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Daniel Rutherford (1749-1819), Physician and botanist

Sitter in 6 portraits
Scottish chemist and physician who was most famous for the isolation of nitrogen. During his medical studies at Edinburgh University, Rutherford isolated nitrogen in 1772 and described oxygen, or 'vital air' as he called it, in 1778. After completing his university studies, he began practising medicine. He became a Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh in 1776, and later was elected the Society's President. In 1786 he was appointed Professor of Botany at Edinburgh University, and Keeper of the city's Royal Botanic Garden.