Clinical pharmacologist. Born in Roxburgh, Brunton studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh and then travelled overseas before returning to London, where he was to establish his reputation. He did much to establish a rigorous scientific basis for pharmacology and identified relationship between high blood pressure and angina pectoris. He also discovered that Amyl Nitrite relieved angina and the beneficial effects of Digitalis on the stressed heart, both described in his Collected Papers on Circulation and Respiration (1906).
He died in London and is buried in Highgate Cemetery.