Allen Thomson, born in 1809, was the son of Dr John Thomson ( 1765-1846 ), an eminent medic, who held various medical chairs at the University of Edinburgh, including that of Professor of Military Surgery. Allen Thomson studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, graduating MD in 1830 . Following several years as an extra-academical lecturer on Anatomy and as a physician in Edinburgh (interspersed by several tours on the Continent), he became Professor of Anatomy at University of Aberdeen in 1839 . He resigned from this post in 1841 and resumed his teaching of Anatomy in the extra-mural school at Edinburgh. In 1842 he became Professor of the Institutes of Medicine at Edinburgh, and in 1848 was appointed as Chair of Anatomy at the University of Glasgow . He spent 29 years at Glasgow, distinguished both as a Professor and as a contributor to scientific literature, especially in the field of Embryology. Amongst his many achievements, he remodelled the Glasgow medical school (including banning smoking in the anatomy classroom) and - as chairman of the buildings committee - was a key player in ensuring the success of the University's relocation from the high Street to Gilmorehill in the 1870s. He died in 1884 .
From the guide to the Papers of Allen Thomson, 1809-1884, Professor of Anatomy, University of Glasgow, Scotland, 1848-1877, 17th-19th centuries, (Glasgow University Library, Special Collections Department)