, M. D. an eminent accoucheur, was a native of Scotland, and after some
, M. D. an eminent accoucheur, was a native of Scotland, and after some practice in his country, settled in the early part of the last century in London. He was principally celebrated as a teacher, having instructed, as he informs us in his practice, nearly a thousand pupils, who assisted, whilst attending his lectures, eleven hundred and fifty poor women. The women were supported, by a subscription among the pupils, during their lying-in. Dr. Smellie was the first writer who considered the shape and size of the female pelvis, as adapted to the head of the foetus, and who ascertained the position of the latter during the period of gestation; and his opinion has been confirmed by later writers, particularly by Dr. Hunter, who had several opportunities of dissecting women who died undelivered, at different periods of their pregnancy. He also introduced many improvements in delivery and in the use of instruments, and abolished many superstitious notions, and erroneous customs, that prevailed in the management of women in labour, and of the children; and he had the satisfaction to see the greater part of his maxims adopted, not only in this island, but by the most respectable practitioners in the greater part of Europe.