects of complaint from men already suffering abundantly from the last of these. But in its organization we would suggest to the Honble. Attorney General, that it be composed either of men totally unconnected with teaching, or that the two Medical Schools be equally represented in it. For our own part, we should much prefer that the former plan were adopted; but if our Honble. friend entertains the opinion of many, that teachers are more up to examining on branches with which they are daily occupied, then we conceive it but an act of justice to the members of the College of Medicine, that they should be placed on the same footing with the members of the Medical faculty of McGill College.

On the whole, we are perfectly satisfied that the Honorable Attorney General is actuated by the most sincere desire to place the Medical profession of this Province on the most respectable basis. That he will receive the hearty concurrence of all the gentlemen composing the Medical Schools now existing, we have some doubts; but that his measure has been framed in a liberal spirit, and with a most philanthropic motive, is evident.

An unavoidable cause prevented Mr. Scott from being in the House on Monday evening, and consequently the Report of the Committee on the Petition of the College of Medicine was not presented. Our readers will judge by the Petition itself, however, what are the objects sought for by the Lecturers of that School.




The Petition of the undersigned Lecturers and Students, of and in the Medical School in the City of Montreal, called the College of Medicine and Surgery,


Humbly Sheweth:


  That Francis C. T. Arnoldi, Francis Badgley, Pierre Munroe, William Sutherland, and Horace Nelson, all of the City of Montreal, Doctors of Medicine, have for the last two years been engaged in giving Public Lectures and Instruction, in the various branches of Science connected with the exercise of their profession, in the English and French languages, to young Gentlemen desirous of qualifying themselves for the same, and have for that purpose established a Public School in the said City, with suitable apparatus and conveniences; have commenced the formation of a Library and Anatomical Museum, and that the number of Pupils attending the said School and Lectures, now amount to forty-seven, a number nearly double that of last year.

That the above named Lecturers wish still further to increase their means of affording adequate instruction and facilities to their Pupils, in the acquisition of Medical knowledge, and that your Petitioners believe, that so doing, they would materially assist in placing proper opportunities of acquiring that requisite knowledge within the reach of the Canadian Student, and thus render it unnecessary for him to spend a large portion of the time allotted for his Studentship out of the Province, and frequently out of Her Majesty’s dominions, at an expense which many of them can ill afford.

That your Petitioners believe, that the objects in view would be greatly advanced by the said College of Medicine and Surgery, being Incorporated for the purposes aforesaid, with the usual powers of Corporate bodies.

That your Petitioners are willing that the value of the property, which, in their Corporate capacity, they may be enabled to hold, should be limited to as small an amount as will suffice for the purposes they have set forth.

That your Petitioners are further willing, that the property they have already acquired, and such further property as they may hereafter acquire in their Corporate capacity, should be and remain the property of the Corporation for ever, for the said purposes.

That your Petitioners desire, in the event of any vacancy occurring in their number, or should they deem it expedient to extend the instruction given, by adding to their number, that such vacancy in either manner occurring, shall be filled up, by such person or persons, as after public competition, or concours, (to be regulated in the manner to be prescribed by the Law,) shall be declared the most fit, by the existing members of the Corporation, and shall be approved of by the Governor, or person administering the Government of this Province.

That with a view to place the said College of Medicine and Surgery upon a proper and respectable basis, your Petitioners humbly pray that the Act of Incorporation now sought for, do provide, that Students who shall have passed their examination, after having conformed to the Statutes of the said College, may be entitled to present the certificate of having been approved of after the said examination, to the proper authorities, so as to obtain the necessary license to practice, in such branches as the said certificate may set forth.

Wherefore your Petitioners pray, that your Honorable House will be pleased to concur with the other branches of the Provincial Legislature, in granting an Act of Incorporation to the said College of Medicine and Surgery, with the powers, for the purposes, and subject to the conditions aforesaid.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray,

Signed by    Francis T. C. Arnoldi, M. D.

and 51 others.

Montreal, November 26, 1844.




The Petition of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of McGill College,


Humbly setteth forth,


That the Medical School in which your Petitioners are Teachers has been in existence for nearly twenty years, the last fifteen of which in connexion with the University of McGill College. Founded with the express intention of imparting to young men the necessary knowledge of their profession, they have had innumerable difficulties to encounter, under which, after a great sacrifice of time and money, they found themselves obliged to succumb. That in the year 1839 promises of support having been held out to them by the head of the Government, and having since that period received the countenance and support of your Honorable House, their labours were resumed, and have been since continued with increasing efficiency and encouragement, two additional chairs having been filled up, and the number of students having progressively augmented, exceeding fifty during the last Session.

That it has come to the knowledge of your petitioners that an association of five physicians in this city, formed scarcely fifteen months ago, and now calling themselves a “College of Medicine,” after having given one confessedly imperfect course of lectures on several branches of medical science, and having little more than commenced their second, have petitioned your Honorable House for an Act of Incorporation, whereby they shall become an established School of Medicine, with privilege and power to grant a Diploma entitling the holder to a License to practice on mere presentation of the same before the Medical Boards of the Province. That your petitioners have no desire to interfere with the rights of any to establish Private Schools of Medicine, but on the contrary admit the advantages which occasionally attend their formation, but being fully persuaded of the evil consequences which arise from the rivalry of two incorporated or Public Schools in the same place, they respectfully beg leave to lay before your Honorable House the reasons which they believe sufficient to induce your Honorable House to refuse the prayer of the Petition alluded to.

1stly.—Because under the present circumstances of the Province, with its comparatively limited population, the Medical Schools attached to the two Universities of King’s College and McGill College, are more than sufficient for every purpose of such Institutions.

2ndly.—Because the number of young men entering the medical profession, although doubtless bearing the same ratio to the aggregate population as in other countries, is from the same cause in this Province limited, and therefore insufficient of themselves to remunerate in anything like an adequate manner the labour of their Teachers. Their distribution among an increased number of Schools will have the undeniable effect of rendering them inefficient by crippling their revenue, and thereby obstructing the acquisition of the necessary materials for the illustration of their lectures.

3rdly.—Because one well-established School, in which every facility for the acquisition of knowledge is afforded, is preferable to a plurality of Schools, with limited means and still more limited facilities.

4thly.—Because from a desire to swell the list of students, and of those who annually receive Diplomas, various temptations independent of pecuniary ones may be held out, especially those of an inferior standard of qualification and of assurance of license to practice when their curriculum is completed.

5thly.—Because the existing Provincial Medical Boards (imperfect though the Law be under which they are constituted) are quite adequate to the wants of the public in preventing the admission of incompetent persons to practice while they are not open to the same temptation of granting licenses to imperfectly prepared students, as rival Schools would be.

6thly.—Because if the privilege of granting a Diploma equivalent to a license ad practicandum be accorded, a bad precedent would be established, and a similar boon could not with any propriety be refused to any number of similarly self-constituted associations, which would assuredly have the effect of lowering the standard of qualification and establishing a rivalry, not as to which School would produce the best educated practitioners, but which would grant the greatest number of Diplomas.

7thly.—Because such evils in Universities possessing Royal Charters are effectually obviated by the general supervision exercised by a Board of Governors, whose duties principally consist in the appointment of efficient Teachers, in the establishment of the standard of qualification for graduation, subject to approval by Her Majesty, and in causing the faithful observance of every regulation tending to that object.

8thly.—Because in the Petition of the “College of Medicine” for an Act of Incorporation, &c. &c., the petitioners have not stated the curriculum which candidates for their Diplomas would have to complete, nor have they pledged themselves to the fulfillment of any particular course of study, nor have they specified the duration of their courses nor their nature.

9thly.—Because the duration of the course of lectures now given in the “College of Medicine” is little more than half that of those delivered by your Petitioners, viz: three and a half months or two courses in seven months, while those delivered by your Petitioners are all of six months duration. It is obvious, therefore, that the branches cannot be so fully nor so explicitly taught as those by your Petitioners.

Finally.—Because the power of conferring Diplomas equivalent to a license ad practicandum is not enjoyed by any of the justly celebrated Metropolitan or Provincial Schools in the Mother Country, but is exclusively confined to the Universities, the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of London, Dublin, and Edinburgh, the Worshipful Company of Apothecaries of London, and the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, the last two under certain limitations.

Wherefore your Petitioners pray your Honorable House to take these their reasonable objections into your mature consideration, before according a privilege so open to abuse to any self-constituted body of Medical practitioners.

And as in duty bound your petitioners will ever pray.

A. F. Holmes, M. D., Professor of Pract. Medicine.

Geo. W. Campbell, M. D., Lect. on Prin. and Pract. of Surg.

W. Hall, M. D., Lecturer on Chemistry and Pharmacy.

M. McCulloch, M. D., Lecturer on Midwifery, &c.

O. T. Bruneau, M. D., Lecturer on Anatomy and Physiology.

S. O. Sewell, M. D., Lecturer on Materia Medica.

Alexander Long, M. D., Demonstrator of Anatomy.

Montreal, 9th December, 1844.

The following statement of facts was intrusted to the Chairman of the Committee, to whom were referred the Petitions of the College of Medicine, and the Counter Petition of the Medical Faculty of McGill College:


The present Faculty of Medicine of McGill College is not composed of the teachers (with one exception,) who originally encountered the difficulties, or suffered the sacrifices of time and money; and therefore cannot, with justice, claim the privileges to be vouchsafed for services which they assert to have been gratuitously rendered to the public:—

The present (and we might add the former,) teachers were amply remunerated for the devoting of their time and money, by the reputation consequent upon the position they thus held.

The only expenses, of which we are aware, could be for house rent, fuel, and such like; for it is not manifest that any outlay has been made for the formation of a museum, though, as they themselves acknowledge, they have been engaged in delivering lectures for upwards of twenty years; during the whole of which period their opportunities for that purpose were very ample, from their connexion with the largest institution in the Province—the Montreal General Hospital.

The Library, notwithstanding this confessedly long period, according to their own statement, only numbers “upwards of eight hundred volumes,” although ever since 1839 they have received from the Province an annual grant of five hundred pounds—the aggregate of which ought to have conduced to the formation of a more than respectable establishment of two such necessary auxiliaries to a Medical School, viz.—Library and Museum.

Quere? What has been done with these annual grants?

As to “an Association of Five Physicians in this city,” “formed scarcely fifteen months ago,” we would beg to inform the Committee that the original Institution, which subsequently became the Faculty of Medicine of McGill College, consisted of only four “physicians of this city,” and that the certificates from that original Institution were recognised by the College of Surgeons of Edinburgh during the session of 1824-25, scarcely, according to their own statement, fifteen months after their own “self-constituted association” was formed. Your Committee will perceive that high authorities in Great Britain did not conceive that the recognition of a “self-constituted association” tended to cast any opprobrium upon them.

Moreover, with respect to the assumption of the title of “College of Medicine,” we cannot be accused of a greater lack of modesty than may the other School, when it originally assumed that of the “Montreal Medical Institution.”

We deny the charge of a confessedly imperfect course of lectures having been delivered during our first session. That course was as complete as regards the number of lectures as any exacted by the Faculty of Medicine of McGill College. The students having had, moreover, Clinical lectures delivered to them at the Dispensary during the whole session. This is a source of information which had never previously been opened to the Montreal Medical Student.

If we have little more than commenced our second session we have at any rate the satisfaction of lecturing to fifty students. We therefore feel it incumbent on us to petition the Legislature for certain privileges, inasmuch as that number of pupils may fairly be considered as representing the wants of the country.

As to the “inconveniences” which may arise from the rivalry of two Incorporated or Public Schools, even supposing that we did lecture exclusively in English, certain it is that the School which excelled most would suffer least. But as we teach in both languages, whilst the lecturers of the Faculty of Medicine of McGill College teach only in English, we are at a loss to see where the rivalry can exist.

To the “reasons” which have been urged by the Medical Faculty of McGill College to show why an Act of Incorporation should not be granted to the College of Medicine, we beg to state—

1st. That neither King’s College nor McGill College, nor both conjointly, would suffice for the demands of this portion of Canada, unless it be the determination of these Institutions to compel French Canadians, who do not understand the English language, either entirely to forego the privilege of studying Medicine, or necessitate them to waste their time and money by following the lectures at one or other of these Institutions from which they can derive no benefit whatever.

2nd. We feel perfectly satisfied that “the number of young men entering the Medical Profession,” is quite sufficient to remunerate in a very adequate manner the labour of their teachers; and we are convinced by the statement of the lecturers of the Faculty of Medicine of McGill College that there is no risk that “their distribution among an increased number of Schools will have the undeniable effect of rendering them inefficient, by crippling their revenue, and thereby obstructing the acquisition of the necessary materials for the illustration of their lectures,” inasmuch as they declared in their final report last spring that they had had a larger number of pupils (56) during that than any former session. The College of Medicine having had, during the same period, a class of twenty-eight. Quere? How is it that when the Faculty of Medicine of McGill College stood alone in the field, they did not acquire “the necessary materials for the illustration of their lectures?”

3d. We would respectfully inform the Committee that the School of Medicine of McGill College, although in existence upwards of twenty-one years, is not “a well-established School in which every facility for the acquisition of knowledge is afforded,” inasmuch as a complete medical curriculum cannot even now be obtained at that School. Its library is very limited and detached from the establishment, and the student has not the advantages of a museum to refer to, notwithstanding the liberal legislative assistance which the lecturers—(we had almost said the School itself)—have annually received since 1839.

4th. With regard to the insinuations thrown out in the fourth reason, we beg to remind the Committee that all public Medical Schools not connected with Universities will come under the jurisdiction of a new Medical Bill which will regulate hereafter the course of medical studies.

5th. We admit the necessity of a Provincial Medical Board, but we disapprove entirely of the one in Montreal as at present constituted, six of that Board being the Professor and other lecturers of the Faculty of Medicine of McGill College, while the quorum of the Board is only seven—thereby giving them an opportunity of exercising a power to which jealousy might incite them, to the prejudice of such candidates as shall not have attended lectures at their own School. We would further add that no where else is it known that a Medical Faculty connected with a University is permitted to sit on any Medical Board for the examination of candidates without their own especial jurisdiction.

6th. We differ entirely from the opinion expressed in the sixth reason, inasmuch as it is universally admitted that the celebrity of the European, especially the British Schools, is attributable to healthy competition.

7th. We beg respectfully to inform the Committee that the Faculty of Medicine of McGill College arrogate to themselves a position in their seventh reason to which they are not entitled, seeing that being possessed of an Independent Charter they do not “submit implicitly to the Supervision of the Board of Governors.”—They do not even observe their own Statutes “implicitly.” It is therein stated Cl: 8. Ch. 2. “That every Candidate for the Degree must before his examination be entered into, give proof of competent Classical attainments”—This, we beg to inform the Committee, we know they have positively refused to submit to—And in fact they have declared through their Professor that they would act independently of the University—Moreover, as regards the manner in which reason 7 mentions that the lecturers are appointed, we question if more than one of them is duly commissioned.

8th. Every particular regarding the Curriculum, the duration, as also the nature of the Courses of Lectures, to be delivered at the College of Medicine, is fully detailed in the Bill.

9th. For the information of the Committee we beg to state that the Courses of Lectures delivered at the College of Medicine occupy seven months—during which period upwards of eighty-six lectures are delivered in each language, of one hour’s duration—The Student thereby has the double advantage of attending at his option the same lectures in both languages, or of reserving every alternate day for study, an advantage which is not enjoyed by those Students who have to attend the every day lectures which are delivered on all important subjects more rapidly than they can possibly find time to read for.

Your Committee will therefore please to observe that the Curriculum of the College of Medicine fully complies with the true spirit Cl: 4. Ch. 2. of the Statutes of the Faculty of Medicine of McGill College; with this difference that at the College of Medicine, three lectures a week are delivered for seven months, whilst the said Statute declares that those “Universities, Colleges or Schools of Medicine” shall be recognised where courses are delivered, “of at least four months duration, and in which at least five lectures on each branch, are given during the week.”

10th. No examinations are held nor licenses granted in the Provincial towns of England, Scotland or Ireland, nor at any of the Schools in London, because there are already four licensing bodies in London alone, viz:—The Royal College of Physicians—The Royal College of Surgeons—The University of London, and the Apothecaries Company—But with regard to the London University, Courses of Lectures attended at no less than seven of the London Schools, and four of the Provincial Schools are held to be sufficient authority for presentation for the Degree—All these Institutions being duly recognised by the Caput of that University.

With regard to the privilege which the College of Medicine prays for in its Petition now before your Committee, we beg to state that it is not sought to interfere with the rights of granting Degrees, such rights being strictly confined to Universities—It simply seeks to have its Certificates recognised by the Provincial Board.

In conclusion we humbly submit to your Committee, that the healthy competition of a new School, must tend to elevate the Standard of the Profession, and draw the attention of every quarter of the Province, aye, of our Sister Provinces and the neighbouring States, to Canada, as a Seat of Professional learning.

Francis T. C. Arnoldi, M. D.

Lecturer on Midwifery—Diseases of Women and Children—

and Medical Jurisprudence.

For himself and the other Lecturers in

the College of Medicine.


To the Honorable, the Members of the Executive Council, the Legislative Council, and the House of Assembly.


The Medical Faculty of McGill College deem it a duty they owe to themselves, to put forth the following statement, to protect themselves from unfounded accusations which have been, and still continue to be, circulated to their prejudice, and which, if not contradicted might injuriously influence the minds of Honorable Members of the Executive Council, and of both Houses of Provincial Parliament, in coming to a decision upon their Petitions now before the Legislature.

Twenty-one years ago, Four Medical Practitioners in this city, viz: the late Drs. Caldwell, Robertson, and Stephenson, along with Dr. Holmes, the present Professor of Medicine in McGill College, associated themselves together under the title of the Montreal Medical Institution, for the purpose of communicating to the youth of this Province a knowledge of the important science of Medicine, a privilege which they never before enjoyed, and to procure which, most of them, at a great expenditure of time and money, were obliged to go to Foreign Countries more highly favored in this respect.

Five years after their formation, the Montreal Medical Institution became, by an arrangement with the Governors of McGill College, sanctioned by His Majesty George IV. incorporated with that University, as its Medical Faculty, and obtained thereby, under a Royal Charter, the power of graduating their Students in Medicine and Surgery.

At a great sacrifice of time and means, the Medical Faculty continued their labors till the close of the Winter Session of 1835-6, when the disturbed political condition of the Province, and the want of support, either from the College or Government, compelled them to desist. In 1839, upon a promise of support from the Head of the Government, they were again induced to commence Lecturing, and have continued to do so since that period, with increasing success; the number of Students attending their Lectures last session being upwards of 50.

The Medical Faculty have been, and are, most anxious to increase the efficiency of the School by the appointment of additional Lecturers, and by extending the Curriculum of study. For the former purpose they have repeatedly petitioned the Legislature to augment their annual grant; and the latter they have been obliged to postpone, in consequence of the proximity of American Institutions, most of which hold out the temptation of obtaining a degree after attendance upon two Courses, averaging from 13 to 16 weeks in duration; and from the non-existence of any Legislative enactment limiting the period of study, and the nature of it, which Students of Medicine should be required to fulfil.

The desire of the Medical Faculty is to add Four Chairs to the Six already in operation, and, succeeding in this, to extend the period of study from Three to Four years, making attendance upon one Course only of each Branch of Medical Science, compulsory, thus enabling the student to obtain a more extended education at less expense than by their present regulations, which demand two Courses upon each Branch from every student.

The Classes now in operation are Anatomy and Physiology,—Chemistry and Pharmacy,—Materia Medica and Therapeutics,—Theory and Practice of Physic,—Principles and Practice of Surgery,—Midwifery and Diseases of Women and Children; with Practical Anatomy by a Demonstrator.

The annual grant of £500 was last year expended as follows:—

Endowment for One Professor,£10000
Endowment for Five Lecturers, £50 each,25000
Salary of Demonstrator,£ 3000
Rent and Assessment of house,6400
Wages of Janitor,1200
Sundries, Water, Furniture, Advertising, &c.381

Last year the Faculty, with a view to the instruction of Students and Midwives, established a Lying-in Hospital, the expense of which for ten months, amounting to upwards of £130, was borne by themselves. At present they are relieved from this charge by an association of Ladies, to whom the management of the Charity has been transferred.

This year the expenses of the individual members of the Faculty have been particularly heavy. There has been imported glass for the preservation of preparations for the Museum, to the amount of £34. Chemical Apparatus, Specimens of Materia Medica, Wax Preparations, with a complete Apparatus for the illustration of Midwifery; Botanical and Anatomical plates, &c., have been added, to the amount of upwards of £63, besides which most of the Lecturers have been previously put to considerable outlay in the formation of their private cabinets, without which their Lectures could not have been properly illustrated. The Library of the Faculty, now numbering about nine hundred volumes, amongst which are most of the recent standard Medical works, has already cost upwards of £500. The Matriculation and Graduation fees are applied to its use exclusively, and it is annually augmented by the funds arising from these two sources; the amount paid towards it in 1844, being over £78.

The Medical Faculty conceive that the remuneration at present afforded to the Lecturers is very inadequate to their labor. They lecture from the first Monday in November till the 1st May, with the exception of a fortnight’s vacation at Christmas, giving each of them, five lectures in the week; the hour spent in lecturing, itself frequently an inconvenience and loss to persons engaged in the active duties of Medical practice, is but the smallest part of their labor, since all require, some more than others, much time in preparing for their daily duties.

The objects which the Medical Faculty have, in petitioning the Legislature for an addition to their annual grant, are, in the first place, to increase the efficiency of their Department, by the establishment of Four additional Chairs, viz:—Botany, Institutes of Medicine, Medical Jurisprudence, and Clinical Medicine and Surgery; in the second, to give each Lecturer a more remunerative allowance for his laborious duties; and, lastly, to place themselves in a condition to afford to students greater advantages, by increasing the accommodation of their School in every point of view; and thus to approximate it more closely to analogous Institutions in the Mother Country.

To refute a charge of exclusiveness, which has been brought against the Medical Faculty, they have to state that Dr. Bruneau, one of their Lecturers, is a French Canadian, and that overtures to accept Chairs were at different times made to the late Drs. Labric, Kimber, and Vallée, also to Dr. Robert Nelson, and more recently to Dr. Bouthillier, M. P. P. To prove the estimation in which the lectures of the Faculty have hitherto been held by the French Canadian Students, the following statement, extracted from the Register of Matriculations is submitted:


From 1824 to 1844—total number attended,442
Of these of French Canadians, there were,164
       “        British, there were,278

Making over one-third French Canadians.

Since resumption of Lectures in 1839—total number,194
Of these French Canadians,89
      “        British,105

Making nearly one half French Canadians.

The aggregate attendance during the two last sessions was,84
Of whom were French Canadians,43
       “       “      British,41

Making more than one half French Canadians.

The above statement will prove the delivery of Lectures in English does not deter French Canadian Students from attending them, a fact which is also confirmed by the great number of that class who annually resort to American Schools for the purpose of graduation.

In conclusion, the Medical Faculty have to state that certificates of attendance upon their Lectures are accepted for graduation, as equivalent to their own, by British and French Colleges, an important privilege and a great saving of expense to Students who wish to extend their education by visiting these countries.

A. F. Holmes, M. D.Professor of Theory and Practice of Physic.
Geo. W. Campbell, M. D.Lecturer on Principles and Practice of Surgery.
A. Hall, M. D.Lecturer on Chemistry and Pharmacy.
M. McCulloch, M. D.Lecturer on Midwifery and Diseases of Wom. & Child.
O. T. Bruneau, M. D.Lecturer on Anatomy and Physiology.
S. C. Sewell, M. D.Lecturer on Materia Medica and Therapeutics.
Alex. Long, M. D.Demonstrator of Anatomy.

Montreal, December, 1844.

We have this moment been put in possession of a circular issued by the Medical Faculty of McGill College, addressed to the three branches of the Legislature. The object of which is to “protect themselves from unfounded accusations.” We are pleased to see parties under any circumstances occupying a situation which needs not defence, and have therefore, regretted that correspondence emanating from that College should have occupied the public for a long period, and yet more that it should have thought it advisable to petition the House of representatives against the passing of a bill incorporating the new School of Medicine, and were not the present circular dated in December confirmatory of the position held by the College of Medicine and Surgery, we would have reason still further to deplore the infatuation which seems to guide its actions. This circular bears evidence of hasty and immature plans—ill digested causes. The Faculty complain of the temptation held out by American Colleges in which courses of 13 and 16 weeks in duration are delivered. These institutions requiring attendance upon two of these to enable the student to offer for examination. Now it proposes to change their own curriculum, and thereby enable the student to obtain a more extended education at less expense—and how? By its present statutes two courses are imperative, each of six months; five lectures being given weekly. Their desire now is to make attendance upon ten branches compulsory, and but for one course. The student at that College, at present must have attended six branches twice, equal to twelve; by the amendment, he is to attend ten; how then is there any extension either of means to give or of time to receive adequate instruction.

The disposal of the grant is such as we fancied it. We shall make a short arithmetical statement. The grant has been received for at least five years equal to £2,500—during which period 194 students have attended the courses and have paid on an average, say—£3 10s. each, not including matriculation—equal to £679—in all £3179; from this deduct five years expenses—say £830. The balance therefore divided in the manner shown in the circular, would be £2349 and among lecturers, not one of whom assisted in the arduous task of establishing the College. The Professor merits the reward and were it twice the amount we would gladly felicitate him on his reaping some harvest for toil. Instead of the five lecturers claiming compensation for losses, we would suggest to the representatives of three of the founders of the Medical Institution to present, aye, and urge their claims on the country, for the outlay borne by these gentlemen at a time when the School was in its infancy.

In reference to the Lying in Hospital, would the Faculty give us a return of the Fees received from students? How many last year? how many this?

Truly happy are we to see that after 22 years something has been purchased in the way of glass in which to put preparations—from the quantity of which, we fear the Faculty will have to become distillers, £34 of glassware! Rejoiced, too, are we, that individual members are contributing somewhat heavily—we mean no pun—they may thus strike a balance by conferring gifts to an institution from which they have received no trifling amounts.

Our limits will not permit of our dilating upon each clause. We must, however, touch upon exclusiveness. We believe that overtures were made to Drs. Labric, Vallée, Kimber and Robert Nelson many years ago—yet there are some facts in connection with the overtures made to the latter two gentlemen, of which we refrain to speak, from delicacy. We assert, however, that these offers were not refused by these gentlemen. The numerical statement made, which it is said, proves that French Canadian Students are not deterred from attending McGill College Lectures, we do not by any means consider conclusive, for several reasons—there is not any mention made as to the fact that many passed their examinations before the Medical Board without attending Lectures at all, and to the falling off of French Canadian students this last session no reference is had; that one at least of the gentlemen who sign the circular did think that something deterred or prevented French Canadian students from attending the lectures of the Faculty is amply proven by his own words in a letter published on Feb. 3, 1842:—“But although the means of acquiring a rudimentary knowledge of their profession was thus placed within the reach of all, experience has amply proven the lamentable fact, that, although a few do avail themselves of the privileges thus opened to them, yet the mass of young men entering the profession prefer the imperfect system prescribed by the law to collegiate education, which would entail the trifling outlay of a few pounds.” “As long as collegiate education is not rendered imperative, so long will this system be persevered in,” &c. &c. Now the law is at this moment unaltered, and how stand facts? The College of Medicine and Surgery have at this moment 40 French Canadian students, who receive instruction in their mother tongue—why does so large a body so suddenly recognize the benefits of lectures? Why in the same city, containing two medical institutions within a gun-shot of each other, do 40 pupils assemble to obtain oral instructions “from professedly imperfect lectures?”—need an answer be given? Why are pupils of members of the McGill Faculty within the walls of the College of Medicine and Surgery? Why has McGill College languished? We allude to the medical department. Why is it now petitioning that a new school should be submerged? With the advantages it possesses it ought to blush at such acts. Why does it apprehend that two schools would languish?—the new College fears not any such result. Let but an Act be passed incorporating it—let it be as restrictive as possible; or let it negatively assist McGill Faculty and we speak the sentiments of the lecturers that they entertain no fears for the future. They dread not languishing—they anticipate not that a series of twenty-two years will give them an aggregate of 442 students; for in two years they have had 78—the average number being yearly 20 1-11[unclear; see Transcriber’s Notes] in the former—in the latter 39.




Please note the following changes:

“accordance the the” to “accordance with the”,

“M‘Gill” to “McGill”,

“M‘Culloch” to “McCulloch”, and

“5-1/6” to “5½” in the table describing the annual grant.

There are two instances, as noted in the text, where the characters from the original document could not be determined.

Other obvious printer errors have been silently corrected. Otherwise, most inconsistencies, variations and possible errors in spelling and punctuation have been preserved.


[The end of The Montreal Medical Gazette, Volume 1, Extra edited by William Sutherland & Francis Badgley]