Clan Blane Places & People

Clan Blane People

Sir Gilbert Blane of Blanefield, 1st Baronet (1749 – 1834)

Gilbert Blane

Gilbert Blane was a Scottish physician. He was born in Blanefield, by Kirkoswald, in Ayrshire and studied medicine at Edinburgh University and Glasgow University. He move to London and served as private physician to Lord Rodney from where he became Physician to the Fleet and accompanied Rodney to the West Indies in 1779. It was down to his insistence that all sailors took lemon juice to prevent scurvy. As lemons were not available in some Caribbean colonies they were replaced with limes and its from here that the slang term ‘limey’ (for a British person) derives.

Blane was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in December 1784. He moved to St Thomas Hospital in 1783 and became physician to the Prince of Wales, King George IV and William IV. During this time he became a government consultant and champion of public hygiene.

In 1812 he was made Baronet of Blanefield. His printed works include ‘Observations on the Diseases of Seamen’ and ‘Elements of Medical Logic’ .

Blane lived at Burghfield in Berkshire and at Kirkoswald in Ayrshire. He died in Piccadilly, London on 26 June 1834.