The Early Modern Commons

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Your search for posts with tags containing Matters medical found 22 posts

Just a small prick – the early days of vaccination.

Edward Jenner. Image courtesy of Wellcome Institute         It is a staple of many a quiz competition: who was the first person to carry out a vaccination? Answer, of course, Edward Jenner – the country doctor from Berkeley in Gloucestershire. The...
From: Georgian Gentleman on 14 Jun 2022

A wonderful apothecary box, from c. 1845

I have always been a sucker for boxes – especially apothecary boxes – so I was intrigued to see this little number featured on the excellent Mark Goodger site. O.K. you need to have a shade short of £3000 spare but it really is exquisite!...
From: Georgian Gentleman on 8 Mar 2021

Abstain from onions – if you want to avoid flatulencies, thirst, headaches or turbulent dreams.

My ancestor Richard Hall loved collecting what might be called ‘factoids’ – snippets of information presented as scientific facts, but often rather lacking in accuracy. One of his factoids, stored in his little notebook, reads: ‘Onions...
From: Georgian Gentleman on 25 Jun 2020

Giving up the Ghost, or one too many…

A while back I was fortunate enough to buy a Rowlandson print, entitled ‘Giving up the Ghost, or, one too many’. Needless to say my wife hates it and is not inclined to let me  display it on the living room walls. Which is a shame because...
From: Georgian Gentleman on 23 May 2020

Let’s hear it for Isaac Swainson, purveyor of that excellent tincture Velno’s Vegetable Syrup!

One of my all-time favourite Gillray caricatures is the excoriating image of the Prince Regent, bearing the title of ‘A voluptuary under the horrors of Digestion’. It is, in every sense of the word, gross, with its portrayal of the bloated...
From: Georgian Gentleman on 14 Apr 2019

A trip to the dentist, 18th Century style, and a craze for transplanting “live” teeth.

  “Thursday 16th Had a very indifferent night the past, with my Tooth – today was enabled to go through the operation of having it drawn out, which gave me great relief.  Part fine, part dull, not very cold.”    ...
From: Georgian Gentleman on 30 Apr 2017

Sticks and stones, and broken bones….

Thomas Rowlandson’s The Comforts of Bath This week My Dear Lady Wife goes into hospital for a hip replacement operation – hopefully it will give her back some of the mobility lost in recent years. Anyway, it got me thinking about 18th century...
From: Georgian Gentleman on 11 Apr 2016

A method of preventing a Miscarriage, given by Mrs Stringer.

Richard Hall liked to jot down helpful remedies and cures – here, a recipe to prevent a miscarriage. Given that Richard’s first wife  had at least half a dozen  miscarriages, and just three live births, one suspects that there may...
From: Georgian Gentleman on 23 Feb 2016

Question: Was Sir Samuel Pennant a lousy Lord Mayor? No, but a louse may well have bitten him …

Sir Samuel Pennant 1709 – 1750. Attributed to Isaac Seeman, and shown courtesy of the National Trust, it shows him wearing his badge  of office as Lord Mayor. Spare a thought for the Old Bailey court officials in the  Eighteenth Century,...
From: Georgian Gentleman on 14 Sep 2015

Cupped at the bagnio, three shillings and sixpence

I have previously shown this lovely Rowlandson sketch of the good doctor undergoing a course of cupping, apparently to alleviate the symptoms of bruising. I assume the doctor in question was Dr Syntax and that he had a bruised backside from spending...
From: Georgian Gentleman on 30 Oct 2014

Beware the mountebank preying upon the vitals of the unwary!

“Mountebank” ( n):   A charlatan. According to Wikipedia (and we all know that to be the fount of all knowledge don’t we, boys and girls) the word apparently comes from the Italian phrase monta in banco – literally referring...
From: Georgian Gentleman on 4 Oct 2014

Have you no scruples? Understanding your apothecary’s prescription

My ancestor Richard Hall clearly liked to be able to decipher his prescriptions. Mind you, he kept them for years and many of them have survived to this day. They mostly relate to his “nervous disposition” and stomach disorders. Here he sets out the...
From: Georgian Gentleman on 6 Jul 2014

Pass me the Aspirin, or rather, pass me the willow bark….

Next time you reach for a bottle of aspirin to treat your headache, or back pain or rheumatic fever - let’s just call it “an ague” – spare a thought for good old Edward Stone, a vicar who lived at Chipping Norton. One day in around 1757 he was...
From: Georgian Gentleman on 6 Feb 2014

A Going! A Going!!! In fact, Gone…

Richard Hall, my ancestor, died on 2nd July 1801  after a short illness. He had been fine when he started off from Bourton on the Water on 17th June, heading for London by coach, but was taken ill at Witney and was forced to return home. Doctors were...
From: Georgian Gentleman on 2 Jul 2013

13th June 1778: the exorcism of George Lukins, “the Yatton demoniac”

Temple Church in Bristol is a strange place: hit by an incendiary bomb in the last war it is an empty shell, but the tower remains. It leans – as it has done for hundreds of years, so that the top is some five foot away from the vertical. Temple Church,...
From: Georgian Gentleman on 13 Jun 2013

27th May 1773 – a time for divine coughs and colds

Richard Hall, writing on 27th May 1773, makes reference to what appears to have been an Influenza epidemic which hit London that year: “The present a remarkable time for  the Lord’s visiting more or less most familys in London with Coughs...
From: Georgian Gentleman on 27 May 2013

Teaching the Deaf in 18th century London: A tribute to Rev. John Townsend.

I have long been fascinated by the question of how deaf people were treated by society in the 18th Century – just what would life hold for you if you were born deaf, or completely lost the use of hearing through illness? What education was there...
From: Georgian Gentleman on 17 Apr 2013

A spotlight on the Medical Profession in the Eighteenth Century

Eighteenth Century caricatures which involve doctors are usually served up with a healthy scepticism about the medical profession! Here are a few which I like: This appeared in The Caricature Magazine, or Hudibrastic Mirror, by G.M. Woodward and is...
From: Georgian Gentleman on 3 Dec 2012

A Midwife going to a Labour

I like this Thomas Rowlandson print from 1811 entitled  ‘A Midwife going to a Labour’. A night watchman is half asleep in his box, a chimney sweep scurries down the street with a big yawn, and the corpulent midwife hurries through the howling...
From: Georgian Gentleman on 28 Nov 2012

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