The Early Modern Commons

Search Results for "Notable deaths"

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Your search for posts with tags containing Notable deaths found 35 posts

A near miss

This case was published in the Report of the Army Medical Department for 1873, an annual publication produced by the medics of the British military. Browsing its pages, my first reaction was astonishment at the sheer size of the British Army at the height...
From: Thomas Morris on 23 May 2019

A wonderful accumulation

This notable case report was published in the Medico-Chirurgical Transactions in 1852.  The author, John Marshall, was a young surgeon in private practice in London; it is not clear how ‘Mrs B.’ came to be his patient, given that she...
From: Thomas Morris on 22 Feb 2019

Frightened to death

In 1873 Thomas Lauder Brunton was asked to give a lecture to the Abernethian Society of St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. Lauder Brunton would later become famous as the pioneer of amyl nitrite, the first drug shown to be effective in treating...
From: Thomas Morris on 9 Aug 2018

The greatest phenomenon that nature has known

In 1849 a Spanish journal, La crónica de los hospitales, published a case supposed to have occurred some forty years earlier in the Mexican port of Veracruz – at the time, a Spanish colony. It was recorded in private notes made in 1809 by...
From: Thomas Morris on 8 Jul 2018

Irritating the genitals by various means

One of the most popular stories on this blog is that of the nineteenth-century Frenchman who cut his own penis in two for sexual gratification. If you type the keywords ‘man cut penis two’ into pretty much any search engine, it’s the...
From: Thomas Morris on 24 May 2018

The trumpeter and the walking stick

In is not unheard of for a soldier to be killed as the result of a swordfight. But it is not often that the circumstances are quite as unusual as those of this case, published in The Dublin Quarterly Journal of Medical Science in 1851 – with a patient...
From: Thomas Morris on 16 Apr 2018

The poison taker

There is a long and often honourable history of self-experimentation in medicine.  Medical pioneers have often been unwilling or unable to test a new therapy on living patients, since the potential harm to a volunteer was just too great to justify....
From: Thomas Morris on 1 Mar 2018

The lithophagus

Unless you’re a marine biologist, the chances are that you’ve never used the word ‘lithophagus’.  You may have eaten one, however: Lithophaga is a genus of mussels, some of whose species are edible, often served in a garlic,...
From: Thomas Morris on 15 Jan 2018

A dangerous weapon

The Northern Journal of Medicine was a short-lived periodical which appeared for only two years before being acquired by a more successful competitor. But it had some illustrious contributors: published in Edinburgh, it was able to include papers by some...
From: Thomas Morris on 30 Dec 2017

An enormous eater

Albert Vander Veer was a distinguished New York surgeon of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A Civil War veteran, he was a notable pioneer in an age when operating inside the abdomen was almost a mission into terra incognita. An expert...
From: Thomas Morris on 1 Nov 2017

Twice bitten

On February 23rd, 1872, the Philadelphia Post published a breathtakingly crass news story: A thrilling scene occurred on Wednesday in this city. A lion-tamer came within an ace of being torn to pieces by a royal Bengal tiger, with which he was imprisoned...
From: Thomas Morris on 3 Oct 2017

The colonic carpentry kit

The ‘foreign correspondence’ pages of one 1861 issue of the Medical Times contain an eclectic selection of stories. The first concerns the ‘sucking apparatus of infants’ (i.e., babies’ mouths). But the following case was...
From: Thomas Morris on 16 Aug 2017

Death of an earl

On a warm August afternoon a man in his fifties is enjoying a game of bowls in the affluent English town of Tunbridge Wells. Suddenly he passes out and falls to the ground, apparently dead. If this scene were unfolding today, an ambulance would probably...
From: Thomas Morris on 9 Aug 2017

The stone-swallower

Eighteenth-century authors were fond of giving their books ridiculously long titles – often so lengthy that they weren’t titles at all, but rather pedantic descriptions of each volume’s contents. Today I came across the longest book...
From: Thomas Morris on 31 Mar 2017

The man with a snake in his heart

I was fascinated to stumble across this seventeenth-century autopsy report in an old edition of the British Medical Journal.  It was unearthed by Benjamin (later Sir Benjamin) Ward Richardson, one of the great figures of Victorian medicine. His name...
From: Thomas Morris on 2 Feb 2017

Shot by a toasting fork

This is one of my favourite nineteenth-century cases, which I originally intended to include in my forthcoming book but which didn’t quite make it to the final manuscript. It was written by Dr T. Davis, from the small Worcestershire town of Upton-upon-Severn,...
From: Thomas Morris on 19 Dec 2016

Killed by his false teeth

People who wear dentures sometimes lose them, as you might mislay a pair of glasses, but it’s rare to do it in quite this fashion.  This case, from the 1842 volume of Guy’s Hospital Reports, was reported by one W.G. Carpenter. Mr. H.,...
From: Thomas Morris on 10 Dec 2016

The venomous boot

Here’s a tall tale from 1856, published in The Medical Times and Gazette: Some interesting experiments were made at the Society of Arts last week by Dr. Chambers, to test the efficacy of a plant known as Guaco in Central America, or a plant nearly resembling...
From: Thomas Morris on 8 Dec 2016

The King of Smokers

There were plenty of doctors in the nineteenth century who thought that smoking was good for you; so there’s nothing particularly out of the ordinary in this excerpt from an article published in the Medical Press and Circular in 1871: So much, and...
From: Thomas Morris on 1 Sep 2016

A diplomatic disaster

In 1824 King Kamehameha II and Queen Kamāmalu of Hawaii made a state visit to Britain. The kingdom of Hawaii had been established in 1795 and was known in Europe as the Sandwich Islands, a name given by Captain James Cook on his voyages in 1778....
From: Thomas Morris on 29 Jun 2016

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