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Alfred Swaine Taylor

alfred swaine taylor and thomas stevenson, alfred swaine taylor
Alfred Swaine Taylor 11 December 1806 in Northfleet, Kent – 27 May 1880 in London was an English toxicologist and medical writer, who has been called the "father of British forensic medicine"12

Taylor studied medicine at Guy's Hospital and St Thomas's Hospital and was appointed Lecturer in Medical Jurisprudence at Guy's Hospital in 1831 In 1832 he succeeded Alexander Barry as joint Lecturer on Chemistry with Arthur Aitken He published textbooks on medical jurisprudence and toxicology, contributed to the Dublin Quarterly Journal and medical periodicals, and edited the Medical Gazette He appeared as expert witness in several widely reported murder cases He also developed the use of hyposulphate of lime as a fixing agent for photography


  • On the Art of Photogenic Drawing, 1840
  • The Elements of Medical Jurisprudence Interspersed with a copious selection of curious and instructive cases and analyses of opinions delivered at coroners' inquests, 1843
  • Manual of Medical Jurisprudence, 1844
  • Medical jurisprudence, 1845
  • A thermometric table on the scales of fahrenheit, centigrade and Reaumur, compressing the most remarkable phenomena connected with temperature, 1845
  • On the Temperature of the Earth and Sea in Reference to the Theory of Central Heat, 1846
  • On poisons in relation to medical jurisprudence and medicine, 1848
  • On poisoning by strychnia, with comments on the medical evidence at the trial of William Palmer for the murder of John Parsons Cook, 1856
  • The principles and practice of medical jurisprudence, 1865


  1. ^ Rosenfeld, Louis, 'Alfred Swaine Taylor 1806–1880, pioneer toxicologist – and a slight case of murder',Clinical Chemistry 31:7 1985
  2. ^ Alfred Swaine Taylor Royal College of Physicians of London 2009

External linksedit

  • Works by or about Alfred Swaine Taylor in libraries WorldCat catalog
  • Picture at Science and Society website
  • Coley, Noel G, 'Alfred Swaine Taylor, MD, FRS 1806–1880: forensic toxicologist', Medical History, 1991, 35:409–427
  • Earles, M P, ‘Taylor, Alfred Swaine 1806–1880’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 20 Dec 2007
  • Flanagan, Robert James and Katherine Watson, 'Alfred Swaine Taylor MD FRS 1806–1880'

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