Gilbert Blane was born by Kirkoswald in Ayrshire to Gilbert and Agnes back in 1749. He studied medicine at Edinburgh University and at Glasgow receiving his MD in 1778. In 1779, he moved to London where he was appointed Physician to the Fleet from 1779-1783.
When the Spanish besieged Gibraltar he was aboard a ship when they caught up to them in the Battle of Cape St. Vincent, sailing to the West Indies. While he was Physician to the Fleet he did much to improve the health of the sailors by improving their diet and sanitary conditions. With his leadership, he complied a detailed picture of the high levels of sickness effecting the sailors.
On his return, he became Physician to St Thomas’ Hospital (1783-1795). He was a founding member of the Fellow of the Royal Society. With all his knowledge, he was often consulted about questions of public hygiene. He died in London in 1834.
What you may not know about Sir Gilbert Blane is that he was responsible for the sailors being issued lime juice to their diet to overcome the effects of scurvy. Hence the name “limey” becoming a slang word for a British person. Until tomorrow keep a smile on your face and a penny in your pocket.