BORN in Perth, 15th June, 1835, Professor Cleland is
descended of an old Lanarkshire family, and is the second son of John Cleland,
surgeon, who began life as Hospital Assistant in the Peninsular War and was
afterwards for some years assistant surgeon in the First Dragoons (The Royals).
Professor Cleland's mother was Jean, daughter of John Caw, twice Lord Provost of
Perth, and of Grace, fifth daughter of John M'Call, of Belvidere House, now the
Fever Hospital of Glasgow, He received his early education at The Seminary,
Perth. When he was six months old he lost his father, and in 1845 his mother
went to live in Edinburgh, and he attended the High School there. At the age of
fifteen he began his studies at the University of Edinburgh. Having passed his
examinations for the degree of M.D. a year before his age allowed him to
graduate, he spent that time in the schools of Paris, Vienna, Leipzig, etc.
After graduation in 1856 he had charge of Sir James Simpson's Ward in the Royal
Infirmary, Edinburgh, for one year, and in 1857 became Junior Demonstrator to
Professor Goodsir. There being no prospect of promotion in Edinburgh, in 1861
Dr. Cleland accepted the position of Senior Demonstrator to Professor Allen
Thomson in the University of Glasgow. In 1863 he was appointed by the Crown to
the Chair of Anatomy and Physiology in Queen's College, Galway, where also he
was one of the Clinical teachers in Medicine and Surgery. After spending
fourteen years in Galway he returned to the University of Glasgow in 1877 as
Regius Professor of Anatomy, upon the retirement of Dr. Allen Thomson.
Dr. Cleland married in 1888 the eldest daughter of John Hutton Balfour, M.D., F.R.S., etc., who was from 1841 to 1845 Regius Professor of Botany in the University of Glasgow, and afterwards Professor of Botany in the University of Edinburgh for thirty-four years. He has one son, born in 1889.
His publications include numerous memoirs, anatomical and other - "The Mechanism of the Gubernaculum," 1856; "Animal Physiology," 1874; "Directory for Dissection," 1870; a volume of essays entitled "Evolution, Expression, and Sensation, Cell Life and Pathology," 1881; "Scala Naturae and Other Poems," 1887. He was joint-editor of the seventh edition of "Quain's Anatomy in 1867," and joint-author of "Memoirs and Memoranda in Anatomy," in 1889, and of "Cleland and Mackay's Human Anatomy," 1896.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)