This chapter explores the medical environment of 1640s Ireland, particularly
during the 1641 Rebellion. It uses the 1641 Depositions to explore how
people understood reported sickness and disease. It also traces the
experiences of a broad range of medics during a period of warfare and
significant social and political upheaval. In doing so, it enables an
important new perspective on medicine in Early Modern Ireland.
In August 1642 a committee of MPs at
Westminster urged the sending of more money to Ireland to maintain
Protestant refugees there. Otherwise, they argued, ‘there willbe an
inevitable danger of their bringing over the infection of the pestilent
fever with them, as hath bene allready done in some parts of Devon’.1 The 1641 rebellion in Ireland
clearly posed a risk not only to England’s security, but also to its public
health. In wartime Ireland, the dangers of violent death and disease loomed
altogether much larger. This circumstance in turn presented opportunities
and hazards to medical practitioners of various kinds. Any effort to study
practitioners’ experiences, and the Irish medical environment more
generally, amidst the upheaval of the 1640s is inevitably hampered by the
scarcity of relevant surviving sources. The latter problem is not unique to
that decade; for most of Ireland beyond Dublin, we know little about medical
practice in the seventeenth century. Fortunately, there is one extant source
that enables a range of relevant insights into the situation in the 1640s.
The Westminster committee’s resolutions from August 1642 and an enormous
quantity of additional information concerning the rebellion in Ireland are
preserved in the same archive: the 1641 depositions.
The depositions are the best known and most controversial
source for the history of Early Modern Ireland. They comprise around 8,000
witness statements and related material concerning the Irish rebellion of
1641 and its aftermath.2 For
centuries after the event, the depositions were at the centre of heated
debate around the question of what had actually happened in 1641. Protestant
writers pointed to their contents as evidence of a premeditated massacre by
Catholics of very large numbers of English and Scottish settlers.3 Catholic writers in turn
questioned the veracity of the depositions and refused to accept them as a reliable source for the history of the period.4 In recent decades the
depositions have been put to new uses, for example in addressing questions
of social and economic history and in literary studies of women’s writing.5 While the violence and the
killings continue to loom large in the historiography, since 2009 the
availability of the depositions in edited and searchable format online has
facilitated a wide range of fresh investigations. As Mark Sweetnam’s study
of Protestant clergymen has shown, the depositions can provide a means to
explore the lives and experiences of particular groups of people within the
wider context of rebellion and war.6 This chapter seeks to outline what the depositions can
tell us about the history of health and medicine and, more especially, about
medical practitioners in Ireland in the 1640s.
It is important to state at the outset that the relatively
small quantity of relevant content in the 1641 depositions means that they
are of limited use for the investigation of medical practitioners and
practice in this period. While deponents from every county provided sworn
statements rich in detail, the nature of the evidence is very far indeed
from enabling general conclusions about numbers and types of medical
practitioners active in Ireland at the time. Moreover, the medics who
feature most prominently do so because of their involvement in war and
politics, rather than their activity in the medical sphere. It is thus not
possible to determine the extent to which the snippets of relevant evidence
found in the 1641 depositions represent an accurate picture of Irish
medicine more broadly at this time. While medical doctors, surgeons and
apothecaries inevitably feature, as in other sources the wide range of
sometimes unorthodox practitioners that existed outside of this triumvirate
has left fewer traces.
Yet at the same time, the depositions allow us to identify
practitioners not mentioned elsewhere. Given the limitations of the wider
source base for the first half of the seventeenth century, it is worth
paying attention to the depositions. The evidence they contain is sufficient
to allow us brief but valuable glimpses into the lives of a number of
practitioners located across the island.7 There are at least sixteen depositions directly provided
by relevant individuals: four doctors of physic; one man who described
himself as a ‘Professor of Physicke’; seven surgeons; one surgeon’s mate;
one barber-surgeon; one barber; and one midwife. More than eighty further
depositions sworn by a broad range of people – esquires, gentlemen,
clergymen, widows and others – refer to named medical practitioners of
various kinds. Many are only mentioned in passing; for others more detailed
accounts of their activities are provided. This evidence
relates to practitioners in twenty-one of the thirty-two counties, while a
physician and a apothecary from London also feature briefly.8 Before investigating this cohort in more
detail, it ought to be worthwhile to explore what the 1641 depositions can
tell us about experiences of sickness and disease in Ireland in that
Sickness and disease in the depositions
The 1641 rebellion encompassed various
scenarios that led some deponents to comment on issues of health and
sickness. These included: episodes of violence and physical assault; lengthy
sieges; forced dislocation of people; theft of clothing; exposure to
inclement weather; and shortages of food and water. Deponents’ reflections
on their experiences can provide insights into medical discourse in Early
Modern Ireland. The word ‘sickness’ was sometimes used by deponents in a
manner that conveyed a change of state due to the impact of the rebellion: a
shift from being ‘in health’ into ‘sickness’. On hearing a report of the
death of his wife and children, Hilkiah Read of Co. Leitrim ‘fell into
sicknes whereof he soone after dyed’.9 Following the imprisonment of her husband in Sligo, Jane
Stewart ‘fell extreem sick’.10
Elizabeth Bradley reported how a cold combined with grief to kill her
husband: these ‘did drive him into that sicknes whereof he (languishing)
died’.11 Illness that affected
a group of people might be described in terms of a ‘visitation’. Jonathan
Hoyle, a Protestant minister in Queen’s County, described how his family and
servants (nineteen persons in total) ‘were all of them (two or three
excepted) visited with sore sickness’.12 George Creighton, also a Protestant minister, deposed
that ‘sicknes came amongst us, and … it pleased god this deponents wife
died, All his family was visited (the deponent only excepted)’.13 This apparent tendency for
clergymen to refer to ‘visitation’ highlights the providential framework
within which they could understand sickness.14 Another clergyman, Richard Morse from Co. Fermanagh, was
more blunt, ascribing the ‘lamness and sickness’ of his wife and children to
‘the Cruell dealing of the Irish’ in stripping them and forcing them to flee
For those who ultimately survived such hardship, the process
of recovery could be long, or even remain incomplete. Morse reported that
his family were ‘scant well recovered’ from their ordeal.16 Richard Gibson fled from Co. Carlow in
mid-November 1641, ‘though very sick’. Two months later
he swore a deposition in Dublin, ‘where he still languisheth of the same
sicknes’.17 In 1643 Calcott
Chambre recounted how after ‘falling sick [he] contynued in that sicknes for
16 weekes together’, before recovering and making good his escape from the
rebels in Co. Wicklow.18 Others
were not so fortunate. William Oulton, a gardener, fled from Wexford by sea,
only to be shipwrecked. After swimming ashore he was imprisoned in Arklow,
Co. Wicklow, ‘hauing in that restraynte Contracted sicknes & becoming a
criple’.19 Oulton’s testimony
regarding his illness and disability reflected some of the perils that might
accompany dislocation and imprisonment.
Deponents usually referred to ‘sickness’ in very general
terms, sometimes alongside and interchangeably with ‘disease’. John Massie
from Queen’s County reported his ‘affliction by an extreame sicknes … &
yet he is not cleared of the dangerous disease thereof’.20 Richard Hobson, a vintner in Dublin, deposed
that following a blow to the head his wife ‘fell into a languishing sicknes
& disease which within a weeke killd her’.21 From Co. Clare, John Ward revealed that the defenders of
a number of besieged castles had become ‘perplexed with sicknes, &
diseases’.22 In the same
county, those who fled to Ballyally Castle had to face food shortages as
well as ‘an infectious feauer then raigneing amongst them’.23 Deponents were occasionally more specific
about the nature of the ailments that they encountered. This reflected the
heavy impact of particular diseases, as well as the existence locally of
sufficient knowledge to identify the diseases in question. William Dethick,
for example, was among the Protestants besieged in two castles at Tralee in
Co. Kerry for seven months in 1642. The defenders lost relatively few men in
skirmishes, but Dethick reported that about 140 men, women and children
‘dyed out of both Castles through the sicknes called the Scurvey’.24 As refugees crowded into
Dublin, observers noted the spread of contagious diseases there. In February
1642 Philip Bysse reported that ‘Here are verie many deade Lately,
especially of the poorer sorte, and the Chi[l]dren die verie thicke of
measells and Poxe, my Cozen Jeffrey Phillips wife died of the Poxe in Childe
bed, and now George kinge Grace Colmans husband hath the small Poxe’.25 Two female deponents from the
town of Armagh also reported cases of children with smallpox there in the
early days of the rebellion. Isabell Gowrly recalled that two of her
children ‘hadd the smallpox visibly upvn them’.26 The rebels’ imprisonment of Protestants in cramped
conditions and the flight of others to overcrowded places of refuge must
have served to magnify the impact of diseases such as measles and
Among the keen observers of disease in
Ireland at this time was the Dutch physician Arnold Boate. He moved to
Ireland in 1636 and spent eight years there. His observations would help to
inform Irelands Naturall History, a book written by his brother Dr
Gerard Boate and published in London in 1652.27 The five ‘diseases reigning in Ireland’ mentioned by
Gerard Boate included ‘the Irish Agues’ and ‘the Loosness’.28 The disease profile that he outlined for
Ireland was to some extent reflected in the 1641 depositions. Boate
explained that ‘the Loosness’ ‘useth to turn to the Bloody flux’, or
diarrhoea, and was commonly known as the ‘country disease’.29 In Dublin in January 1642, Peter Bance
reported the effects on his family of their being stripped and forced to
flee from Co. Wicklow: ‘his wife and children having gotten the Cuntry
disease are now miserably sick … whereby they are Like to perrish’.30 Further north, Francis
Sacheverell witnessed the deaths of Irish soldiers at Charlemont in Co.
Armagh as a result of ‘the bloudie fluxe’.31 At the end of the decade, the ‘country disease’ would be
one of the main challenges faced by Cromwell’s newly arrived army.32
Boate described the ‘Irish Agues’ as ‘a certain sort of of
Malignant Feavers’.33 The
depositions detail several cases. Katherine Patman and her brother both
deposed that their mother had been mortally wounded by a Scot, Thomas Boyd,
in Co. Antrim in 1641. At the time, she had been caring for several family
members ‘sicke in an Ague’ in the woods near their home.34 While Boate asserted that the ‘Quartan Ague’
was ‘utterly unknown in Ireland’, this is contradicted by the testimony of
one deponent.35 In 1653 Edward
Butler claimed that he had been ‘surprizd with a quartan Ague’ that forced
him to ‘keep his bed’ in Co. Kilkenny for a month in the early days of the
Butler was one of several men who pleaded former ill-health
when being interrogated by the Cromwellian authorities in the early 1650s
about their alleged involvement in the killing of Protestants more than a
decade earlier. This naturally renders their testimony problematic, both in
relation to their reported sicknesses as well as otherwise. It also reflects
these men’s hope that their claims of illness would be taken seriously in
court. When flatly contradicted by witnesses, however, such pleas evidently
carried little weight. Despite Butler’s attempt to refute some of the
charges against him by insisting that he had been bed-bound, the Cromwellian
High Court of Justice found him guilty of five murders at Ballyragget and he
was duly executed.37
In Co. Antrim, the murder suspect Michael Doyne also claimed
that he had been in poor health in 1641. He insisted that he had been ‘sicke
of asore flux’, for the treatment of which he sought a
‘botle of Clared wine’ from an acquaintance in nearby Belfast.38 Doyne, however, had not been
confined to bed by his sickness and several witnesses provided evidence of
his role in the upheaval. He too was found guilty of murder.39 In Co. Tyrone, ill-health also featured
prominently in Patrick Modder O’Donnelly’s account of his actions in 1641.
O’Donnelly claimed that ‘for three Moneths before the stirr he lay very sick
in his own house’. Despite ‘being very weake & haveing taken Phisicke
the day before’, on 22 October he defied ‘his Doctors rule’ and went to the
aid of local Protestants at Castle Caulfield.40 This version of events was directly contradicted by
Captain John Perkins, who deposed that O’Donnelly had taken the lead in
capturing Dungannon Castle from him on the same date.41 O’Donnelly’s fate is unclear, but he
certainly had reason to fear for his life in the face of Cromwellian murder
In the town of Galway in 1653–54, local officials seem to
have made a determined effort to implicate the prominent Catholic lawyer and
politician Patrick Darcy in an incident in March 1642 where a group of
townsmen had surprised Captain Clarke’s ship in the harbour and killed some
of those on board. Under interrogation in Dublin in December 1653, Darcy
insisted that at that time he had been ‘sick in his owne howse’ for around a
month and that upon recovery he had left the town.42 Several witnesses provided evidence to
contrary. Captain Hygate Lone recalled seeing Darcy ‘in the streets the very
day before the said surprisall but never heard that he was sicke’.43 Both Jane Sheiley and John
Morgan deposed that Darcy had been ‘in health’.44 Charles Conway ‘Professor of Phisicke’ expressed his
belief that ‘what was then done in Galway was by the direccion of Patricke
Darcye, and the rest of the lawyers’.45 Several other deponents were more circumspect, claiming
ignorance of Darcy’s whereabouts and his state of health in 1642, and Darcy
was ultimately released.46
While the reliability of the testimony provided by Darcy and his fellow
prisoners is obviously open to question, claims about ague, flux and months
spent sick in bed were all evidently viewed as plausible in the contemporary
The rebellion and the traumatic violent acts associated with
it also inevitably had potential to impact on the mental wellbeing of those
caught up in it. For this reason, it is worth paying some attention to cases
where deponents referred to matters of mind as well as body. Although the
relevant evidence is all too brief, it nonetheless offers a glimpse into
John Sims from Co. Wexford deposed that his wife ‘by frights taken by the
cruelties of the Rebells is become very weake in body
& mynd, & not like to Regaine her former strength’.48 In Tuam, Co. Galway, a rape victim named Mary
‘sayd that shee had layn sick vpon it for 3 or 4 dayes and was in such a
condition that she thought shee should neuer bee well nor in her right mynd
againe’.49 In Co. Tyrone Mr
Brodely’s wife was reportedly ‘fallen into an extreme frenzy’ following
robbery and stripping by the rebels.50 A number of deponents also described the distress
experienced by perpetrators of violence and their associates, sometimes with
an apparent undertone of divine retribution.51 Jane Stewart reported the murder of a woman by the friars
in the town of Sligo, after which the prior of the convent ‘fell franticke
& run soe about the streets & contynued in that frenzie for 3 or 4
weekes’.52 In Newry, Co. Down,
Elizabeth Crooker claimed that Colonel Magennis was troubled on his death
bed by a vision of Mr Tudge, a Protestant minister then recently executed
there. In the same town, one of the rebels involved in prophaning the
Protestant Church apparently ‘fell into such a trembling … and extasy
that other Rebells were gladd to carry him out of the Church as a frantick
man’.53 Such episodes can be
usefully related to wider scholarship on psychological trauma resulting from
Early Modern warfare, some of which has focused on gendered aspects of the
relevant surviving narratives.54
In the depositions, perhaps the most frequently mentioned
cases requiring medical treatment were the many cuts, stab wounds and
gunshot wounds inflicted by the rebels on their victims and their opponents
in arms. For example, at the surrender of Longford Castle Mathew Baker was
wounded ‘in twenty places with stabbs and cutts’; he died shortly
afterwards.55 At Cashel in Co.
Tipperary Ellice Meagher sustained ‘11 wounds’; she reported that her
captors ‘later plucked of[f] what plaisters were layd to theire wounds lest
they should be cured’.56 With
medical provision in short supply, such cases very often resulted in a
period of ‘languishing’ followed by death. Lack of surgical care was
especially felt by soldiers. During the lengthy siege at Duncannon Fort in
Co. Wexford, the anxious defenders lamented the garrison’s ‘want of a
chirurgion’: they complained that ‘in case any of us Should receive any
hurt, we are like to perish’.57
One Protestant soldier who claimed to owe his life to a surgeon was Myles
Jenkinson in Queen’s County. Having taken two bullets in the back and a pike
wound in his right arm, he prevailed on his captor to allow him to have his
wounds dressed.58 Where such
treatment was available it could prove expensive, especially for persons
already deprived of their income and belongings. Samuel Felgate spend at
least ten pounds in Dublin on treatment for two gunshot
wounds, as well as the ‘seven greivous wounds’ suffered by his maid
servant.59 In Co. Antrim a
prisoner of the rebels, Thomas Ingram, agreed to pay five pounds towards the
‘cure’ of a sergeant whom he had shot in the thigh while attempting to evade
capture.60 Given the extent of
the violence and sickness apparent in wartime during the 1640s, it can be no
surprise that there was strong demand for the services of medical
practitioners of all kinds. What do the depositions reveal about the roles
and experiences of such people?
Doctors and apothecaries
The relatively high social status
enjoyed by medical doctors ensured that they achieved prominence across a
variety of roles in 1640s Ireland. One well-known Protestant doctor who
features in the depositions is the aforementioned Arnold Boate. He does so
not because of his medical practice but rather because of his involvement in
elite politics. In Dublin in July 1643 Boate was investigated for his
alleged part in promoting two petitions: one for the removal of all
Catholics from the city; and a second for subscribing ‘some Covenant’.61 These activities were
presumably related to the jostling for position ongoing within the Dublin
government at that time. This situation arose because of a spilling over of
royalist–parliamentarian tensions from England and also the unpalatable
prospect of negotiations with the Catholic rebels. The consolidation of
royalist control in Dublin in 1643 under James Butler, earl of Ormond, and
the government’s moves to secure Irish Catholic support for Charles I
against the English parliament help to explain Boate’s decision to leave
Ireland shortly afterwards.62
Another doctor involved in politics at a high level in the 1640s was Gerald
Fennell. He was a member of the Supreme Council of the Catholic
Confederation that governed most of Ireland from its seat at Kilkenny and he
was also a close associate of Ormond.63 Yet beyond his inclusion in a few listings by deponents
of the names of the Catholic leadership, he is, like Boate, hardly mentioned
at all in the depositions. This is so because he was not directly involved
in the actions that informed much of the content of the depositions: the
violence against and displacement of Protestants at a local level. The
depositions have far more to say about two other Catholic doctors in that
In September 1652, Dr Donnogh O’Healy of Carnody in Co. Cork
faced questioning about an incident that had occurred almost exactly a
decade earlier. In mid-August 1642 a party of between twelve and sixteen Protestants was dispatched under armed Catholic
escort from Macroom intending to travel to safe refuge in Cork, a distance
of less than twenty-five miles. None of the prisoners reached their
destination. O’Healy asserted that he had been on his way to visit a patient
when he met the convoy on the road at Kilmurry. The next day, he heard that
two of the prisoners had been hanged nearby, while the rest had been killed
between Blarney and Cork. He was unable to recall the identities of most of
the members of the escort because of ‘his being soe much a stranger in his
owne Country, for that he came but a yeare before out of ffrance’.64 As many Irish Catholics
received their medical education in France in the Early Modern period, this
aspect of O’Healy’s narrative can be seen as credible.65 Unfortunately for him, four members of the
rebel escort deposed that O’Healy had taken custody of the two prisoners who
were subsequently hanged at Kilmurry, a version of events reinforced by
hearsay evidence from a number of other deponents. In at least fourteen
depositions collected in 1652–53, O’Healy was implicated in the murders.
According to this version of events, the doctor and two companions had met
the convoy near Kilmurry. Upon identifying a nailer and a collier among the
party, O’Healy had compelled them to go along with him, stating that he had
need of their skills. Thereafter he was alleged to have hanged the two men
and buried them in a sawpit. None of the deponents had actually witnessed
these executions. The evidence against O’Healy was problematic, not least
because the four key witnesses against him were understandably keen to
absolve themselves of any blame for the deaths that had occurred.66 Nonetheless, their testimony
was sufficient to ensure that O’Healy was convicted of murder in November
1652 and hanged at Cork.67
Another medical doctor, Daniel Higgins, was also executed by
Cromwellian authorities in the early 1650s. In 1641–42, Higgins was involved
in a number of actions in the Limerick region.68 He is mentioned in at least nineteen depositions. Several
deponents referred to him as ‘of Limerick’, while Dermod Grady stated that
Higgins was from Scoul, a townland situated around eighteen miles south of
the city.69 Higgins was among
the local Catholic leadership responsible for managing the successful siege
of Limerick Castle in May–June 1642. He was also involved in an attack on
Mallow, Co. Cork, in February 1642 and the subsequent siege of Lough Gur
Castle about twelve miles south of Limerick. The latter siege lasted from
March to September 1642. In two of the depositions collected in 1642–43
concerning events at Lough Gur, Higgins is identified as responsible for the
death of Anthony Rindersly, a warder at the castle.
Joseph Keanes accused him of ‘first cutting of[f] one of … [Rindersly’s] …
armes & stabbing of him in seuerall places … and afterwards in a
tormenting manner stripped him & kepte him starke naked for Two dayes
& Two nights & soe the man dyed’.70 Higgins would never be brought to trial for this alleged
murder. Following the surrender of Limerick to Henry Ireton in October 1651,
he was one of the defenders executed in retribution for their role in
delaying the surrender of the city.71 Higgins provides a good example of how a medical doctor
was able, and perhaps expected, to assume a leadership role at the local
At least one deposition links Higgins to a pursuit in which
medical doctors and apothecaries played a key role during the early stages
of the war in Ireland: the making of gunpowder. Apothecaries in particular
were evidently expected to possess the expertise necessary to identify the
ingredients of gunpowder and to oversee its manufacture. While the siege of
Limerick Castle was underway in 1642, Higgins was entrusted with this task
alongside others including James Hackett, an apothecary in the city. As part
of an effort to procure sufficient quantities of saltpetre, graves were dug
up in St Mary’s Churchyard.72
Kilkenny witnessed similar scenes, where the rebels ‘digged the tombes &
graues in the churches … vnder colour of getting vp mowldes whereon to make
gunpowder’.73 The men who took
responsibility for this vital work included Mr Munsell ‘Doctor of Phissick’
and the apothecary Edmund Sallenger.74 In the city of Waterford, the apothecary Richard Neylor
was among those who ‘digged vp some corps of protestants … & those they
with the earth boyled in greate furnesses till they extracted saltpeeter,
& made of them gun powder worth three score pounds a weecke or
therabouts’.75 Beyond these
instances of apothecaries making macabre use of their ‘transferrable skills’
for destructive ends, they appear to have left little other trace in the
depositions. Yet it may be assumed that the war also stimulated demand for
their more restorative products.76
The need for gunpowder also helped to shape the fate of one
Dr Hodges in Ulster. This was the medic whose advice Patrick Modder
O’Donnelly claimed to have ignored when he left his sickbed to go to the aid
of Protestants at Castle Caulfield in 1641.77 Hodges’s precise medical qualifications are unknown. One
deponent, William Fitzgerald, explained that he was ‘commonlie called in the
Countrie Doctor Hodges for his practice of Phisick in the Northerne
parts’.78 Fitzgerald identified
Hodges as one of Sir Phelim O’Neill’s prisoners and ‘cheife workmen’ in a largely unsuccessful attempt to make gunpowder for the
Ulster rebels at Charlemont and Armagh.79 George Wirrall from Co. Fermanagh, who had previously
been employed as ‘a clerke and paymaster’ to a London saltpetre master, was
among those selected to ‘learne the faculty’ of gunpowder manufacture from
Hodges. Wirrall discovered that Hodges had only managed to produce seven
ounces of ‘very unprofitable stuffe’ and he suspected that the doctor was
deliberately sabotaging the process. The rebels’ patience was soon
exhausted.80 While Hodges’s
wife and two sons escaped, he was reportedly half-hanged and then imprisoned
for a further three months, before being killed in a massacre near
The high profile enjoyed by doctors ensured that a number of
others were mentioned more briefly in the depositions, either as rebels, as
victims, or otherwise. Dr Derby O’Connor in Co. Tipperary and Dr John Field
in Co. Kerry were both reported to be in rebellion.82 Stephen Love deposed that Field had taken a
local leadership role on the rebels’ county committee in Kerry and he
denounced him as ‘a most pestilent and pernitious enemy to the
English-nation’.83 From the
Scottish settlement at St Johnstown in Co. Longford, Elizabeth Stewart
reported losses worth £162 8s. suffered by her and her late husband
Alexander Stewart ‘Doctor of Phissick’. These losses included income from
houses and land, books worth fourteen pounds and a salary of twenty pounds
payable for running the school at St Johnstown. The deposition does not make
clear whether it was Elizabeth or Alexander, or both of them together, who
received this salary, nor is there any indication of the scale of
Alexander’s income from his medical practice.84 Two prominent English doctors associated with the
parliamentarian army, William Petty and Abraham Yarner, were among the
commissioners appointed by the government in 1652 to collect evidence
relating to murders in 1641. Their signatures appear together on a number of
depositions relating to Co. Meath.85 The only physician mentioned in the depositions because
of actual practice during the rebellion seems to be William Connery of
Carrigrenny in Co. Cork. Under examination in 1652, he recounted having
dressed the wounds of two wounded soldiers of Lord Inchiquin’s who came to
his house. He was later forced to hand them over to the rebels.86 As other depositions confirm,
Connery’s actions in treating soldiers’ wounds were more typically the
preserve of surgeons in this period. Yet given the wartime context, it is
hardly surprising to find a physician doing the work of a surgeon.
Barbers, surgeons and barber-surgeons
In Early Modern Ireland, as elsewhere,
the occupational labels of barber, surgeon and barber-surgeon were not
always used consistently in various sources, so that a man described as a
‘barber’ in one place can sometimes appear elsewhere as a ‘surgeon’. For
this reason, it cannot be assumed that the labels used reflected any actual
division of labour between the tasks of cutting hair, trimming beards,
lancing boils, letting blood, performing operations, treating wounds, and so
on. The word ‘surgeon’, or its now archaic form ‘chirurgeon’, also provides
a good example of the remarkable diversity of spelling evident within the
1641 depositions. For instance, the official responsible for taking down the
examination of Mullmory O’Loney from Co. Fermanagh rendered his occupation
as ‘kirurgeon’. O’Loney claimed to have arrived in Dublin on 22 October 1641
‘to gett a service vnder somme Phisician or surgeon’ in the city.87 If this was the truth, then it
was his considerable misfortune to have arrived on the same day as a group
of rebels intent on surprising Dublin Castle. They were led by Lord Maguire,
who like O’Loney was also from Co. Fermanagh.88 The authorities concluded that O’Loney was most likely
the rebels’ surgeon; his fate is unknown.89 He is one of the ten surgeons associated with the rebels
who can be identified in the depositions.
Some of the most detailed relevant information from the rebel
side was gathered from men taken prisoner by government forces at Rathcoffey
and other castles in Co. Kildare in mid-1642. Charles Connor of Kildrought,
Co. Kildare, was a surgeon who had been part of the company of Captain
Gerald Fitzgerald. He recounted to the authorities in Dublin his recent
movements around Kildare and in west Co. Dublin, naming and implicating a
large number of local Old English gentry families in the rebellion. He had
done the ‘Office of his calling’ in the rebel camp at Leixlip, and repaired
to Lady White’s house at St Katherine’s ‘there to do cures’. He had also
been summoned to let the blood of a priest’s servant at Luttrellstown and of
Mr Eustace’s daughter at Confey. According to Connor, Lady White, Mr
Luttrell and Eustace were all ‘well knowing’ of his status as a rebel, the
implication being that their employment of him showed their sympathy with
the rebel cause. Luttrell had even asked Connor to ‘trim’ him.90 The war evidently created new
opportunities for Connor in treating rebel soldiers, alongside his
addressing the local gentry’s needs for bleeding and trimming.91
Two other depositions taken from
prisoners captured at Clongowes Wood Castle in Co. Kildare provide some
further insight into the medical provision available to the rebels in that
county. Thomas Fitzgerald explained that following a fall from his horse he
had travelled to Clongowes Wood to be treated by ‘a woman called mary
barnewall which had skill in Chirurgry’.92 His comrade David Eustace deposed that ‘mary Barnewall
tooke … [Fitzgerald] … in hand to cure him and did cure him reasonable
well’.93 These references to
Barnewall represent rare explicit evidence of a woman practising surgery in
Ireland at this time. While the records of the guild of barber-surgeons in
Dublin contain mentions of female practitioners, usually widows continuing
their deceased husbands’ trades, a paucity of relevant sources means that
such individuals are even harder to uncover in the rural context in which
Barnewall was operating.94 The
circumstances of her training and of her practice of surgery in the longer
term can only be guessed at. As with Connor, the war presumably provided new
opportunities for Barnewall to practise.
Among the Protestant victims of the rebellion, the
depositions record the killing of a barber in Rosscarbery, Co. Cork, and
another in Tralee, Co. Kerry, as well as the murder of a surgeon in
Armagh.95 The latter, William
Wollard, was reportedly killed by a man whom he had recently successfully
treated for a wound in his arm.96 The depositions include testimony from four Protestant
surgeons relating to their wartime experiences. In Co. Tipperary, Richard
Sheapheard, ‘chirurgian’, provided no details of his practice. His reported
losses consisted largely of animals and crops, as well as the lease on his
house and farm.97 Robert
Rawlins was the surgeon on Captain Clarke’s ship when it was attacked at
Galway in 1642. Eleven years later, he provided a detailed eyewitness
account of the attack, including a tussle during which he had been stabbed
in the shoulder and then rescued by a stranger carrying a carbine.98 Two further Protestant surgeons
provided some details of their practice during the rebellion. The first was
John Mandlefeild, of Dunlavin, Co. Wicklow, seemingly the only person
referred to in the depositions as a ‘Barber Chirurgion’. Mandlefeild lost
his ‘barbers tooles and instruments’ to the rebels. Despite this, he was
able to cure his wife. She had been stabbed in the breast, causing a wound
that Mandlefeild had ‘with much difficultie healed after his wiffs great
paine endured’.99 Another
Protestant deponent, William Sterling of Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, described
himself as a gentleman, albeit one ‘who professed Chirurgery’. Sterling
claimed to have successfully treated John Hunter for
‘fifteene or sixteene stabbs with a pike in his backe’.100 Sterling may have exaggerated his success,
however, as a separate deponent reported that Hunter had died of his
wounds.101 The example of
Sterling moves us towards the final group to be considered: those
individuals whose primary descriptors of occupation or status in the
depositions do not indicate the practice of medicine. For these, a variety
of other clues have to be sought out.
In the 1641 depositions, the status of
the vast majority of the female deponents is stated in terms indicating
their relationships to men, with most being either described as either
‘wife’ or ‘widow’. This approach is of course characteristic of Early Modern
sources more broadly and it reflects broader contemporary assumptions about
women’s social status and the nature and value of their work. It also poses
a variety of problems for historians interested in the latter subjects.
Fortunately, the depositions provided by some women in 1640s Ireland provide
indications of particular skills possessed by them, or of the type of
specialised work that they could undertake. This can be seen, for example,
in cases where impoverished Protestants who escaped to Dublin sought help
from officials to secure employment that would enable themselves and their
families to subsist.
One such individual was Elizabeth Adwick, ‘wife to Thomas
Adwick gent’. Adwick was a thirty-five-year-old woman from Castlewaterhouse
in Co. Fermanagh. Having been robbed of her possessions at the outbreak of
the rebellion, she fled her home and reached Dublin by early January 1642.
In her deposition she stated that her husband Thomas was absent, having gone
to the West Indies three years earlier. Without her husband and deprived of
her land, crops and animals, Adwick faced an uncertain future. But her
chances of survival were certainly enhanced by the very valuable skills that
she claimed to possess. Her deposition reveals that ‘She hath skill in
doeing the office of a midwife, by the which if she had any clothinge to goe
abroad, she hopes to live’.102
The latter detail was recorded as a marginal note, while Adwick’s primary
social status as ‘wife’ appeared at the opening of her deposition. This
document points to some of the difficulties associated with identifying
women who engaged in medical practice. While the depositions cannot be
expected to tell us much about women’s diverse involvement in household
medicine and the care of family members, the tendency in
such official sources to privilege the labels of ‘wife’ and ‘widow’ makes it
much more difficult to identify those who were active beyond their immediate
households.103 Adwick is the
only one of the hundreds of female deponents who can be positively linked to
a medical occupation.
Just one other named midwife is mentioned in passing in a
deposition: Alls Browne was reportedly killed by the rebels during a siege
at Cullen Castle in Co. Tipperary in August 1642.104 A few more midwives are referred to,
accompanying pregnant women in one case, and attending a birth in another.105 Unfortunately, these latter
midwives are not identified by name. This is of course a reminder of another
of the many difficulties that surrounds efforts to identify female medical
practitioners in Early Modern sources more generally. It is one that
sometimes arises in connection with male practitioners too, for example in
the case already mentioned above of Myles Jenkinson’s treatment by an
anonymous surgeon. Another instance in the depositions is the unnamed ship’s
surgeon killed in a skirmish near Kenmare in June 1642.106 The case of William Wilkinson of Benburb in
Co. Tyrone illustrates another type of challenge that can be encountered in
relation to identifying medical practitioners. Two or three years before the
rebellion he had reportedly ‘releeved & recovered’ his sick and
bedridden Catholic neighbour Shane Ó Hagh. On the outbreak of the rebellion,
however, Ó Hagh had seized Wilkinson’s house and murdered him. The evidence
here is not sufficient to determine whether Wilkinson was a recognised
medical practitioner of some sort, or simply a kind and useful neighbour.107
The depositions also provide some details of other instances
where the precise nature of the medical practice concerned is unclear. In
King’s County, a gentleman named Henry Aylyffe reported the loss of ‘druggs
for Phissick’.108 These may
simply have been intended for the use of his household; there is no
suggestion in Aylyffe’s lengthy testimony that he or his wife had any
particular medical knowledge or skills. Another gentleman, Thomas Andrew of
Ballinaglera in Co. Clare, reported more substantial losses of items with
obvious medical purpose. In December 1641 he was robbed ‘Of Bookes to the
value of foure pounds nine shill[ings] Of siluer Instruments of Chirurgery
to the value of seaven pounds 5 s. Of Phisicall druggs potts &
glasses belonging thervnto to the value of thirteene pounds’.109 If these were just the house
contents of a gentleman seeking to provide against the inevitability of
ill-health among his family, then he was certainly well stocked. It seems
possible that Andrews was equipped to practise medicine
more widely. Yet in terms of the value of his losses in the rebellion, the
medical paraphernalia were far outweighed by farm animals, crops and
‘impliments of husbandrie’.110
The ‘chirurgian’ Richard Sheapheard reported mainly losses of an
agricultural nature while the ‘gentleman’ Thomas Andrew possessed a range of
medical equipment.111 This
serves as a caution against seeking to impose too rigid a scheme of
occupational differentiation, of medical practitioners and
non-practitioners, especially in remote areas of the Irish countryside in
the seventeenth century. It also points to the likelihood of widespread
self-medication, a practice that James Kelly has analysed in Ireland from
the mid-seventeenth century onwards.112
One group of depositions where we might expect to see
evidence of cross-over between medicine and other pursuits is in those
relating to clergymen.113 The
deposition of George Creighton, vicar of Lurgan in Co. Cavan, reveals his
familiarity with medicine of the veterinary kind. While he was a prisoner of
the rebels at Virginia, he became aware of an outbreak of ‘a greivous plague
amongst the Cowes of Meath and many died by pissing bloud’.114 Creighton advised the rebels to consult the
copy of ‘Gowges husbandry’ housed over thirty miles away in the earl of
Fingall’s library.115 When the
book was brought to him, he was able to find the appropriate remedy, which
‘prooved soe effectuall that the disease stayd’.116 Elsewhere in the depositions, two instances
of clergymen using their medical skills for the benefit of besieged
Protestants can be identified. Few deponents could boast the degree of
diversity in wartime employment attained by Edward Williamson. When the
rebellion broke out, he was around sixty years old and possessed of a church
living worth eighty pounds per annum at Monasterevin in Co. Kildare. He
promptly fled to the castle at Monasterevin, where he served as ‘a preacher
Chirurgion & souldjer in the garrison for a yere and nyne moneths vntill
it was surrendred’.117 At
Knockvicar in Co. Roscommon, Dr Ambrose Frere held out against the rebels
for fourteen months.118 The
deposition of Ann Frere, his widow, reported his successful ‘cure &
help’ of Stephen Bonner, who had been shot in the thigh. Unfortunately for
Dr Frere, he later suffered a similar wound ‘in the topp of his thigh soe
dangerously with a gnawd or chattered bullett, that the wound festered &
grew to a gangrene & contynued soe that within six dayes after hee
died’.119 For Frere, as for
many others mentioned in the depositions, no indication is given of where he
acquired his medical knowledge or how widely he practised.
In relation to sickness and disease,
the 1641 depositions contain brief snippets of evidence concerning a broad
group of people. This brevity precludes much by way of in-depth analysis in
many instances. At the same time, the breathless immediacy of the evidence,
much of it provided by victims and eyewitnesses who otherwise left no trace
in the archive, helps to make the 1641 depositions an intriguing source.
Careful sifting of these documents can enrich our understanding of
experiences, understandings and representations of violence, pain, death,
disability, sickness and disease in Early Modern Ireland.120 The discussion above has offered just a
flavour of the relevant evidence, which even post-digitisation continues to
pose a range of practical and interpretative difficulties to scholars. The
depositions’ value as a source for medical practitioners is likewise due to
their breadth. More than 100 depositions contain some mention of individuals
who practised medicine, and again many of these persons are not found in any
other source. Yet the depositions are very far from enabling anything close
to a systematic analysis of numbers and locations of medics in the 1640s.
They instead provide a haphazard snapshot of some medical practitioners in
some parts of Ireland in that decade. There are certainly gaps in the
picture that they offer, and much blurring at the edges. It is perhaps at
these edges that the 1641 depositions are most useful. They emphatically
remind us that Ireland’s medical world was not solely comprised of neat
categories of clearly labelled practitioners, always distinguishable from
the wider population. After all, a gentleman might possess the best stock of
medical provisions for miles around, and a surgeon might devote most of his
attention to agriculture. In time of war, the edges could become even more
blurred. A preacher might take on surgery or soldiery as circumstances
demanded. A doctor might heal one man and hang another. And the apothecary
might boil the corpse.
1 TCD, MS 840, ‘Reasons for early payments of sums to
the poor of Ireland’, 15 Aug. 1642, fos 55r-6v.
2 The depositions have been edited and digitised. They
are freely accessible at 1641.tcd.ie.
3 John Temple, The Irish Rebellion (London,
4 John Curry, Historical Memoirs of the Irish
Rebellion in the Year 1641 (London, 1758); T. Barnard, ‘1641: a
bibliographical essay’, in B. Mac Cuarta (ed.),
Ulster, 1641: Aspects of the Rising (Belfast, 1993), pp. 173–86;
J. Gibney, The Shadow of a Year: The 1641 Rebellion in Irish History
and Memory (Madison, WI, 2013).
5 N. Canny, ‘The 1641 depositions as a source for the
writing of social history’, in P. Flanagan and C. Buttimer (eds),
Cork: History and Society (Dublin, 1993), pp. 249–308; M.-L.
Coolahan, Women, Writing, and Language in Early Modern Ireland
(Oxford, 2010), chapter 4.
6 M. Sweetnam, ‘“Sheep in the midst of wolves”? The
protestant ministry in the 1641 depositions’, Journal of Irish and
Scottish Studies, 6 (2013), pp. 71–92.
7 The medical practitioners discussed below have been
identified in the 1641 depositions by means of searches of the relevant
website at 1641.tcd.ie. The relevant data will be made available in due
course on the online database of the Early Modern Practitioners project
at Exeter. See practitioners.exeter.ac.uk.
8 In his evidence, Edward Lake, alderman of Dublin,
referred to a recent stay in London where he met Thomas Hicks, an
apothecary of Fleet Street, and a Doctor Moore. TCD, MS 809, Examination
of Edward Lake, 12 Nov. 1641, fos 164r-5v.
9 TCD, MS 831, Deposition of Ann Read, 12 July 1642,
10 Ibid., Deposition of Jane Stewart, 16 May
1653, fos 120r-1v.
11 TCD, MS 813, Deposition of Elizabeth Bradley, 17
Dec. 1644, fos 303r-4v.
12 TCD, MS 815, Deposition of Jonathan Hoyle, 18 Jan.
1644, fos 330r-3v.
13 TCD, MS 833, Deposition of George Creighton, 15 Apr.
1643, fos 227r-42v.
14 On this point, see H. Cleugh, ‘“At the hour of our
death”: praying for the dying in Post-Reformation England’, in E. Tingle
and J. Willis (eds), Dying, Death, Burial and Commemoration in
Reformation Europe (Farnham, 2015), pp. 50–3.
15 TCD, MS 835, Deposition of Richard Morse, 31 Dec.
1641, fos 143r-4v.
17 TCD, MS 812, Deposition of Richard Gibson, 15 Jan.
1642, fos 14r-15v.
18 TCD, MS 811, Deposition of Calcott Chambre, 24 May
1643, fos 174r-5r.
19 TCD, MS 819, Deposition of William Oulton, 14 Mar.
1654, fo. 253r-v.
20 TCD, MS 815, Deposition of John Massie, 2 May 1643,
21 TCD, MS 810, Deposition of Richard Hobson, 31 Aug.
1644, fo. 296r-v.
22 TCD, MS 829, Deposition of John Ward, 25 Apr. 1643,
23 Ibid., Deposition of John Hawkins, 29 Oct.
1642, fos 66r-7v.
24 TCD, MS 828, Deposition of William Dethick, 27 May
1643, fos 236r-7v. Gerard Boate claimed that scurvy did not exist in
Ireland at this time. See his Irelands Naturall History (London,
1652), p. 178.
25 TCD, MS 840, Letter from Philip Bysse to his
brother, Dublin, 16 Feb. 1642, fos 7r-10v.
26 TCD, MS 836, Deposition of John and Isabell Gowrly,
8 Nov. 1642, fo. 57r-v and Examination of Magdalen Duckworth, 10 Feb.
1653, fos 121r-2v.
30 TCD, MS 811, Deposition of Peter Bance, 19 Jan.
1642, fo. 26r-v. See also John McCan’s report of the death of Henry
Stanaway at Armagh in TCD, MS 836, fo. 219r-v.
31 Ibid., Deposition of Francis Sacheverell, 21
July 1643, fos 107r-11v.
32 See for example, Cromwell’s letter to Speaker
Lenthall, 25 Oct. 1649 in S. Lomas (ed.), Letters and Speeches of
Oliver Cromwell with Elucidations by Thomas Carlyle (3 vols, London,
1904), i, p. 496.
44 Ibid., Examination of Jane Sheiley, 25 Jan.
1654, fos 247r-8v and Examination of John Morgan, 13 Jan. 1654, fos
45 Ibid., Examination of Charles Conway, 22 Mar.
1654, fos 251r-2v. By the time that Conway gave his testimony in 1654,
he had relocated from Galway to Cork. A note on his deposition gives his
name as ‘Charles Conway (alias Konowan)’. The O’Canavans were hereditary
physicians to the O’Flahertys in Connemara. He was the only practitioner
in the depositions to use the term ‘Professor of Physicke’. His precise
qualifications are unknown.
46 Ibid., Examination of Mary Bowler, 7 Mar.
1654, fos 244v-6v and Examination of Martin Linch, 24 Jan. 1654, fos
47 For a discussion of some of the challenges of
studying Early Modern mental illness, see P. Elmer, ‘The care and cure
of mental illness’, in P. Elmer (ed.), The Healing Arts: Disease and
Society in Europe: 1500–1800 (Manchester, 2004), pp. 228–30.
48 TCD, MS 818, Deposition of John Sims, 8 Nov. 1642,
49 TCD, MS 830, Deposition of Christopher Cooe, 21 Oct.
1645, fo. 172r-v.
50 TCD, MS 839, Deposition of John Kerdiff, 28 Feb.
1642, fos 12r-16v.
51 For the case of Lord Clanmorris, see TCD, MS 830,
Testimony of John Morgan, 18 June 1653, fos 265r-6v. For the case of
Colonel Brian McHugh Boy O’Neill, see TCD, MS 836, Information of
William Fitzgerrald, 4 June 1642, fos 82r-6v.
52 TCD, MS 831, Deposition of Jane Stewart, 23 Apr.
1644, fos 73r-4v.
53 TCD, MS 837, Deposition of Elizabeth Crooker, 13
Mar. 1643, fos 4r-5v. TCD, MS 839, Deposition of John Kerdiff, 28 Feb.
1642, fos 12r-16v.
54 See, for example, N. McAreavey, ‘Re(-)membering
women: Protestant women’s victim testimonies during the Irish rising of
1641’, Journal of the Northern Renaissance, 2 (2010), pp. 1–22.
On England in the 1640s, see E. Peters, ‘Trauma narratives of the
English civil war’, Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, 16
(2016), pp. 78–94, and M. Stoyle, ‘Memories of the maimed: the testimony
of Charles I’s former soldiers, 1660–1730’, History, 88 (2003),
55 TCD, MS 817, Deposition of Ruthe Martyne, 16 Mar.
1644, TCD, MS 817, fos 209r-10v.
56 TCD, MS 821, Examination of Ellice Meagher, 23 Aug.
1652, fo. 259r-v.
57 TCD, MS 818, James Franklyn and Abraham Mootham to
Captain Smith, 9 Mar. 1645, fo. 155r-v.
58 TCD, MS 815, Deposition of William Nicholls, 16 Jan.
1644, fo. 340r-v. The surgeon involved is not named.
59 TCD, MS 810, Deposition of Samuell Felgate, 8 Jan.
1644, fo. 232r-v.
60 TCD, MS 838, Examination of Bryan McIlcrany, 5 May
1653, fo. 168r-v.
61 TCD, MS 810, Examination of Allan Cooke, 7 July
1643, fos 283r-4v, Examination of William Hilton, 6 Jul 1643, fos
285r-6v and Examination of Arnold Bote, 6 July 1643, fos 287r-8v.
62 On the wider political context, see R. Armstrong,
Protestant War: The ‘British’ of Ireland and the Wars of the Three
Kingdoms (Manchester, 2005).
63 For the Confederates, see M. Ó Siochrú,
Confederate Ireland, 1642–49: A Political and Constitutional
Analyis (Dublin, 1999).
64 TCD, MS 826, Examination of Donnough O’Healy, 16
Sept. 1652, fo. 168r-v.
65 L. Brockliss, ‘Medicine, religion and social
mobility in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Ireland’, in J.
Kelly and F. Clark (eds), Ireland and Medicine in the Seventeenth and
Eighteenth Centuries (Farnham, 2010), pp. 73–108. For some specific
instances of Irish doctors on the continent, see chapter 2 by Hazard and chapter 10 by Caball in this volume.
66 For a near contemporary mention of the massacre
where O’Healy does not feature, see TCD, MS 823, Deposition of Walter
Baldwin, 22 Oct. 1642, fos 165r-8v.
67 Wells, ‘Proceedings at the high court of justice
[part 2]’, pp. 215–21.
68 Other medical doctors from Co. Limerick who feature
in the depositions are David Gibbon of Kilmallock, in TCD, MS 823, fo.
180r-v; Thomas Arthur of Limerick, in TCD, MS 829, fos 443r-6v; and
Francis White of Limerick, fos 385r-6v.
70 Ibid., Deposition of Joseph Keanes, 29 Mar.
1643, fos 314r-315v; also ibid., Deposition of John Harte, 1
Sept. 1642, fo. 152r-v.
71 K. Wiggins, Anatomy of a Siege: King John’s
Castle, Limerick, 1642 (Bray, 2000), pp. 233–4.
72 TCD, MS 829, Deposition of John Comyne, 31 May 1643,
73 TCD, MS 812, Deposition of Joseph Wheeler and
others, 5 July 1643, fos 202r-8v.
74 Ibid.; for another mention of Sallenger,
robbing Protestants, see ibid., Deposition of John Moore, 22 Feb.
1642, fos 197r-9v.
75 TCD, MS 820, Deposition of Lawrence Hooper, 31 May
1643, fos 312r-15v.
76 For example, at Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, in the early
1650s, the Cromwellian army used the services of two Catholic
apothecaries, Walter Brenock and James Sall. National Archives of
Ireland, MS CO 451, Extracts from accounts for the precinct of Clonmel,
77 TCD, MS 838, Examination of Patrick Modder
O’Donnelly, 30 Mar. 1653, fos 42r-3v.
78 TCD, MS 836, Information of William Fitzgerrald, 4
June 1642, fos 82r-6v.
80 TCD, MS 835, Deposition of George Wirrall, 18 July
1642, fos 231r-2v.
81 TCD, MS 836, Deposition of Anthony Stratford, 9 Mar.
1644, fos 115r-16v.
82 TCD, MS 829, Deposition of Thomas Browne, 19 Nov.
1642, fos 150r-1v; TCD, MS 821, Deposition of Thomas Whiteby, 27 Aug.
1642, fo. 84r-v; TCD, MS 828, Deposition of Stephen Love, 3 Feb. 1644,
83 TCD, MS 828, Deposition of Stephen Love, 3 Feb.
1644, fos 124r-7v.
84 TCD, MS 817, Deposition of Elizabeth Stewart, 26
Aug. 1642, fo. 200r-v.
85 See for example, TCD, MS 816, Examination of Rose
McAwhy, 28 Jan. 1653, fos 274r-5v.
86 TCD, MS 826, Examination of William Connery, 20 Oct.
1652, TCD, MS 826, fos 59r-60v and Examination of Phillipp Magragh, 20
Oct. 1652, fo. 59r.
87 TCD, MS 809, Examination of Mullmory O’Loney, 5 Nov.
1641, fos 101r-2v.
88 The night before the planned assault, Lord Maguire
lodged in the house of Mr Nevell, a barber, on Castle Street;
ibid., Examination of Pattricke MaGwyre, 2 Nov. 1641, fos
90 TCD, MS 813, Information of Charles Connor, 10 Aug.
1642, fos 39r-41v.
91 Connor also accused ‘Owgan a Barber’ in Dublin of
providing supplies to the rebels. This was presumably Edward Wogan, a
barber-surgeon who became a freeman in Dublin in 1632. John Gilbert
(ed.), Calendar of Ancient Records of Dublin (19 vols, Dublin,
1889–1944), iii, p. 259.
92 TCD, MS 813, Information of Thomas Fitzgerald, 5
July 1642, fos 71r-2v.
93 Ibid., Information of Dauid Eustace, 5 July
1642, fo. 75r.
94 TCD, MS 1447, Records of the Dublin Guild of
Barber-Surgeons. Unfortunately the guild records for the period 1588 to
1688 have not survived.
95 TCD, MS 822, Deposition of Ann Sellers, 4 Oct. 1642,
fo. 177r-v; TCD, MS 828, Deposition of Edward Vauclier, 21 Apr. 1643,
fos 284r-5v; TCD, MS 836, Deposition of Edward Saltenstall and George
Littlefeild, 1 June 1642, fos 69r-79v.
97 TCD, MS 821, Deposition of Richard Sheapherd, 7 June
1642, fo. 122r-v.
98 TCD, MS 830, Examination of Robert Rawlins, 5 Feb.
1654, fos 197r-8v.
99 TCD, MS 809, Deposition of John Mandefeild, 3 Feb.
1642, fo. 293r-v.
100 TCD, MS 838, Examination of William Sterlin, 2 Mar.
1653, fos 60v-1r.
101 Ibid., Examination of Robert ffuthy, 2 Mar.
1653, fos 59r-60r.
102 TD, MS 835, Deposition of Elizabeth Adwick, 4 Jan.
1642, fo. 71r-v. The word ‘clothinge’ here is a speculative reading of
103 A related problem is posed by the widespread use in
Early Modern sources of the occupational label ‘merchant’. In the Irish
context, this complicates efforts to identify apothecaries in
104 TCD, MS 829, Deposition of Thomas Browne, 19 Nov.
1642, fos 150r-1v.
105 TCD, MS 836, Deposition of John and Isabell Gowrly,
8 Nov. 1642, fo. 57r-v; TCD, MS 830, Deposition of Mary Hamond, 16 Aug.
1643, fos 136r-7v.
106 TCD, MS 823, Deposition of Therlagh Kelly, 11 Jan.
1643, fos 173r-5v.
107 TCD, MS 836, Examination of Thomas Dixon, 15 Mar.
1653, fo. 120r-v.
108 TCD, MS 814, Deposition of Henrie Aylyffe, 27 June
1642, fos 176r-9v.
109 TCD, MS 829, Deposition of Thomas Andrew, 10 Sept.
1642, fo. 008r-v
111 TCD, MS 821, Deposition of Richard Sheapherd, 7 June
1642, fo. 122r-v.
112 J. Kelly, ‘Domestic medication and medical care in
late early modern Ireland’, in Kelly and Clark (eds), Ireland and
Medicine, pp. 109–35.
113 TCD, MS 813, fo. 342r, contains a list of four
medical book titles with what appear to be sale prices. This sheet is
bound between two others that make up deposition of
Margaret Browne and Edward Browne, vicar of Timahoe in Co. Kildare.
There does not appear, however, to be any direct connection between the
list of books and Browne’s deposition. The books referred to appear to
be sixteenth-century publications of works by Santes Andoynus, Andreas
Baccius and Ulrich Hutten, and a collection of medical texts edited by
Henricus Stephanus. The Brownes’ deposition is at TCD, MS 813, fos
114 TCD, MS 833, Deposition of George Creighton, 15 Apr.
1643, fos 227r-42v.
115 This was presumably Barnaby Googe’s translation of
Foure Books of Husbandres, Collected by M. Conradus Heresbachius,
of which numerous editions were published in London between 1577 and
1631. The nobleman referred to was Christopher Plunket, second earl of
Fingall, whose seat was at Killeen Castle in Co. Meath. He joined the
rebellion and died in prison in Dublin in 1649 following his capture at
the battle of Rathmines.
116 TCD, MS 833, Deposition of George Creighton, 15 Apr.
1643, fos 227r-42v.
117 TCD, MS 813, Deposition of Edward Williamsonn, 8
Jan. 1644, fo. 312r-v.
118 TCD, MS 830, Deposition of Ann Frere, 8 Jan. 1644,
fos 32r-3v. The deposition does not explicitly refer to Frere as a
clergyman, but there were several churchmen of that name in the