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‘John Ince His Booke’: a previously unrecorded medical text of the sixteenth century

Smith, Lesley Bernadette Maria (2015)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis concerns a previously unpublished medical text, which takes the form of a manuscript note-book dating from the mid-sixteenth century. The original work is anonymous and untitled, but is known as the ‘Ince book’ after the later addition of the inscription ‘John Ince his Booke’ on the first page. The text contains 290 individual entries, all but a few of which are medical recipes. The contents of the book are considered in terms of the ailments to be treated and the range of ingredients included in the remedies, against the background of medical knowledge and practice in the period.
It is concluded that the work was compiled by a professionally trained medical practitioner, probably a physician, although it contains some ‘quack’ remedies in addition to mainstream medicine. The approach to medicine found throughout is in the Galenic tradition, although reflecting some modifications to this tradition typical of Reformation England. The exact function of the book remains uncertain, but it is suggested that the book represents working notes for an intended publication.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Reinarz, Jonathan and Fulton, Elaine
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Medical & Dental Sciences
Department:School of Health and Population Sciences, Department of the History of Medicine
Subjects:HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
R Medicine (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:6051
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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