After being trained by his surgeon father and assisting him in treating the wounded on the battlefield of Sherrifmuir after the 1715 rebellion, Alexander Monro was sent to complete his medical education in London, Paris and Leiden. He returned to Edinburgh in 1719 and within four months, aged only twenty-three, he became the first Professor of Anatomy at the University. Under Monro’s direction student numbers increased steadily. Whilst there had been just over a thousand students in the 1730s, thirty years later that figure had almost doubled and Edinburgh had become one of the most important centres for medical teaching. Monro’s two sons, Alexander ‘Secundus’ – the second – and Donald, both followed in their father’s footsteps, and so did his grandson, Alexander ‘Tertius’ – the third.