A Medicinal Dictionary (1743-45) by Doctor Robert James (1703-1776)

Wright, Alexander David (2021). A Medicinal Dictionary (1743-45) by Doctor Robert James (1703-1776). University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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A Medicinal Dictionary was written by Dr Robert James (1703-1776) and published by Thomas Osborne (1704?-1767) in London in three folio volumes between 1743 and 1745.
The circumstances that resulted in James and his school friend, Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), writing important dictionaries within ten years of each other in London are examined. The background of James in the Midlands and his training in Oxford and possibly in Leiden are explored. Samuel Johnson’s move to London has been well documented but the reasons for James’s move in mid-career are less obvious. The introduction of James to Osborne was a key event leading to the invitation to compile A Medicinal Dictionary. This large dictionary was produced on time, albeit with a change of plan extending the publication to three volumes. I have highlighted its innovative features and considered the resources needed for writing and printing such a major work. The dictionary and James’s other writings are judged as having made significant contributions to the Enlightenment and to a medical enlightenment. The dictionary and James’s better known fever powders are presented as evidence of the medical marketplace in London. The legacy of the dictionary is an in-depth record of medicine at that time.

Supplementary data for this thesis can be found on the University of Birmingham eData repository at: https://doi.org/10.25500/edata.bham.00000634

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Medical & Dental Sciences
School or Department: Social Studies in Medicine (SSiM)
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/11392


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