William Hunter was born near Glasgow in 1718. He came as a student to Glasgow University in 1731 and later studied medicine at Edinburgh, before going to London in 1741. Hunter quickly became well-known as a physician, and built up a distinguished clientle, including members of the Royal Family. He soon assembled a collection of anatomical and pathological specimens. In the 1750s he began collecting art and later diversified into coins, books, manuscripts and ethnography. In 1783 Hunter bequeathed the entire collection to Glasgow University, along with funds to construct a suitable Museum building. The collection was completed and opened to the public in 1807.