Thomas Gibson’s Life and Times

The name of Dr Thomas Gibson (1648/9–1722) isn’t one with much impact outside those studying the history of medicine, yet his story is one full of interesting details. Gibson was born in High Knipe, in the parish of Bampton, Westmorland.1 This is near Penrith in modern-day Cumbria. Gibson’s ODNB entry and his obituary in the Munk’s Roll record that …

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Pancake Plasters

Yesterday, as I am sure everyone is well aware, was Shrove Tuesday. A day when Facebook and Twitter feeds abound with people posting picture of their perfect pancakes. Several historical twitter feeds shared images of early modern pancake recipes, so I don’t wish to do that here. The London Metropolitan Archives tweeted a recipe attributed …

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Poking fun at Physicians

For another project I have been reading lots of early modern joke books and I thought I’d share some of what I’d found here. Books of amusing songs, poems, funny stories and jokes, known as jest-books sold a lot in the seventeenth century. These were not a new form, as Michael Mangan has pointed out, …

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Spare Ribs

During my PhD I had trouble with my arms. After speaking to a fantastically enthusiastic surgeon it was revealed that I have cervical ribs. An extra set of ribs growing out of my cervical spine (you can see my x-ray here). These spare ribs complicate the placement of my blood vessels and nerves. I have …

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Calling for Back Up

Daniel Turner was born in London, probably, on 18 September 1667. When he grew up he served a two-year apprenticeship under London surgeon Charles Bateman, and a five-year apprenticeship with Thomas Lichfield. In 1691 he joined the Company of Barber Surgeons. In 1711 Turner moved from being a surgeon to be a physician; he became a …

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