Sir James Young Simpson
1811-1870. Discoverer of the anaesthetic effect of chloroform. Son of a Scottish village baker, Simpson qualified in medicine at Edinburgh University and in 1840 was elected to the chair of medicine and midwifery. Ether was used in an operation in Edinburgh in 1846 and Simpson, experimenting on himself, looked for more suitable compounds for application, especially in midwifery-and in 1847 discovered the effect of chloroform. Violent controversy ensued which died out after 1853, when Queen Victoria was given chloroform at the birth of Prince Leopold. In his later days Simpson's fame was worldwide.