Armagh Robinson Library & No 5

This exhibition shows different medical works from the Library’s collection.


In the 1770s Richard Robinson, Archbishop of Armagh, had a vision of re-establishing Armagh as a centre of learning. He built a library, a hospital and, twenty years later, an observatory.

From the Library borrower books we learn that surgeons and doctors visited to study medical books in the collection. One example is of a Dr Simpson who borrowed Medicina Gymnastica, a text on the importance of exercise in medical treatment, in 1805.


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TITLE
The anatomy of melancholy : vvhat it is. VVith all the kindes, causes, symptomes, prognosticks, and seuerall cures of it. In three
maine partitions, with their seuerall sections, members, and subsections. Philosophically, medicinally, historically opened and cut
vp, by Democritus Iunior. With a satyricall preface, conducing to the following discourse.

AUTHOR
Robert Burton
PLACE OF PUBLICATION
Oxford
PUBLISHER
Henry Cripps
YEAR OF PUBLICATION
1624
OBJECT ID
P00111488x

Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy is presented as a medical text, but it is just as much a work of satirical literature and philosophy. The text covers subjects on an encyclopaedic scale, including digestion, goblins, and the geography of America.

The work proved to be very popular with the public, and Burton, notorious for re-writing his works, published five further revised editions. The original manuscript has not survived.


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TITLE
The Surgeon’s Mate, or Military and Domestique Surgery
AUTHOR
John Woodall
PLACE OF PUBLICATION
London
PUBLISHER
[s.n.]
YEAR OF PUBLICATION
1639
OBJECT ID
P001404403

Woodall is best known for this work, The Surgeon’s Mate, first published in 1617, which was the standard text for ships’ surgeons on medical treatments while at sea. It contained an advanced view on the treatment of scurvy.

[…] the Lemmons, Limes, Tamarinds, Oranges, and other choice of good helps in the Indies… do farre exceed any that can be carried tither from England.

In later editions sections on gunshot wounds, the plague and gangrene were added.


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TITLE
Thomae Bartholini [...] Anatomia : Ex Caspari Bartholini Parentis Institutionibus, Omniumque Recentiorum & Propriis
Observationibus Tertium ad Sanguinis Circulationem Reformata.

PLACE OF PUBLICATION
The Hague
YEAR OF PUBLICATION
1666
OBJECT ID
P001403512

In 1652 the Danish mathematician, physician and theologian, Thomas Bartholin, published the first full description of the lymphatic system, a network of blood vessels and lymph nodes that carries fluids from tissues around the body into the blood and vice versa.

Three years later he published Anatomia, which was a reworking of his father Caspar’s Anatomicae institutiones corporis humani. He added a large number of illustrations and a section on the circulation of the blood. This would become one of the most popular anatomical works of the 17th century.


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TITLE
A compleat history of druggs : written in French by Monsieur Pomet, Chief Druggist to the present French King ; to which is
added what is further observable on the same subject, from Messrs. Lemery, and Tournefort, divided into three classes,
vegetable, animal and mineral ; With their Use In Physick, Chymistry, Pharmacy, And several other Arts: illustrated with above
four hundre copper cutts curiously done from the Life ; and an Explanation of their different Names, Places of Growth, and
Countries from whence they are brought ; the Way to know the True from the False, their Virtues, &c. A Work of very great
Use and Curiosity. Done into English from the originals.

AUTHOR
Pierre Pomet
PLACE OF PUBLICATION
London
PUBLISHER
[s.l.]
YEAR OF PUBLICATION
1712
OBJECT ID
P001394378

French apothecary and chief pharmacist to Louis XIV, Pierre Pomet travelled widely to collect plant, animal and mineral specimens, as well as medicinal recipes. In his History Pomet lists both local plant, animal and mineral products which can be used for medicine, as well as more exotic ones. They include tobacco, indigo, sugar and opium, as well as ground mummies and unicorn horns!

The book includes around 400 prints. Due to its popularity it was translated into German and English in 1712.


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TITLE
Boerhaave’s Aphorisms: Concerning the Knowledge and Cure of Diseases. Translated From the Last Edition Printed in Latin
at Leyden, 1728. With Useful Observations and Explanations

AUTHOR
Herman Boerhaave
PLACE OF PUBLICATION
London
PUBLISHER
Arthur Bettesworth; C. Hitch; W. Innys; R. Manby
YEAR OF PUBLICATION
1735
OBJECT ID
P001405477

Dutch botanist and chemist Herman Boerhaave is referred to as the father of physiology and as the founder of both clinical teaching and the modern academic hospital. He first described Boerhaave Syndrome, which describes a tear in the oesophagus due to intense vomiting.

This work
 
[…] promiseth Rules, by which you may unfold the Causes of Diseases, and assist Nature in carrying them to their Issue.


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TITLE
Uncertainty of the Signs of Death
AUTHOR
Jacob B. Winslow
PLACE OF PUBLICATION
London
PUBLISHER
[s.n.]
YEAR OF PUBLICATION
1746
OBJECT ID
P001405906

This work by Danish-born French anatomist Jacob Winslow contains stories of people, who were (almost) buried alive, because doctors and others mistook signs of death. Winslow concluded that the putrefaction of the body is the only sure sign of death. He urged surgeons to be wary of operating on someone presumed dead, lest they should become a murderer!


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TITLE
The New Dispensatory [...] Intended as a Correction, and Improvement of Quincy.
AUTHOR
William Lewis
PLACE OF PUBLICATION
London
PUBLISHER
[s.n.]
YEAR OF PUBLICATION
1753
OBJECT ID
P001406732

The New Dispensatory deals with all elements of pharmacy,

the art of preparing and compounding […] substances for medicinal purposes in a manner suitable to their respective properties and the intention of cure.

It refers to pharmaceutical practices and provides details of medical conditions and the medicines that can be used to treat them. It also gives directions for cheap remedies to be used with the poor.

This work was written to correct and complete the writings of another pharmacist, John Quincy, who died in 1722.


8

TITLE
Observations on the Nature and Consequences of Wounds and Contusions of the Head, Fractures of the Skull, Concussions
of the Brain, etc.

AUTHOR
Percivall Pott
PLACE OF PUBLICATION
London
PUBLISHERS
[s.n.]
YEAR OF PUBLICATION
1760
OBJECT ID
P001400122

Observations on the Nature and Consequences of Wounds and Contusions of the Head, Fractures of the Skull, Concussions of the Brain, etc. by English surgeon Percivall Pott is the first on sports neurology in medical literature. Pott is known as one of the founders of modern orthopaedics.

He was also important in the development of occupational health, by demonstrating that there was an association between exposure to soot by chimney sweeps and cancer of the scrotum.

His pamphlets were in high demand and would often sell out. Between the 1760s and 1770s, he had over 14 titles in circulation.


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TITLE
Tabes Dorsalis: or the Cause of Consumption in Young Men and Women
AUTHOR
Physician of Bristol
PLACE OF PUBLICATION
London
PUBLISHERS
[s.n.]
YEAR OF PUBLICATION
1764
OBJECT ID
P001080101

This anonymous medical work, published for bookseller John Lever, describes the causes of consumption as well as its symptoms and precautions.In the print a lady asks a gentleman, both seemingly ill with consumption:

“Where are you going sir?”

He replies,

“For Lever’s book against consumption.”


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TITLE
An Account of the Diseases Which Were Most Frequent in the British Military Hospitals in Germany, From January 1761
to [...] March 1763. To Which is Added, an Essay on the Means of Preserving the Health of Soldiers, and Conducting
Military Hospitals

AUTHOR
Donald Monro
PLACE OF PUBLICATION
London
PUBLISHERS
[s.n.]
YEAR OF PUBLICATION
1764
OBJECT ID
P001399922

Scottish physician and medical author Monro was physician to the British forces in Germany during the Seven Years’ War. He would later set up a private practice in London.

Account of the Diseases […] documents his time in the military hospital in Germany and was one of the first general treatises on army medicine.


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TITLE
The Anatomy of the Human Body: By W. Cheselden, Surgeon to his Majesty's Royal Hospital at Chelsea Fellow of the
Royal Society and Member of the Royal Academy of Surgeons At Parts. The XIIIth Edition with Forty Copper Plates
Engrav'd by Ger: Vandergucht.

AUTHOR
William Cheselden
PLACE OF PUBLICATION
London
PUBLISHERS
[s.n.]
YEAR OF PUBLICATION
1784
OBJECT ID
P00139986

Cheselden’s The Anatomy of the Human Body was first published in 1713. It became very popular with medical students, as it was written in English instead of Latin, as was customary. The book ran through thirteen editions.

Cheselden is famous for inventing a quick procedure for removing bladder stones, with a low death rate. He is also credited with being the first to remedy blindness surgically by removing the cloudy cataract lens of a thirteen year old blind boy in 1728.