|DCL||Doctor of Civil Law|
|FRCS||Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons|
|FRCP||Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians|
|FRS||Fellow of the Royal Society|
|LLD||Doctor of Laws|
|LSA||Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries|
|LRCS||Licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons|
|MA||Master of Arts|
|MB||Bachelor of Medicine|
|MD||Doctor of Medicine|
|MRCS||Member of the Royal College of Surgeons|
|Ph.D||Doctor of Philosophy|
MD, FRCR. Abercrombie was a leading physician and medical teacher in early nineteenthcentury Scotland who studied in Edinburgh and Oxford. His Inquiries Concerning the Intellectual Powers and the Investigation of Truth ( 1830) went into four editions within four years, stayed in print through most of the nineteenth century, and was a crucial reference point for later writers. Abercrombie aimed to develop the philosophy of mind, following associationist principles, in the context of new methods of empirical observation and classification, while recognizing that these could never lead to absolutely provable results.
MRCS. The son of a clergyman, Acton was apprenticed to the Resident Apothecary at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, 1831-6. He studied in Paris, specializing in genito-urinary diseases, and then returned to England, becoming a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons and beginning to practice in London in 1840. His first book, A Practical Treatise on the Diseases of the Urinary and Generative Organs (in Both Sexes) ( 1841) was expanded and developed in The Functions and Disorders of the Reproductive Organs, in Childhood, Youth, Adult Age, and Advanced Life, Considered in their Physiological, Social and Moral Relations ( 1857), which was translated into French in 1863. Acton was also involved in the wider study and reform of sexual behaviour: his 'Observations on Illegitimacy in London Parishes' appeared in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society in 1857, and Prostitution, Considered in its Moral, Social and Sanitary Aspects ( 1862), contributed to the drafting of the Contagious Diseases Acts of 1866.