Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Educating physicians in seventeenth-century England

  • Jonathan Barry (a1)
  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.

Argument

The tension between theoretical and practical knowledge was particularly problematic for trainee physicians. Unlike civic apprenticeships in surgery and pharmacy, in early modern England there was no standard procedure for obtaining education in the practical aspects of the physician’s role, a very uncertain process of certification, and little regulation to ensure a suitable reward for their educational investment. For all the emphasis on academic learning and international travel, the majority of provincial physicians returned to practice in their home area, because establishing a practice owed more to networks of kinship, patronage and credit than to formal qualifications. Only when (and where) practitioners had to rely solely on their professional qualification to establish their status as young practitioners that the community could trust would proposals to reform medical education, such as those put forward to address a crisis of medicine in Restoration London, which are examined here, be converted into national regulation of medical education in the early nineteenth century, although these proposals prefigured many informal developments in medical training in the eighteenth century.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Educating physicians in seventeenth-century England
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Educating physicians in seventeenth-century England
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Educating physicians in seventeenth-century England
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

References

Hide All
Allen, Phyllis. 1946. “Medical Education in Seventeenth-Century England.” Journal of History of Medicine 1:115143.
Axtell, James. 1970. “Education and Status in Stuart England: The London Physician.” History of Education Quarterly 10: 141159.
Barry, Jonathan. 1987. “Publicity and the Public Good: Presenting Medicine in Eighteenth-Century Bristol.” In Medical Fringe and Medical Orthodoxy, edited by Bynum, William and Porter, Roy, 2939. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Barry, Jonathan. 2018. “The ‘Compleat Physician’ and Experimentation in Medicines: Everard Maynwaring (c.1629–1713) and the Restoration Debate on Medical Practice in London.” Medical History 62:155176.
Beier, Lucinda. 1987. Sufferers and Healers. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Bill, Edward. 1988. Education at Christ Church, Oxford 1660-1800. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Birken, William. 1983. “The Royal College of Physicians of London and its Support of the Parliamentary Cause in the English Civil War.” Journal of British Studies 23:4762.
Bonner, Thomas. 2000. Becoming a Physician: Medical Education in Britain, France, Germany, and the United States, 1750–1945. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Burnby, Juanita. 1995. “An Examined and Free Apothecary.” In The History of Medical Education in Britain, edited by Nutton, Vivian and Porter, Roy, 1636. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
Bynum, William. 1985. “Physicians, Hospitals and Career Structures in Eighteenth-Century London.” In Medical Fringe and Medical Orthodoxy, edited by Bynum, William and Porter, Roy, 105128. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bynum, William, and Porter, Roy, eds. 1985. William Hunter and the Eighteenth-Century Medical World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Chamberland, Celeste. 2013. “From Apprentice to Master: Social Disciplining and Surgical Education in Early Modern London, 1570–1640.” History of Education Quarterly 53:2144.
Chamberlen, Hugh. 1694. A Few Queries Relating to the Practice of Physick. London: Sowle.
Cook, Harold. 1986. The Decline of the Old Medical Regime in Stuart London. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
Cook, Harold. 1987. “The Society of Chemical Physicians, the New Philosophy, and the Restoration Court.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 61:6177.
Cook, Harold. 1989. “Physicians and the New Philosophy.” In The Medical Revolution of the Seventeenth Century, edited by French, Roger and Wear, Andrew, 246271. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cook, Harold. 1990a. “Practical Medicine and the British Armed Forces after the ‘Glorious Revolution’.” Medical History 34:126.
Cook, Harold. 1990b. “The New Philosophy and Medicine.” In Reappraisals of the Scientific Revolution, edited by Lindberg, David and Westman, Richard, 397436. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cook, Harold. 1994. “Good Advice and Little Medicine.” Journal of British Studies 33:133.
Cook, Harold. 2011. “Markets and Cultures.” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6th ser. 21:123146.
Cooper, William. 1673. The Philosophical Epitaph of W.C. Esquire. London: Cooper.
Cowen, David. 2001. Pharmacopoeias and Related Literature in Britain and America, 1618–1847. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Davies, Andrea. 2008. “The Locations and Careers of Provincial Physicians in Eighteenth-Century England, with Particular Reference to Devon and Suffolk.” Ph.D. diss., University of Exeter.
Digby, Anne. 1994. Making a Medical Living. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Dingwall, Helen. 2010. “The Importance of Being Edinburgh: The Rise and Fall of the Edinburgh Medical School in the Eighteenth Century.” In Centres of Medical Excellence? Medical Travel and Education in Europe, 1500-1789, edited by Grell, Ole Peter, Cunningham, Andrew, and Arriabalaga, Jon, 305324. Farnham: Ashgate.
Emerson, Roger. 1993. “Medical Men, Politicians and the Medical Schools at Glasgow and Edinburgh, 1685-1803.” In William Cullen and the Eighteenth-Century Medical World, edited by Doig, Andrew, Ferguson, Joan, Milne, Iain, and Passmore, R., 186215. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Emerson, Roger. 2004. “The Founding of the Edinburgh Medical School.” Journal of the History of Medicine 59:183218.
Evenden, Doreen. 1998. “Gender Differences in the Licensing and Practice of Female and Male Surgeons in Early Modern England.” Medical History 42:194216.
Evenden, Doreen. 2000. Midwives of Seventeenth-Century London. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Frank, Robert. 1973. “Science, Medicine and the Universities of Early Modern England.” History of Science 11:194216, 239–269.
Frank, Robert. 1997. “Medicine.” In The History of the University of Oxford, vol. 4: Seventeenth-Century Oxford, edited by Tyacke, Nicholas, 505558. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Furdell, Elizabeth. 2002. Publishing and Medicine in Early Modern England. Rochester NY: University of Rochester Press.
Goodall, Charles. 1676. The College of Physicians Vindicated. London, Kettilby.
Grell, Ole Peter, Cunningham, Andrew, and Arriabalaga, Jon, eds. 2010. Centres of Medical Excellence? Medical Travel and Education in Europe, 1500-1789. Farnham: Ashgate.
Harley, David. 1994. “‘Bred up in the Study of that Faculty’: Licensed Physicians in North-West England, 1660-1760.” Medical History 38:398420.
Harvey, Gideon, 1670. The Accomplisht Physician. London: for author.
Harvey, Gideon. 1678. Casus Medico-Chirurgicus. London: Rooks.
Hodges, Nathaniel. 1666. Vindiciae Medicinae & Medicorum. London: Brome.
Holloway, Sidney. 1966. “The Apothecaries’ Act, 1815: a Reinterpretation.” Medical History 10:107129, 221–136.
Huyberts, Adrian. 1675. A Corner-Stone Laid towards the Building of a New College. London: for author.
Jenner, Mark, and Wallis, Patrick, eds. 2007. Medicine and the Market in England and its Colonies c.1450-1850. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
King, Helen. 1995. “‘As if None Understood the Art that cannot Understand Greek’: The Education of Midwives in Seventeenth-Century England.” In The History of Medical Education in Britain, edited by Nutton, Vivian and Porter, Roy, 184198. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
Klestinec, Cynthia. 2010. “Medical Education in Padua: Students, Faculty and Facilities.” In Centres of Medical Excellence? Medical Travel and Education in Europe, 1500-1789, edited by Grell, Ole Peter, Cunningham, Andrew, and Arriabalaga, Jon, 193220. Farnham: Ashgate.
Krivatsky, Peter. 1975. “William Westmacott’s ‘Memorabilia’: The Education of a Puritan Country Physician.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 49:331338.
Lane, Joan. 1985. “The Role of Apprenticeship in Eighteenth-Century Medical Education.” In Medical Fringe and Medical Orthodoxy, edited by Bynum, William and Porter, Roy, 105128. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lane, Joan. 1988. “Provincial Medical Apprentices and Masters in Early Modern England.” Eighteenth Century Life 12(3): 1427.
Lane, Joan. 1996. Apprenticeship in England 1600–1914. London: UCL Press.
Lawrence, Christopher. 2006. “The Shaping of Things to Come: Scottish Medical Education 1700–1939.” Medical Education 40:212218.
Lawrence, Susan. 1988. “Entrepreneurs and Private Enterprise: The Development of Medical Lecturing in London, 1775-1820.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 62:171192.
Lawrence, Susan. 1996. Charitable Knowledge: Hospital Pupils and Practitioners in Eighteenth-Century London. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Levitin, Dimitri. 2015. “‘Made up from Many Experimental Notions”: The Society of Apothecaries, Medical Humanism and the Rhetoric of Experience in 1630s London.” Journal of the History of Medicine 70:549587.
Lewis, Gillian. 1977. “The Linacre Lectureships Subsequent to their Foundation.” In Linacre Studies: Essays on the Life and Work of Thomas Linacre, c. 1460-1524, edited by Maddison, Francis, Pelling, Margaret, and Webster, Charles, 223264. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Loudon, Irvine. 1986. Medical Care and the General Practitioner 1750-1850. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Loudon, Irvine. 1994. “Medical Practitioners 1750-1850 and the Period of Medical Reform in Britain.” In Medicine in Society: Historical Essays, edited by Wear, Andrew, 219247. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
“Lover of Truth and the Good of Mankind, A.” 1673. An Essay for the Regulation of the Practice of Physick. London: Taylor.
M., T. 1665. A Letter Concerning the Present State of Physick. London: Martyn and Allestry.
Mauck, Aaron. 2012. “‘By Merit Raised to that Bad Eminence’: Christopher Merrett, Artisanal Knowledge and Professional Reform in Restoration London.” Medical History 56:2647.
McCarl, Mary. 1996. “Publishing the Works of Nicholas Culpeper.” Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 13:225276.
Mortimer, Ian. 2004. “Diocesan Licensing and Medical Practitioners in South-West England 1660-1780.” Medical History 48:4968.
Nedham, Marchamont. 1675. “Preface” to Franciscus de la Boe, A New Idea of the Practice of Physic. London: Aylmer.
Nutton, Vivian, and Porter, Roy, eds. 1995. The History of Medical Education in Britain. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
Pelling, Margaret. 1994. “Apprenticeship, Health and Social Cohesion in Early Modern London.” History Workshop Journal 37:3356.
Pelling, Margaret. 1995a. “Knowledge Common and Acquired: the Education of Unlicensed Medical Practitioners in Early Modern London.”’ In The History of Medical Education in Britain, edited by Nutton, Vivian and Porter, Roy, 250279. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
Pelling, Margaret. 1995b. “The Women of the Family? Speculations around Early Modern British Physicians.” Social History of Medicine 8:388401.
Pelling, Margaret. 1998. The Common Lot: Medical Occupations and the Urban Poor in Early Modern England. London: Longman.
Pelling, Margaret. 2003. Medical Conflicts in Early Modern London. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Pelling, Margaret. 2005. “Politics, Medicine and Masculinity: Physicians and Office-Bearing in Early Modern England.” In The Practice of Reform in Health, Medicine and Society 1500-2000, edited by Pelling, Margaret and Mandlebrote, Scott, 81106. Farnham: Ashgate.
Pelling, Margaret. 2019. “Managing Uncertainty and Privatising Apprenticeship: Status and Relationships in English Medicine, 1500-1900,” Social History of Medicine, 32:3456.
Pelling, Margaret and Webster, Charles. 1979. “Medical Practitioners.” In Health, Medicine and Mortality, edited by Webster, Charles, 165235. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Reinarz, Jonathan. 2007. “Corpus Curricula: Medical Education and the Voluntary Hospital Movement.”’ In Brain, Mind and Medicine: Neuroscience in the 18th Century, edited by Whitaker, Harry and Smith, Stanley, 4352. New York: Springer Verlag.
Reinarz, Jonathan. 2008. “The Transformation of Medical Education in Eighteenth-Century England: International Developments and the West Midlands.” History of Education 37:549566.
Reinarz, Jonathan. 2009. Health Care in Birmingham: The Birmingham Teaching Hospitals, 1779–1939. Woodbridge: Boydell Press.
Risse, Gunther. 1987-1988Clinical Instruction in Hospitals: The Boerhaavian Tradition in Leiden, Edinburgh, Vienna and Pavia.” Clio Medica 21:119.
Rosner, Lisa. 1991. Medical Education in the Age of Improvement: Edinburgh Students and Apprentices 1760–1826. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Rook, Arthur. 1969. “Medicine at Cambridge 1660-1700.” Medical History 13:107122.
Rook, Arthur. 1973Cambridge Medical Students at Leiden.” Medical History 17:256265.
Singer, Charles, and Holloway, Sidney 1960. “Early Medical Education in England in Relation to the Prehistory of London University.” Medical History 4:117.
Stolberg, Michael. 2014. “Bedside Teaching and the Acquisition of Practical Skills in Mid-Sixteenth-Century Padua.” Journal of the History of Medicine 69:633661.
T., C. 1670. Some Papers Writ in the Year 1664. London: Allestry.
van Zwanenberg, David. 1983. “The Training and Careers of those Apprenticed to Apothecaries in Suffolk 1815-1858,” Medical History, 27:139150.
Waddington, Keir. 2003. Medical Education at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, 1123–1995. Woodbridge: Boydell.
Wallis, Patrick. 2006. “Apothecaries and the Consumption and Retailing of Medicines in Early Modern London.” In From Physick to Pharmacology, edited by Curth, Louise, 1328. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Wallis, Patrick. 2007. “Competition and Cooperation in the Early Modern Medical Economy.” In Medicine and the Market in England and its Colonies c.1450-1850, edited by Jenner, Mark and Wallis, Patrick, 4768. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Wallis, Patrick. 2008. “Consumption, Retailing and Medicine in Early Modern London.” Economic History Review 61:2653.
Wallis, Patrick. 2012. “Exotic Drugs and English Medicine.” Social History of Medicine 25:2046.
Wallis, Patrick, and Haycock, David. 2005. Quackery and Commerce in Seventeenth-Century London. Medical History Supplement 25. London: Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL.
Wear, Andrew. 2000. Knowledge and Practice in English Medicine, 1550-1680. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Webster, Charles. 1967. “The College of Physicians: ‘Solomon’s House’ in Commonwealth England.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 41:393412.
Webster, Charles. 1975. The Great Instauration: Science, Medicine, and Reform 1626–1660. London: Duckworth.
Wilson, Philip. 1992. “Acquiring Surgical Knowledge: Occupational and Lay Instruction in Early Eighteenth-Century London.” In The Popularization of Medicine 1650-1850, edited by Porter, Roy, 4271. London: Routledge.
Wilson, Philip. 1999. Surgery, Skin and Syphilis: Daniel Turner’s London. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed

A correction has been issued for this article: