Biography of Thomas Hope
Thomas Charles Hope (1766-1844) was Regius Professor of the Practice of Medicine at the University from 1791 to 1795.
Born in Edinburgh, Hope studied at the city's University where his father was Professor of Botany. After graduating MD in 1789, he came to Glasgow to become a lecturer in Chemistry and he was the first University teacher in Britain to abandon the phlogiston theory on combustion in favour of the theory of Antoine Lavoisier. In 1789 was appointed assistant and successor to his uncle, Alexander Stevenson, the Professor of Practice of Medicine.
Hope succeeded to the University Chair on Stevenson's death in 1791 and he was a physician and clinical lecturer at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary after it opened in 1794. However, he continued his chemical research and in 1793 he reported to the Royal Society of Edinburgh his ground-breaking work on the preparation of compounds of Strontium. In October 1795 he resigned his Chair to become assistant to Joseph Black, the Professor of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. Hope succeeded Black to the Chair in 1799 and became famous as one of Scotland's leading chemists, most notably for his discovery of the temperature of water's maximum density.