Skip to main content
Select Source:

Simpson, Sir James

Simpson, Sir James (1811–70). Anaesthetic pioneer. Youngest son of a Scottish village baker, Simpson entered Edinburgh University in 1825, to graduate MD (1832) and proceed rapidly to the chair of midwifery (1839). Excited by the new use of sulphuric ether as an anaesthetic agent, but concerned to find a substance more manageable and effective, he self-experimented with other volatile fluids before settling on chloroform (1847). Despite its rapid popularity, his advocacy for its use in natural childbirth as well as surgical intervention led to intense criticism from moralists and theologians until Queen Victoria's delighted approbation after the delivery of her ninth child (1853). A baronetcy was bestowed in 1866. Always in a hurry, but with foresight and an intensely critical mind, Simpson's contributions to obstetric science and foundation of gynaecology considerably improved their credibility, while his wider interests included hospital infection and design, acupressure, and archaeology.

A. S. Hargreaves

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Simpson, Sir James." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Jan. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Simpson, Sir James." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/simpson-sir-james

"Simpson, Sir James." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved January 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/simpson-sir-james

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Simpson, Sir James Young

Sir James Young Simpson, 1811–70, Scottish physician, M.D. Univ. of Edinburgh, 1832. He became (1839) professor of medicine and midwifery at Edinburgh. For a while he employed ether anesthesia in childbirth, but soon abandoned its use in favor of chloroform, which he introduced as an anesthetic in 1847. Eminent as an obstetrician, he was also known as an archaeologist.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Simpson, Sir James Young." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Jan. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Simpson, Sir James Young." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/simpson-sir-james-young

"Simpson, Sir James Young." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved January 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/simpson-sir-james-young

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.