Bradley | Orlando Charnock | 1871-1937 | lecturer, University of Edinburgh and principal, Royal Dick Veterinary College

Biographical Information

Occupation, Sphere of Activity

Orlando Charnock Bradley attended the Harris Institute in Preston where he studied chemistry, animal physiology and botany, before entering the New Veterinary College, Edinburgh, which had been set up in 1873 by William Williams, a former Professor and Principal of the Dick College. Bradley graduated MRCVS (Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) in 1892, and was appointed to the post of lecturer in comparative anatomy, and put in charge of the College Hospital. At this time he wrote a paper on the treatment of intestinal tympany in the horse, which revealed his keen observation for detail, which he was to develop significantly over the years.

It seems that Bradley entered Edinburgh Medical School not out of an intense interest in clinical veterinary medicine, but more to increase his knowledge of comparative anatomy, which he studied under Sir William Turner (1832-1916). In 1900 he obtained his MB (Bachelor of Medicine), ChB (Bachelor of Surgery), and commenced research on mammalian anatomy. Bradley was appointed the Goodsir Memorial Fellow at the University of Edinburgh from 1903-1905, and in 1905 he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science for his thesis on the Development and Morphology of the Mammalian Hind-Brain. Two years later he was awarded a doctorate in medicine for his research into the development of the mammalian liver.

The period 1893-1908 was a highly productive literary period, with forty-seven original scientific publications to his name, mainly on anatomical, genetical and historical subjects. Bradley wrote a number of textbooks on veterinary science that have proved invaluable to students through the years, and he was also the founder and editor of the Veterinary Review from 1917-1920, which was set up to offer information about the current available veterinary literature. In 1900 he was elected to the Chair of Anatomy in the Royal (Dick) Veterinary College and to the Principalship of the College in 1911, in which year he was also offered the post of Barclay and Goodsir Lecturer in Comparative Anatomy in the University of Edinburgh. Bradley was officially elected to the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1911; being rewarded for his wisdom with the post of Vice-preident in 1912 and then finally promoted to the post of President of Council from 1920-1922.

Back in 1909 he had outlined his vision to unite all of the many veterinary societies scattered around the country into one national association. The following year a steering group was set up under his direction to investigate the possibility of setting up the scheme, the results of which came to fruition in 1914, with the formation of the National Veterinary Medical Association of Great Britain and Ireland. It was no surprise then when Bradley was chosen to be the Association's first Director, a position he held until 1922.


no information available

Other Significant Information

Notable publications:

Outlines of Veterinary Anatomy, ( 1896-1897)

The Structure of the Fowl, 1st edition, ( 1915)

Topographical Anatomy of the Dog, 1st edition, (1919)

Topographical Anatomy of the Limbs of the Horse, ( 1920)

Topographical Anatomy of The Thorax and Abdomen of the Horse, ( 1922)

Topographical Anatomy of The Head and Neck of the Horse, ( 1923)

The History of the Edinburgh Veterinary College, ( 1923)

Honours, Qualifications and Appointments

1893: Elected Fellow, Royal Physical Society, Edinburgh

1893: Elected Fellow, Royal Society, Edinburgh

1903-1911: Appointed Secretary, Royal Physical Society, Edinburgh

1908: Awarded John Henry Steel memorial medal, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

1912-1915: Appointed President, Royal Physical Society, Edinburgh

1914-1922: Appointed President, National Veterinary Medical Association of Great Britain and Ireland

1934-1937: Appointed Vice-President, Royal Society, Edinburgh

1935: Elected Honorary Fellow, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons


List of sources for the biographical information:

Royal Society of Edinburgh, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, vol 58, Obituary Notices: Orlando Charnock Bradley, (Edinburgh, Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1937-1938)

Burnett, John H, University Portraits II, Orlando Charnock Bradley, (Edinburgh, Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1986)

Williams, Trevor, Iand Lee, Sidney(eds), Dictionary of National Biography, vol x, (London, Smith, Elder & Co, 1908)

Withers, Charles WJ, The Rev. Dr. John Walker and the Practice of Natural History in the Late Eighteenth-Century Scoltland, ( London, Archives of Natural History, vol 18, 1991)

Who Was Who 1929-1940, ( Great Britain, A and C Black Ltd, 1941)