William Dawson Hooker England Jamaica Norway Scotland

Biography of William Dawson Hooker

William Dawson Hooker graduated MD from the University in 1838.

He was born on 4 April 1816, son of Sir William Jackson Hooker, Regius Professor of Botany at the University, and older brother of Joseph Dalton Hooker, who became one of the most important British botanists of the nineteenth century.

Like his brother, William enrolled at the University in 1831, when he was aged 15. During his studies, Hooker won the prize in Materia Medica "for the best essay of the uses of Chemical Research in illustrating the Materia Medica" on 30 April 1836; and on 29 April 1837, he won a prize of books with a value of five guineas "for the best essay of the Natural History of the Teeth" in Midwifery class.

Upon graduation, Hooker was appointed Professor of Materia Medica in Anderson's College, modern day Strathclyde University, from 1838. He gained membership to the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow in 1839 with his Inaugural dissertation upon the cinchonas [Peruvian tree bark], their history, uses, and effects dedicated to John Burns, then Regius Professor of Surgery at the University of Glasgow. The same year, Hooker also published his Notes on Norway, or, A brief journal of a tour made to the northern parts of Norway.

However, in 1839 Hooker set off for Jamaica in order to cure himself of ill-health. His career as a doctor and naturalist was soon cut short when he died at Kingston of yellow fever on 7 January 1840 in the house of James MacFadyen.


Other Online Resources

Archival Materials

  • Addison, W. Innes, The Matriculation Albums of the University of Glasgow from 1728 to 1858, p.387
  • R7/1/2 University Prizes 1833-63


William Dawson Hooker
Born 4 April 1816.
Died 7 January 1840.
GU Degree: MD, 1838;
University Link: Alumnus, Graduate
Occupation categories: botanists; physicians
English snippet: Professor of Materia Medica at Anderson's College
Record last updated: 15th Dec 2016

Country Associations

England England, Suffolk, Halesworth
Place of Birth

Jamaica Jamaica, Kingston
Place of Death

Norway Norway, No Region

Scotland Scotland

University Connections

University Roles