A son of the Manse from Forfarshire who was inspired by Chalmers whilst a student at St Andrews University. Miller became a favourite pupil of Robert Liston and went on to a successful career in surgery, succeeding Sir Charles Bell as Professor of Surgery at the University of Edinburgh. He became Surgeon in Scotland to Queen Victoria and author of the most successful surgical textbook of its day, which ran to several editions and was successful in the United States. In his later years, after the Disruption, he devoted time increasingly to writing and speaking in support of the Free Church and its moral values. His initial education was at the hands of his father whose religious influence was to profoundly influence his life. While still only 12 he began three years of study at the University of St Andrews where he came under another powerful influence of Dr Thomas Chalmers. That influence was to continue throughout Miller’s life. He went on to study medicine in Edinburgh. Having obtained the Licence of the Royal College of Surgeons, he became Assistant to Robert Liston who was later to become a friend and lifelong admirer. When Liston went to London in 1834 he invited Miller to join him. Preferring to stay in Edinburgh, Miller inherited Liston’s extensive practice and continued to attract patients from all over the world. As was still common at that time, his practice combined general with surgical practice. He obtained the Fellowship of the College in 1840. On the death of Sir Charles Bell in 1842, Miller applied for the Chair of surgery and was appointed in the face of formidable competition from other applicants. Miller excelled as a teacher and an orator. His textbook Principles and Practice of Surgery ran to three editions and was amalgamated into a fourth edition as A System of Surgery. An American edition was also published. The Encyclopaedia Britannica had started in Edinburgh and the contribution on surgery was written by Miller. Inevitably many honours came his way. He was made Surgeon in Scotland to Queen Victoria, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and Professor of Pictorial Anatomy to the Royal Institution, later the Royal Scottish Academy. In his later years, his skills as an orator and a writer were increasingly devoted to promoting the Free Church of Scotland and its moral code.