Robert Sibbald, son of David Sibbald, was born in a house near the head of Blackfriars Wynd, Edinburgh. His mother was Margaret Boyd, eldest daughter of Robert Boyd of Kipps, Linlithgowshire. In his autobiography, Sibbald describes his mother as: 'a virtuous and pious matron of great sagacity and firmness of mind and very careful of my education'. She died at Kipps, leaving the estate to Robert.
Following a theological course in Edinburgh, Sibbald studied medicine in Leyden and Paris, and from Angiers he obtained his licence to practise medicine. Sibbald's first appointment was as Geographer Royal for Scotland to Charles II, and he was knighted at Holyrood Palace in 1682. In 1685 he was appointed the first Professor of Medicine (without salary) to Edinburgh University. He established the first botanical and physic garden in the yards of Holyrood Abbey for instructing students in botany and supplying apothecaries with vegetable materia medica.
Where to see this painting?
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
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