Medicine & Disease

The notorious malady of the 18th century is on the increase in the UK.

'Barts in Medieval Times'. Wellcome Collection.

St Bartholomew’s was refounded in the reign of Henry VIII. Courtney Dainton describes how, for nearly two centuries, it was one of only two major hospitals in England for the care of the general sick.

Louis C. Kleber describes how, for the American Indians, ‘medicine’ was a spiritual belief as well as a curative.

Old leper Hospital of St. Bartholomew, Oxford. Wellcome Collection.

During the Middle Ages, writes Courtney Dainton, English hospitals continued to flourish until the beginning of the fifteenth century.

Frances Austin reads the lively late eighteenth century letters of a great surgeon’s apprentice to his family in Cornwall.

"Friar Bacon's Study", in Oxford.

J.J.N. McGurk profiles Roger Bacon; a 13-century Franciscan, with a reputation as a necromancer, who showed a remarkable combination at Oxford and in Paris of philosophic and scientific gifts.

The problems of later life are always with us, writes Steven R. Smith. Among those who have studied them are both a famous philosopher and a renowned physician.

The great humanitarian organisation was founded on 29 October 1863.

Medicine in early modern Britain is commonly perceived as crude and ineffective. But for all its shortcomings, says Alun Withey, there was no shortage of medical practitioners.

Stephen Usherwood describes how an Asiatic flea, living as a parasite upon black rats, caused as many as 100,000 deaths during the summer and autumn of 1665.