Alexander Dick - Cunningham

Alexander Dick

Born Oct 23, 1703
Died Nov 10, 1785


Alexander Cunningham


Son of Sir William Cunningham of Caprington (d. 1740) and Janet Dick (d. 1753), daughter of Sir James Dick of Prestonfield. Married firstly to Janet Dick (d. 1760), a niece of his mother's. Married secondly (1762) to Mary Butler. In all he had more than 10 children.

Baptized as Alexander Cunningham, when his older brother, Sir William Dick, died without issue in 1746, he succeeded to the estate and name of his mother, and the baronetcy of his brother, and it was as Alexander Dick that he became widely known as a much respected physician and benefactor

He completed his medical studies under Dr. Boerhaave in Leyden in August, 1725. Little more than a year later he received another diploma as Doctor of Medicine from the University of St. Andrews. On November 7, 1727 he was admitted Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, of which in 1756 he was unanimously elected president.

According to Significant Scots

"his death [in 1785], notwithstanding the very advanced age he had reached, was generally lamented as a loss to society. He was of a kind and amiable character, and remarkable for the mildness and sweetness of his disposition, and for the unwearied zeal and activity with which he promoted the advancement of medical knowledge in Scotland, as well as the improvement and welfare of his native city."1

Life with Boswell: 

Boswell visited Sir Alexander at his estate at Prestonfield together with John Boswell and a Dr. Livingston on February 7, 1767.1