A portrait of John Balmanno (1775?-1840), a physician who was President of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow on two occasions between 1802 and 1814. Balmanno's mother was an apothecary in Trongate.
In his will dated 1796, John Anderson left instructions that "Mr John Balmanno, Druggist in Glasgow, [is] to be Professor of Materia Medica..." at the proposed Anderson's University. It seems that Balmanno was never appointed to the chair at the new college. He gained a doctorate from the University of Edinburgh in 1798, was admitted to the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow in 1801 and was appointed a visiting physician at Glasgow Royal Infirmary three years later (he served 1803-1804, 1807-1808 and 1826-1835). He seems to have performed valiantly during the great typhus epidemic of 1818-1819, as the Committee of Subscribers for the Suppression of Contagious Fevers presented him with three silver salvers. The historian "Senex" remembers him providing free medical advice for the poor.
John Balmanno succeeded Robert Cleghorn as Visiting Physician to the Glasgow Royal Asylum in 1821 and he held the post until his death in 1840.
Reference: RCPSG 1/12/7/29
Reproduced with the permission of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
apothecaries, chemists, Committee of Subscribers for the Suppression of Contagious Fevers, contagious diseases, druggists, Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Glasgow Royal Asylum, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, portraits, presidents, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, sign of the Golden Gallen Head, typhus epidemics