The regulation of midwives in the Early Modern period prescribed the moral and social conduct of the midwife, placing far greater emphasis on her character and integrity than on her practice and competence. This was because of the important role that the midwife was assigned in performing the sacrament of baptism during childbirth. When the infant was frail or in danger of dying, it was required that she carry out emergency baptism. In such cases of necessity, regulation in the form of maintaining sacramental
Explaining how leprosy was considered in various historical settings by referring to categories of uncleanliness in antiquity, is problematic. The book historicizes how leprosy has been framed and addressed. It investigates the history of leprosy in Suriname, a plantation society where the vast majority of the population consisted of imported slaves from Africa. The relationship between the modern stigmatization and exclusion of people affected with leprosy, and the political tensions and racial fears originating in colonial slave society, exerting their influence until after the decolonization up to the present day. The book explores leprosy management on the black side of the medical market in the age of slavery as contrasted with the white side. The difference in perspectives on leprosy between African slaves and European masters contributed to the development of the 'Great Confinement' policies, and leprosy sufferers were sent to the Batavia leprosy asylum. Dutch debates about leprosy took place when the threat of a 'return' of leprosy to the Netherlands appeared to materialise. A symbiotic alliance for leprosy care that had formed between the colonial state and the Catholics earlier in the nineteenth century was renegotiated within the transforming landscape of Surinamese society to incorporate Protestants as well. By 1935, Dutch colonial medicine had dammed the growing danger of leprosy by using the modern policies of detection and treatment. Dutch doctors and public health officials tried to come to grips with the Afro-Surinamese belief in treef and its influence on the execution of public health policies.
This book explores whether early modern people cared about their health, and what did it mean to lead a healthy life in Italy and England. According to the Galenic-Hippocratic tradition, 'preservative' medicine was one of the three central pillars of the physician's art. Through a range of textual evidence, images and material artefacts, the book documents the profound impact which ideas about healthy living had on daily practices as well as on intellectual life and the material world in Italy and England. Staying healthy and health conservation was understood as depending on the careful management of the six 'Non-Naturals': the air one breathed, food and drink, excretions, sleep, exercise and repose, and the 'passions of the soul'. The book provides fresh evidence about the centrality of the Non-Naturals in relation to groups whose health has not yet been investigated in works about prevention: babies, women and convalescents. Pregnancy constituted a frequent physical state for many women of the early modern European aristocracy. The emphasis on motion and rest, cleansing the body, and improving the mental and spiritual states made a difference for the aristocratic woman's success in the trade of frequent pregnancy and childbirth. Preventive advice was not undifferentiated, nor simply articulated by individual complexion. Examining the roles of the Non-Naturals, the book provides a more holistic view of convalescent care. It also deals with the paradoxical nature of perceptions about the Neapolitan environment and the way in which its airs were seen to affect human bodies and health.
Mosaic Law to live apart from the healthy. 12 Jacques of Vitry praised the efforts made by the new orders of hospitallers to minister the sacraments of confession, the Mass and extreme unction to the sick, whose spiritual welfare was further assured by the continuous celebration of the divine offices ‘night and day … in a common chapel’ so that all could hear as they lay in bed. 13 Precept did not, of course, always accord with practice. When the lepers of West Somerton in Norfolk staged an open rebellion against their patron, the prior of Butley, in the 1290s, their
lunacy. So mentally incapable was Stedman, according to witnesses for the Rodds, that she frequently performed ‘the offices of nature’ 40 without realising it. Furthermore, a local minister refused to give her the sacrament during Easter in 1745 because she appeared mad to him. Finally, the Rodds accused the Lewis household of keeping Stedman in confinement in the last year of her life, not allowing Mary Rodd to speak to her aunt. The commission of lunacy, they claimed, along with the obstructionist behaviour of the Lewis household, proved Stedman's insanity and made
and playing cards in company, or when he and his family members had received particular providences that indicated divine favour on the household. Coe regularly resolved to amend his wayward behaviour and he was particularly concerned about those activities that caused him to omit family prayers or his ‘owne private devotions’, which he believed were detrimental to his relationship with God. Coe’s faith also meant that he held the Lord’s Supper in great reverence and he hoped that receiving the sacrament would fortify him 192 Spiritual health and bodily health
which he frequently left Batavia without permission, and ran his own rum-smuggling racket, delivering alcohol to the inmates of the asylum in defiance of Catholic supervision. Reprimands were of no avail. In October 1849, Heinink caught Andreia in the act of smuggling and took more drastic action by sinking the slave’s boat in the river. That same evening the priest became ill after supper, and by the next day he was dead. What shocked the Catholics most profoundly was that Heinink had died without receiving last sacraments. An investigation was started, but it was
accordance with the 1547 Act for the Dissolution of Chantries. However, the master argued that it was used legitimately to administer sacraments to the ‘poor’ of the hospital. The appeal was successful, since the Court granted the money back to the master and his successors. 76 This direct relationship between the hospital and almshouse phases suggests some level of continuity throughout the later medieval period and the Reformation. Certainly the continuity of documentary records over the period, as noted above, implies that there was no formal institutional break
was led through experience to the truth of these things’. 57 Changing the order of events from Thomas’s previous vita , Francis was first confronted with the leper in the plains below Assisi: Among all the awful miseries of this world Francis had a natural horror of lepers, and one day as he was riding his horse near Assisi he met a leper on the road. He felt terrified and revolted, but not wanting to transgress God’s command and break the sacrament of His word, he dismounted from his horse and ran to kiss him. As the leper stretched out his hand, expecting
in 1741, was noted for her ‘Christian like’ behaviour and for the fact that she ‘distributed much of her substance to the poor’.112 Her charitable nature reassured Harries that she ‘ended [this] life and went to another’.113 Those who were not always resolute in their faith, however, were playing a dangerous game. In July 1742 died Mary Richard who, according to Harries, ‘was very wavering and inconstant in her profession [of faith], sometimes in and sometimes out’.114 Harries wrote pointedly that she had called for the sacrament on her deathbed, implying that her