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34 and 35 Henry VIII, c. 8, which ordained that “it shall be lawful to every person,* being the King's subject, having knowledge and experience of the nature of herbs, roots, and waters, or of the operation of the same by speculation or practice, within any part of the realm of England, or within any other the King's dominions, to practise, use, and minister in and to any outward sore, uncome wound, apostemations, outward swelling or disease, any herb or herbs, ointments, baths, pultess and emplaisters, according to their cunning, experience, and knowledge in any of the diseases, sores, and maladies beforesaid, and all other like to the same, or drinks for the stone, strangury, or agues,
without suit, vexation, trouble, penalty, or loss of their goods, the foresaid statute in the foresaid third year of the King's most gracious reign, or any other act, ordinance, or statute to the contrary heretofore made in any wise notwithstanding."
Such are the two retrograde enactments that especially retarded this part of the physician's office during the two following centuries, whereby surgery
was reunited with “ barbery” as late as 1745, in which year, being emancipated, it descended to the “ Corporation of Surgeons,” and in 1800 to the “Royal College of Surgeons."
Gratitude, we may have expected, would never have allowed the College of Physicians to resign
*“As well men as women.”—Preamble of the Act.
to barbers or women at least such cases as had cost their founder, Dr. Linacre,* so much of suffering, and even life itself; but it was otherwise. Two principal reasons, or rather deep-rooted prejudices, seem to have combined to cause this downward course, immediately after the appointment of the College of Physicians for so opposite a purpose; the one, that natural abhorrence of any connection with an office exercised by those who had for so long a period usurped this part of their functions; the other, that inclination to popery, and therefore to popish customs, which prevailed in the college throughout this period. This latter prejudice was probably fostered as well by the education of Dr. Linacre with the son of Lorenzo de Medicis,t afterwards Pope Leo X, as by the union, in himself, Dr. Chambre, and others, of the priest's with the physician's office; so reluctantly were the emoluments of this conjoined office dissevered, and so much did it combine with other causes to re-establish the barrier between medicine and surgery.
That the college consisted chiefly of papists during this period is shown in the following extracts from Seymour's Survey of London :'
“ The college consisted, for the most part, about this time, 1575, and before, of such as were favourers
* Dr. Linacre died in great agony from the stone, October 20, 1524.
+ See Roscoe's' Life of Lorenzo de Medicis.'
of popery, and were guilty of divers disorders. This account whereof was set up; viz.
“« That the presidents, censors, electors, and other officers, were not sworn to the Queen's majesty, at their admission, as in other corporations they were; whereby it came to pass that papists continually had occupied the chief rooms.
“That men expelled their universities for religion, by this means had from time to time been received into the college, and thereby advanced their credit.
“ " That either they did wholly repel, or not without much importunity admit, any whom they thought to be well affected towards the true religion, now received.
“That such as had gone beyond the seas to take the degree of doctor, because they would avoid the oath of supremacy (ministered according to the statutes of our universities), had shortly, upon their return, been admitted without any oath ministered unto them.
“ That such as had been imprisoned for religion or other great matters, had kept themselves in office at their own pleasures, contrary to the college statutes and their oaths, and detained in their hands the college goods, disdaining to make any account of the same.
6. That some of the electors who had fled for religion out of the realm, had been kept in their offices, and stoutly defended, as chief members of the college (being at Louvain) until they died, that other honest and true subjects might be kept out of the same rooms.
“That they made private conventicles of a few, to bring to pass their purposes and elections, which ought, by the College Statutes, to be done on quarter days only, and the whole company being thereunto called.
“That the college statutes were generally imperfect, and partly popish.
“These things being declared and complained of to the council, by some well affected, in the year 1575, reformation of them was earnestly desired.'
“ From this account, we may see that there have been in former times, private conventicles of a few, to serve their own purposes, to the prejudice of the rest; contrary to and destructive of the peace, harmony, and brotherly affection of the members of this one and ancient body; and that there have been at the same time, some well affected to the laws of the land, as well as to the statutes of the college, who have complained of grievances, and desired redress of the same."*
Immediately after, and we may reasonably infer, in some measure at least, arising from these representations, certain of the prejudices regarding surgery, which had been exhibited in the two Acts of
* An Impartial Inquiry into the Legal Constitution of the College of Physicians in London,' p. 100.
Parliament referred to, were loudly protested against. In the year 1582, Dr. Caldwall and Lord Lumley first fulfilled the injunctions of the college charter, respecting this neglected branch of medicine, by founding and endowing a surgery lecture in the College of Physicians : Goodall* says, “ Dr. Caldwall was a person so highly valued for his learning, gravity and excellent morals, that he was examined, approved, and admitted into the College, and made censor thereof in one and the same day; and within less than six weeks was chosen one of the elects of the said college.
“ He was made a member of that society in the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's reign, was president thereof A.D. 1570. His affections were such to the college, that he, with the Lord Lumley, in the twentyfourth year of Queen Elizabeth's reign, procured her majesty's leave, under the broad seal, to found a Surgery Lecture in the college, and to endow it with £40 per annum, which is laid as a rent-charge upon the lands of the Lord Lumley and Dr. Caldwall, and their heirs for ever. The words of the letters patent run thus :—Solvend : eidem Presidenti et Collegio seu Communitati, et Successoribus suis annuatim, ad usum Lectoris Artis seu scientie Chirurgie infra (sic) domum sive Collegium Medicorum London : in perpetuum alend: et manutenend : juxta Ordinationes
* Historical Account of Proceedings against Empiricks, &c.,' by Dr. Goodall: “Epistle Dedicatory.”