The Professor sits at a table with a green cloth upon it. He is writing in a book with a quill pen. A pen-tray stands on the table and there are rows of medical books behind him on a shelf.
Home was the third son of James Home, an advocate residing at Eccles, Berwickshire. He studied medicine as apprentice to an Edinburgh practicioner, and, while serving in the War of the Austrian Succession, he attended lectrues at Leyden. Returning to Edinburgh, he graduated M.D. from the University in 1750 and began private practice. In 1768 he was appointed to the newly-founded Chair of Materia Medica, a post from which retired in 1798 in favour of his son, James Home. Some of the most important medical observations of the 18th century were the work of Francis Home. He was for instance the first to describe the disease now known as diphtheria.
Materia Medica was an established course, with a reputation and a literature of its own, that James Home inherited from his illustrious father in 1798, on his appointment as the second Professor of Materia Medica.