[MR] BBC: Medicine in 16th c England

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford mallardlodge1000 at gmail.com
Thu May 16 02:23:02 PDT 2019

Noble Friends,

Today the BBC is reporting on a project by Cambridge historians to digitize
case notes from 16th and early 17th century English physicians Robert
Napier and Simon Forman. The historians have documented many bizarre cases
that jump from the practical to the weird to witchcraft. These include
prescriptions for deer dung and wearing slippers made from pigeons.

You can read the fascinating story at
https://www.bbc.com/news/education-48281322 . Unfortunately, the BBC story
does not include a link to the Cambridge transcription project, or enough
information to find it using Google. That said, the Simon Forman and Robert
Napier's case books have been scanned and can be seen at
https://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/collections/casebooks/1 .

Whether the Robert Napier mentioned in the story is one of my direct
ancestors depends on which genealogical chart one consults. One says that
he was the father of Patrick Napier, barber-surgeon to Charles I. Patrick's
son, also a Patrick, was an apprentice surgeon in the Royalist army during
the English Civil War.  Dr. Patrick Napier [Jr.] was captured at the Battle
of Dunbar and exiled to Virginia (it is from him that I am descended).
Other charts do not include Robert in my line. In any case, Robert was a
common name in the family among all the various branches in the 1500s.
Finding that Robert was my ancestor would be a dubious distinction,
considering the sort of quackery he practiced.

Yours Aye,

Mungo Napier, Laird of Mallard Lodge  🦆

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