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Demonstrators in Anatomy were formally recognised as Professors by the Town Council in 1705. In 1720 Alexander Monro ''primus'' (1697-1767) was given a life appointment as Professor of Anatomy. Two further generations of Alexander Monros followed. This 'dynastic succession' ceased with the appointment of John Goodsir in 1846. He in turn was succeeded by Sir William Turner in 1867, who remained in post until 1903, when he became Principal of the University. The Chair was then helf by Daniel John Cunningham from 1903, Arthur Robinson from 1909, James Coupar Brash from 1931 and George John Romanes (1916-2014) from 1954 to 1984.

Teaching in the 18th century would have been heavily based around the Anatomy Theatre which was built in 1764 for Monro (secundus). In 1880, the department moved to purpose-built accommodation within the new Medical School in Teviot Row.