Dr William Wright

1735 - 1819


President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh 1801-1803, and formerly partner with Dr Thomas Steel (q.v.), with whom he reportedly built Orange Hill. His involvement in Orange Hill formed part of his original entry in the Dictionary of National Biography but is omitted from his current ODNB entry, which however acknowledges his slave-ownership, saying: 'During these years [1764-1777] he became financially successful by investing the income from his medical practice in slaves and land. In mid-1765 he and Thomas Steel owned four slaves, in 1767 fifteen slaves, by 1771 thirty-three slaves. When their joint property was finally sold following the death of Thomas Steel in 1784, the income gained was sufficient to allow Wright "immunity from application to professional employments" (Memoir of the Late William Wright, [p.] 75). He was appointed surgeon-general of Jamaica in 1774.'


https://www.rcpe.ac.uk/heritage/biographies-glossary/w [accessed 02/01/2020]; DNB Vol. 63, George Simonds Boulger, 'Wright, William (1735-1819) physician and botanist'; Saakwa-Mante, Norris D. "Wright, William (1735–1819), military physician and naturalist." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 23 Sep. 2004; Accessed 2 Jan. 2020. https://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-30067.

Further Information


Associated Estates (1)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1771 [EA] - 1771 [LA] → Joint owner

Anon., Memoir of the late William Wright (Edinburgh, 1828) p. 29 shows him and Dr Thomas Steel as building Orange Hill and holding 33 enslaved people in 1771.

Legacies Summary

Cultural (1)

Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh...... 

Historical (1)

Memoir of the late William Wright... 1828 

Relationships (1)

Business associates