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Title: Archaeological Essays Vol. 2
Author: Simpson, James Y.
Language: English
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  M.D., D.C.L.





  VOL. II.




  _Printed by_ R. & R. CLARK, _Edinburgh_.


  ENGLAND                                                        1

  Communication read before the Medico-Chirurgical
  Society of Edinburgh, 3d March 1841, and printed
  in the Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal
  (vol. lvi. p. 301; vol. lvii. p. 121).

  [Additional Notes by Joseph Robertson, LL.D.]

  SAME DRUG IN INDIA                                           185

  Read to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 26th
  February 1852. Proc. vol. i. p. 47.

  Reprinted separately in 1856, and “Inscribed to Dr.
  Sichel of Paris.” Edinburgh: Sutherland and Knox.

  OFFICERS?                                                    197

  Printed as a Pamphlet, at Edinburgh, 1856 (Sutherland
  and Knox), and “Inscribed to James Pillans, Esq.,
  F.R.S.E., Professor of Humanity in the University
  of Edinburgh, etc. etc., as a Small Tribute of sincere
  Esteem from an Old and Attached Pupil.”

  _With One Plate._

  FOUND IN GREAT BRITAIN                                       229

  Communicated to the Monthly Journal of Medical
  Science, January, March, and April 1851.

  _With Four Plates._


  Communicated to the Epidemiological Society of London,
  1862. Trans. vol. i. part ii.

  Reprinted privately at Edinburgh (Edmonston and
  Douglas), “Inscribed to the most learned Physician
  of Modern Times, James Copland, Esq., M.D.,
  Author of the Dictionary of Practical Medicine.”




Few subjects in pathology are more curious, and at the same time more
obscure, than the changes which, in the course of ages, have taken place
in the diseases incident either to the human race at large, or to
particular divisions and communities of it.

A great proportion of the maladies to which mankind are liable have, it
is true, remained entirely unaltered in their character and consequences
from the earliest periods of medical history down to the present day.
Synocha, Gout, and Epilepsy, for instance, show the same symptoms and
course now, as the writings of Hippocrates describe them to have
presented to him upwards of two thousand years ago. The _generatio de
novo_ of a really new species of disease “is (says Dr. Mason Good[2])
perhaps as much a phenomenon as a really new species of plant or of
animal.” Dr. Good’s remark is probably too sweeping in its principle;
for, if necessary, it might be easy to show that, if the particular
diseases of particular animal species are liable to alteration at all,
they must necessarily alter more frequently than those animal species
themselves. In pursuing such an inquiry, the pathologist labours under
comparative disadvantages. The physiologist can, by the aid of
geological research, prove that the individual species of plants and
animals inhabiting this and other regions of the earth, have again and
again been changed. The pathologist has no such demonstrative data to
show that, in the course of time, the forms and species of morbid action
have undergone great mutations, like the forms and species of normal
life. But still we have strong grounds for believing that, in regard to
our own individual species alone, the diseases to which mankind are
subject have already undergone, in some respects, marked changes within
the historic era of medicine. Since the first medical observations that
are now extant on disease were made and recorded in Greece, various new
species of human maladies have, there can be little doubt, made their
original appearance. I need only allude to small-pox, measles, and
hooping-cough. Again, some diseases which prevailed formerly, seem to
have now entirely disappeared from among the human race—as, for
example, the Lycanthropia of the Sacred Writings, and of Oribasius,
Aetius, Marcellus, and various old medical authors.[3] Other maladies,
as that most anomalous affection, the English sweating-sickness of the
fifteenth century, have only once, and that for a very short period,
been permitted to commit their ravages upon mankind. And lastly, we have
still another and more extensive class, including maladies that have
changed their geographical stations to such an extent, as to have made
inroads upon whole districts and regions of the world, where they were
formerly unknown, leaving now untouched the localities which, in older
times, suffered most severely from their visitations.

Among this last tribe of diseases no one presents a more curious subject
of inquiry than the European leprosy, or tubercular elephantiasis of the
middle ages. This malady is now almost entirely, if not entirely,
unknown as a native endemic disease on any part of the Continent of
Europe; and yet from the tenth to the sixteenth century it prevailed in
nearly every district of it. Laws were enacted by Princes and Courts to
arrest its diffusion;—the Pope issued bulls with regard to the
ecclesiastical separation and rights of the infected;[4]—a particular
order of Knighthood was instituted to watch over the sick;—and leper
hospitals or lazar-houses were everywhere instituted to receive the
victims of the disease. The number of these houses has certainly been
often erroneously stated, in consequence, as far as I have been able to
trace it, of a strange mistake committed by Ducange, in quoting from
Matthew Paris a passage in which that historian contrasts the respective
possessions belonging in the thirteenth century to the Hospitalarii,
Knights Hospitallers, or Knights of St. John, as they were termed, and
the Knights Templars. The 19,000 lazar-houses in Christendom, as
interpreted by Ducange, mark in Matthew Paris’ work merely the number of
manors or commanderies of the Hospitalarii, and have no reference
whatever to leprosy or lazar-houses.[5] But still that an immense number
of leper-houses existed on the Continent at the period mentioned, is
abundantly shown in many of the historical documents of that age. Louis
VIII. promulgated a code of laws in 1226, for the regulation of the
French leper hospitals; and these hospitals were at that date computed
to amount, in the then limited kingdom of France, to not less than 2000
in number—(_deux mille leproseries_).[6] They afterwards, as is alleged
by Velley,[7] even increased in number, so much so that there was
scarcely a town or burgh in the country that was not provided with a
leper hospital. In his history of the reign of Philip II. Mezeray uses
the same language in regard to the prevalence of leprosy and leprous
patients in France during the twelfth century.[8] Muratori gives a
nearly similar account of the extent of the disease during the middle
ages in Italy;[9] and the inhabitants of the kingdoms of Northern
Europe, equally became its unfortunate victims.[10]

I have no desire, however, to enter at present into the extensive
history of the leprosy of the middle ages, as seen in the different
quarters of Europe. My object is a much more limited and a much more
humble one. I wish only to adduce various evidence to show that the
disease extended to this the most western verge of Europe, and at one
time prevailed to a considerable extent in our own kingdom of Scotland,
which, at the period alluded to, was one of the most remote and
thinly-populated principalities in Christendom. I shall have frequent
occasion, at the same time, to illustrate my remarks by references to
the disease as it existed contemporaneously in England.[11]

In following out the object adverted to, I shall commence by an
enumeration of such leper hospitals as I have detected any notices of in
old Scottish records. The knowledge of the mere existence of most of
these hospitals has been obtained more by the accidental preservation of
charters of casual grants to them than by any historical or traditional
notice of the institutions themselves. The information, therefore, which
I have to offer in regard to most of them is exceedingly slight. The
following meagre notes regarding the two first Lazar or Leper-houses,
Spitals, Spetels, or Spitles,[12] which I shall mention, show the truth
of this remark.


_Aldcambus, Berwickshire._—A Leper Hospital existed at Aldcambus, in
the parish of Cockburnspath, Berwickshire, as far back as the reign of
William the Lion.

In the Chartulary of the Priory of Coldingham is preserved a charter by
which that monarch confirms a grant of half a carrucate of land to this
hospital. I shall give a transcript of the charter, which has hitherto
remained unpublished. I do so that it may serve as a fair specimen of
the various similar charter documents to which I shall have occasion to
allude in the course of the following remarks. It is entitled
“Confirmatio donationis Hospitali de Aldcambus facta:”—“Willelmus Dei
gratia Rex Scottorum omnibus probis hominibus totius terre sue Clericis
et laicis salutem. Sciant presentes et futuri me concessisse, et hac
cartâ meâ confirmasse donationem illam, quam David de Quicheswde fecit
Hospitali de Aldcambus et Leprosis ibi manentibus, de illa dimidia
carucata terræ in Aldcambus quam Radulfus Pelliparius tenuit: tenendam
in liberam et puram et perpetuam eleemosinam, cum omnibus libertatibus
et aisiamentis ad predictam terram juste pertinentibus, ita liberé et
quieté sicut carta predicti Davidis testatur: Salvo servicio meo.
Testibus Willelmo de Bosch. Cancellario meo, Waltero Cuming, Davide de
Hastings. Appud Jeddewrith, xvi. die Maij.”[13]

_Aldnestun in Lauderdale._—At Aldneston another leper-house existed.
It was under the control of the Abbey of Melrose. In the Melrose
Chartulary there is preserved a charter headed “Carta Leprosorum de
Moricestun.” In this charter, Walter Fitzallan, Steward of Scotland,
granted to this hospital of Auldnestun and its inmates (Hospitali de
Auldnestun et infirmis fratribus ibidem residentibus), a carrucate and a
half of land in the village of Auldnestun; another carrucate and a half,
which Dame Emma of Ednaham held (tenuit per suas rectas divisas), with
the common pasturage and easement (asiamento) of the forests of
Birkenside and Ligarrdewude (Legerwood), and a right to grind at his
mill without paying multure.[14]

_Kingcase, Ayrshire._—At Kilcais or Kingcase, on a bleak muir in the
parish of Prestwick, and about two miles from the town of Ayr, stood,
for several centuries, an hospital for Lepers. The general tradition of
the surrounding country avers that this hospital was founded by King
Robert the Bruce. In the article on Ayr, recently published by the Rev.
Dr. Auld and Mr. Cuthill, in the New Statistical Account of
Scotland,[15] the foundation charter of Robert Bruce is said to have
been purchased by the Magistrates of that town in 1786. I am obligingly
assured, however, by Mr. Murdoch of Ayr, that no such document is known
to exist among the archives of that town. It is probable that the
hospital existed before the time of Bruce. In a charter to the monastery
of Dalmulin, contained in the Chartulary of Paisley Abbey,[16] and of
the date of the reign of William I. of Scotland, among other lands and
localities in Kyle and the immediate neighbourhood of Kingcase, the term
Spetel-Crag occurs. Now the term Spetel was a prefix applied, both in
Scotland and England, to all hospital lands and possessions, and to
these alone; and history records no other hospital whatever in Kyle,
from which this appellation of Spetel Craigs could be derived. But
whether Bruce was the original founder, or, what is more probable, a
liberal endower of the hospital, we know this at least of the history of
the Kingcase Leper Hospital, that it possessed at one time pretty
extensive lands and property in the parish of Dundonald, and in Kyle

These, like many other hospital grants, came after a time to be
perverted from their original objects of charity, and applied to the
aggrandisement of particular individuals. Thus the family of Wallace of
Newton obtained from James II. a feu-charter of the Kingcase estate of
Spittalshiels, for the annual payment of eight merks Scots, and sixteen
thrave of straw. In reference to this, the land of Spittalshiels has yet
(observes Sir Walter Scott, in a note to his _Lord of the Isles_[18]) to
give, if required, a quantity of straw for the lepers’ beds of Kingcase,
and so much to thatch their houses. Along with Spittalshiels the
Wallaces acquired the office of Hereditary Keeper or Governor of the
Hospital itself, and of the other lands pertaining to it. In the family
of the Wallaces of Craigy this right of patronage and presentation to
Kingcase was long held, with all the remaining endowments of the
hospital. These privileges were exposed at a judicial sale of the estate
of Craigy, and purchased, 1784, by the burgh of Ayr, for £300. The
magistrates, from this right, exact feu-duties from the lands formerly
belonging to Kingcase, to the annual extent of sixty-four bolls oatmeal,
and eight merks Scots money. This revenue has been made over to the
poor’s house of Ayr. In virtue of it the magistrates have the privilege
of presenting a certain number of inmates to this latter

No records remain as to the original extent of the Kilcais Hospital. The
number of lepers supported was, during the latter years of the
institution, limited to eight. Before the hospital revenues and lands
were despoiled the number might have been greater. The only remnants of
the buildings which are now left consist of the massive side-wall of a
house 36 feet long and 17 wide. This is generally alleged to be the
ruins of the chapel merely of the hospital; and under this view it is
certainly calculated to give us a high opinion of the ancient extent and
endowments of the institution. Sir Robert Gordon, in a description of
Kyle, published in 1654, in Bleau’s _Atlas_, states that the persons
admitted to the charity were then lodged in huts (_tuguria_) in the
vicinity of the chapel.[20]

_Glasgow._—In 1350, in the reign of David II., the Lady of Lochow,
daughter of Robert Duke of Albany, erected a leper hospital at the
Gorbals of Glasgow, near the old Bridge.[21] She endowed this hospital
with some lands and houses in the city. The magistrates of Glasgow seem
to have exercised the privilege both of searching for lepers among the
inhabitants, and of consigning them to this hospital. From the Burgh
Records, presented some time ago by Mr. Smith to the Maitland Club, it
appears that in 1573 the magistrates ordained four persons, named as
lepers, “to be viseit (inspected), and gif they be fund so, to be
secludit of the town to the Hospital at the Brigend.”[22] A similar
edict was issued in regard to two other individuals in 1575,[23] and in
1581 eight more seem to have been dealt with in the same manner.[24] The
Bishops of Glasgow appear also to have had a right to present patients
to the hospital. In 1464, Andrew Muirhead, who then held the bishoprick,
availed himself of the privilege by presenting one patient.

On the 9th August 1589, a report was given in to the magistrates of
Glasgow, stating that six lepers were at that time in the house.[25] As
late as 1664, the ground-rents of this hospital were uplifted by the
water-bailie, an official who, according to an entry in the city records
of Glasgow, was in the custom of giving in annually the number of lepers
in the hospital at the Brigend. This hospital, like that of Kingcase,
was dedicated to the Gallovidian Saint, St. Ninian.

_Edinburgh._—A leper hospital formerly existed at Greenside, which was
then a suburb, and not, as now, a constituent part of the city of
Edinburgh. The history of the hospital and its laws are preserved in the
Town-Council records. In 1584 the city Magistrates issued orders for
finding a commodious place for a leper-house.[26] In 1589, they passed
an Act for building such an institution at Greenside, and apparently
with money granted to them for that purpose, by John Robertson, a
merchant in Edinburgh, and others, in pursuance of some previous
vow.[27] On the 23d November 1591, five leper inhabitants of the city
were consigned to this hospital.[28] Two of the wives of the lepers
voluntarily shut themselves up in the hospital along with their diseased
husbands. I shall afterwards recur to the strict laws which the inmates
were bound to observe. In a charter of rights given to the city in 1636
by Charles I. there are enumerated among the other grants which he
confirms to them, “the lands of old called the Greenside, with the
leper-house and yard situate on the same, arable lands, banks, and
marishes thereof, for the present occupied by the lepers of the said
house.”[29] The hospital, however, does not appear to have been of long
duration. In 1652, the magistrates ordered that the roof of the
leper-house be taken off, and its wood, slates, etc. used to repair the
town milns and other public buildings;[30] and in 1657, a similar
appropriation was made of the stones contained in the walls of the
leper-house, and in the fence around its yard or garden.[31]

_Aberdeen._—In an old manuscript _Description of bothe Touns of
Aberdeen_, by James Gordon, as quoted in the entertaining _Book of Bon
Accord_, the following notice of a leper hospital at Aberdeen
occurs:[32] “Such as go out at the Gallowgate port towards Old Aberdeen,
haff way almost, may see the place where of old stood the lepers’
hospital, called the seick-house, hard by the way syde. To which there
was a chappell adjoyned, dedicated to St. Anna, quhome the Papists
account patronesse of the lepers. The citizens licencit one Mr.
Alexander Galloway, the person of Kinkell, for to build that chappell
anno 1519. Now both these buildings are gone, and scarcely is the name
knowne to many.” “On the 18th August 1574, the Regent Morton, and the
Lords of the Privy-Council commanded the Magistrates of Aberdeen to
uptake fra James Leslie, present possessioure of the croft and myre
pertening to the Lipperfolk, the yeirle dewtie tharof off the five
yeiris bypast; and thairvith, and sic vthir collectioune as may be
hade, to caus the said house be theikkit (thatched, roofed) and reparit
for the resett of the said Lipperfolk in tym cuming: and to caus roup
the said croft and myre, to quha vill giff maist yeirle dewtie tharfor
fra thre yeir to thre yeir: And to caus the haill proffeit to be
employit vpon the upolding of the said hous, and sustentation of the
Liperfolks that salbe tharin.”[33]

In the beginning of the eighteenth century the hospital and grounds were
sold under the direction of the magistrates, and the money received
appropriated to the establishment of a fund for a proposed lunatic
asylum. The leper croft now belongs to King’s College.[34]

_Rothfan, Elgin._—A leper-house seems to have existed from an early
period at Rothfan, near Elgin. John Byseth made a gift to this hospital
at Rothfan of the Church of Kyltalargyn, for the avowed purpose of
maintaining seven lepers, a servant and chaplain. The donor retained to
himself and his successors the privilege of preserving the number
complete, by filling up the vacancies. On his request and presentation,
William, prior of the hospital, was admitted to the church in 1226.[35]

The precise date of Byseth’s charters is not preserved, but they seem to
have been drawn out during the reign of Alexander II. or III. From their
phraseology the hospital evidently was in existence previous to that

The lands pertaining to this hospital are still known under the name of
the Leper Lands,[36] though the institution itself has been long

_Shetland._—Lastly, we have records of several small and temporary
lazar-houses in Shetland. Thus, long ago, Brand (the honest missionary,
as Hibbert terms him) states that in that country the “scurvy sometimes
degenerates into leprosy, and is discerned by hairs falling from the
eyebrows, the nose falling in, etc., which” (he adds), “when the people
come to know, they separate and set them apart for fear of infection,
building huts or little houses for them in the field. I saw the ruines
of one of these houses about half-a-mile from Lerwick, where a woman was
for some years kept for this reason. These scorbutick persons are more
ordinarily in Dunrossness and Delton, and more rare in other

“Formerly” (says Dr. Edmondston, another and more recent author on the
Shetlands), “when leprosy was very prevalent, the unfortunate
individuals who were seized with it were removed to small huts erected
for the purpose, and there received a scanty allowance of provisions
daily, until the disease put a period to their miserable existence.”[38]


The Scottish lazar-houses that I have thus enumerated, though few in
number, are still sufficient to show that the disease for which they
were instituted was generally diffused over the extent of the kingdom.
Thus, we have found the establishments in question spread from
Berwickshire to Shetland, and from Aberdeen to Ayr. More research than I
have been able to bestow upon the matter would no doubt bring to light
notices of various additional hospitals. In some Scottish towns names
and notices still exist sufficient to lead to the probability of
lazar-houses having formerly existed in them, though that evidence is in
other respects altogether incomplete.

In the immediate neighbourhood of Edinburgh a leper station probably
existed at a date greatly earlier than that of the Greenside Hospital.
In his _Caledonia_,[39] the late excellent antiquary and philologist,
George Chalmers, expresses his belief in the opinion suggested by the
Rev. Mr. White, that the name of the village of Liberton (two miles
south of Edinburgh) is merely a corruption of Liper town,—liper being
the old Scotch term for leprosy; and, as is well known, the letters _p_
and _b_ being constantly interchanged for one another in the composition
and transmutation of words. This idea is certainly in no small degree
countenanced by the circumstance that the lands of Upper Liberton
(Libertune) in some old writs are described under the name of “terrarum
de Spittle town” (Hospital town.)[40]

Besides, the “Oily or Balm Well of St. Catherine’s at Liberton,” had
been long held in high estimation in curing cutaneous diseases, and
still maintained great repute as late as the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries. In his brief but interesting _Cosmography and Description of
Albion_, Boece, Canon of Aberdeen, at the commencement of the sixteenth
century, states that the oil of this well “valet contra varias cutis
scabricies.”—_Historiæ Scotorum_ (1526), p. xi.[41]

J. Monipennie alleges that its oil or “fatness is of a sudain operation
to heal all salt scabs and humors that trouble the outward skin of
man.”[42] Dr. Hare makes mention of it to the same purpose.[43] After
the institution of the monastery of St. Catherine of Sienna (_Scotticé_,
Sheens) on the Burrow Moor, at a short distance south of the city walls
of Edinburgh, the Dominican nuns belonging to it made, in honour of St.
Catherine, an annual solemn procession to the chapel and balm well of

This “oily or balm well” of Liberton was sufficient to excite the
admiration and engage the protective care of the credulous King James
VI. In a curious monograph[45] on the virtues of the well, published at
Edinburgh in 1664, the author, “Mathew Mackaile, Chirurgo-Medicine.”
indulges himself (p. 117) in the following historical eulogium and
anathema in regard to it:—

“His Majesty King James the Sixth, the first monarch of Great Britain,
of blessed memory, had such a great estimation of this rare well, that
when he returned from England to visit this his ancient kingdom of
Scotland in anno 1617, he went in person to see it, and ordered that it
should be built with stones from the bottom to the top, and that a door
and a pair of stairs should be made for it, that men might have the more
easie access unto its bottom for getting of the oyl. This royal command
being obeyed, the well was adorned and preserved, until the year 1650,
when that execrable regicide and usurper, Oliver Cromwell, with his
rebellious and sacrilegious accomplices, did invade this kingdom, and
not only deface such rare and ancient monuments of Nature’s handwork,
but also the synagogues of the God of nature.”

But it is unnecessary to insist further upon such problematical evidence
in regard to the probable extent and prevalence of the disease in
Scotland. A proof of this, of a much stronger character, is afforded by
the simple fact that, as late as the reign of James I. the victims of
the disease were made the subject of a direct and special legislative
enactment in the Scottish Parliament held at Perth in the year 1427. I
shall quote one short clause from this act “anent Lipper Folke”[46] (as
it is termed), to illustrate both the apparent prevalence of the malady
at that time, and this circumstance, that the burghs of the kingdom are
then spoken of as possessing, or obliged to possess, lazar-houses of
their own. The second clause is to the following effect: “Item, that na
Lipper Folke sit to thig (beg) neither in kirk nor kirkzaird, nor other
place within the burrowes, but at their own hospital, and at the port of
the towne and other places outwith the burrowes.”

It is impossible to form any approach as to the number affected in this
country. The hospitals that I have enumerated do not seem calculated to
contain many patients. As we have already seen, that of Ayr contained at
least eight patients; Rothfan, seven; five were admitted into the
Greenside hospital at its first opening in 1591; and in a report of the
Glasgow hospital, submitted to the magistrates in 1589, six lepers were
reported as then belonging to that institution. These data are entirely
inadequate to draw any conclusion from, and the more so, that here, as
in England, the disease was probably more extensively spread during the
eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries than afterwards; and it is
exactly at that remote period that all our Scottish records are most

In these early times the very words employed to designate the disease
show its extent and severity. Somner, Lye, and Bosworth, in their
several Dictionaries of the old Anglo-Saxon language, all quote the
remarkable expression, “_seo mycle adl_,” “the mickle ail” or great
disease, as signifying “elephantiasis” or “leprosie;” and it is worthy
of observation, in reference to the same point, that the delightful old
French chronicler, Sir John Froissart, who visited Scotland in the time
of Robert II., applies, as we shall afterwards see, the analogous term
of “la grosse maladie” to one noted case of leprosy in this country.
Some further idea may be formed of the frequency of the disease, at
least in the border counties of Scotland, when I state that, before the
year 1200, there existed various hospitals for the exclusive reception
of lepers in the immediately adjoining English counties of
Northumberland, Cumberland, and Durham. Three alone of these hospitals
contained as many as ninety-one lepers in all—viz. the hospital of
Sherburne, near Durham,[47] contained sixty-five; St. Nicholas,
Carlisle,[48] contained thirteen; and Bolton, in Northumberland,
founded, as its charter[49] bears, by Robert de Roos, “pro salute animae
meae et omnium antecessorum et successorum meorum,” was endowed for
other thirteen.

I may here take the opportunity of stating that the labours of different
English antiquaries, and more particularly the investigations of Leland,
Dugdale, and Tanner, into the Monastic History of England, tend to show
that at an early period many leper-houses were scattered over England
and Wales. In searching through the works of these authors, and more
particularly through the late splendid edition of the _Monasticon
Anglicanum_, with the numerous additions of Caley, Ellis, and Bandinel,
I have found references to between eighty and ninety English

In the second and third volumes of the _Monasticon Anglicanum_ (1st
edition) above ninety[51] charters or other notices of English hospitals
are published, and of these twenty-one at least were hospitals for the
reception of lepers. Bloomefield[52] mentions eighteen leper-houses in
Norfolk alone; and Taylor,[53] in his _Index Monasticus_, enumerates
twenty in that single county. Six of these were placed in Norwich or its
immediate vicinity, and five at Lynne Regis.


The leper hospitals, both in Scotland and elsewhere, were intended
merely as receptacles to seclude the infected, not as houses in which a
cure of them was to be attempted. They were charitable and hygienic
rather than medical institutions.

At the present day tubercular leprosy is still regarded as a disease
which sets at defiance all the powers of the medical art. Our ancestors
had so firm a belief in the same doctrine, that, in the case of one of
the unfortunate wretches who was tried in Edinburgh in 1597 for
witchcraft, amongst the gravest of the accusations brought against the
panel was this, that she (Christian Livingstone) “affirmit that she culd
haill (cure) leprosie, quhilk (the libel adds) the maist expert men in
medicine are not abil to do.” Some of the means of cure she had employed
have never, I am afraid, been allowed a place in any of our
pharmacopœias. I may allude, therefore, as a specimen to one of them
amongst others—viz. (and I quote the words of the libel) “she took a
reid cock, slew it, baked a bannock (cake) with the blude of it, and gaf
(gave) the samyn to the Leper to eat.”[54]

I leave it to the dogmatism of the pharmacologists to decide whether
more potent virtues should be ascribed to this recipe of Christian
Livingstone’s or to that deliberately offered with the same purport by
our celebrated countryman Michael Scott. “It ought to be known” (says
the great Fifeshire philosopher) “that the blood of dogs and of infants
two years old or under, when diffused through a bath of heated water,
dispels the Leprosy without a doubt” (_absque dubio liberat

The miraculous properties of the relics of saints were in some instances
strongly relied upon as an article of the Materia Medica, fit among
other things to cure this incurable malady. Fosbroke[56] mentions a
fountain near Moissac, described by Peyrat (abbot of that place, in the
fourteenth century), the waters of which were so medicated by the
relics of a saint contained in the neighbouring abbey that the crowds of
lepers who resorted to it bathed and were immediately cured. But the
valued fountain was not sufficiently powerful to avert the disease being
communicated to the monks, or to save them even when once they were
contaminated; and at last, according to the confessions of the abbot, it
was shut up in consequence of some of the order dying of the very malady
which their famed waters could infallibly remove.

In the sequel, when considering the causes of the disease, and the
regulations of medical police, adopted in regard to the infected, I
shall have occasion to speak at length of the strict rules to which the
inmates of most of the leper-hospitals were subjected—not for the sake
of medical treatment, but with the purpose only of preventing the
dissemination of the malady.

Besides being places for the isolation of the infected, the
leper-hospitals of Scotland and England were often, like the
corresponding institutions of the continent of Europe, founded and
endowed as religious establishments; and, as such, they were generally
submitted to the sway of some neighbouring abbey or monastery.
Semler[57] quotes, indeed, a Papal bull, appointing every leper-house to
be provided with its own churchyard,[58] chapel, and ecclesiastics—(cum
cimiterio ecclesiam construere, et proprio gaudere presbyterio)—an
order against the latter part of which the poverty of many of the
hospitals in Great Britain formed a very secure guarantee. The Greenside
Hospital in Edinburgh, being founded at a very late period, partook,
perhaps, less of the character of a religious establishment than most
others in the kingdom.

The rules established for the domestic and religious duties of the
inmates belonging to it, by the commissioners appointed by the
magistrates of the city, were few and simple, viz.—

“That the said persons, and ilk ane (every one) of thame leif (live)
quetlie, and gif (give) na sclander, be banning, sweyring, flyting,
skalding, filthie speaking, or vitious leving, or any oyder way, under
the paynes to be enjoynit by the counsall.

“That thair be appoyntit ane ordinair reider to reid the prayeris evrie
Sabboth to the said lepperis, and ane commodious place appoyntit to the
said reider for that effect.”[59]

Over some of our Scotch lazar-houses, chaplains, and religious officers
with the high-church title of priors, were placed.

The prior of Rothfan Hospital was, at the intercession of the founder of
the house, admitted to the church. There was one chaplain under him.

In the records of the burgh of Prestwick there is an incidental entry,
showing that there was a prior placed over the Kingcase Hospital near
Ayr in 1507, for “George Yong, Prior of Kingiscase, accusyt Thome Greif
of four barrels of beyr, and the said Thomas grantyt 24 shillings, but
denyit ye beer.”[60] We have already seen that there were chapels
annexed to the Kingcase and Aberdeen Hospitals. Our history of the other
lazar-houses in Scotland is so imperfect as not to enable us to state
whether they were equally well provided; but certainly many of the
richer leper and other hospitals in England had, as appears from their
better preserved records, free chapels attached to them, with resident
regular or secular canons. In the Sherburne Leper Hospital, near Durham,
there were, besides the prior, four priests and four attendant
clerks.[61] The hospital of St. Giles, Norwich, was provided with a
master or prior, and an establishment of eight regular canons acting as
chaplains, two clerks, seven choristers, and two sisters; while the only
permanent residents to whose wants they were required to minister were
eight poor bed-ridden subjects![62]

Both the ecclesiastical officers of the leper hospitals, and the leprous
inmates themselves, were in general strictly enjoined, by the foundation
charters and regulations of their institutions, to observe strict
religious formulæ, and especially to offer up prayers for the souls of
the founder and his family. That the duties connected with this last
office were in some instances by no means slight, will be sufficiently
apparent by the following extract from the laws of the leper hospital at
Illeford, in Essex, which I translate from the regulations established
for the house in 1346 by Baldok, Bishop of London:—[63]

“We also command that the Lepers omit not attendance at their church, to
hear divine service, unless prevented by grievous bodily infirmity; they
are to preserve silence there, and hear matins and mass throughout, if
they are able; and whilst there, to be intent on prayer and devotion, as
far as their infirmity permits them. We desire also and command that, as
it was ordained of old in the said hospital, every leprous brother
shall, every day, say for the morning duty a Pater noster and Ave Maria,
thirteen times; and for the other hours of the day respectively, namely,
the first, third, sixth hour of the vespers, and again at the hour of
the concluding service, a Pater noster and Ave Maria seven times; and
besides the aforesaid prayers, each leprous brother shall say a Pater
and Ave thirty times every day for the founders of the hospital and the
bishop of the place, and all his benefactors, and all other true
believers, living or dead; and on the day on which any one of their
number departs from this life, let each leprous brother say in addition,
fifty Paters and Aves, three times, for the soul of the departed, and
the souls of all deceased believers. But if any one shall openly
(_manifeste_) transgress the said rules, or any one of them, for each
transgression let him receive a condign punishment according to the
amount of the offence, from the Master of the said hospital, who is
otherwise called the Prior. But if a leprous brother secretly
(_occultè_) fails in the performance of these articles, let him consult
the priest of the said hospital in the Penitential Court.”

In several of the hospitals the passions of the inmates were endeavoured
to be restrained by the laws laid down by their Superior. Thus the
articles of the leper-house of St. Julian, at St. Albans, contain the
following significant regulations of Abbot Michael _de accessu
Mulierum_. “And since by the access of women scandal and evils of no
slight nature arise, we above all things forbid that any woman enter the
hospital of the brothers, with the exception of the common laundress of
the house, who must be of mature age and discreet manner of life (maturæ
aetatis et bonae conversationis), so that no suspicion can attach to
her. And she must not presume to enter the house at suspicious times,
but at the proper hours, so that her entrance and exit may be seen by
all. But if a mother or sister, or any other honest matron, come there
for the purpose of visiting the infirm, she may have access to the one
with whom she wishes to speak, and this may be done by the permission of
the Custos; without which they are not to enter, whatever may be their
rank. But women of light fame and evil reputation are by no means to
enter the houses.”[64]

The Custos, Master, Dean or Prior, and in some houses the Prioress,[65]
seems in general to have had full control over the leprous inmates of
the hospital. Thus, in the laws which have been transmitted to us of the
Sherburne Hospital, it is laid down that members were to be punished for
disobedience or idleness, at the discretion of the prior, by corporal
correction with the birch, “_modo scholarium_.” Offenders who refused to
submit to this chastisement had their diet reduced to bread and water,
and after the third offence were liable to be ejected.[66]

Matthew Paris has left us a copy of the vow which the lepers of the
hospital of St. Julian, at St. Albans, were obliged to take before
admission. I append a translation of it as a document highly
illustrative of this part of our subject:—

“I, brother B, promise and, taking my bodily oath by touching the most
sacred Gospel, affirm, before God and all his saints in this church,
which is constructed in honour of St. Julian the confessor, in the
presence of Dominus R. the Archdeacon, that all the days of my life I
will be subservient and obedient to the commands of the Lord Abbot of
St. Albans for the time being, and to his archdeacon; resisting them in
nothing, unless such things should be commanded as would militate
against the Divine pleasure. I will never commit theft, nor bring a
false accusation against any one of the brethren, nor infringe the vow
of chastity, nor fail in my duty by appropriating anything or leaving
anything by will to others, unless by a dispensation granted by the
brothers. I will make it my study wholly to avoid all kind of usury, as
a monstrous thing, and hateful to God.[67] I will not be aiding and
abetting, in word or thought, directly or indirectly, in any plan by
which any one shall be appointed custos or master of the Lepers of St.
Julian, except the person appointed by the Lord Abbot of St. Albans. I
will be content, without strife or complaint, with the food and drink,
and other things given and allowed me by the master, according to the
usage and custom of the house. I will not transgress the bounds
prescribed to me, without the special license of my superiors, and with
their consent and will; and if I prove an offender against any article
named above, it is my wish that the Lord Abbot or his substitute may
punish me according to the nature and amount of the offence, as shall
seem best to him, and even to cast me forth an apostate from the
congregation of the brethren, without hope of remission, except through
the special grace of the Lord Abbot.”[68]

I have only very briefly to advert to one other subject, before closing
these remarks on the government of the English leper hospitals. I have
already alluded to a special order of knighthood having been established
at an early period for the care and superintendence of lepers.
Belloy[69] carries back the origin of this order in Palestine to a very
early period in the history of the Christian church. We know as a matter
of greater historical certainty that the knights of St. Lazarus
separated from the general order of Knights Hospitallers about the end
of the eleventh or commencement of the twelfth century.[70]

From the locality of their original establishment, and from their
central preceptory being near Jerusalem, they were at first generally
designated Knights of St. Lazarus, or of St. Lazarus and St. Mary of
Jerusalem. Latterly they were conjoined by different European Princes
with the Military Orders of Notre-Dame, Mount Carmel, and St.

Saint Louis brought twelve of the Knights of St. Lazarus into France,
and entrusted them with the superintendence of the Ladreries or leper
hospitals of his kingdom.[72] The first notice of their having acquired
a footing in Great Britain is in the time of King Stephen. During the
reign of that sovereign their head establishment in England at Burton
Lazars, Leicestershire, was built by (as Nicols[73] states) a general
collection throughout the kingdom, but chiefly by the assistance of
Robert de Mowbray. Here they gradually acquired considerable wealth and
possessions.[74] I find that the Hospitals of Tilton, of the Holy
Innocents at Lincoln, of St. Giles, London, the Preceptory of Choseley
in Norfolk, and perhaps various others, were betimes annexed to Burton
Lazars as cells containing “fratres leprosos de Sancto Lazaro de
Jerusalem.” Nicols has printed not less than thirty-five charters
relating to the House of Burton Lazars. Its privileges and possessions
were confirmed by Henry II., King John, and Henry VI. It was at last
dissolved by Henry VIII.[75] The only settlement of the Knights of St.
Lazarus in Scotland that I have been able to find, was in the town of
Linlithgow, and the notice of it is very imperfect and unsatisfactory.
It is contained in a document of the reign of Alexander II., and
preserved in the Chartulary of Newbottle, in which reference is
expressly made to land held “de Fratribus de Sancto Lazaro” at
Linlithgow.[76] That the Lazarites had an establishment or
establishments in Scotland as well as in the sister kingdom, appears
borne out by a fact recorded by Helyot,[77] that in 1342, John Halliday,
a Scotsman, was appointed Governor of the Knights of St. Lazarus both in
England and Scotland, by the Grand Master of Boigny in France, who was
at that period the reputed head of the order. Indeed Pennecuik, on the
authority of Maimbourg (_Histoire des Croisades_), asserts that the
“Knights of St. Lazarus were numerous everywhere, but especially in
Scotland and France.”[78]

The first and original object of the Knights of St. Lazarus seems to
have been the care probably of the sick generally, but in a special
manner of those affected with leprosy.[79] They received lepers into
their order, superintended the inmates of the lazar-houses, and, till
the standing rule to the contrary was allowed to be changed by Pope
Innocent IV., they were obliged to elect a leper to be their Grand
Master;[80] “eatenus consuetudine observatâ ut Miles leprosus domûs
Sancti Lazari Hierosolymitani in ejus Magistrum assumeretur.”[81]

Toussaint de S. Luc, in his History, Ceremonials, etc., of the Order of
St. Lazarus, after it was united in 1608 by Henry IV. of France to those
of Notre-Dame and Mount Carmel, states that the candidates for this
united knighthood were obliged, upon the Holy Evangelists, to swear
_inter alia_, “to exercise charity and works of mercy towards the poor,
and particularly lepers” (_et particulièrement les lepreux_.)[82]

What extent and what kind of sway, if any, the Lazarite Knights of
England and Scotland were ever allowed to exert over the lepers of the
kingdom generally, or over the inmates of these leper cells and
hospitals that more especially belonged to them, I have not been able to
ascertain from any of the British historical records of the middle ages
that I have had an opportunity of consulting. It is, however, only too
probable that the Lazarites, like most of the other early orders of
knights, were induced by pride and avarice to turn from their original
objects of love and charity to others,—to views of power and
aggrandisement for themselves.


Most of the Scottish leper-houses were very poorly or not at all
endowed. Their principal subsistence seems to have been derived from
casual alms. Each of the doomed inmates of the hospitals was, like the
leper-struck heroine of the old Scottish poet, Henryson, by

  ... cauld and hounger sair
  Compellit to be ane rank beggair.[83]

The inmates of the Greenside or Edinburgh lazar-house were allowed four
shillings Scotch (about fourpence sterling) per week, and for the
remainder of their subsistence they were, according to the original
rules of the institution, obliged to beg at the gate of their
hospital.[84] The leper-house at Aberdeen was supported from the public
funds of the town; but in 1591 James VI. granted a charter to “Robert
Abell and remanent of the pure (poor) leprous personis and thair
successors” in the hospital, to draw one peat of custom from every load
of them brought to the markets of Aberdeen, in consequence (as the words
of the original charter bear) “of the smallness of the rent appointit
for the leprous personis in the Hospitall being unable to sustene thame
in meet and fyre, quhairthrow they leif verie miserablie.”[85]

Other Scottish lazar-houses, however, were comparatively wealthy. Thus,
I have already mentioned that the Kingcase Hospital, near Ayr, had some
large and extensive landed properties attached to it.

The inmates of most of the smaller English leper-houses seem also to
have principally depended for their subsistence upon the precarious
contributions of the charitable. One of the lepers of the hospital at
Beccles was, by a royal grant, empowered to beg for his leprous
brothers.[86] Several of the larger English hospitals, however, were
well endowed, and the food, clothing, etc., of the inmates amply
provided for.

In some instances these endowments consisted of the accumulations of
large and voluntary charities; in others they were made up of rich
grants, left for the avowed purpose of founding chantries for the
spiritual peace and pardon of the donor and his family; and in other
cases, again, they were originally obtained as direct propitiations to
the church for misconduct and crime. Indulgences[87] of forty days’
pardon seem to have been occasionally granted by the bishops and other
ecclesiastical dignitaries to all the benefactors of the hospitals.

A bull of Pope Alexander III., which has been already referred to,
granted all leper hospital possessions an exemption from the payment of
tithes.[88] The canon was not universally adhered to in England, for, in
the account which Archbishop Parker drew up in 1562 of the hospitals in
the diocese of Canterbury, while Herbaldone and Bobbing leper-houses are
reported as “not charged with the taxes of the tenths,” it is declared
of the leper hospital of St. Laurence, Canterbury, that “the same is
taxed and payeth the perpetual tenth.”[89]

From the _Valor Ecclesiasticus_, taken in the time of Henry VIII., it
appears that whilst forty-eight hospitals, leper-houses, and
lazar-houses in the diocese of Norwich and county of Norfolk possessed
only a revenue of about £158 in all,[90] the rentals, on the other hand,
of certain individual hospitals were comparatively great for that
period. Thus, the revenues of Herbaldone[91] Hospital, Kent, and St.
James’, London,[92] were each rated at £100; of Sherburne above
£140;[93] of Maiden Bradley at near £200;[94] and those of the
establishment and “veri fair hospital” (as Leland terms it),[95] of
Burton Lazars were valued above £260.[96] In some of these richer
institutions the inmates were, as I have just remarked, well provided
for. As illustrative of this, I may quote the diet-table, etc., of one
or two of the wealthier leper hospitals. Thus, among the rules published
in the Additamenta to Matthew Paris, as established about the middle of
the fourteenth century by the Abbot Michaele for the leper-house of St.
Julian, near St. Albans, we find the following regulations laid down
with regard to the commons of the leprous brothers (de distributionibus
fratrum leprosorum):—[97]

“Let every leprous brother receive from the property of the hospital,
for his living and all necessaries, whatever he has been accustomed to
receive by the custom observed of old in the said hospital, namely,
every week seven loaves, of which five shall be white and two brown,
made from the grain as thrashed from the ear; also, every seventh week,
fourteen gallons of beer, or eight-pence (octo denarios) for the same.
Let him have, in addition to this, on the feasts of all the saints, on
the feast of Saint Julian, the purification of the Blessed Mary, the
Annunciation, the Trinity, Saint Albans, Saint John the Baptist, the
Assumption of the Blessed Mary, and the Nativity of the same, for each
feast, one loaf, one jar of beer, or a penny for the same, and one
obolus, which is called the charity of the aforesaid hospital; also, let
every leprous brother receive, at the feast of Christmas, forty gallons
of good beer, or forty pence for the same. Also, let each receive on the
said feast his share of two quarters of pure and clean corn, which is
called the great charity. Also, at the feast of St. Martin, each leper
shall have one pig from the common stall, and that there may be a fair
division of the pigs amongst the brothers, according to the custom
observed of old, we desire that the pigs, according to the number of
the lepers, may be brought forward in their presence, if it can
conveniently be done, otherwise in another place fit for the purpose,
and there each, according to the priority of entering the hospital,
shall choose one pig (otherwise a sum of money to be distributed equal
to the value of the pigs). Also, each leper shall receive on the feast
of Saint Valentine, for the whole of the ensuing year, one quarter of
oats. Also, about the feast of St. John Baptist, two bushels of salt, or
the current price. Also, at the feast of St. Julian, and at the feast of
St. Alban, one penny for the accustomed pittance. Also, at Easter one
penny, which is called by them ‘Flavvonespeni.’ Also, on Ascension-Day,
one obolus for buying potherbs. Also, on each Wednesday in Lent, bolted
corn of the weight of one of their loaves. Also, on the feast of St.
John the Baptist, four shillings for clothes. Also, at Christmas, let
there be distributed in equal portions among the leprous brothers,
fourteen shillings for their fuel through the year, as has been ordained
of old for the sake of peace and concord. Also, since, by the bounty of
our Lord the King, thirty shillings and fivepence have been assigned for
ever for the use of the lepers, which sum the Viscount of Hertford has
to pay them annually at the feasts of Easter and Michaelmas, we command
that the said 30s. and 5d. be equally divided among them in the usual
manner; and we desire the brothers to be contented with the aforesaid
distributions, which have been accustomed to be made amongst the leprous
brothers of old: But the residue of the property of the said hospital we
order and decree to be applied to the support of the Master and Priests
of the said Hospital.”

The dress of the lepers is laid down in regulations equally precise.
“The brothers are to have a tunic and upper tunic of russet, with a hood
cut from the same, so that the sleeves of the tunic be closed as far as
the hand, but not laced with knots or thread after the secular fashion.
They are to wear the upper tunic closed down to the ankles, and a close
cape of black cloth, of the same length with the hood, as they have been
accustomed of old.” A particular form of shoe was also ordered, and if
the order was disobeyed, the culprit was “condemned to walk daily
barefooted until the Master, considering his humility, said to
him—enough.”—P. 168.

The diet-roll of the large hospital at Sherburne is still more complex
than that of St. Julian’s. I extract the heads of it, and of some other
particulars with regard to the internal economy of the house, from
Surtees’ elaborate work, in which copies of the original documents are
given at full length.

The daily allowance of the lepers of Sherburne was a loaf weighing five
marks, and a gallon of ale to each; and betwixt every two, one mess or
commons of flesh three days in the week, and of fish, cheese, or butter,
on the remaining four; on high festival, a double mess; and, in
particular, on the feast of St. Cuthbert, in Lent, fresh salmon
(_salmones recentes_), if it could be had; if not, other fresh fish; and
on Michaelmas day four messed on one goose. With fresh fish, flesh, or
eggs, a measure of salt was delivered. When fresh fish could not be had,
red herrings (_allecia rubea_) were served three to a single mess; (and
it was specially enjoined that they, or aught that was served up, was
not to be putrid, nor corrupt, nor from animals that had died of
disease)[98]; or cheese and butter by weight; or three eggs. During
Lent each had a razer (_rasarium_) of wheat to make furmenty
(_simulam_), and two razers of beans to boil; sometimes greens or
onions; and every day, except Sunday, the seventh part of a razer of
bean meal, but on Sunday a measure and a half of pulse to make gruel.
Red herrings were prohibited from Pentecost to Michaelmas, and at the
latter each received two razers of apples. The lepers had a common
kitchen, and a common cook, fuel, and utensils for cooking, etc.—viz. a
lead, two brazen pots, a table, a large wooden vessel for washing or
making wine, a laver, two ale vats, and two bathing vats.

The sick had fire and candle, and all necessaries, until they either
convalesced or died; and one of the chaplains was assigned to hear the
confessions of the sick, to read the gospel to them on Sundays and
holidays, and to read the burial-service for the dead. The old woman who
attended on the sick had every week three wheaten loaves, and one mess
of flesh or fish; and when a brother or sister was buried, the
grave-digger had his meat and drink. Each leper had a yearly allowance
for his clothing of three yards of woollen cloth, white or russet, six
yards of linen, and six of canvass, and the tailor had his meat and
drink the day on which he came to cut out their clothes. Four fires were
allowed for the whole community. From Michaelmas to All Saints they had
two baskets of peat on double mess days, and four baskets daily from All
Saints to Easter. On Christmas eve they had four yule logs, each a
cart-load (“unusquisque erit unius quadrigatae”), with four trusses of
straw; four trusses of straw on All Saints eve and Easter eve; and four
bundles of rushes on the eves of Pentecost, St. John Baptist, and St.
Mary Magdalene; and on the anniversary of Martin de Sancta Cruce, every
leper received five shillings and fivepence in money.

The good food, lodging, and raiment provided by the rich endowments of
Sherburne were not without some alloy. The rules of the house were
strict, and the religious duties enforced upon the inmates were of an
austere character. “All the leprous brethren, whose health permitted,
were every day expected to attend matins, nones, vespers, and complines.
The bed-rid sick were enjoined to raise themselves, and say matins in
their bed; and for those who were still weaker, let them rest in peace,
_et quod dicere possint dicant_.” During Lent and Advent all the
brethren were required to receive corporal discipline three days in the
week, and the sisters, in like manner, _donec omnes vapulent_. And all
these, and other laws, Bishop Kellaw “did by his charter confirm and
order ever thereafter ‘_inviolabiter observari_.’”[99]

On the Continent the lazar hospitals partook of the same differences in
regard to poverty and wealth as we have traced in Britain. In France,
some of them, however, had become so very amply endowed by the
commencement of the fourteenth century that they at last excited the
avarice of Philip V., who subjected many of their inmates to the
flames.[100] “They were burned alive” (_on les bruloit tout vifs_), says
the historian Mezeray, “in order that the fire might purify at one and
the same time the infection of the body and that of the soul.”[101] The
ostensible cause for this act of fiendish barbarity was the absurd
allegation, that (as the original ordonnance of Philip bears[102]) the
lepers of France and other parts had been bribed to commit “the
detestable sin and horrible crime” (detestabile flagitium et crimen
horrendum) of poisoning the wells, waters, etc., used by the Christians.
The real cause, there is little doubt, was a desire, through this flimsy
excuse, to rob the richer hospitals of their funds and possessions; and
this appears only too strongly in the anxiety displayed in the special
wording of Philip’s original edict, that all the goods of the lepers be
lodged and held for himself, (ordinavimus, _inter alia_, quod omnia bona
eorum ad manum nostrum ponerentur et tenerentur.)[103] The persecution
of them was again temporarily renewed in 1388, under Charles VI. of


Much has been written regarding the date of the first appearance of
Leprosy in western Europe.

By Astruc,[105] Bach,[106] and others, it has been averred that the
leprosy of the middle ages was introduced from the East by those who
returned from the crusades. Some of our own historians, as Fuller[107]
and Heron,[108] allege that by this means it first reached Great
Britain. It is quite possible, allowing the disease for the sake of
argument to be contagious, that through the increased international
intercourse of that period, it may have been propagated more rapidly and
widely than would otherwise have occurred; but there are ample reasons
and proofs for believing that it existed on the continent of Europe, and
even as far westward as England, before the crusade fanaticism had drawn
any converts from this country.

The first relay of Englishmen engaged in the crusade left in 1096, and
returned two years afterwards. Several English leper-houses were founded
before that period.

Lanfranc, Bishop of Canterbury, and the ecclesiastical favourite of
William the Conqueror, died, according to the evidence of the Saxon
Chronicle in 1089,[109] seven years previous to the first crusade.
During his lifetime he founded two hospitals near Canterbury, one a
house built of stone (lapideum domum decentem et amplum) for patients
affected with various descriptions of diseases (variis infirmitatum
qualitatibus), and the second an hospital constructed of houses of wood,
and specially set aside for lepers (ligneas domos ad opus
leprosorum.)[110] Somner states that this latter institution still
exists at Canterbury as a charitable establishment.[111] Other English
lazar-houses were probably of as early a date, or at least earlier than
the first emigration for the crusades. Brigges alleges that the
leper-house of St. Leonards in Northampton, was founded in William I.’s
reign,[112] or before 1087; and one at Chatham was, according to Tanner,
in existence before the termination of the short reign of his son,
William Rufus.[113]

But more than a century even previous to the date of which we speak,
leprosy had been made a subject of legislation in Great Britain. In a
parliament held by Pepin, King of France in 757 at Campiegne, it was
enacted that leprosy in a husband or wife be regarded as a cause of
separation, and that the sound party might again remarry.[114] Lobineau,
in his history of Brittany,[115] tells us as one of the effects of this
law of divorce, that among the higher ranks of the city of Dol, there
were a number (_quantité_) of husbands who had as many as three wives
living at the same time. Now among the earliest extant code of laws
enacted in any part of Britain, those, namely, of the celebrated Welsh
King, Hoel Dha, who died about the year 950,[116] there is a canon to
the same effect as that referred to, viz. that a married female was
entitled to separation, and the restitution of her goods, provided her
husband was affected with leprosy.[117] There is, however, as we shall
afterwards see, great reason to believe that the word leprosy was then
used as a generic term, including under it many different varieties of
cutaneous affections.

I can offer nothing precise in regard to the exact period of the first
introduction of Leprosy into Scotland. If, as I have already shown to be
highly probable, the term Liberton is merely a conversion from leper
town, it would render it likely that the disease was an early visitant
of this country; for we know that Liberton is mentioned in various old
charters of the reign of David I., who died in 1153.[118] In the
Foundation Charter of Holyrood (1128) the mill and chapel “de
Libertune”[119] are mentioned, and in the chartulary of Kelso, “William,
parsona de Liberton,” signs as witness to some charters dated during the
latter half of the twelfth century.[120] At a later date there figures
repeatedly, in the ancient and well-known verses of Blind Harry, as an
occasional companion of Wallace—

  “Thomas Gray, parsone off Libertone,”

a member of the church militant, who in more than one instance seems to
have thrown aside his bell and book for the purpose of sharing in the
brave struggles and hardy adventures of the Scottish patriot.

But I can adduce much more solid proof than this unstable philological
basis affords, for stating that, as far back at least as the latter half
of the twelfth century, the disease was not only known in Scotland, but
that hospitals were by that time actually erected for the seclusion of
the victims of it. The hospital of Auldnestun, in Lauderdale, had, as I
have already stated, three carrucates of land granted to it, as appears
from the Melrose Chartulary, by Walter, the son of Alan. The date of
this grant, as of most others in the old chartularies, is not preserved,
but it is a fixed and well-ascertained fact in Scottish history that the
donor of it, the first of the illustrious, and afterwards royal line of
Stewarts, died himself as a Cluniac monk in Melrose Abbey in the year

William the Lion, who died in 1214, confirmed, as we have seen, a grant
to the leper-house of Aldcambus; and the hospital of Rothfan, near
Elgin, was evidently established during, if not prior to, the reign of
his son and successor, Alexander II. In the chapter of gifts to this
Rothfan hospital, by John Byseth, Alexander is spoken of as the reigning
prince, the preamble to the grant declaring that the endowment was
bestowed “for the love of charity, for the soul of King William, and for
the salvation of my noble lord King Alexander” (pro salute domini mei
Alexandri nobilis Regis).[122] Alexander II. died in 1249, so that by
this time the disease was certainly spread to the more northern parts of
the kingdom.

All Scottish records of these earlier times are almost, as I have
already observed, so entirely lost, that it now seems impossible to
ascertain whether any leper-houses existed in this kingdom at a date
antecedent to those to which I have thus alluded. That this was the
case, however, is not improbable.

Before the first notice of the earliest Scotch leper-house that I have
been able to trace—viz. that of Auldnestun, about 1170, similar
establishments were abundant in England. The charters of many of them
appear to have been either granted or confirmed in the reign of Henry
I., who died in 1154, and was a contemporary of the Scotch Kings, Edgar,
Alexander I., and David I.; and it is not unworthy of remark that two,
if not more, lazar-houses were founded in England by natives of Scotland
prior to the date of the earliest Scotch leper-house that I have been
able to discover. For Malcolm IV. founded and endowed one in his
principality of Huntingdon in 1165;[123] and sixty years earlier, or in
1101,[124] Matilda, the “gode Queene Maud” of Henry I., and daughter of
Malcolm III. of Scotland, established the hospital of St. Giles,
Bishopsgate, for forty lepers, a chaplain, clerk, and messengers.

But at whatever respective periods the disease first appeared in England
and Scotland, there are strong reasons for believing that it continued
to prevail in the latter kingdom long after it had ceased, or almost
entirely ceased, in the former. In the preface to the statutes of the
leper-house of St. Albans, drawn up about 1350, and already referred to
as published in the supplement to Matthew Paris’ history,[125] it is
stated that the number of lepers that presented themselves for admission
had diminished so much by that time, that their expense of maintenance
was below the revenue of the institution; “in general,” it is added,
“there are now not above three, sometimes only two, and occasionally
only one.” In exactly the same year (1350) that this report was drawn up
for St. Albans, was it thought necessary to institute the leper-house at
Glasgow; and nearly one hundred years later, or in 1427, the Scottish
Parliament deemed it proper to legislate on the subject of lepers.

The hospital of St. Mary Magdalene, at Ripon, was established in 1139
for the relief of all the lepers in that district. In the time of Henry
VIII, it contained only two priests and five poor people to pray for all
“Christen sowlez.”[126]

At Illeford, in Essex, an hospital was instituted in the reign of Henry
II. or Richard I. for thirteen lepers. In one of the reports of the
commissioners for suppressing colleges, hospitals, etc., in the time of
Edward VI., it is observed, in regard to the state of this Illeford
Hospital, that though founded “to find 13 pore men beying Lepers, 2
pryests, and one clerke—thereof there is at this day but one pryest and
2 pore men.”[127]

By the same commission most other lazar-houses were reported as having
no leprous patients, and yet only a few years previously was the
leper-house of Aberdeen built, and forty or fifty years afterwards (in
1591) the Edinburgh hospital at Greenside was established. We have
several later notices of the disease among us. In the Aberdeen
Kirk-Session Register, vol. i., it is stated that, on the 13th May 1604,
the kirk-session ordained “Helene Smythe, ane puir woman infectit with
leprosie, to be put in the hospitall appoyntit for keeping and haulding
of lipper-folkis betwixt the townis; and the keyis of the said hospitall
to be deliverit to her.”[128]

As late as 1693 we have some records of the lepers of Kingcase. On the
11th March of that year a complaint was lodged by the procurator-fiscal
“anent the intruding of the lepers of Kingcase upon the priviledges only
propper to the burgess and freemen (of Prestwick) by there resorting to
the shoar, and taking up certain timber and other wrack, and casting
greater quantities of peats and turf off the common and moss, &c.,
which, being seriously pondered by the magistrates, &c., they ordained
that none of the said lepers of Kingcase do so under the penalty of ane
hundredth pund, _toties quoties_, to be paid by ilk ane (each one) of
them in caise of failyie (failure).”[129]

The disease appears to have continued in the northern islands of
Scotland long after it had disappeared from the mainland, and, indeed,
all other parts of Great Britain. In Shetland it has been known for
centuries. I have already made a quotation from Brand to show that it
was at Lerwick as late as the latter part of the seventeenth century. In
some districts of Shetland it continued still later. Apparently most of
those there affected either belonged to or were sent to the Island of
Papa. I have in my possession a MS. extract from the Session-books of
Walls, showing the expenses incurred in keeping the lepers at Papa from
1736 to 1740. Four of them appear to have died during these years, and
two of the entries are for the “tobacco”[130] used at their funerals.
In 1742 there is a long entry in the Session Records of Walls, earnestly
enjoining a day of public thanksgiving for the supposed total
deliverance of the country from the effects of the leprosy.

The disease, however, was not eradicated entirely. Mr. Jack, the
resident clergyman, who wrote the account of the parish of Northmaven
for the Statistical Account of Scotland, published in 1798, seems to
have seen what he terms several miserable cases of the disease, and
adds, that in many instances there is reason to suspect a hereditary
taint.[131] Dr. Thomson urged his pupil, Dr. Edmondston of Lerwick, to
trace out the history of the disease in the north, and that gentleman
has made the following observations upon it in his work on the Zetland

“Elephantiasis, known by the name of leprosy, was very frequent in
Zetland about sixty years ago, but its occurrence since that time has
only been occasional, and at present scarcely an instance of it is to be
met with. A native of Zetland, a few years ago, was received into the
hospital of Edinburgh, labouring under true elephantiasis. I have seen
obscure degrees of it in Zetland, where the face was bloated, the skin
scaly and rough, and the voice slightly hoarse; but they did not
terminate fatally, nor was the affection apparently communicated to
others. The last instance I saw of it was in the person of a boy. His
friends could assign no cause for its appearance, and said that it had
come on spontaneously, and proceeded gradually. The disease had been
stationary for some time before it fell under my observation.”[132]

As so far confirmatory of the disease having thus longer remained in
Shetland than in the more southern parts of these kingdoms, I may here
mention that in the middle ages it was very common,[133] and has since
long continued to linger in the neighbouring Faroe Islands, and in
Iceland. It appears, from Debes’[134] evidence, that true tubercular
leprosy, as we shall see in the sequel, continued to prevail in the
Faroe Islands (the nearest land north of Shetland) in the middle of the
seventeenth century. Still later—viz. in 1768, Petersen[135] found 280
lepers in the hospitals in Iceland. Olafsen,[136] Troil,[137]
Holland,[138] and Henderson,[139] have each, from personal observation,
described the disease as existing in that island; and the French
Government expedition in 1836, under Gaimard,[140] have, in the
beautiful work they are at present publishing, already given several
excellent coloured sketches of natives affected with tubercular leprosy.
The disease, according to various authors, still prevails in the
northern kingdoms of Norway and Sweden. I am not by any means
sufficiently intimate with the literature of the Scandinavian radesyge,
to venture to offer any decided opinion with regard to its nosological
nature, and its alleged relation to the leprosy of the middle ages. As
far, however, as I am acquainted with the subject, it appears to me that
under the name of radesyge, two, if not more distinct species of disease
were, by Holst and the other authors who first wrote upon it, confounded
and described together. One of these, the radesyge properly so called,
is probably nearly allied to, if not identical with the sibbens of
Scotland. Another of the supposed varieties of the disease, the
spedalskhed or spetälska, seems on the other hand to be a different
nosological species, hereditary, non-contagious, chronic, incurable, and
identical in many, if not in all its characters, with true tubercular
leprosy. The spetälska seems confined to particular and more limited
localities in the north than the radesyge; and when we look to the
descriptions of it as seen at Ostrobothnia by Udmann,[141] or as given
by Hünefeld,[142] in regard to the disease at Bergen, we certainly find
these descriptions very exactly answering to the definitions of
tubercular or Arabian leprosy given by our best nosologists and
pathologists, and which I shall have occasion afterwards to discuss at
some length. Besides, radesyge is a disease which is believed by many to
have made its first appearance in Sweden and Norway during the last
century, while the spetälska was known at a greatly earlier date. The
present hospital for it at Bergen was, as Hünefeld[143] informs us,
founded as early as the year 1268.

In the Second Part I will take an opportunity of considering at length
the nosological nature of the leprosy of the middle ages, particularly
as it was seen prevailing in Great Britain. I will inquire into the
rank, age, etc., of those attacked, and point out some of the causes
which have been considered as connected with the dissemination of the
disease; and lastly, I will endeavour to bring together some of the
strange regulations of medical police that were adopted in England and
Scotland with regard to the infected.



In the preceding Part we have shown the extent to which leprosy
prevailed during the middle ages in Great Britain; the number of
hospitals that were instituted for the reception and seclusion of the
infected; the government and regulations of these hospitals; and the
dates of the commencement and disappearance of the disease in the
kingdoms of England and Scotland. Before proceeding farther, we
propose,—in this Second Part,—to pause and discuss the strictly
medical question of the specific nosological nature of the malady, whose
history we have thus far considered.

I have already taken occasion to speak of the leprosy of the middle
ages, as identical with the species of cutaneous disorder, which has
been variously denominated the tubercular leprosy, (_Lepra
tuberculosa_); the leprosy of the Arabians (_Lepra Arabum_); and the
elephantiasis of the Greeks (_Elephantiasis Græcorum_). The particular
form of chronic cutaneous disease, to which these different appellations
have been severally applied, is an affection very distinctly marked in
its more leading symptoms and course. Before, however, attempting to
prove that the European and British leprosy of former times was
specifically identical with the malady in question, it will expedite our
investigation of the question if, in the first instance, we obtain a
precise and perfect picture of the tubercular or Arabian leprosy itself.
By adopting this plan, we shall have placed before us a standard, as it
were, by which we can judge of and test those more or less imperfect
descriptions of the leprosy of the middle ages, which we may in the
sequel have occasion to quote and animadvert upon. And in order to
obtain such a standard of comparison as we have now in view, and that
without any possibility of prejudging the subject, I shall cite the
description of this species of disease from Dr. Bateman of London, and
Dr. Schedel of Paris;—from the first, because the characters which he
has given of this and other cutaneous affections are generally and
justly looked upon by British pathologists as the most clear and
distinct that can anywhere be referred to;—and from the last, because
his account of tubercular leprosy is, I believe, the latest that has
issued from the medical press, and the author has already, by a former
work,[144] distinguished himself by the excellence of his descriptions,
and the precision of his diagnosis of cutaneous diseases.


“The elephantiasis,” says Dr. Bateman[145] “(as described by the
Greeks), is principally characterised by the appearance of shining
tubercles, of different sizes, of a dusky red or livid colour, on the
face, ears, and extremities; together with a thickened and rugose state
of the skin, a diminution or total loss of its sensibility, and a
falling off of all the hair, except that of the scalp.

“The disease is described as very slow in its progress, sometimes
continuing for several years, without materially deranging the functions
of the patient. During this continuance, however, great deformity is
gradually produced. The alæ of the nose become swelled and scabrous, and
the nostrils dilate; the lips are tumid; the external ears, particularly
the lobes, are enlarged and thickened, and beset with tubercles; the
skin of the forehead and cheeks grows thick and tumid, and forms large
and prominent rugæ, especially over the eyes; the hair of the eyebrows,
the beard, the pubes, axillæ, etc., falls off; the voice becomes hoarse
and obscure; and the sensibility of the parts affected is obtuse, or
totally abolished, so that pinching or puncturing them gives no
uneasiness. This disfiguration of the countenance suggested the idea of
the features of a satyr or a wild beast; whence the disease was by some
called _Satyriasis_, and by others _Leontiasis_.

“As the malady proceeds, the tubercles begin to crack, and at length to
ulcerate: Ulcerations also appear in the throat, and in the nose, which
sometimes destroy the palate, and the cartilaginous septum; the nose
falls, and the breath is intolerably offensive. The thickened and
tuberculated skin of the extremities becomes divided by fissures, and
ulcerates, or is corroded under dry sordid scabs, so that the fingers
and toes gangrene, and separate, joint after joint.”

The description of the course and symptoms of the disease, as given by
Schedel, is more minute and detailed.

“_Lepra tuberculosa_, or Greek elephantiasis, is” (he observes),[146]
“characterised by the eruption of fawn-coloured or yellowish-brown
tubercles, various in size, irregular in shape, somewhat shining, and
soft and smooth to the touch. These tubercles are preceded by
erythematous patches, in which the sensibility of the skin is
diminished: slightly elevated at their outset, they become afterwards
more projecting, whilst the sensibility of the parts is usually quite
lost, although they are sometimes painful when touched. They more
frequently occur upon the face, the nose, the ears, the lips, etc.; and
being accompanied with a thickened and rugose state of the skin, they
cause a most hideous distortion of the features, and frightful

“The evolution of the leprous tubercles is usually preceded by that of
slight erythematous patches of a tawny red hue in whites, and blacker
than the surrounding integuments in negroes. These patches are worthy of
attention, since they announce the dreadful disease which is about to
appear. When they are of some duration, the skin in these points already
begins to lose its sensibility. Sooner or later, in some cases quickly
in others very slowly, small soft, livid red tumours appear, varying in
size from that of a pea to that of a walnut, or even larger. When these
tubercles come out, the erythematous patches, on which the sensibility
of the integument had become lessened, sometimes become painful; so much
so, that we have heard patients declare that the pain produced by the
handling of the small tumours at this period was similar to that felt
when the cubital nerve receives a blow at the elbow. When they appear
on the face, they are generally accompanied by a puffy swelling of the
surrounding parts.

“Sometimes only small surfaces are attacked. We have seen the nose and
ears alone affected, and much swollen and enlarged. When the disease
occurs on the lower extremities only, it is found on the inferior part
of the thigh, and around the ankles.

“After remaining stationary for a longer or shorter time, the disorder
increases: instead of a few tubercles to be met with here and there, the
whole face is covered with large dusky red lumps, separated by deep
furrows; the features are horribly distorted; the alæ of the nose are
thickened and swollen; the nostrils dilated; the eyebrows tuberculated
and overhanging; the lips enormously thickened; the skin of the forehead
and cheeks is thick, uneven, and tumid; the chin much increased in size,
and the whole of the affected surfaces appear as if smeared with oil,
and of a dusky livid red; the external ears, especially the lobes, are
much enlarged and thickened, and beset with tubercles; the eyebrows and
eyelashes and beard fall off; the sense of smell becomes impaired or
totally lost; that of touch is often strangely affected; the voice grows
husky, and is frequently lost; the eyesight is greatly weakened; the
unfortunate patient is dejected; and the muscular powers depressed in a
singular manner. With regard to the _libido inexplicabilis_, so much
spoken of, our observations do not coincide with those of Dr. Adams, who
mentions actual wasting of the generative organs. In the cases which
have come under our notice we have witnessed quite the reverse, and yet
several were young men in whom the disease was not too far advanced.

“At a still later period the symptoms are even more dreadful; the
tubercles become the seat of ulceration, and sores of an unhealthy
character succeed, and discharge an ichorous fluid, which, on
concreting, form dark adherent scabs of various extent and thickness;
these incrustations are sometimes followed by cicatrices, but this is
unfortunately a rare occurrence. On the extremities the thick and
tuberculated skin becomes divided by fissures, and ulcerates or is
corroded under the dry scabs, so that the fingers and toes mortify and
separate, joint after joint, the miserable patient surviving these
horrid mutilations. Those individuals whom we have seen perish from this
disease were carried off by enteritis; large ulcerations were found in
the ilium, cæcum, and colon, excepting in one case, in which death was
caused by tubercular phthisis.”

In studying the phenomena of this, as of any other disease, it will
simplify our recollection of its more leading and more constant
characters, if we have the principal symptoms of it embodied in a
concise nosological definition, instead of being spread through a long
and detailed description. Two of our last and best British nosologists
give the following definition of tubercular leprosy or Greek
elephantiasis (for I use these terms here and elsewhere as words
perfectly synonymous).

“Elephantiasis” (says Dr. Cullen), “is a contagious disease, with (1)
the face deformed with tubercles; (2) the skin thick, wrinkled, rough,
unctuous, and divested of hair; (3) loss of feeling in the extreme
joints; and (4) the voice is hoarse and nasal.”[147]

In defining the genus elephantiasis, Dr. Good selects the second and
third characters of Cullen as the most distinctive, and adds to these
two others—viz. “(1) eyes fierce and staring; (2) perspiration highly
offensive.” In defining the first species of this genus (or the Greek
elephantiasis of other authors), he introduces as its three
pathognomonic symptoms, the first and fourth characters of Cullen and a
part of the second.[148]


Leprosy, such as it is portrayed in the descriptions and definitions
which we have quoted from Bateman, Schedel, Cullen, and Good (and I
might have cited any of our modern medical writers to the same effect),
has had at different times, and by different authors, a great variety of
appellations applied to it. In order to understand the nosological
nature of the disease, as it formerly prevailed in Europe, it is
requisite to state a few uninteresting but indispensable facts, in
regard to the changes which have occurred in its nomenclature.

In the medical writings of Aretæus, Aetius, and the later school of
Greek physicians, the disease is described under the title of
elephantiasis, for (says Aretæus) “it is disgusting to the sight, and
terrible in all respects (_est visu fœdus et in omnibus terribilis_),
like the beast of the same name.”[149] The Arabian medical authors
applied the corresponding term of “_Das Fil_,” “elephant disease,” or
elephantiasis, to an affection entirely different, and one apparently
unknown to the Greek physicians, namely, the tumid, Barbadoes, or Cochin
leg of modern pathologists. At the same time the Arabian authorities
described the disease, known to the Greeks under the name of
elephantiasis, by the Arabic terms “_Judam_,” or “_Juzam_” and
“_Aljuzam_.”[150] The confusion thus apt to arise from describing two
different diseases under a corresponding name was greatly increased by
the errors committed by the Latin translators of Avicenna, Rhazes, and
other Arabic authors. These translators rendered the _Das fil_ or
Elephant disease of the Arabic original, by the words elephanta and
elephantiasis; and having thus, first, by an improper adaptation,
appropriated the use of the latter Greek term to a disease very
different in its specific characters from the elephantiasis of the
Greeks themselves, they subsequently added to the intricacies of the
subject by translating the Arabic “Juzam” (the disease that was in
reality identical with the elephantiasis of the Greeks) by the term
lepra—a term which the Greek physicians had generally applied to
different forms of scaly eruption, but never to any form of tubercular

By these unfortunate mistakes medical men were betrayed into great
confusion in the use of these several terms. An identity in names did
not signify an identity in objects. The tumid leg, _das fil_, or
elephantiasis of the Arabians, is a disease perfectly different from the
tuberculous face affection or elephantiasis of the Greeks.

Again, the term lepra, as used by the Greek physicians themselves,
signifies morbid changes in the skin, marked by the presence of scales,
and which changes in the skin have no relation whatever to either the
Arabian or Greek elephantiasis; but the same term lepra, as used by the
Arabic translators, was applied to designate the latter of these two
affections, viz. the Arabic “Juzam,” or elephantiasis of the Greeks.
Hence, the _elephantiasis of the Greeks_ and the _lepra of the
Arabians_, or more properly of the Arabian translators, are expressions
altogether synonymous, as being employed to designate the same
individual disease; and it is of the first importance to hold this fact
in view in studying the histories of the European leprosy, which have
been left us by our own and by other medical authors of the middle
ages.[152] For we must further recollect that the knowledge of the Greek
tongue was almost entirely lost during the dark ages, and that nearly
all learning being then confined to the Moors and Arabs, the scholastic
language was principally the Arabic. Thus it happened, that when the
love of literature and the pursuit of science began to revive about the
twelfth century, the medical as well as the philosophical writings of
the ancient Greeks were read and studied by the inhabitants of Western
Europe through the medium of Arabic translations of them, or in Latin
versions made from these translations.[153] The designations of
individual diseases were known to the learned student, and to the
medical practitioner and author of the times in question, by the names
only under which they were described in these versions. The
_elephantiasis_ of the Greeks, or corresponding _juzam_ of the Arabians,
was rendered by the term _lepra_ in almost every Latin translation from
the Arabian or Saracenic school; and hence it is that we find this term
lepra used by the medical and other authors of the succeeding period, as
the common appellative for the individual disease to which the two
former designations were originally applied. In many medical works of
the middle ages the single name “_lepra_”[154] is employed; in the
writings of others, and more particularly of later authors, it has the
distinctive designation (_Lepra Arabum_) added to it,[155] in order to
discriminate it from the _Lepra Græcorum_ or scaly eruptions, to which
that term was primarily applied by the Greeks. In still more modern
times, and with the same view, the _Elephantiasis Græcorum_, Juzam, or
Lepra of the Arabians, or rather of the Arabian translators, has been
very frequently termed (as I believe was first proposed by Vidal)[156]
tuberculous leprosy (_Lepra tuberculosa_), in order to distinguish it
from the other very different disease, the scaly leprosy of the Greeks
(_Lepra vulgaris_, _Lepra squamosa_, etc.) But, whatever may be the
difference in the nomenclature of different authors, we are to hold this
in recollection, that the various terms of the elephantiasis of the
Greeks (_Elephantiasis Græcorum_), the juzam or leprosy of the Arabian
translators (_Lepra Arabum_), the tuberculous leprosy of modern European
authors (_Lepra tuberculosa_, _Lepra nodosa_), and the simple leprosy
(_Lepra_) of most authors of the middle ages,[157]—all signify that
same specific and individual disease, whose distinctive characters we
have already traced from Bateman and Schedel, and from Cullen and Good.


Having premised the preceding tedious but necessary digression upon the
nomenclature of leprosy, we now proceed to consider the question whether
the particular form of disease that prevailed on the Continent and in
Great Britain during the middle ages, and for the victims of which so
many hospitals were built, and so many laws enacted, answered or not, in
its nosological characters, to the _Elephantiasis Græcorum_, _Lepra
Arabum_ or Arabian leprosy, such as we have found that malady depicted
in the standards already referred to, and such as it is known to prevail
at the present day in different localities in the new and old world,
that I shall afterwards take occasion to specify. We begin our inquiry
into the nature of the disease, by considering the characters of the
leprosy as it was seen prevailing, almost epidemically, in the middle

1. _Upon the Continent of Europe._—To obtain a solution of this part of
our problem, let us turn to the works of the medical authors of these
early times, and endeavour to ascertain from them the nature of the
disease which they denominated leprosy.

Various minute descriptions of leprosy (lepra) have been left us in the
writings of different European physicians and surgeons of the middle
ages, who had an opportunity of studying the disease in different
kingdoms upon the Continent during the period of its actual prevalence.
Amongst others we may especially refer to the accounts of it, written
during the thirteenth century, by the monk Theodoric,[158] afterwards a
distinguished surgeon of Bologna; by the celebrated Lanfranc, who was
first a practitioner in Milan,[159] and subsequently in Paris; and by
Professor Arnold Bachuone,[160] of Barcelona, reputed in his day the
greatest physician in Spain. Valescus de Taranta,[161] a physician of
Montpellier; Bernhard Gordon,[162] Professor of Medicine in the same
city; the famous French Surgeon, Guy de Chauliac;[163]—Vitalis de
Furno,[164] Cardinal of Albany; and Petrus de Argelata,[165] a
practitioner of Bologna, have each left us descriptions of leprosy drawn
up during the fourteenth century; and during the two succeeding
centuries, we have more or less accurate accounts of the disease given
by Professors Montagnana[166] of Padua and Matthew Ferrari de Gradi[167]
of Pavia, by Ambrose Paré,[168] Joannes Fernelius,[169] Palmarius,[170]
Hildanus[171] and various others.[172]

Each of the several authors just now named has described, with greater
or less precision, the symptoms of the prevailing leprosy, or chronic
incurable cutaneous disease, for the reception and seclusion of the
victims of which the numerous lazar-houses in Europe were established.
The details which they all individually give of the leading characters
of the malady[173] are in their essential points altogether similar; and
the symptoms which they describe it as presenting are exactly those
which distinguish Greek elephantiasis. The disease is portrayed with
brevity and precision by some of them. Others enter into a detail of its
phenomena, greatly more minute than the descriptions I have quoted from
Bateman and Schedel; and several give a history of the marks to be
derived from the blood, urine, extremities, eyes, face, voice, etc., in
a manner so very elaborate and minute, as might surprise us at the
present day, did we not recollect the immense importance that depended
in these times upon a just and faithful distinction of the disease,
when, in a suspected case, a fellow-being might,—by the absence of the
more characteristic signs—be saved, or—by their presence—be
condemned, for the remainder of life, to all the horrors of a
lazar-house. A few, as Guy de Chauliac, Argelata, etc., in the
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and in still later times, Gregory
Horst, Forrestus, etc., add a most minute and detailed account of the
various symptoms which the physician ought to look for in examining a
suspected person, and point out the exact mode in which he ought to
proceed with this examination before venturing to consign a suspected
person to the seclusion of a leper hospital, and thus for ever doom him
to be a despised “child of St. Lazarus.”

In an essay such as the present, it would be out of place to attempt to
show, by the exact words of each of the authors to whom I have just now
alluded, the truth of the proposition that the lepra in their writings,
and consequently the lepra of Europe in their times, was strictly
identical with the elephantiasis of the Greeks, and that the leper
hospitals were specially intended for those affected with this disease.
As examples, however, of the whole, I may cite the observations of two
of the authors whom I have named; and I shall select for this purpose
Gordon and Guy de Chauliac, principally from their two names standing
higher in medical history than most of the others that I have
enumerated—from their living at a time when the disease was most
prevalent,—and from their descriptions of the malady itself being on
the whole more than usually concise and methodic.

Bernhard Gordon was, at the commencement of the fourteenth century, one
of the first, if not the first Professor of Medicine in the
newly-established school of Montpellier. “He has left us,” says Dr.
Freind,[174] “a large volume called _Lilium Medicinae_ (for in that
affected age everything writ in Physick, was either a Lily or a Rose), a
book mightily celebrated in those times.” This volume is generally
stated to have been written about the year 1305[175] or 1309.[176] From
the very long chapter which is devoted in this work to the consideration
of leprosy, I shall translate the account which the author gives of his
threefold stages or classes of symptoms of the disease—viz. the occult,
the infallible, and the last or terminating signs.

1. “The occult premonitory signs (_signa occulta in principio_) of
leprosy are (he states) a reddish colour of the face, verging to
duskiness; the expiration begins to be changed; the voice grows raucous,
the hairs become thinned and weaker, and the perspiration and breath
incline to fœtidity; the mind is melancholic with frightful dreams
and nightmare; in some cases scabs, pustules, and eruptions, break out
over the whole body; the disposition of the body begins to become
loathsome, but still, while the form and figure (_forma et figura_) are
not corrupted, the patient is not to be adjudged for separation, but is
to be most strictly watched (_nondum est judicandus ad separationem, sed
est fortissime comminandus_.)

2. “The infallible signs (_signa infallibilia_) are enlargement of the
eyebrows, with loss of their hair; rotundity of the eyes; swelling of
the nostrils externally, and contraction of them within; voice nasal;
colour of the face glossy (_lucidus_), verging to a darkish hue; aspect
of the face terrible, with a fixed look, and with acumination and
contraction of the pulps of the ears. And there are many other signs, as
pustules and excrescences, atrophy of the muscles, and particularly of
those between the thumb and forefinger; insensibility of the
extremities; fissures and infections of the skin; the blood, when drawn
and washed, containing black, earthy, rough, sandy matters, and other
marks which authors prominently mention, but for me, those suffice which
are to be found in the face. The above are those evident and manifest
signs, which, when they do appear, the patient ought to be separated
from the people (_quibus apparentibus patiens est a populo
sequestrandus_), or, in other words, secluded in a leper-house.

3. “The signs of the last stage, and breaking-up (_naufragium_) of the
disease are, corrosion and falling-in of the cartilage forming the
septum of the nose; fissure and division (_scissura_) of the feet and
hands; enlargement of the lips, and a disposition to glandular swelling;
dyspnœa and difficulty of breathing; the voice hoarse and barking;
the aspect of the face frightful, and of a dark colour; and the pulse
small and imperceptible.”[177]

After giving the above accurate description of the leprosy, Gordon, in a
subsequent page,[178] earnestly states, “No one ought to be adjudged as
a leper unless there manifestly appear a corruption of the figure
(_corruptio figurae_), or that state which is indicated by his _signa
infallibilia_. And I repeat to you this (he adds), as often as I have
occasion to mention the _corruptio figurae_, because, as it appears to
me, lepers are at the present day very injudiciously adjudged. Whoever,
therefore, has ears, let him attend to this, if he will.”

The other medical author whom I particularised for quotation, Guy de
Chauliac, practised first at Lyons, and afterwards at Avignon. He was
one of the most celebrated surgeons in the fourteenth century,[179] and
was successively medical attendant upon Popes Clement VI. and Urban
V.[180] From the notice which he gives of the Black Death Pestilence of
1363, it would seem that he was then stationed at Avignon, and engaged
in the Composition of his “Inventarium sive Collectorium Partis
Chirurgicalis Medicinae.” In the long disquisition on lepra, contained
in the 6th treatise of this work,[181] De Chauliac, after stating the
usual subdivision of the disease into four varieties or species
(Elephantia, Leonina, Tyria, Alopecia), goes on to describe the common
signs of all the varieties of leprosy, (signa communia _Omnium_
specierum Lepræ). The signs or symptoms indicating the actual presence
of the disease are, he says, some unequivocal, others equivocal (_quædam
univoca, quædam equivoca_). Among the former set (_signa univoca_) he
ranges the six following symptoms:—“(1.) rotundity of the ears and
eyes; (2.) thickening and tuberosity of the eyebrows, with falling off
of their hair; (3.) dilatation and disfiguration of the nostrils
externally, with stricture of them within, and fœtidity of the lips;
(4.) voice raucous and nasal; (5.) fœtidity of the breath, and of the
whole person; (6.) fixed and horrible satyr-like aspect.”

I question if any of our modern nosologists, or any recent writers on
cutaneous diseases, have proposed a more correct definition, or accurate
and concise diagnosis of the _Elephantiasis Græcorum_ than is presented
in the above enumeration of its pathognomonic symptoms by the old French

De Chauliac adds a list of sixteen signs of leprosy, which, from their
not being constant, he terms equivocal (_equivoca_). Among these he
gives tuberosity and hardness of the flesh, particularly of the joints
and extremities; insensibility and feeling of torpor in the limbs;
falling off of the hairs; tubercles (_grana_) under the tongue and
palpebræ, and behind the ears; an unctuous condition of the skin, as
seen when water is thrown upon it; with symptoms from the blood, urine,
etc. “By these unequivocal and equivocal signs, lepers (says he) are
examined; but (he judiciously goes on to observe), in the examination
and judgment of lepers there must be much circumspection, because the
injury is very great, whether we thus submit to confinement those that
ought not to be confined, or allow lepers (_leprosos_) to mix with the
people, seeing the disease is contagious and infectious. Therefore ought
the physician repeatedly to examine the affected, and consider and
re-consider those signs which are unequivocal, and those that are
equivocal, and let him not venture to judge by one sign, but by a
concourse of many, and particularly of those that are unequivocal.”

De Chauliac subsequently details at great length the precise mode in
which the physician ought to conduct the examination of every suspected
case of leprosy referred to him. The patient is, first of all, as we
shall afterwards see, recommended to be consoled upon his unfortunate
lot, and sworn in to tell the truth in answer to all the interrogatories
put to him. In immediately afterwards proceeding to the examination
itself, De Chauliac orders inquiries to be instituted into the
predisposition, hereditary or otherwise, of the suspected individual; if
he were exposed by intercourse with the infected; if his mind were clear
and tranquil; if he feels punctures in the flesh, etc. He then
recommends the pulse to be examined, and some blood drawn, and treated
in such a manner by inspection and straining, as to ascertain its
colour, its sediment, the quality of its coagulum, etc. After this he
recommends the countenance to be considered, and the patient dismissed
for the day, with an order to bring a specimen of his urine with him on
the following morning. “In the meantime,” he adds, “let the physician
cogitate upon what he has seen, and what he may yet see in the case.

“On the morrow, when the suspected person returns to the physician, let
the latter, in the first place, examine the urine, and consider if it
shows any sign of disposition towards leprosy. All this being done, let
him next again consider the face, and ascertain in regard to the
eyebrows if they have lost their hair, and if they are swollen and
tuberose; if the eyes themselves are round, particularly towards the
internal angles, and if the whites of them are of a darkish hue; in
regard to the nose, if it be deformed, enlarged, and internally
ulcerated; in regard to the eyes, if they are rounded and shortened; in
regard to the voice, if it is raucous and nasal; in regard to the lips
and tongue, if they are ulcerated and tuberculated; if the breathing be
difficult and fœtid; and if the features be changed and frightful.
And let the examiner consider these things deeply, because the signs
from the face are more certain than the others. Afterwards make the
person strip himself naked (_ipsum expoliare_), and examine concerning
the colour of the whole body, if it is darkish and morphous; concerning
the substance of the flesh, if it is hard and irregular, and tuberose,
particularly about the joints and extremities; if it is scabrous,
pruriginous, or serpiginous and ulcerous; if its corion is rough, like
the skin of the goose; and if the muscles are consumed; if there is a
feeling of sleeping in the limbs; if he feels perfectly when pricked
along the back of the leg, and is certain in respect to the spot and
kind of instrument. Then pour water upon his body, and see if it is
unctuous, and if salt adheres to it when it is thrown upon its surface.
Lastly, let the physician return again to the consideration of the face
and countenance, and with that dismiss the person.

“Let all the ascertained signs (cautiously, adds our author) be pondered
over, and let the physician deliberate naturally concerning these signs,
both individually and in concourse. If he should find that the suspected
person has, along with a disposition to leprosy, some of the slighter
equivocal signs of the disease, the individual is to be watched at his
own house, and secretly, that he may be placed upon a good regimen, and
have the advice of medical men, otherwise he will truly become leprous.
If, however, he presents many equivocal with a few of the unequivocal
signs, he is vulgarly termed _cassatus_ (marked, denounced); and such
individuals must be narrowly watched, in order that they take a proper
regimen, and have the good advice of physicians; and in order that they
confine themselves within their own houses and mansions. Let them not
freely mix with the people, because they are sinking into leprosy. If,
again, they are found with many, both of the unequivocal and equivocal
signs, they must be separated with kind and consoling words from the
people, and committed to the leper hospitals (_in Malanteria ducendi_).
But if they are sound they must be set free (_absolvendi_), and sent
with a medical certificate to the Rector.”

It would, I believe, be considered altogether a work of supererogation
to append to the preceding details by Gordon and Guy de Chauliac any
formal remarks in the way of comparing the _Lepra_ of the fourteenth
century with the _Elephantiasis Græcorum_ of Bateman, Schedel, or any of
our modern standards, and thus insisting further upon the perfect and
entire identity of the individual disease passing under these two
different designations. The accounts given of the malady by the two
ancient and the two modern writers just named, undoubtedly agree as
exactly as we ever find the accounts of one and the same disease by four
different authors do; and, as I have already said, the same remark might
be extended to the relative early descriptions of the lepra, as left by
numerous other authors in these times, and the recent descriptions of
the _Elephantiasis Græcorum_, as drawn up from personal observation in
different parts of the world by Kinnis, Ainslie, Heineken, Casan,
Cazenave, and the other modern writers that I shall afterwards have
occasion to refer to when speaking of the present geographical
_habitats_ of the disease.

But indeed the intrinsic evidence which is afforded by the extracts that
I have given from Gordon and De Chauliac, and by the other similar
descriptions to which I have referred in the works of the medical
authors of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, renders it
unnecessary to add here any further comment to prove the double
proposition, _first_, that the leprosy of the middle ages, as the
disease prevailed upon the continent of Europe, was identical with the
_Elephantiasis Græcorum_; and, _secondly_, that it was for the victims
of this specific malady that the numerous leper hospitals were
established, they alone being the individuals who were intended to be
(in the language of Gordon and De Chauliac) adjudged, separated from
the people, and consigned to the lazar-houses (“_judicati_”—“_a populo
sequestrandi_”—“_in Malanteria ducendi_”).

So far with regard to leprosy, as seen and described by the early
continental authors. Let us now return to the nature of the disease as
it prevailed in Great Britain.

2. _Nature of the Leprosy in England._—Reasoning analogically, it may
certainly, with the greatest probability, be presumed that the incurable
disease which is known in the lazar-house charters and older histories
of this country, under the same name as on the continent,—which
prevailed here during the same periods as on the continent,—and for
which the same systems of medical seclusion and police were
adopted,—was entirely the same disease as that described by and known
to the continental medical authors of the middle ages.

To some minds, such considerations may in themselves be sufficient to
fix the identity of the disease, as it prevailed on the continent, and
as it prevailed in our own country; and certainly they tend very
strongly to show that if, as I have attempted to prove, the epidemic
leprosy of continental Europe was the tubercular or Arabian leprosy, the
leprosy of England and Scotland was of the same specific nature. But I
believe I can adduce still more direct and satisfactory evidence to
establish this important point.

The first valuable medical work by an English author that has been
transmitted to us is the _Compendium Medicinae_ of Gilbert.[182]
This author is generally supposed to have lived about 1270, in the reign
of Henry III. or Edward I.[183] Bale places him even much earlier.[184]

Gilbert has a chapter headed “De Lepra.” In this chapter he describes
very minutely the four usual modifications of lepra (the Elephantia,
Leonina, Tyria, and Alopecia), varieties which, he himself observes, are
rarely found pure and simple, but generally mixed together
(_compositas_).[185] To quote in proof of this his long and very
detailed account of the disease would occupy much space and only lead to
repetition. That the description, however, which Gilbert has drawn of
the leprosy of the middle ages is one of the most just and accurate
penned during these times, has been often and freely admitted by
Sauvages, Sprengel, and other competent judges. Further, that the lepra
as described by Gilbert, and as understood by him and his contemporaries
in England, meant the elephantiasis of the Greeks, is evident (without
going into particulars) from the simple fact, that the sagacious
Sauvages refers to and quotes this chapter of Gilbert’s on lepra as one
of the best descriptions extant of Greek elephantiasis.[186]

In an official report given in to the Royal Society of Medicine of Paris
in 1782, upon the Greek elephantiasis, the reporters, MM. Chamseru and
Coquereau, specially allude to Gilbert’s description as the most clear
exposition of it to which they could refer.[187] Again, in an analysis
of the works of this early English author, the learned Professor
Sprengel observes, “Gilbert sometimes relates, though very rarely,
observations which are proper to himself, and which deserve to be
quoted. In this number I include particularly those concerning leprosy.
We may almost look upon them as the first exact description which has
been given of that malady by the Christian physicians of the west. The
spots which foretell it, and the signs of its first invasion, are at
least described by him in a manner agreeable to nature,” etc.[188]

Here, then, we have the direct and positive evidence of an English
physician of the thirteenth century, that the term lepra was then used
in this country specially to designate the varieties of Greek
elephantiasis; and I might adduce (if it were at all necessary), to
demonstrate exactly the same circumstance, the chapter which John of
Gaddesden, Professor of Medicine in Merton College, Oxford,[189] and
Court physician to Edward II., has devoted to lepra or elephantiasis in
his famous _Rosa Anglica_, a work written towards the commencement of
the succeeding or fourteenth century.[190] In this “Opus luculentum et
eruditum” (as at least Leland terms it),[191] the author describes at
considerable length the nature, causes, and premonitory signs, etc., of
lepra and its varieties, and enters minutely into the pathognomonic
signs (signa demonstrativa infallibilia) of the disease, as respectively
taken from the face, from the extremities, from the blood, and from the
humours of the body. A quotation from his signs of leprosy, as taken
from the face, will at once show that by that term (lepra) he meant the
Greek elephantiasis. I shall give the passage in his own words. “A
_Facie_, rotundatio oculorum, contractio palpebrarum, lacrimositas multa
et aquositas oculorum, depiliatio superciliorum et grossities eorum;
dilatatio narium exterius et constrictio interius, et coartatio
anhelitus, quasi si cum naribus loqueretur. Et color faciei lividus
vergens ad fuscedinem mortificatam. Terribilis aspectus faciei cum fixo
intuitu. Contractio et palpebrarum et aurium. Infectio cutis maculosa.
Tuberositas et pustulae in facie et nodositas. Ista omnia et major pars
sunt infallibilia signa lepræ actualis.”[192] In a subsequent part of
his chapter on Lepra, John of Gaddesden strongly states, that “no one is
to be adjudged a leper, and separated from intercourse of mankind (_ab
hominum conversatione separandus_), until the figure and form of the
face is actually changed. Hence cancer (gangrene?) in the feet, or foul
scabbing, must not be considered as arguing the presence of leprosy, nor
nodosities, unless they appear on the face and with the aforesaid

The testimony of Bartholomey Glanville, an English author of the latter
part of the fourteenth century,[194] may be adduced in support of the
same view. In his work “De Proprietatibus Rerum” he describes persons
affected with leprosy (lepra) as having “redde Whelkes and Pymples in
the Face, out of whome oftenne runne Blood and Matter: in such the Noses
swellen, and ben (become) grete, the vertue of Smellynge faylyth, and
the Brethe stynkyth ryght fowle.” When, he further observes, the disease
is so advanced that the infected are “unclene, spotyd, glemy, and
quyttery (ichorous), the Nosethrilles ben stopyl, the Wasen of the Voys
is rough, and the Voys is horse, and the Heere [hair] falls.”[195]

In addition to the preceding direct medical evidence, it may not be
considered irrelevant to the present question to remark that, in most of
the lazar-house charters and notices in England and Scotland that I have
had access to, the inmates of these institutions are described by the
adjective _leprosus_, or by some application of the corresponding noun
_lepra_, as “lepra percussi,” “infecti lepra.” I have, however, met with
one very striking exception to this general rule, and I allude to it
here as confirmatory of what I have stated with regard to the nature of
the disease for which these leper hospitals were instituted in our own
country. The leper hospital of Sherburne was, as I have already had
occasion to mention, endowed for sixty patients, and was hence one of
the largest in England. It was founded in 1181 by Hugh Pudsey, “the
jollie Bishope of Durham.” In a MS. History of the Durham Cathedral and
Diocese, in the Bodleian Library,[196] the inmates of the Sherburne
Hospital, instead of being termed _Leprosi_, are directly designated
_Elephantuosi_. In speaking of the acts of Bishop Pudsey, the MS.
states, amongst other things, that he constructed the hospital of
Sherburne, and planted in it lepers collected from all parts of the
bishoprick. (_Elefantuosos_, in Episcopatu suo circumquaque collectos,
ibidem instituit.)


I have hitherto said nothing to show that the disease in Scotland was of
the nature of Greek elephantiasis. During the earlier ages at which it
prevailed in this country, medicine was little cultivated, and we have
no professional work of any kind left us by the Scottish physicians of
that period, from which to derive any evidence on this subject.[197]

Amidst this dearth, however, of medical writings during the middle ages
in Scotland, it gives me pleasure to refer to a passage in one of our
earliest Scotch poets, affording proof that the leprosy of this country
was, as on the continent, truly the Greek elephantiasis.

It is well known to the lovers of early Scotch literature that Henryson,
a schoolmaster of Dunfermline, who wrote before the year 1500, composed,
among other things, _The Testament of Cresseid_ as a sequel to the
_Troilus and Cresseid_ of his immediate predecessor Chaucer.[198]
Indulging, like his English prototype, in the wildest forms of
anachronism, the Scottish poet confessedly subjects, in almost every
particular, the ancient and foreign characters of the piece to the
manners, incidents, and institutions of his own times, and of his own
country. In this spirit he afflicts, at last, the fickle and unfortunate
Cresseid with leprosy, as perhaps the most appalling of dooms to which
he could consign her. The poet afterwards sends her “unto yone hospitall
at the tounis’ end.” The particular symptoms which he makes Saturn
invoke upon Cresseid, to transform her into a leper, are exactly the
most marked symptoms of Greek elephantiasis:

  Thy cristall ene (eyes) minglit with blude I mak,[199]
  Thy voice sa cleir unpleasand, hoir, and hace,
  Thy lustie lyre (fair skin) ouirspread with spottis blak,
  And lumpis haw (livid[200]) appeirand in thy face;
  Quhair thow cummis, ilk (each) man sall fle the place;
  Thus sall thow go begging fra hous to hous,
  With cop and clapper like ane Lazarous.

In this remarkable passage, those more striking symptoms, the
swellings, lumps, or livid tubercles on the face, the morbid alteration
of the voice and skin, and that turgid and injected appearance of the
eye, which Dr. Good has given as one of his characteristic symptoms of
the _genus_ elephantiasis, are all tersely, yet accurately described.
Indeed, if Sauvages, Swediaur, Cullen, or any of our great nosologists
of the last or present century, had been poets, I greatly doubt
whether, with all their medical knowledge to boot, they could, in four
fettered lines of rhyme, have described the Greek elephantiasis more
faithfully and briefly than we have it described in the four first lines
that I have just quoted from the Dunfermline schoolmaster of the
fifteenth century. Henryson’s account of a leper may not be so
poetically beautiful, but it is pathologically much more true than that
which the American poet, Willis, has recently given of the disease in
his well-known poem of _Helon_. We shall afterwards find that “the cop
and clapper,” alluded to in Henryson’s two last lines, were badges
commonly carried by the inmates of the leper hospitals of Scotland.

In passages subsequent to that which I have quoted, Henryson reiterates
some of the more prominent symptoms. Thus, the hapless Cresseid
afterwards describes what is elsewhere termed “her uglye lipper face,
the whilk before was quhite (white) as lilie flour,” as “deformed in the
figour;” and again also she describes and laments the characteristic
morbid change in the voice:

 “My cleir voice and my courtlie carrolling
  Is rawk (rank) as roke, full hideous, hoir, and hace.”

But I have still further and stronger proof to adduce that the leprosy
of the Scotch was the tubercular lepra or Greek elephantiasis. It has
been already stated that the disease continued to prevail in the
Shetlands, apparently long after it had left all the more southern parts
of the British Islands. We have found Brand stating in 1700,[201] the
disease to be “discovered (I quote his own words) by hairs falling from
the eyebrows, the nose falling in,” etc. I have shown also that in some
districts of Shetland the disease continued to a later date, and that,
down to 1742, the infected were kept in the island of Papa, or, as it is
sometimes written, Papastour. Through Mr. Charles Duncan, who has kindly
exerted himself in Shetland to procure me information on the present
subject, I have been favoured with the sight of an old but important
document relative to the lepers of Papa, and the symptoms under which
they laboured. The document in question was, as Mr. Duncan informs me,
drawn up for Sir John Pringle, by the Rev. Andrew Fisken, minister of
Delting, Walls, and Sandness. The old copy I refer to belongs to the
Rev. James Barclay (son of the late Dr. Barclay of Lerwick), and I
publish its contents with his permission. The minute description which
it gives of the symptoms in the lepers of Shetland can leave no doubt as
to the disease under which they suffered being the true tubercular
leprosy, or _Elephantiasis Græcorum_, and the value of the evidence
which it affords on this point is only increased by the fact, that the
writer did not himself belong to the medical profession. The importance
of the document must plead as an excuse for its length. The copy which
is quoted below, is marked on the back, in an old handwriting, “Case of
the Lepers in Papa, as drawn up by Mr. Andrew Fisken, about the year
1736 or 1737.” It proceeds as follows:—

“There are in the Island of Papastour in Zetland five women who labour
under a disease that, generally in this place, gets the name of
Leprosie, though others alledge it deserves rather to be called a
scurvy. The disease has the following appearances, viz.—

“The persons affected at first find an unusual itching in their skin,
with small, knotty, hard lumps to be felt under the cuticle; their whole
body appears plumper than ordinary, and their eyes are observed to be
clearer coloured, with a look more piercing than formerly. Their face
and legs are full of small lumps or hard tumours, which in a little
suppurate and throw out a black, thin, ichorous matter, and gradually
encrease, especially in the face, till they turn confluent. It is also
observed that where these lumps do not appear, the skin feels hard and
callous, like a piece of unwrought leather, and the cuticle smoother
than ordinary, and unctuous or greasy, which appears from pouring water
into the palms of their hands, where it will separate into small
globules, such as appear when water is poured out of a greasy vessel.
The extraordinary plumpness, or rather swelling of the body, observed in
the beginning of this disease, does, in a few months, disappear, and
they turn very lean and weak, only their face always, and sometimes also
their legs, continue swelled. A great many little lumps like small hard
seeds are then to be felt everywhere under their skin, which gradually
increase till they break out externally, throwing out a fœtid thin
ichor, which ceases to run in a little time, and a hard scab covers the
part, which sometimes dries, and falling off, leaves the skin entire; at
other times breaks out again, and runs as before. The hair falls off
from their eyebrows, and they have their throats much inflamed,
especially the uvula, which is gradually (and after some years
continuing under the disease) entirely destroyed. Their voice is so
weakened that they cannot speak louder than one whispering. They have
frequent flushes of heat in their skin, which is succeeded by an
universal chilliness, and they are not at that instant able to suffer
the cold air without a very acute soreness in their skin. As the disease
encreases, it appears still the more frightful and loathsome; their face
full of large and deep ulcers, resembles somewhat a lump of rotten cork;
their gums and teeth are quite rotten, and in the night-time they are
much troubled with deep-seated pains in their bodies, and have in the
day-time frequent stitches and pains in all parts of their body, with a
general weight and inactivity of their limbs. The women also cease to
have their menstrua upon their being seized with this distemper. Their
appetite and digestion is as good as ordinary; their stools regular;
nothing extraordinary to be observed in their urine. They sleep pretty
well, but seldom or never sweat any.

“This disease is found by experiment to be very infectious, and seems
also to run in blood, most people that have taken it without infection
from another having been related to three families in the isle. It
affects any age or sex, and it is observed that young persons bear it
longer than those of a more advanced age, some having lived ten years
under it, others only two, some four, some six, etc., but none ever
recover after the symptoms above-written do appear. The persons that
fall into this direful case are, as soon as it is observed, obliged to
retire to a solitary little hut, built on purpose for them, at a
distance from all houses, and are not allowed any converse with their
husbands, wives, or nearest relations, but have their necessaries of
life furnished them by a contribution from all the inhabitants of the
isle, and brought to their hut, which they take in when the person who
brought it has retired to the windward of their house at some distance.

“There has never been any cure of this disease attempted here, save that
a few years ago a young woman in a neighbouring parish had some bolusses
of mercury given her in order to a salivation; but some dangerous
symptoms appearing, the administrator thought fit to proceed no further,
and the patient continues still alive in the same case she was before
taking the mercury.”

In the voluminous MS. Medical Notes, bequeathed by Sir John Pringle to
the College of Physicians of Edinburgh,[202] I find a copy of the above
account of the Papa lepers. Sir Andrew Mitchell of Westshore seems to
have transmitted the account to him without giving any notice of the
writer of it. It is entered in Sir John’s notes under the date of 1759;
but it was without doubt drawn up many years previously. I have already
alluded to an entry in the Session Records of Walls, regarding the
disappearance of leprosy from that parish and district in 1742. The
entry seems to have been made at a sitting of the session “at
North-house in Papastour;” and its expressions[203] show that at the
date of it (17th March 1742) there were no lepers in Papa. From the MS.
extracts furnished to me by Mr. Rannie, session-clerk, it appears that
there is only mention of one other instance afterwards in the
Session-books of the parish, viz. in December 1772 and 1776. The female
who was the subject of it, and whose case is represented in the records
as “singularly clamant,” was ordered to be provided, at the expense of
the session, “with back and bed clothes, a house fit for her to lodge
in, and maintenance to be brought to her daily at the house.” Mr. Rannie
further states, “I have been informed by old persons that she lived but
a short time after she was put into the house built for her in the
common, at a distance from other houses.” He adds, “It has been reported
to me that in Papa, about the year 1778, a leprous woman was put out and
died in the fields before a house could be built; and that about the
same time there were leprous persons in the district of Watness, and
that the son and daughter of a man Henry Sinclair were infected and sent
to the hospital at Edinburgh.”

At a still later date a case of Shetland leprosy was detected in the
Edinburgh Infirmary. In 1798, a male patient from Shetland was for some
time in the hospital wards, under the care of various physicians. As the
form of disease under which he laboured was considered as very
anomalous, Dr. Thomson was requested by Dr. Hamilton to visit the
patient, and detected the case to be one of Greek elephantiasis. I am
kindly permitted to extract the following notes of the case from Dr.
Thomson’s manuscripts:—

“His face was studded all over with small subcutaneous tubercles. The
skin over these tubercles was of a reddish colour, intermixed with
blotches, like those which occur in the _pityriasis versicolor_. The
hair of the eyebrows and eyelids had fallen off, and the skin of the
face, as well as of most of the rest of the body, seemed as if smeared
with oil. His voice was weak and hoarse, so that he seemed to speak as
in a whisper. On inspecting the fauces, they appeared in some places raw
and excoriated, and in others rough and puckered. A slight ulceration
was perceptible on the _septum narium_, and the nose seemed a little
depressed. In various parts of the body, particularly on the arms,
thighs, and legs, besides the small subcutaneous tubercles, other larger
ones were to be perceived by feeling for them. These larger bumps or
tubercles, which were not perceptible to the eye, and which did not
occasion any discoloration of the skin, were without pain, and had a
striking resemblance to the tubercles occurring in the flesh of those
affected with scurvy.”

The patient, John Berns, was 28 years of age. On making inquiry, it was
found (as I am informed by Dr. Thomson) that some of his ancestors had
been affected with the same disease.

An accurate drawing of the morbid appearances presented by Berns’ face
was made at the time by Mr. Syme, now Professor of Drawing in the Dollar
Academy. A copy of this drawing, with a history of the patient’s
ailments, was forwarded to the late Dr. Willan; and I have Dr. Thomson’s
authority for stating that Dr. Willan at once declared it also as his
opinion, that Berns’ case was a genuine instance of the tuberculous
leprosy or _Elephantiasis Græcorum_; a disease of which, as he informed
Dr. Thomson, he had only seen one example in a patient shown him by Dr.

Let us for a moment recapitulate the preceding evidence, with regard to
the nosological nature of the English and Scottish leprosy:—_First_,
various authors who personally witnessed the leprosy of the middle ages
upon the Continent of Europe, in describing it, have described a disease
having all the most characteristic symptoms of Greek elephantiasis.
_Secondly_, in England a cutaneous disease prevailed at the same period,
bearing the same name,—presenting the same chronic incurable
character,—having its victims subjected to the same civil laws and
restrictions,—marked (as we know from Gilbert, Gaddesden, and
Glanville’s observations and writings) by the same train of nosological
symptoms—and hence identical in nature with the continental disease and
with the elephantiasis of the Greeks. _Thirdly_, in Scotland we find a
malady having the same similarity in its general date,—in its name,—in
its course,—and in the civil regulations enforced regarding it, with
its symptoms, as they are accidentally described by Henryson in the
sixteenth century, identical with those of Greek elephantiasis.
_Fourthly_, in a part of the country where the disease has continued to
prevail down to a later period, the infected, as described by
eye-witnesses in the earlier part of the last century, presented the
most unequivocal signs of the affection alluded to. And, _lastly_, we
have as high medical evidence as could be adduced in regard to cutaneous
affections (the evidence, namely, of Drs. Willan and Thomson), for
asserting that the malady was seen in the members of a Shetland family
in which it had been hereditarily transmitted,—and hence, in one of the
last, if not the very last Scotch leper, was decidedly marked by the
true and genuine characteristics of the _Elephantiasis Græcorum_.


On a former occasion I alluded to the existence of true tubercular
leprosy in the neighbouring Faroe Isles, in Iceland, and the nearest
coast of Norway, as corroborative of the disease which has long existed
in the Shetlands being of the same nosological nature. I might now, if
additional proof were necessary, reverse the order of the evidence which
I have just brought forward, and proceed to show at length that the
disease which long existed, and still does remain, in Bergen and
Iceland, and for which leper hospitals also are still maintained in
these localities, is, in reality, the tubercular leprosy or Greek
elephantiasis; and, from this point, argue back, that the disease which
formerly prevailed in Shetland,—and, if in Shetland, in Scotland
generally,—was of the same nosological nature. On this head, however, I
shall content myself with offering a very few observations in proof of
the specific character of the malady in the districts lying most
contiguous to Shetland, and leave without further comment the inference
deducible from such evidence.

_In the Faroe Isles._—These islands form the nearest land north of the
Shetlands. The great cutaneous disease which formerly infected the
inhabitants of Faroe had all the characters of tubercular leprosy. In
proof of this, I may appeal to the description of the malady, given in
the seventeenth century by Debes, who was Provost of the churches in
these islands, and wrote an account, which was much esteemed at the
time, of the country and its inhabitants. He observes, “As for the
Leprosye itself, I would not omit, for the reader’s sake, to mention
something of its nature. Physicians write that there are three sorts of
Leprosies; namely, Tyria, from the serpent Tyrus. In this leprosy, the
patient’s skin is soft, and sometimes falleth off in shells, and they
have many spots and white wartes thereon. The second is called Alopecia,
by reason the hairs fall off as those of a fox; he that is infected with
this leprosy hath a red face, and his beard and eyebrows fall off. The
third sort is called Elephantiasis, from the elephant, to whom they
become like in their skin; the body and face of him that is infected
with this disease is full of knobs. The Leprosie wherewith they are
troubled in this country is usually Elephantiasis, for the face and
limbs of almost all the infected are full of blue knobs, that break out
sometimes as boyls, whereby they look very deformed in the face, being
besides all hoarse, and speaking through their noses.”[204]

_Iceland._—That the leprosy of Iceland (the next land north of the
Faroe Isles) is of the nature of the _Elephantiasis Græcorum_, is a
point which might be proved by any of the descriptions of it by
Petersen, Troil, Henderson, and Holland. Dr. Holland’s account is more
concise than the others. He states—

“The leprosy of the Icelanders (_Likthra_, _Holdsveike_, or
_Spitelska_), exhibits in many instances all the essential characters of
the genuine elephantiasis or _Lepra Arabum_; and is a disease of the
most formidable and distressing kind. Indolent tumours of the face and
limbs are, generally, among the first symptoms of the complaint,
attended by swellings of the salivary, inguinal, and axillary glands.
The nostrils, ears, and lips are progressively affected with swelling
deformity. The skin over the whole, or different parts of the body,
becomes thick and hard; sometimes exhibiting a shining or unctuous
surface, sometimes one rough and scabrous, which at a more advanced
period of the disease displays numerous cracks or fissures. The senses
are usually much enfeebled; and anæsthesia of the extremities generally
occurs. The voice assumes a peculiar hoarseness and nasal tone,
frequently with swelling of the tonsils, but without any hindrance of
deglutition until the disease has made great progress in the habits of
the patient: the breath and perspired matter are extremely fetid; and
the hairs and nails frequently fall off. The tumours in different parts
of the body gradually pass into malignant ulcers, which discharge an
acrid unhealthy matter; in this state the patient often lingers during a
long time; or where the disease has a more speedy termination, all the
symptoms are rapidly aggravated, and he is carried off in a state of
extreme debility and wretchedness.”[205]

The lepers in Iceland are received into four different hospitals, which
have been long established for that purpose.[206]

_Norway._—Returning again to Shetland as a starting point, we find that
the part of the continent of Europe which lies nearest to Shetland, and
that in nearly a direct line westward, is the district of Bergen in
Norway. The distance between Shetland and the seaport of Bergen does not
exceed thirty geographical degrees. In the first part of the present
essay I offered some reasons for believing that the spedalskhed
prevalent in Bergen was a disease different, on the one hand, from the
radesyge of other parts of Norway, and probably identical on the other
hand with the Greek elephantiasis or tubercular leprosy.

The descriptions of those authors who had observed the disease at Bergen
seemed to justify this view. In 1751 Pontoppidan, the Bishop of Bergen,
cites the account and words which we have above quoted from Debes in
reference to the Faroe Isles, as exactly applying to the disease in the
district of Bergen. When it at last (he states) breaks out in ugly boils
on the face, they are generally sent to hospitals erected for that
purpose, of which there is one at Bergen and another at Molde in
Romsdalen.[207] The excellent account of the disease in the Bergen
hospital, which was drawn up a few years ago by the preacher Wellhaven,
shows the malady to correspond in every important particular with the
Greek elephantiasis;[208] and the long and more strictly medical
description of the Bergen disease given in 1786 by Buchner,[209]
appeared to be altogether confirmatory of the same opinion. I have
lately become acquainted with a proof to the same effect, of such a
strong character as to render it supererogatory to adduce the detailed
descriptions of Buchner or Wellhaven in evidence. The Norwegian
Government has recently (and with an anxiety towards the promotion of
medical science that reflects little honour on the other richer courts
of Europe) commissioned some of its more distinguished physicians to
institute a complete inquiry into the nature of the endemic cutaneous
diseases both of Norway and of other localities. Since the former part
of the present paper was printed, Dr. Fäye of Christiania has, as one of
these commissioners, visited this country with the purpose of examining
into the nature of the Scottish sibbens, etc.; and I have learned from
him with pleasure that the physician sent to Bergen to examine the
spedalskhed, is prepared, after a careful study of the disease there, to
report it as tubercular leprosy, and hence a species of malady perfectly
distinct from the more general Scandinavian radesyge.

The date of the first appearance of leprosy in the Faroe Isles and in
Iceland seems to remain undetermined.[210] In both localities it
appears to have prevailed severely in the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries.[211] In all probability, however, it was introduced long
previous to these dates. At all events, it appeared much earlier in
Bergen, for, as I have already stated in the first part, one of the
leper hospitals in that city was founded as early as the year 1268.

There is no evidence, as far as I know, of the period of its first
appearance in Shetland. It had reached, however, as far as the north of
Scotland early in the thirteenth century; for, as we have already shown,
the leper hospital of Elgin was in existence in the year 1226,[212] or
more than forty years, at least, previously to the institution of
similar receptacles for the diseased in Bergen.


While arguing, as I have done in the preceding paragraphs, to show that
the epidemic leprosy for which so many lazar-houses were formerly
founded in Europe and in Great Britain was the Greek elephantiasis, I
by no means wish to insist that patients affected with that disease
alone were admitted into these receptacles. There is only too great
probability for the belief that persons who had the misfortune to be
affected with any foul and inveterate cutaneous malady were isolated and
shut up along with those actually labouring under true leprosy. After
syphilis appeared, towards the commencement of the sixteenth century,
with some analogous symptoms, and when the elephantiasis itself was
already disappearing from most localities, we know for certain that a
large proportion of the inmates of the continental lazar-houses
consisted of cases of secondary venereal and other severe
skin-affections. Dr. Bateman[213] adduces the strongest possible
evidence in proof of this from the direct and personal observations made
in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in the leper hospital at Ulm
by Horst, at Alcmaer by Forrestus, and by Reedlin at Vienna. Similar
errors were in all probability only too common even when the
elephantiasis was more common and better known, and mistakes in the
selection of the proper inmates of the hospitals would constantly occur
in these times, from the kind of persons to whom the responsible and
important task of selecting the infected was entrusted. The Act that we
have already quoted of the Perth Parliament “anent lipper-folk” defines
those who were charged in Scotland with the duty of searching out the
affected. In the third clause it is statute “That the Bishoppes,
Officialles and Deanes, inquyre diligentlie in their visitation of ilk
(each) Paroch Kirk, gif ony be smitted (affected) with Lipper, and gif
ony sik (such) be foundin, that they be delivered to the king gif they
be Seculares, and gif they be Clerkes, to their Bishoppes, and that the
Burgesses gar (oblige them to) keepe this statute under the paine
conteined in the statute of Beggers [namely, gif they have broken it
(the statute of beggars) they sall be in fourtie shillings to the King];
and quhat leprous that keepis not this statute, that he be banished for
ever off that Burgh, quhair he disobeyis, and in likewise to

In extenuation of the above edict, we must recollect that, at the period
at which it was enacted (in 1427), the ecclesiastics to whom in this
country it entrusted the selection of lepers were in reality the only
existing physicians of the general community, and some of them seem to
have devoted themselves as much to the practice of medicine as to the
study of theology. But, even to a strictly non-medical observer, the
diagnosis would, in the latter stages, be less free from doubt than
might be at first supposed. For when once the tubercular leprosy became
in any case completely developed in all its distinctive deformity, and
with its full concourse of marked and peculiar external characters, as
falling off of the hairs of the eyebrows, swelling and thickening of
these parts, tubercles of the face, hoarseness of the voice, etc., there
were few or no diseases for which it could be readily mistaken, provided
any proper degree of care was observed. In the earlier stages and less
marked cases of the disease, errors in the adjudgment of cases, in all
probability, often occurred, and affections that had no relation to
elephantiasis, except in their obstinacy and locality, were, we cannot
doubt, frequently mistaken for true instances of tubercular leprosy.

Such errors, it has been often averred, would be almost as apt to happen
in the hands of the truly medical, as of the non-medical examiners, in
consequence of the knowledge and distinction of cutaneous diseases being
exceedingly imperfect at these early periods of medical history. And it
is certainly true that, in the writings of the older Arabian,
Continental, and English physicians, we find almost all the different
species of chronic cutaneous disease mixed up and described together
under a few general heads and designations, as Lentigo, Impetigo,
Morphea, Albaras, Gutta Rosea, etc. Indeed, the proper discrimination and
diagnosis of different cutaneous affections was little known and studied
until the end of the last century. At the same time, however, it must be
recollected that the tubercular lepra, or Greek elephantiasis, certainly
forms a striking exception to this general observation. For, in the
medical writings of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and early part of the
fifteenth century, the leprosy is almost uniformly described with a care
and a minuteness that strangely contrasts with the superficial manner
in which the whole remainder of chronic cutaneous diseases are either
passed over or confounded together.

I would willingly appeal, in support of this last allegation, to the
different chapters on lepra, as compared with those on the other
cutaneous diseases, in the works of the Arabian physicians, and of those
European medical authors of the middle ages whose writings I have
already referred to. Indeed, the accounts and diagnosis of tubercular
lepra, as given by Rhazes, Theodoric, Lanfranc, Arnold de Villeneuve,
Gilbert, etc., might well stand as models of medical description even at
the present day. And if, in France, the strong and earnest injunctions
of Bernhard Gordon were in any degree respected, that no person be
adjudged as requiring separation for leprosy until the second stage
(according to his division of the disease) had supervened, and the
_signa infallibilia_ of the malady had already shown themselves in the
usual marks traceable in the _corruptio figurae et formae_ of the
suspected individual, cases of unjust condemnation to the lazar-houses
would be much less common than might be otherwise imagined. We have
already seen that in England, in the fourteenth century, John of
Gaddesden inculcated the same salutary rules and precautions, and
insisted that no one be separated from the general community as a leper,
unless already “_figura et forma faciei corrumpantur_.”

Certainly, on some occasions, the examination to which the patient was
subjected, in order to ascertain if he were truly a leper or not, seems
to have been of the most searching and scrutinising nature. I have
already alluded to the strict rules of examination that have been
preserved for us in the works of different authors, and quoted the
method recommended by Guy de Chauliac to be followed by physicians
before they remitted suspected patients with medical certificates to the
magistrates (_cum literis medicorum ad rectores_). In the _Examen
Leprosorum_, published by Gesner, and which appears to have been drawn
up as an official formula, if I may so term it, for examining into
suspected cases, the details are most elaborate and searching. There are
between fifty and sixty signs of the disease which the examiner is
requested to look for. Twelve of these signs are taken from the general
state of the body; seven or eight of them from the hands and feet; six
from the blood; five from the face; six from the mouth; eight from the
eyes and eyebrows, etc. etc. The document commences by stating, “that it
is the duty of the physician to be versed in, and attentive to, the
signs of the disease, and to ponder often (_revolvere multoties_) upon
them. He should put his trust (it adds) not in one sign, but in many,
and he should see what signs are proper (_propria_) to the leprosy, and
what are equivocal.” Before making the examination, the document states
that (as is also recommended by Guy de Chauliac[215] and others), the
physician should, in the first instance, give some words of
encouragement and consolation to the patient, and show that this disease
is the salvation of his soul, and that Christ has not despised such,
although the world may shun them (_quod haec aegritudo salus est animae,
et tales Christus non despexit, licet mundus eos fugiat_). Further,
in order to have more certainty in the examination, it is added that the
patient should be made, in the first place, to take oath to tell the
truth on those points on which he is interrogated. We have already found
De Chauliac recommending the examining physician to take the same
precaution, “faciat eos _jurare_ veritatem dicere de interrogendis” (p.

A decree, issued in the year 1314, by Milo, Bishop of Orleans, shows
that it was occasionally necessary to guard the examinators against
being imposed on in other more serious ways, than by direct
prevarications or misstatements on the part of the suspected individuals
who are subjected to their scrutiny. “Whereas it happens that in the
examination of lepers mistakes as to identity, and deceptions, are
caused by the interposition of other persons, we enact and command that
whenever any person is suspected of the infection of leprosy, he be sent
at his own charge if he have effects, but if not, that two responsible
men of the parish having been sworn (_jurati_) before the priest and the
officers of the church (_gajariis ecclesiae_), be sent at the expense of
the parish with the suspected person to obtain the examination; they
shall conduct the said suspected person to the said examination, and
cause him to be faithfully examined, and bring certificates to us, that
it may not be possible that, for the future, collusion should take place
in the aforesaid matters.”[216]

I have not hitherto been able to find any evidence showing to whom the
examination and seclusion of lepers was, in olden times, entrusted in
England; or to trace out in that kingdom any special laws relative to
this subject. There exist, however, upon record, in reference to one
English case in the fifteenth century, some details that are
particularly interesting in regard to the present point of our inquiry.
The details in question have been preserved in Rymer’s _Fœdera_. The
case to which they refer appears to have been brought under the
cognisance of the Crown by the neighbours of the suspected female, in
consequence of her being alleged to be affected with leprosy, and yet
refusing to seclude herself, as was the usual custom, from intercourse
with society in consequence of it. The reigning monarch, Edward IV.,
issued, in 1468, a Chancery warrant for the proper medical examination
of this supposed case of the disease. The royal warrant, and the medical
certificate which it called forth, have both been preserved by Rymer. I
append a translation of these curious documents, as illustrative both of
the general dread then still entertained of the malady, and of the
minute care which, in this country, was occasionally taken, in order
that a just and accurate judgment might be arrived at in cases of doubt
and difficulty. The documents are entered by Rymer under the title of
“Medicorum Regis, super morbo Lepræ, Certificatio.” They proceed as

“To the most Excellent and most Serene Prince and Lord in Christ,
Edward, by the Grace of God, King of England and France, and Lord of
Ireland, We, William Hatteclyff, Roger Marshall, and Dominus de Serego,
Doctors of Arts and Medicine, your physicians, and sworn to watch over
the health of your Person, send due Reverence with humility and

“Whereas a Petition was made to You in Your Court of Chancery, with
regard to removing _Johanna Nightingale_, of Brentwoode, in the County
of Essex, from general intercourse with mankind (_a communi hominum
consortio_), because it was presumed by some of her neighbours that she
was infected by the foul contact of Leprosy, and was, in fact, herself a
Leper: Upon which Your writ was then prepared, and afterwards directed
to the Sheriff of the said county, in these words:—

“Edward, by the Grace of God, King of England and France, and Lord of
Ireland, to the Sheriff of Essex, Greeting: Whereas We have heard that
_Johanna Nightingale_ is a leper, and is commonly holding intercourse
with the people of the aforesaid county, and mixes with them both in
public and private places, and refuses to retire to a solitary place, as
is customary and befitting her (_et se ad locum solitarium, prout moris
est, et ad ipsam pertineret, transferre recusat_), to the grievous
injury and, on account of the contagion of the aforesaid disease, the
manifest perils of the aforesaid inhabitants: We, willing to guard
against such dangers, as far as in us lies, and as is just and customary
in such cases, Do charge You, that having taken with You certain
discreet and loyal men of the county of the aforesaid _Johanna_, in
order to obtain a better knowledge of this disease, You go to the
aforesaid _Johanna_, and cause her to be diligently viewed and examined
in the presence of the aforesaid men. And if You find her to be leprous,
as was reported of her, then that You cause her to be removed, in as
decent a manner as possible, from all intercourse with other persons,
and have her betake herself immediately (_indilatè_) to a secluded
place, as is the custom, lest by common intercourse of this kind injury
or danger should in any wise happen to the aforesaid inhabitants.
Witness my hand, at Westminster, this day of July, in the eighth year
of Our reign.”

“Wherefore The Reverend Father in God, Robert, by the Grace of God, Lord
Bishop of Bath and Wells, Your Chancellor of England, consulted us on
this subject, and determined to bring the same Johanna to us, with the
intention that, according to what we have learned from our knowledge of
Medicine, we should give information to Your Highness in Your Chancery,
whether the said Johanna be in fact a Leper or not. We, therefore,
wishing to obey Your Highness, in order that the truth on this subject
might be made most plain and clear, have proceeded after this manner.
First, we examined her person, and as the older and most learned medical
authors have directed in these cases, we touched and handled her (_ipsam
tradavimus et palpavimus_), and made mature, diligent, and proper
investigation, whether the symptoms, indicative of this disease, were in
her or not; and after an examination and consideration of each of the
points, which appeared necessary to be examined and considered, in order
to arrive at a true knowledge of this doubtful matter, We found that the
woman neither had been nor was a Leper, nor ought, on that account, to
be separated from ordinary intercourse with mankind.

“We are taught by Medical Science that the disease of Leprosy is known
by many signs, also that each species of the disease, of which there are
four, viz. Alopecia, Tiria, Leonina, and Elephantia, should be known and
characterised by particular signs, and each should be specifically
distinguished from the rest. Therefore, in the case of the woman brought
before us, on going through upwards of twenty-five of the more marked
(_famosiora_) signs of general leprosy (_Leprae in communi_), we do not
find that she can be proved to be leprous, by them or a sufficient
number of them. And this would suffice, generally, to free her from the
suspicion of leprosy, since it is not possible for any to labour under
the disease, in whom the greater part of these signs are not found. But,
in order to give our opinion on the individual species, going through
upwards of forty distinctive signs of the different varieties of
leprosy, we do not find that this woman is to be marked as suffering
under any of the four kinds, but is utterly free and untainted, as we
have signified by word of mouth to Your Highness in Your said Chancery,
and we are prepared to declare the same more fully to Your Highness by
scientific process (_per processum scientificum_), if, and wherever, it
shall be necessary.

“In testimony whereof, we, the said William Hatticlyff, Roger Marshall,
and Dominus de Serego, have signed our name with our proper hands, and
alternately affixed our seals.”

To the preceding document, which is one of the earliest, if not the very
earliest, English medical certificate which either historical or medical
records have preserved, it is added in the form of a note, “Et
memorandum quod praedicti Willielmus Hatteclyff, Rogerus Marchall, et
Dominus de Serego venerunt in Cancellarium apud Westmonasterium, septimo
die Novembris, anno praesenti (1468), et recognoverunt scriptum
praedictum, et omnia contenta in eodem, forma praedicta.”[217]



To conclude the present hurried sketch of the British leprosy of the
middle ages, it now only remains for me to consider, in relation to the
etiology or causation of the disease, the rank, age, sex, etc., of those
that were attacked by it; the effects of its hereditary transmission;
and the question of its propagation by contagion. In connection with
this last subject, I shall attempt to bring together under one view the
stringent regulations and usages that were adopted by our ancestors,
with a view of preventing the diffusion of the disease by means of
communication between the infected and the healthy; and at the same time
consider the light in which the despised lepers were regarded both by
the civil and ecclesiastical law.


In this country the leprosy of the middle ages seems to have had its
largest share of victims in the lower classes of society—amongst the
“villeyns” or bondsmen of these times, and the poorer peasantry and
burgesses, who, when shut up in the hospitals, were obliged either to
depend upon the funds of these institutions, or to beg for their
support. The exact trade and calling of the individuals admitted into
the Scottish and English hospitals can only be very imperfectly gathered
from one or two casual notices.[218]

Among the patients of Kingcase leper hospital, in Ayrshire, I have only
found one whose rank I can trace. In the burgh of Prestwick[219] records
for 1478-9, Anne Kerd is formally accused before the magistrates of the
burgh of visiting Kingcase, and further “hir seik soun, att is lepper,
repairis daili in her house [in Prestwick].” This Anne Kerd, having “a
sick son that is leprous” seems from the old _Liber Communitatis_, etc.,
_de Prestwick_ of 1470 to have had assigned her a very small fragment of
the burgh lands only, viz. “a porciunkle of commoun lande quilk acht
after hir lyve to John Haveris airis (which belonged after her life
[death] to John Haveris’ heirs).”[220]

Amongst the citizens of Glasgow who were at different times in the
latter part of the sixteenth century ordered by the magistrates to be
visited, under the suspicion of labouring under leprosy, most are
recorded by their mere Christian name and surname; but two or three are
entered in the burgh records in such terms as to show their occupation
and probable rank, as “Robert ——, fleschor,” in 1573; “Mr. James ——,
fleschor,” “Patrick Bogle, maltman,” and “Andro Lawson, merchand,” in
1581.[221] One of these individuals is reported by the Water Bailies as
confined in the Glasgow leper hospital at the Brigend[222] in 1589,
along with five other lepers. The whole list is interesting for our
present purpose, as showing the trade and calling of the infected
inmates, viz. “Andro Lawson, _merchand_; Stevin Gilmor, _cordener_;
Robert Bogill, sone to Patrick Bogle; Patrick Birstall, _tailzeour_;
Johne Thomsoun, sone to Johne Thomsoune, _tailzeour_; Daniel
Cunninghame, _tinclar_.”

I am not aware of the existence of any similar complete list of the
inmates of other British leper hospitals, to which I could refer with
the view of ascertaining the occupation and rank of those that occupied
them. We have scattered records, however, to show that men of riches
occasionally became the victims of the disease, and passed their
subsequent term of life in the leper hospitals. Thus, Jenkins, in
speaking of the St. Mary Magdalene lazar-house at Exeter, states,
“Richard Orange, Esq., a gentleman of noble parentage, and mayor of this
city (Exeter) in 1454, being infected with the leprosy, notwithstanding
his great wealth, submitted himself to a residence in this hospital,
where he lived many years, and finished his days, and was buried in the
chancel of the chapel. His grave, with a mutilated inscription, is still

Some of the leper hospitals were specially endowed for persons above the
lower ranks, who happened to become affected with the disease. In 1491,
Robert Pigot gave by will to the leper hospital of Walsingham, in the
archdeaconry of Norwich, a house in or near that town for the use of two
leprous persons “of good families.”[224]

The malady was found among the clergy as well as among the laity, and
some of the English leper hospitals were specially founded for the
reception of leprous monks alone—as the hospital of St. Lawrence, near
Canterbury, and, according to Tanner,[225] that of St. Bartholomew, at
Chatham. From one of the edicts issued by Henry II. during the height
of his quarrel with Archbishop Becket, it would appear that the
dignitaries of the church occasionally did, or at least might, employ
lepers in the high character of nuncios, for, in order to prevent Becket
from putting the kingdom of England under an ecclesiastical interdict,
Henry took all precautions that no official letters to that effect
should be conveyed into Britain; and to secure this object the more
surely, he enacted, that, if any individual did carry thither letters of
interdict from the Pope or Archbishop, he should be punished “by the
amputation of his feet if a regular; by the loss of his eyes and by
castration, if a secular clergyman; he should be hanged if he were a
layman; and burned if he were a leper” (_si Leprosus, comburatur_).[226]

In the extant account of the British leper hospitals, there are still
preserved some instances in which these institutions were founded by the
wealthy and noble after they had themselves become the victims of the
malady. The leper hospital of Mayden Bradley, in Wiltshire, was founded
by a female member of the rich family of the Bysets[227]—Camden alleges
by a daughter of Manasser Byset, sewer to King Henry II., after she had
herself become a leper. “This hospital,” says Leland, “was builded by
one of the three heirs general of the Bisets, who, being a lazar, gave
her part of the town of Kidderminster _in pios usus_.”[228]

If the earlier biographical notices that we possess regarding the
nobility of Great Britain were as minute on their private as on their
martial and political lives, we might probably have to record many more
notices in regard to their bodily maladies of an import similar to the
following:—The youngest son of Robert Blanchmains, Earl of Leicester,
was himself a leper, and in the reign of Richard II. founded a leper
hospital, dedicated to St. Leonard, on the north part of the town of

The royal families of England and Scotland did not always remain exempt
from the suspicion, at least, and accusation of leprosy, if not from the
actual attack of the disease.

Henry III. courted Margaret, Princess of Scotland, and the sister of
Malcolm IV. The royal lady preferred the brave Hubert de Burgh, the
minister of the English king. Hubert’s enemies afterwards alleged to
King Henry, that he (Hubert) had dissuaded the Scottish princess from
accepting the hand of the English monarch, by telling her “that Henry
was a squint-eyed fool, a lewd man, a _leper_, deceitful, perjured, more
faint-hearted than a woman, and utterly unfit for the company of any
fair and noble lady.”—(Articles of Impeachment, as given by

In reference to this unfounded accusation, I may state that Ryland
mentions it as a local tradition that the leper-house of Waterford in
Ireland was founded by King John (the father of Henry III.) in
consequence of his son’s being affected at Lismore with an eruption that
was supposed to be leprosy.[231] But even supposing the tradition
correct, it could scarcely have been Henry the eldest legitimate son of
John, since, at the date of his father’s expedition into Ireland, 1209
and 1210, Henry was a child of only five or six years of age, and in all
probability did not accompany his royal sire.

Different historians have alleged that Henry IV. was affected with
leprosy in the latter part of his life. The immediate cause of his death
seems to have been epilepsy, terminating, after a time, in an apoplectic
attack; and some authors aver strongly that this was his only disease.
Thus, in his Chronicles of England,[232] the celebrated old printer,
Grafton, upholds that Henry was carried off by “a sore and sudaine
disease called an apoplexie.” Hall, an author somewhat anterior in date,
stoutly maintains this same view, for the king’s disease, as he
observes, “was no lepry striken by the hand of God, as folish friers
before declared, for then he neither would for shame nor for debility
enterprize (as he did), so greate a journey as into Jewrie (Jerusalem),
in his own persone, but he was taken with a sore apoplexye.”[233]

Hollinshed,[234] quoting implicitly this account from “Maister Hall,”
gravely adds, and he “had none other greefe nor maladie.” The dogmatic
authority of Hall on this, as on other points, is not to be over much
relied upon.

We have little doubt that Dr. Lingard[235] had some sufficient evidence
from the records of the times, for stating that Henry had at least “the
most loathsome eruptions on his face.” Rapin[236] and Turner,[237] in
their histories of England, both refer to Mezeray as their authority for
averring that these eruptions consisted of leprosy. I find that
Duchesne[238] also describes Henry as weighed down with a severe and
grievous affection of leprosy; and Maydestone[239] alleges that it was
this last disease, and solemnly considers it as a punishment inflicted
on the king for his cruel treatment of Archbishop Scrope. Iohn Hardynge,
whose authority is the more valuable from his being himself a
contemporary of Henry IV., and a follower of his son, Henry V.,
describes in his rhyming Chronicles of English History the face of the
king as disfigured by leprosy. As a portion of the last personal
confessions of the monarch, Hardynge puts into his mouth the following
penitent lamentations regarding the changes which the ravages of the
disease had wrought upon his frame and face:—

 “This wormes mete, this carryon full vnquert,
  That some tyme thought in worlde it had ne pere;
  This face so foule that _Leprous_ doth apere,
  That here afore I have had such a pride
  To purtraye oft in many place full wyde,” etc.[240]

These observations are certainly by no means sufficient either decidedly
to confirm or controvert the opinion that Henry IV. was affected with
leprosy; but they serve at least to show that, at the time at which he
lived, rank of the highest kind was not considered as any adequate
barrier against an attack of the disease.

In none of these alleged cases of leprosy in the royal family of England
is the proof of the actual existence of the disease at all indubitable
and complete. The evidence is more certain and satisfactory in regard to
the occurrence of the malady, in its genuine form, in other scions of
the House of Anjou than those who ascended the throne of England. I
allude especially to the case of Baldwin IV., King of Jerusalem, a
direct descendant, like the royal Plantagenets of England, from Fulk,
Count of Anjou and Touraine. All historians seem to agree in stating
Baldwin IV. to have laboured for some years under elephantiasis, and to
have ultimately resigned his sceptre in consequence of disability from
that disease. He was, says Fuller, when speaking of him under the year
1174, “enclined to the leprosie called elephantiasis.”[241] By the year
1183, “the leprosie had arrested him prisoner and kept him at home.
Long” (adds the same historian) “had the king’s spirit endured this
infirmity, swallowing many a bitter pang with a smiling face, and going
upright with patient shoulders under the weight of his disease. It made
him put all his might to it, because when he yielded to his sicknesse,
he must leave off the managing of the State; and he was loth to put off
his royal robes before he went to bed, a crown being too good a
companion for one to part with willinglie. But at last he was made to
stoop, and retired himself to a private life.”[242]

The disease, as has been above observed, did not spare the royal family
of Scotland. At least two cases of leprosy are alleged to have occurred
among the members of it. The first and earliest of these, however, is
much more a matter of fable than of fact, and the story, as told us by
Hector Boece and Dempster, is, in all probability, due rather to their
love of historical romance than their knowledge of historical records.
Fiacre, the subject of it, still holds a place as a saint in the
Catholic calendars of France and Germany. Among the long list of
oaths[243] which Rabelais, in his Pantagruel, long ago put into the
mouth of the garrulous Panurge, one is an imprecation “par l’espine de
Saint Fiacre.” This Saint Fiacre or St. Fithulk (as he was sometimes
termed) was the reputed son of Eugenius IV. King of Scotland. Preferring
a cloister to a court, he is said to have retired into France, and to
have led the life of a religious solitary in a cell granted to him by
Pharo, Bishop of Meaux. After his father was dead and his brother
deposed, the Scottish nobles sent a deputation to Fiacre with an offer
of the throne of his ancestors. But “quhen (to state the result in
Boece’s words) thir ambassatouris was brocht to his presence, he apperit
to thair sicht sa ful of _lipper_, that he was repute be thaim the maist
horribill creature in erd” (on earth).[244] Spottiswood fixes the era
of his death in the year 665.[245]

The case of King Robert the Bruce is a more recent and a more
authenticated instance of leprosy in the royal family of Scotland. All
authorities agree in stating that the Bruce suffered under a “lang
seknes,” as Wyntoun[246] expresses it. Froissart, who visited the
Scottish Court in the reign of his grandson Robert II., describes, in
more than one passage, the Bruce as having been afflicted with and died
of “_la grosse maladie_,” “sore greved with ye great sickenes”[247] as
Lord Berners has translated it.[248] In their editions of Froissart’s
works, Sauvage,[249] Buchon,[250] and Johnes,[251] severally comment
upon “la grosse maladie” of Froissart, as signifying the leprosy. I have
already adverted to this expression as being quite synonymous in words
and meaning with the Saxon term for the disease. Further, that Bruce was
really affected with and died of leprosy, seems to be borne out by the
evidence of the older historians. Hemingford, a contemporary of Bruce’s,
describes him as “lepra percussus;”[252] and Walsingham uses the same
language both in his _Chronica_[253] and in his _Ypodigma
Neustriæ_;[254] Boece speaks of Bruce as dying of leprosy (ex lepra fato
concessit);[255] and Buchanan gives to his disease the more unequivocal
name of elephantiasis (“nam in elephantiam incederat”).[256] Leland, in
the translation which he has given in the first volume of his
_Collectanea_ from the famous _Scalacronica_, speaks of ambassadors
being sent from England to “Murrefe (Moray), the guardiane of Scotlande
in the nonage of King Davy, whos fader dyed of the Lepre;”[257] “_qui
mort estoit de lepre_,” in the words of the original works.[258] In the
old and valuable _Chronicle of Lanercost_, which has only been for the
first time printed within the last two years, the disease and death of
the Bruce are mentioned in terms equally precise. In speaking (p. 254)
of Randolph and Douglas entering England in 1326, the Chronicle states
that the Scottish army was not led by Bruce in person, because “factus
erat Leprosus.”[259] His death is thus announced in a subsequent page
(264) of these old and probably contemporary records, under the year
1329, “mortuus est Dominus Robertus Brus, Rex Scotiæ, leprosus.”

I shall close these remarks by alluding to one other reputed case of
leprosy in a descendant of the royal families of Scotland. The
celebrated Constance, Duchess of Britanny, who was allied to the royal
families both of England and Scotland (being a granddaughter of Malcolm
III. of Scotland, and the English Princess Margaret Atheling, and at the
same time a descendant of a natural daughter of Henry I.), is generally
alleged by historians to have suffered and died from leprosy.[260]
William of Nangris (as Lobineau observes) “has shown that she died of
leprosy (_de la lepre_), a disease with which females were occasionally
attacked in these times.” Lobineau places the date of the decease of
Constance in the year 1201.


The modern history of tubercular leprosy would seem to show that the
disease attacks the male in a larger proportion than the female sex.
From the table which Dr. Adams collected and published of patients
admitted into the leper-house of Funchal, Madeira,[261] from 1702 to
1803, it appears that during that period 526 infected males were
admitted into the hospital, while the corresponding list of infected
females amounts only to 373. The enumeration of the lepers in the
Glasgow leper hospital in 1589,[262] and those entered into the
Greenside hospital of Edinburgh in 1591 (the only two old lists of
patients of such institutions in Britain that I am acquainted with),
show the diseased inmates of these two establishments to have been all
males. A large proportion of the English lazar-houses seem, from the
language of their charters, to have been endowed entirely for males
(_fratres leprosi_), but, at the same time, we have abundant evidence in
the same documents that females often suffered from the disease.[263]
Some of the lazar-houses were founded and endowed for admitting infected
inmates of both sexes (_fratres et sorores leprosæ_). Thus Tanner states
that the old lazar-house of St. Nicolas, York, contained both male and
female lepers.[264] Mackarell and Bridges both mention the same fact
with regard to the hospitals of St. Nicolas at Lynne Regis,[265] and of
St. Leonard at Northampton;[266] and the inmates of the leper-house of
St. Giles, Shrewsbury, bore, according to Owen and Blakeway,[267] the
style of the prior, brethren and sisters of St. Giles. A few of the
English hospitals were indeed entirely devoted to the reception of
leprous females. Thus the hospital of Mayden Bradley was founded in the
time of Henry II. for those of the female sex only (_pro mulieribus
leprosis_); and the hospital of St. James, Westminster (which, says
Bishop Tanner, stood on or near the place now occupied by the palace of
the same name), was destined, as the renewed charter of Henry III.
bears, for fourteen leprous girls (_quatuordecim Leprosis


There are no documents (as far as I am aware) which directly throw any
light on the age of the inmates of the leper hospitals. The expression,
however, of _puellæ_, which I have just quoted as applied to the inmates
of St. James’ Hospital, shows the youth not less than the sex of the
inmates of that institution, and so far demonstrates that the disease
then, as it does now, sometimes attacked its victims very early in life.
Baldwin IV. of Jerusalem, (whose case I have already referred to) was
affected with the disease while still a minor, and surrendered his crown
at the age of 23, in consequence of the ravages which the disease had by
that time made upon his constitution. “He died young,” says Fuller, “at
five-and-twenty years of age—a king happie in this, that he died before
the death of his kingdome.”[269]

King Robert the Bruce, another, as we have already seen, of the royal
victims of the malady, died at the age of 55.[270] But it is difficult
to fix the precise date of the first attack of the disease in the case
of the Scottish king, and hence difficult to deduce the exact duration
of the malady in this particular instance. His faithful biographer,
Barbour, describes him as “tuk with sic a sicknes” before the battle of
Inverury in 1307, “that he mycht nothyr rid na ga”[271]—(that he might
neither ride nor walk). Kerr, in his _History of the Life and Reign of
the Bruce_, seems to hint that this was the commencement of the disease
which ultimately carried him off;[272] and indeed Barbour, in a
subsequent part of his poem, describes his fatal malady as

              throuch his cald lying
  Quhen in his gret myscheiff wes he.—P. 407.

But if the affection commenced in so acute a form at that date, it must
have lasted for the long period of twenty-two years, as his death did
not take place till 1329. If the disease under which the king suffered
so severely in 1307 had been leprosy, it would not in all probability
have left his activity and individual prowess for so long a date
unimpaired. The battle-axe which, on the evening before the battle of
Bannockburn, cleft at a single blow the helmet and skull of Henry de
Bohun, could scarcely have been wielded by the arm of one whose body had
for some years previously been the seat of a mortal disease. Some facts,
however, would seem to show that the malady had assumed a marked and
severe form a considerable time before the Bruce’s death. I have already
shown, from the _Chronicle of Lanercost_, that three years before his
demise the Bruce was already so incapacitated by the inroads of the
leprosy that he was unable to undertake the command of the army in their
descent upon the northern counties of England.[273] The same reason
rendered him, as we are informed by Barbour, unable to attend the
peaceful nuptial feast of his son at Berwick in 1328. It may not be
considered uninteresting to add, as a part both of the history of the
man and of the disease under which he was labouring, that during these
three last years of his life, and whilst “the sicknes” affected his body
“so fellely” (to use Barbour’s words), “and him trawaillat sa that he
considered death certen,” his naturally energetic mind was still active
and vigorous. The accounts of his chamberlain, preserved in the Register
House of Edinburgh,[274] show that, during the very last year of his
life, he was busied in making experiments on ship-building and
navigation in his retirement at Cardross Castle, near the banks of the
Clyde, in Dumbartonshire. Within a month before his death, he indited
from this place a letter (the original of which still exists among the
old archives of Melrose Abbey, preserved in the General Register House,
Edinburgh[275]), desiring his heart to be buried within the precincts of
that monastery,—a wish which he changed, a short time before he
expired, into the well-known commission to his favourite follower and
friend, “ye gentle knighte of Douglas,” viz. “I woll yat, as soone as I
am trespassed oute of this worlde, ye take my harte oute of my body, and
embaume it, and present it to the Holy Sepulchre at Jeruslem, saying my
bodie can nat come.”[276]


Few facts in the history of tubercular leprosy seem to be more
universally admitted by all writers on the disease, both ancient and
modern, than the transmission of the predisposition to it from parents
to offspring. The Greek and Arabian physicians considered it as a malady
in which all the fluids of the body were equally diseased (corrumpens
pariter omnes humores corporis). “Fit itaque (adds Haly Abbas, the
well-known Arabian author of the tenth century, in his chapter “De
Elephantia”), cum humoribus spermatis corruptio, cum et humores et
sperma ex sanguine fiant, in tantum, ut in generatione passio haec
transeat in filios.” (Theoric, lib. viii. cap. 15.) Avicenna and the
later Arabian authors, with Theodoric, Lanfranc, and other European
writers of the middle ages, express a similar belief in the hereditary
transmission of the disease; and in the same spirit, our countryman
Gilbert, writing, as we have already seen, in the thirteenth century,
observes, “Lepra est interdum morbus primus, sicut ex spermatibus primis
matris et patris Leprosis. Sanguis enim corruptus interius, qui est
nutrimentum foetus, corrumpit foetum.”[277]

Amid the scattered fragments relative to the former history of leprosy
in this country, it can scarcely be expected that we should have
preserved for us any individual data bearing directly upon the
transmission of the disease from father to son. I have met, however,
with one notice, which, though imperfect, it may not be considered
uninteresting to quote in regard to the present question. In the Burgh
Records of Glasgow for 1581, Patrick Bogle is ordered to be inspected
for leprosy;[278] and eight years afterwards (1589) “Robert Bogill,
_sone_ to Patrick Bogle,” is reported as an inmate of the leper-house
belonging to the city.[279]

It is unnecessary to adduce the opinions of modern authors in support of
the occasional hereditary transmission of leprosy, as all observers who
have described the disease from their own observations, and that in the
most different and distant parts of the world, seem uniformly agreed
upon this point. Dr. Heineken, in his account of the inmates of the
leper hospital at Funchal, Madeira, in 1825,[280] states that in three
of the cases no hereditary taint was known; the aunt of a fourth (p. 21)
was a lazar; the uncle and two brothers of a fifth (p. 18) laboured
under the same disease; the mother, brother, and son of a sixth (p. 19),
were lepers, and all of them affected before himself; and in a seventh
case (a female aged 35) her father, mother, three sisters, and two
brothers, had already all died of elephantiasis.

Among the seven cases of elephantiasis seen by Dr. Kinnis in the
Mauritius,[281] three were Mozambique slaves, and could give no
satisfactory account of their parentage. Of the remaining four—the
first could give no history of her father and mother, but had brothers
and sisters in perfect health: the ancestors of the second patient had
not been affected with leprosy, but her husband had laboured under it
for two years before death: the third case was a daughter of these
parents, and one of her brothers had died of elephantiasis: the fourth
patient appeared to have inherited the predisposition from the family of
his maternal grandmother, who was never attacked herself, but who lost
two sisters and three nieces by the disease.

These and other similar data show that the predisposition to leprosy,
like the predisposition to other hereditary diseases, may occasionally
show itself only in one or two individual members of a family; and may
sometimes lie dormant for one or two generations, to reappear in a
subsequent one. “God and Nature,” says the reverend author of a
description of the Faroe Isles, formerly quoted, “deals wonderfully with
such people (lepers) in their marriages, for amongst the children, they
beget some clean and some unclean. It has also been taken notice of that
two living together in marriage, though the one be found infected, they
live together as before, as long as one doth but murmur of it, till the
magistrate doth separate them, and yet the sound remaineth uninfected;
whereas another is often taken with the disease by a very little
conversation.... What is this? but that God confirms the truth of his
word, taking pleasure in them that live in a just wedlock, and wander in
lawful ways, putting their hopes in him, that neither fire nor water,
contagious disease, nor dangerous pestilence shall hurt them.”[282]

In some of the few districts of Europe in which cases of the disease
have continued to linger down to a late period, the malady seems to be
transmitted through an old hereditary taint in particular families,
rather than generated by existing external circumstances acting on the
bodies of those who now become its victims. The tubercular leprosy
exists still, or at least existed lately, in the districts of Martigues
and Vitrolles[283] in the south of France. The cases, though very few,
have still been well marked. M. Vidal, who, towards the end of last
century, described several instances of the disease which he saw at
Martigues, states that, with one problematical exception, the malady was
in every case hereditary.[284] “May we not,” he adds, “conclude from
this, that if the local causes which are generally assigned for leprosy
be true, they have not, at least in our country, sufficient power to
originate the disease (la faire naître), but generally only to develope
and perpetuate it in the descendants of ancient lepers?”[285] The same
family predisposition probably perpetuated the malady for some
generations in the few cases that occurred in Shetland, in the latter
part of the last century. The case of the Shetlander Berns, as
mentioned in a preceding Part, was an instance in which the disease was
apparently the result of hereditary transmission from his ancestry.

The predisposition from hereditary constitution to leprosy, and some
other diseases, was well known to our forefathers; and, if we place
credit in the account of the “auld manneris” of the Scotch antecedently
to the reign of Malcolm Canmore, as “compilit be the nobil clerke,
Maister Hector Boëce, Channon of Aberdene,” they were accustomed to
practise hygienic measures that were assuredly more summary than humane,
in order to arrest the diffusion of disease by such channels. For, to
quote the words of Boëce:—“He that was trublit with the falling evil
(epilepsy), or fallin daft or wod (insane), or having sic infirmitie as
succedis be _heritage_ fra the fader to the son, was geldit
(_castratus_), that his infekit blude suld spreid na forthir. The women
that was fallin _Lipper_, or had any other infection of blude, was
banist fra the cumpany of men, and gif scho consavit barne under sic
infirmitie, baith scho and hir barne war buryit quik (if she conceived a
child under such infirmity, both she and her child were buried


The investigation of the causes of diseases has, probably more than any
other department of medicine, been marked by belief without evidence,
and assertion without facts. The history of the opinions which have at
different times been so freely offered and adopted with regard to the
production of leprosy, and the numerous explanations which have been
proposed with respect to the causes of its almost epidemic prevalence in
Europe in the middle ages, and its nearly complete suspension in the
same region of the world at the present day, might easily, if time and
space permitted, be made to form a chapter highly illustrative of the
above general remark. The frequency of the disease in former times has
been confidently ascribed by different authors[287] to peculiarities in
the diet, dress, personal and domestic habits, etc., of our forefathers.
And certainly their mode of life was in many respects specially
calculated to generate derangements and eruptions of the skin. The good
old Saxon practice of bathing[288] appears to have become forgotten
after the date of the Norman conquest; and in the subsequent history of
these early times we might trace various indirect and direct causes of
cutaneous disease, in the close hovels and unventilated dwellings of the
period;[289] in the habits of personal uncleanness;[290] in the rough
straw bedding then generally[291] in use, and which “hard lodging”
Hollinshed describes as still used by the servants in his day, “with
seldome (he adds) anie sheete vnder their bodies to keepe them from the
pricking straws that run oft through the canvas, and rase their hardened
hides;”[292] and probably also in the articles of diet[293] on which the
general community were obliged to subsist in times before the
improvement of agriculture, and the introduction of that “schamefull
intemperance” (as old Boece[294] fanatically terms it), “when na fische
in the see, nor foule in the aire, nor beast in the wod may have rest,
but are socht heir and thair to satisfy the hungry appetit.” For the
investigation of this and other allied questions in the history of the
production of our older epidemic and endemic diseases, the works of
Hollinshed, Strutt, Henry, Chalmers, Macpherson, and others, contain a
great and available mass of materials. But, in consequence of the
unforeseen extent to which our present remarks have already lengthened
out, we are forced to abstain from entering into this topic, and
discussing the notes which we have collected in regard to it. At the
same time, however, we may pause to observe that we believe it would be
no easy matter to point out the exact differences in those physical
conditions of the inhabitants of this country in former and in modern
times, which may have led to the prevalence of the disease amongst our
ancestors, and to its disappearance amongst us. If poverty in diet, or
personal wants, and filth, and wretchedness in their deepest degrees,
could generate the malady, there are certainly still numerous spots in
continental Europe, and even in our own land, where, unfortunately, all
these elements of disease are in our own day in full and active
operation, without any such specific result following; the alleged
causes are present without the alleged effects.

In order to attain anything like satisfactory results of the supposed
physical causes of leprosy in Great Britain in former times, the whole
question would require to be thoroughly investigated in connection with
two others, viz., the allied physical circumstances,—_firstly_, of the
inhabitants of those countries in which the disease in the same way
formerly raged; and, _secondly_, of those districts of the world in
which it is still prevalent. It is only by following such a line of
inquiry that we could hope, if at all, to separate mere matters of
opinion from matters of fact, and at last to obtain, by a kind of
reasoning by exclusion, the exact physical condition or conditions of a
people that are capable of originating or of spreading this particular
species of disease. The difficulty of the problem may be easily
appreciated by glancing for a moment at the diversified _geographical
localities_ and circumstances under which the tubercular leprosy is
known at the present day to appear. In modern times it has been found
existing, to a more or less limited extent, in places the most distant
and the most dissimilar in regard to temperature, climate, situation,
soil, etc., as in Sumatra,[295] under the equator, and in parts of
Iceland almost within the verge of the Arctic Circle;[296] in the
temperate regions of both hemispheres, as (in the southern) at Hamel en
Aarde[297] in the Cape district, and (in the northern) at Madeira[298]
and Morocco;[299] in the dry and arid plains of Arabia,[300] and in the
wet and malarious districts of Batavia[301] and Surinam;[302] along the
shores of Guiana,[303] and Sierra Leone,[304] and in the interior of
Africa,[305] Hindostan,[306] Asia Minor,[307] and Asiatic Russia;[308]
on the sea-coast, as at Carthagena,[309] and thousands of feet above
the level of the ocean, as on the table-land of Mexico;[310] on some of
the islands in the Indian,[311] Chinese,[312] Caribbean,[313] and
Mediterranean[314] seas, and on the continents of Asia, Africa, and


Most modern pathologists seem inclined to call in question the
contagious nature of tubercular leprosy, as it at present exists in
different parts of the globe.

Cullen, Darwin, and Good are almost the only English physicians of later
times that have admitted the contagious character of the disease, and
that not from personal observation. The evidence bearing against the
doctrine of this mode of its diffusion is principally of a simply
negative kind. In some of the districts in which the malady is endemic,
the sick are seen to maintain a free intercourse with the healthy,
without the disease being frequently or at all communicated to the
latter; the nurses of the lazar hospitals are alleged to remain
uninfected; lepers often continue long in the midst of their families
without spreading the scourge to any of the other members; and
occasionally a husband and wife are seen living in wedlock for years,
one of them deeply affected by the disease, and the other remaining
perfectly sound. Instances, exceptional to these general remarks, are
certainly occasionally observed, as in a case quoted in a previous page
from Dr. Kinnis, of a wife becoming infected subsequently to both her
husband and daughter suffering from an attack of the malady. In such
cases as this, however, we must recollect that the repetition of the
disease in two or more members of the same family may merely depend upon
the same external or general morbific agencies, acting upon the
constitution of all the sufferers.

At least, whenever, from circumstances, this source of fallacy is
avoided, the evidence of the contagion of leprosy seems to become more
and more defective. Thus, when the disease happens to be imported in the
person of an infected individual from a district in which it is endemic,
to one in which it is unknown, the malady seems to have no tendency
whatever at the present day to spread to any of the inhabitants of the
new and healthy locality. Persons labouring under tubercular leprosy are
occasionally, for example, sent from southern stations to England and
France. In such not unfrequent cases the malady has never, I believe,
been known to be communicated, in one single instance, from the infected
person to those resident inhabitants of the new district, among whom he
was living in free and daily intercourse.[315]

Did the leprosy extend and prevail over Europe in the middle ages as
independently of propagation by contagion as the perpetuation of the
disease seems to be in most localities at the present day?

If we deferred to the mere opinion of the older medical and historical
authors, the contagious character of the disease at that era would
appear to be undoubted. These authors express an unanimous opinion on
its contagious propagation; and it is not till we come down to the
professional writers of the seventeenth century, as Fernelius[316] and
Forestus,[317] that we find this doctrine ventured to be called in

The evidence, however, left us by the older authorities and physicians
on this point, is an evidence of opinion rather than of facts. They have
bequeathed to us merely their own dogmatic inferences, without
vouchsafing to state any of the individual data upon which their general
deductions were founded. As far, however, as we may judge by a few loose
fragments which we may still gather up from amid the imperfect and
scattered records of the disease, the European leprosy, if it were
contagious, when epidemic in the middle ages, was at least less so than
the combined medical and popular belief of those times would seem to
represent it. In the Edinburgh hospital in 1590, two of the lepers’
wives lived uninfected with their husbands; and a few of the English
leper hospitals, as those of Ripon, St. Magdalene, Exeter, and St.
Bartholomew, near Oxford, were endowed for the purpose of serving as
retreats at one and the same time both for the merely poor and the truly

Individuals stricken with leprosy were sometimes looked upon by the
superstitious spirit of the age as persons directly smitten by the hand
of God; and we find in history traces of rich and noble, and even of
royal devotees, endeavouring to expiate their sins and propitiate the
good will of Heaven, by occasionally devoting themselves, and that with
perfect impunity, to such duties to the sick as offered the most certain
means of calling down the disease upon their own bodies, provided it had
been at all so contagious as was generally supposed. Saint Louis (Louis
IX.) of France visited the leper hospitals every third month, personally
rendered the most abject services to their inmates, fed them, and bathed
their sores with his own hands.[318] Henry III. of England is reported
to have annually, on Shrove Tuesday, engaged in the same duties.[319]
Robert II., the son of Hugh Capet, enacted the devotee in the same
manner, imprinting kisses with his lips on the hands of the lepers (_ore
proprio figens leprosorum manibus oscula, in omnibus Deum
collaudabat_).[320] The old English historian, Matthew Paris, relates,
in his usual quaint and gossiping style, an anecdote illustrative of a
similar degree of charitable penance and defiance of contagion being
practised by the Scottish Princess Matilda, the queen of Henry I. of
England. Speaking of some transactions in the year 1105, he observes—

“At the same time David (King of Scotland), the brother of Matilda,
Queen of the English, came to England to visit his sister, and when, on
a certain evening, he came by her invitation to her chamber, he found
the house filled with lepers (_domum invenit Leprosis plenam_), and the
Queen standing in the midst, having laid aside her cloak, she with both
hands girded herself with a towel, and water being placed in readiness,
she began to wash their feet, and wipe them with the towel, and
embracing them with both hands, kissed them with the utmost devotion.
Upon which her brother addressed her thus; ‘What is this which you are
doing, my Lady? in truth if the King knew this, he would never deign to
kiss with his lips your mouth, contaminated by the pollution of the
lepers’ feet!’ and she, smiling, replied, ‘Who knows not that the feet
of an Eternal King are to be preferred to the lips of an earthly king?
Behold it was for this that I invited you, dearest brother—that you
might learn by my example to perform similar actions. Do, I beseech you,
that which you see me doing.’ And when her brother had made answer that
he would by no means do such things, as she persevered in her employment
David with a smile withdrew.”[321]

In quoting, against the alleged strong contagion of the olden leprosy,
the preceding instances of complete exposure to the infection of the
disease, and yet, at the same time, of complete escape from it in some
well-known historical personages, let it not be inferred that the
victims of the malady were usually looked upon by the general community
with feelings of devotion and pious commiseration. On the contrary, the
subjects of this “_foedissimus omnium morborum_” were, as a body,
regarded alike by the church and by the people as objects of disgust.
The Council of Ancyrus decreed that lepers were only to be allowed to
worship amongst the Hyemantes, or those public penitents who, on account
of the enormity and turpitude of some of their sins, were obliged to
stand in the open air, and not even allowed to come under the porch of
the church.[322] The Council of Worms granted to lepers a liberty of
receiving the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, but not with
those in perfect health.[323] Guido de Monte Rocher, in his _Manual for
Curates_, states, that to some lepers the sacrament cannot be given,
because “non possunt corpus Dominicum sic recipere et tractare in ore
suo, quin rejicerent ipsum, sic multi, quibus reciderunt labia et dentes
et sunt totaliter corrosi usque ad guttur.”[324]

The preamble to the laws of the hospital of St. Julian’s, drawn up by
Abbot Michael, asserts, that “amongst all infirmities the disease of
leprosy may be considered the most loathsome, and those who are smitten
with it ought at all times, and in all places, and as well in their
conduct as in their dress, to bear themselves as more to be despised and
as more humble than all other men.” The canons of the Church of
Scotland, as drawn up in the thirteenth century, deal with the
unfortunate lepers more humanely than most other ecclesiastical
judicatories; for after recommending them to be admonished to respect
the churches of their districts, it is added that, if they cannot be
induced to do so, let no coercion be employed, seeing that affliction
should not be accumulated upon the afflicted, but rather their miseries
commiserated (_cum afflictis addi non debeat afflictio, sed ipsorum,
miseriis sit potius miserandum_.)[325] But the contempt displayed
towards them seems to have been almost proverbial as late as the age of
Elizabeth. Thus Shakespeare makes Margaret of Anjou exclaim to the
afflicted and suspicious Henry VI., after the murder of his uncle, the
Duke of Gloucester,

  Why dost thou turn away and hide thy face?
  I am no loathsome leper, look on me.[326]

Maundrell, one of our early English travellers in Palestine, alludes to
some cases of leprosy in terms portraying simply but strongly the
fearful effects and character of the disease. After speaking of some
cases of leprosy that he met with in his journey, he states (to quote
his own words), “At Sichem, near Naplous, there were not less than ten
lepers,—the same number that was cleansed by our Saviour not far from
the same place, that came a-begging to us at one time. Their manner is
to come with small buckets in their hands to receive the alms of the
charitable, their touch being still held infectious, or at least
unclean. Their whole distemper was so noisome that it might (he adds)
well pass for the utmost corruption of the human body on this side the

Various authors have alleged that the institution of leper hospitals,
and laws for the separation and seclusion of the infected, were formed
more from imitation of the Levitical institutions regarding the leprosy
than from direct observation and proofs of the contagious character of
the disease. The avoidance, however, and separation of the sick, have
been recommended and followed by authors and by communities over whom
the Levitical laws could have exercised no influence, direct or
indirect, and to whom, indeed, these laws were in all probability
totally unknown.

After describing the horrors and course of elephantiasis or tubercular
leprosy, the old Roman physician, Aretæus, adds, “seeing the infected
with this disease are such, who would not fly them? (_aufugiat_), or who
would not turn aside from a leper, even although he were a son, or a
father, or a brother, since there is fear lest the disease should be
communicated? (_quum metus est ne morbus communicaretur_). Hence,
many have banished those that were dearest to them into solitudes and

A knowledge of the laws and customs of the Jews in all probability never
reached, or at least certainly never influenced, the opinions of the
inhabitants of Tonquin—a kingdom which was formerly a part, and long a
tributary, of China, and where the general religion is the idolatry of
Fo and of Lanzo, with sects of the literati or followers of
Confucius;[329] yet in that country those infected with leprosy are
treated on the same principles of separation from the general community
as we find applied to them in other and distant districts. “In Tonquin,
leprosy is so common,” says Richard in his history of that country,
“that there are pieces of land assigned where those attacked by it must
reside. They are shut out from society; and it is even lawful to kill
them if they enter cities or towns.”[330] In a country like Tonquin, it
is difficult to conceive how laws and usages of this kind could have
originated in anything except a belief in the contagious nature of the
disease, as derived from the observation of its mode of diffusion. At
all events, the old institutions and customs of the different kingdoms
of Europe, in regard to lepers, seem all to have been originally founded
on such a belief in the possibility of the contagious communication of
this dreadful and dreaded disease from the sick to the healthy. These
institutions and customs I propose now to sketch very briefly, and that
principally as they bear upon the usages formerly observed towards
lepers in England and Scotland. I shall consider them as they refer
to—1. The separation of the infected from the general intercourse of
society; 2. The laws prohibiting their entrance into towns; and 3. The
restrictions under which they were placed as inmates of the hospitals.


After all that I have already had occasion to state relative to the
objects of the leper hospitals, and the selection of the infected, it is
almost unnecessary to add that in Great Britain, as upon the
Continent,[331] lepers were obliged, either by law or usage, to seclude
themselves from society when once the disease was discovered upon their

The chancery warrant of Edward IV., quoted in the Second Part of these
papers, speaks of the retirement of a leper from society as a matter of
custom and duty, and empowers the sheriff of the county to remove the
suspected person to a secluded place, as is the usage (_prout moris
est_), provided the actual existence of the disease was made out.[332]

There exist in the old records of Scotland both local and general
enactments enforcing the retirement and seclusion of lepers. The
Scottish “Burrow Lawes” (_Leges Burgorum_) are generally allowed to have
been drawn up as early as the twelfth century.[333] They are a code
intended apparently for the government of the four first royal burghs of
Scotland, viz. Berwick, Roxburgh, Edinburgh, and Stirling. Their
sixty-fourth chapter contains some regulations regarding “lippermen.”
The first of these regulations provides in the following terms for the
lodgment in hospital and sustenance of the “lippermen” of the

“Gif ony man dwelland or borne in the King’s Burgh is striken with
leprosie, and hes substance and geir of his awin to sustaine and cleath
himselfe, he sall be put in the hospitall of that burgh quhere he
dwells. And gif he hes na thing to liue upon, the burgesses of that
burgh sall make ane collection amongst them, for meat and claith to him;
and that collection sall be the summe of twentie shillinges.”[335]

The canons of the Church of Scotland, as drawn up or authorised by the
provincial ecclesiastical councils held at Perth in the years 1242 and
1269, speak of those attacked by leprosy in this country, as being
“separated from society in accordance with general custom (_de
consuetudine generali a communione hominum separantur_) and retired to
secluded situations.”[336]

I have already, in Part II., quoted a clause from the acts of the Perth
Parliament of 1427, empowering and enforcing the dignitaries and
officers of the church to search diligently in their parish visitations
for any persons affected with leprosy, and to commit them to the keeping
of either the civil or ecclesiastical authorities, according as they
happened to be “Clerkes” or “Seculars.”


Lepers were compelled, by other reasons than mere custom or common law,
to retire from society. They were of necessity driven to seek the asylum
of the lazar hospitals, in consequence of the statutes, both of the
general country and of local communities, prohibiting any citizen from
retaining a person labouring under leprosy in his house, and preventing
the infected from entering within the gates of the towns and

The old Scottish Burrow Lawes have stringent clauses upon this head,
for they hold that “na man should presume, or be so bauld as to harberie
or ludge ane lipperman within the burgh, under ane full amerciament.”
And further, “lippermen sall not enter within the towne, bot in passing
throw it, and sall not gang fra dure to dure, but sall sit at the ports
of the burgh, and sall seek almes fra them that passes in and comes

By the later general act of the Perth Parliament, the unfortunate beings
affected with the disease were again prohibited from entering towns
except for the purpose of purchasing victuals, and this they were only
allowed to do on three days of the week, the act strictly providing

“_Item_, Na lipper folke, nouther man nor woman, enter nor cum in ane
Burgh of the Realme but thrise in the oulk (week) that is to saie,
Mondaie, Wednesdaie, and Fridaie, fra ten hours to twa after noone; and
quhair faires and mercattis fallis on thay dayis, that they leave their
entrie in the Burrowes, and gang on the morne to get their living.”[339]

Various towns and local judicatories in the country seem to have at
different times passed laws enforcing more strictly the observance of
exclusion of the infected from their own limits and districts. Some of
these local enactments have been preserved; and I shall quote such as I
have been able to discover, with a view to show the general fear
formerly entertained of the contagion of the disease, and the measures
that were adopted to prevent its communication.

Thus, in the statutes of the Society of Merchants or Guildry of
Berwick-upon-Tweed, said to have been drawn up by the mayor and others
in “the Zeare of God 1283-84,” it is strictly provided that “Na lipper
man sall enter within the portes of our burgh; and gif any by chance
enters within them, he sall be incontinent put forth be the sergant of
the burgh. And gif any lipper man uses commonlie contrair this our
discharge, to come within our burgh, his claithes wherewith he is cled
sall be taken from him and sall be brunt, and he being naked sall be
ejected furth of the burgh. Because it is provyded be the common
councill, that some gude man sall gather almes to them, that they may be
sustained in ane place competent for them without the burgh. And this is
to be understand of lipper folk, indwellers within the burgh, and not of
them quha dwells without the burgh.”[340]

Some of the smaller burghs and villages of these early times had their
individual rules and statutes upon the same point. The burgh of
Prestwick, Ayrshire, which contains at present, and probably never
contained more than about 1000 inhabitants, is situated about
half-a-mile north of the leper hospital of Kingcase. The old official
records and statutes of this small burgh, to which reference has
repeatedly been made in the preceding pages, have lately been printed
from the original MS. by Mr. Smith of Swinridgemuir. The earliest burgh
record that has thus been preserved is a collection of the laws of the
burgh, “Statuta Burgi de Prestwick maide by the haile consent of the
community of the same at the Cross of the same burgh, and to be keepit
and rafit unremittable and unrevocable.” The date of this collection, or
probably re-collection of the burgh laws, is 1470. The fourth of the
statutes fixed upon “for the common profit of the said burgh in time
coming for everlasting memorans” is to the following effect:—

“It is statut yat na man inhabitant ye said burghe or weman commoun or
intromet with ye sic folk (commune or intromit with the sick people) of
Kingcase, vnder ye pain of exiling ye said burghe when thai ar ourtane
(overtaken) be ane enquest yairupon, mair plainli yan ony oyder
persounis or persoun duelland in all ye land about.”—P. 15.

In the minuted records of the burgh, different cases occur of persons
accused in accordance with this statute. Thus, on December 1, 1477, Anne
Kerd and Andro Sauer are accused of repairing to Kingcase.[341] On the
26th April of the second following year, 1479, it was alleged with
regard to the said Andro Sauer, that he “repairis till Kingcase daily
and nigtly and his wif and his bairnis.”[342] This Anne Kerd seems to
have had the property of a burgess. At last, in November 1481, the same
rebellious Prestwickian, “Andro Sauer, is fund in daili reparand to
Kingcase, and yis the xxti court yerein, and is abill till infect ye
hale toune; and weris ye seik folkis clathis and bonnettis.”[343] After
this date no more mention is made in the records of Andro, who
repeatedly figures in them previously, for other more serious deeds than
that of repairing to Kingcase. I find, however, that others of his name,
and probably of his kindred, fall into the same error for which he
himself appears to have been banished. Thus, in 1496, Anne Sauer, Marion
Myllar, Ellane Browne, and Anne Duncane, “are ilkane severale in
amerciamentis for the selling of ale and intromettin of the folkis of
Kingcase again the statutis of the towne.”

Few or none of the very early records and laws of the magistrates of
Edinburgh have been preserved, but amidst some lately recovered, of a
date as late as 1530, we find the following statute anent the “Leper
Folke,”—“It is statut and ordanit be the Provost, Baillies, and
Counsell of this burghe that na manner of Lipper persone, man nor woman,
fra this tyme furth, cum amangis uther cleine personis, nor be nocht
fund in the kirk, fische merket, nor flesche merket, nor na other merket
within this burghe, under the pane of burnyng of their cheik and
bannasing off the toune.”[344]

Some of the old edicts and regulations made in regard to the diseased in
London have been preserved for us by Stow. According to the record of
Edward III., that king sent, in 1346, “a commandment under his Great
Seal, to the mayor and sheriffs of London, willing them to make
proclamation in every ward of the city and suburbs, that all leprous
persons within the said city and suburbs should avoid within fifteen
days, and that no man suffer any such leprous person to abide within his
house, upon pain to forfeit his said house, and to incur the king’s
further displeasure. And that they should cause the said lepers to be
removed into some out places of the Fields, from the haunt and company
of all sound people.”[345] From some of the city records it further
appears that the magistrates ordered “That the lepers walk not about the
streets, nor tarry there; that the keepers of the gates swear that they
will not permit lepers to enter into the city.” “There was at one time,”
adds Stow, “a brief for removing them from the city and suburbs. At
another time there was an edict for levying a hundred shillings out of a
tenement of the lepers, and delivering it to their officers for
sustaining them.”[346]


The chance of contagion was provided against by other means besides the
mere separation of the infected from the community, and their banishment
to the lazar hospitals. In many instances the regulations and statutes
to which the lepers were subjected, as inmates of these hospitals, were
strongly restrictive, and framed with a view of preventing them from
spreading the disease to others by any dangerous degree of personal
communication with the healthy. The occasional severity of the
restrictions to which, with this view, the leper inhabitants of the
hospitals were subjected, affords us a curious example both of the great
dread in which the disease was held, and of the extent and stringency of
the measures of medical police which the local judicatories of this
country had in these times both the power and the will to exercise.

The rules of the Greenside Hospital, Edinburgh, present in themselves a
striking proof of this, and the occupants of the hospital were bound to
observe these rules under the penalty of death. “That this,” observes
Arnott, “might not be deemed an empty threatening, a gallows was erected
at the gavel of the hospital for the immediate execution of

The persons placed in the Greenside Hospital in 1591 were five male
lepers with two of their wives—viz. (to quote the record) “Robert
Mardow, James Garvie, Johnn MacRere, James Wricht, and Johnn
Wilderspune, lepperis, togidder with Isobel Barcar, spous to the said
Robert Mardow, and Janet Galt, spous to the said James Garvie.” Among
other regulations enacted in regard to them, it was specially ordained,
“That nane of the said personis Lepperis, or their wyffes, depart or
resort fra the said hospitall to na oyder pairt, or place, bot sit still
thairat, and remayne thairin nicht and day, halyday and wark-day; and
that they resave na oyder maner of personis, oyder man or woman, within
the said place, bot sic as sall be placit with thame thairin, at command
of the said Counsall and Session; and that they keip the dure of the
said hospitall fast and clois, fra the dounpassing of the sone to the
rysing thairoff, under the payne of hanging.”

“That the said Jonet Galt only cum to the markatts for buying sic
viveris as is necessary to the saids personis, and presume to gang to na
oyder pairt nor place in her cuming and returning to and frae the said
markatts, under the payne aforesaid. Quhilk and other injunctions being
red to the personis foresaids, they agreit thairto, and promisit to obey
and underly the samyn, under the paynes therabove written. And
thairfore, for the better obedience thairof, and for terrefying the said
lepperis to transgress the samyn, the said commissioners has thocht
meitt and expedient that there be ane _gibbet_ sett up at the gavell of
the said hospital; and that the forme and order thairof be insert baith
in the buiks of Counsall and Sessioun of this burgh, _ad perpetuam rei

The tenor of the regulations of the British leper hospitals was probably
in few or no other cases so extremely stringent as in the establishment
at Greenside. At least, if we may judge by the records of most of those
hospitals, the rules of which have been accidentally preserved, the
restrictions placed upon the inmates were confessedly great, but
certainly by no means so severe either in their degree or in the
punishment applied to them, as in those which we have just cited.
Besides, in most institutions, the prior, master, or warden of the
hospital, exercised a discretionary power in relation to the degree of
seclusion of the lepers of their establishment.

Thus, among the rules of the leper hospital of St. Magdalene, Exeter, it
was provided that “no brother or sister shall go or pass out of the
house beyond the bridge, without the gate of the said hospital, without
the license of the Warden or his deputy, upon pain to be put into the
stocks, and to have but bread and water for one day.”[349]

Again, among the many rules enacted by the Abbot Michaele for the
regulation of the hospital of St. Julian, in the neighbourhood of St.
Albans, I may select the following as characteristic illustrations of
the point which we are now considering:—

“Let no one presume to transgress the bounds fixed of old, (_metas ab
antiquo statutas_), of which one is placed in the south, another in the
north, as they still remain in view, except the custor of granges and
granaries, to whom the charge is committed to the master.

“Let no brother venture to enter the bake-house or brew-house in any
manner, with the exception of the brother to whom the charge is
assigned, who, when he enters, may not approach the bread and beer, in
touching or handling them in any way; since it is not meet that men of
such infirmity should handle those things which are appointed for the
common use of men.

“Let no one of the brothers attempt to go beyond the bounds of the
hospital, namely, in the direction of the king’s road, without his close
cape, in going to church or returning, nor stand or walk about in the
said street before or after service (nor, indeed, at any hour of the day
before or after dinner); but when divine service is finished, let them
enter their hospitals with all haste, unless any one wishes to remain in
the church, that he may have leisure for prayer and meditation. In like
manner, we command that there be no standing in the corridor, which
extends in length before the houses of the brothers in the direction of
the king’s road; and that no brother hold conversation there (_teneat
ibi parliamentum_) with another; but if any brother wish to hold
colloquy with another, let one go to the other in order, as he may wish,
through the said corridor, without standing by the way, unless some
stranger chance to meet him, with whom he may briefly speak and pass on.
But if an honest man and true come there, for the purpose of visiting an
infirm brother, let him have access to him, that they may mutually
discourse on that which is meet.”[350]

In considering under a previous head the extent of endowment of the
British leper hospitals, we have seen that the inmates of many of the
poorer institutions depended more or less entirely for their means of
subsistence upon the casual alms which they were able to beg from the
charitable. In a few favoured cases the lepers were specially authorised
to pursue this occupation beyond the district of the hospital. A charter
was given by King John to the lepers of St. Lawrence’s Hospital,
Bristol, granting them great privileges of this kind. Some of the
passages in this charter are curious, as illustrative of the present
point. I append a translation of a part of it from the copy of the
original document as published by Dugdale:—

“John, by the grace of God, King of England, etc., to the Archbishops,
etc., greeting, know ye that we, for the love of God, have granted, and
by this charter have confirmed to the lepers near Bristol, a croft
beyond the gate of Lacford, on the road to Bath, to dwell there, as the
charter which we gave them while we were Count Moreton reasonably
proves; know ye also that we have received these lepers into our
protection, and therefore desire and command that ye befriend and
protect them (_quod eos manu teneatis et protegatis_), and cause no
impediment to them, wherever they shall be asking alms in our lands, as
our letters-patent which we granted unto them when Count Moreton
rationally testifies,” etc.[351]

Grants and liberties, such as the above, were certainly, however, rare.
In general the lepers were restricted as to the districts and places in
which they presented themselves to seek for alms. We have already seen
the Burrow Lawes ordering that they “sall not gang fra dure to dure, but
sall sit at the ports of the burgh, and seek alms fra them that passes
in and furth;” and the Scottish Parliament of 1427 enacted that they
should not be allowed to sit and beg “neither in kirk nor in
kirk-yairdis,[352] nor other places within the burrowes, but at their
owne hospital, and at the part of the town and other places outwith the
burrowes.” But even in exercising this vocation in these stated places,
the unfortunate petitioners seem to have been everywhere obliged to use
certain precautions, with the view of prohibiting them from diffusing
the disease.

In Scotland, and in various other parts of Europe, they were obliged,
for this purpose, to use a “clapper” or rattle, in order that the noise
created by it might warn the healthy of the presence of an infected
fellow-mortal, whilst, at the same time, they carried a “cop” or
receiving dish, into which the charitable might drop their alms.[353]
Muratori tells us that in Italy the lepers made their presence known at
a great distance (_longe positos_) by the noise of a certain piece of
wood. Marmotrecti describes more minutely the instrument as composed of
wood, and formed of two or three tablets of it, which the leper struck
together when seeking bread (_quas concutit leprosus quaerendo

In the celebrated old Scoto-Saxon poem of Sir Tristrem, composed
probably about the middle of the thirteenth century,[355] and valuable
(to use the words of an acute critic)[356] “for its pictures of ancient
manners” and the customs “of Scotland in the days of Alexander III.,”
the hero of the romance is, at one stage of his adventures in Cornwall,
represented as assuming for disguise and concealment the appearance of a
leper or mesel.[357] In this character the poet provides him with the
usual cop and clapper (stanza 80, p. 181).

  Ganhardin gan fare,
    Into Bretaine away;
  And Tristrem duelled thare,
    To wite what men wald say;
  Coppe and Claper he bare,
    Til the fiften day,
  As he a mesel ware:
    Under walles he lay,
              To lithe.

We have already, in the Second Part of the present paper, seen
Henryson, in the sixteenth century, describing his leper heroine as

  With cop and clapper like ane Lazarous.

And from the advice proffered by the other lepers to the weeping
Cresseid after she is actually removed to the lazar-house, the
importance and frequent use of the clapper is sufficiently shown—

  I counsall thee mak vertew of ane neid,
  To leir to clap thy clapper to and fro,
  And leir efter the law of lipper leid.[358]

Into some towns the lepers seem to have been allowed the liberty of
entry, provided they used their clappers, to advertise the passing
inhabitants of their presence, and thus allowed them to shun the
supposed danger of their contact. The magistrates of Glasgow made the
carrying of clappers one of the conditions on which they admitted the
occasional entrance of the inmates of the Brigend hospital into their
city, one of their edicts for October 1610 running thus:—“It is statut
and ordanit that the Lipper of the hospital sall gang (walk) only on the
calsie (street) syde near the gutter, and sall haif clapperis and ane
claith upoun their mouth and face, and sall stand afar of quhill they
resaif almous, or answer under the payne of banischeing them from the
toun and hospital.”

One of the statutes of the Greenside hospital, Edinburgh, was to the

“That nane of the lepperis cry or ask for alms, utherways then be thair
clapper; and that every ane of thame, his day about, sitt at the dore of
the said hospitall to that effect, the rest allwayes remaining within
the samyn, and that thay distribute equallie amongs thame quhatsoever
money they purches be thair said begging, and gif the just declaration
thairof to the visitour appoynted everie Setterday, under sic payne as
the counsill shall injoyne unto thame.”


According to the tenor of various old civil codes and local enactments,
when a person became affected with leprosy he was looked upon as legally
and politically dead, and lost the privileges belonging to his right of

By the law of England lepers were classed with idiots, madmen, outlaws,
etc., as incapable of being heirs; and a leper removed by a writ _de
leproso amovendo_ could not be a guardian in socage.[359]

Rotharis, king of Lombardy, as early as the eleventh century, decreed
that when any one became affected with leprosy, and the fact was known
to the judge or people, so that the leper was expelled from society and
dwelt in seclusion, he had no power to alienate his effects or dispose
of them to any one (_non sit illi licentia res suas alienare aut
thingare cuilibet personæ_). For, it is added, from the very day on
which he is expelled from his home, he is to be regarded as dead
(_tanquam mortuus habetur_).[360] The same was the law of Normandy,
according to Dufresne[361] and Delamarré;[362] and Lobineau, in his
history of Brittany,[363] speaks of it being formerly in accordance with
the rituals of various churches.

The leper was not looked upon in the eye of the law alone as defunct,
for the Church also took the same view, and performed the solemn
ceremonials of the burial of the dead over him on the day on which he
was separated from his fellow-creatures and consigned to a lazar-house.
He was from that moment regarded as a man dead amongst the living, and
legally buried, though still breathing and alive. The ritual of the
French church retained till a late period the various forms and
ceremonies to which the leper was subjected on this day of his living
funeral. Ogée[364] and Pluquet[365] have both described them.

A priest robed with surplice and stole went with the cross to the house
of the doomed leper. The minister of the church began the necessary
ceremonies by exhorting him to suffer, with a patient and penitent
spirit, the incurable plague with which God had stricken him. He then
sprinkled the unfortunate leper with holy water, and afterwards
conducted him to the church, the usual burial verses being sung during
their march thither. In the church the ordinary habiliments of the leper
were removed; he was clothed in a funeral pall; and while placed before
the altar between two trestles, the _Libera_ was sung, and the mass for
the dead celebrated over him. After this service he was again sprinkled
with holy water, and led from the church to the house or hospital
destined for his future abode. A pair of clappers, a barell, a stick,
cowl, and dress, etc. etc., were given to him. Before leaving the leper,
the priest solemnly interdicted him from appearing in public without his
leper’s garb—from entering inns, churches, mills, and bake-houses—from
touching children, or giving them ought he had touched—from washing his
hands or anything pertaining to him in the common fountains and
streams—from touching in the markets the goods he wished to buy with
anything except his stick—from eating or drinking with any others than
lepers;—and he specially forbade him from walking in narrow paths, or
from answering those who spoke to him in the roads and streets, unless
in a whisper, that they might not be annoyed with his pestilent breath
and with the infectious odour which exhaled from his body;—and last of
all, before taking his departure, and leaving the leper for ever to the
seclusion of the lazar-house, the official of the church terminated the
ceremony of his separation from his living fellow-creatures by throwing
upon the body of the poor outcast a shovelful of earth, in imitation of
the closure of the grave.


In Part I. I enumerated specially the different Scottish leper hospitals
with which I was acquainted, and referred in general terms to the number
of similar institutions that had existed in England. Under the idea that
a connected view of all the British leper hospitals might prove
interesting, I have drawn out the following alphabetical list of such of
them as have come to my knowledge in the course of the preceding
inquiries. To the locality of each hospital and its special designation,
or rather dedication, I have added the dates, as nearly as they could be
ascertained, either of its original foundation, or of the first notice
of it to be found in historical records. Among the unarranged mass of
materials contained in the _Notitia Monastica_, and in the _Monasticon
Anglicanum_, (to which works I am principally indebted for the notes of
the English leper houses), references exist to many old hospitals, the
individual objects of which are now utterly forgotten and unknown. If
sufficient records of them had been preserved we would probably have
been enabled to increase to a much greater extent the subjoined list of
institutions for lepers, as many of them, there is little doubt, were
set aside (like those we now enumerate) for the reception of the victims
of that disease, whose olden history, in as far as relates to this
country, we have so hastily and imperfectly attempted to trace.


  |      Town and County.       |Designation of Hospital  |Date of Foundation |
  |                             |     or Locality.        |or Earliest Notice.|
  |Aberdeen                     |St. Anna.                |                   |
  |Aldcambus, Berwickshire      |    ...                  |Before A.D. 1214.  |
  |Aldnestun, Berwickshire      |    ...                  |Before 1177.       |
  |Appleby, Westmoreland        |St. Nicolas.             |                   |
  |Athelington, Dorsetshire     |St. Mary Magdalene.      |                   |
  |Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire   |St. John and St. Leonard |Time of Henry I.   |
  |                             |                         |  or before 1135.  |
  |Banbury, Oxfordshire         |St. John                 |Time of King John, |
  |                             |                         |  or before 1216.  |
  |Beccles, Suffolk             |St. Mary Magdalene       |About 1327.        |
  |Berkhamstede, Hertfordshire  |St. John the Evangelist. |                   |
  |Berwick-upon-Tweed           |    ...                  |Before 1283.       |
  |Blythe, Nottinghamshire      |St. John the Evangelist  |In time of Pope    |
  |                             |                         |  Honorius.        |
  |Bolton, Northumberland       |Holy Trinity             |Before 1225.       |
  |Bristol, Somersetshire       |St. Mary Magdalene.      |                   |
  |Bristol, Somersetshire       |St. Lawrence             |Before 1135.       |
  |Brookstreet, near            |St. John                 |Before 1292.       |
  |  Brentwood in the parish    |                         |                   |
  |  of Southweald, Essex       |                         |                   |
  |Burton, Leicestershire       |Blessed Virgin and St.   |Time of King       |
  |                             |  Lazarus; Burton Lazars |  Stephen.         |
  |Bury St. Edmund’s, Suffolk   |St. Peter                |About 1327.        |
  |Colchester, Essex            |St. Mary Magdalene.      |                   |
  |Cambridge                    |“Hospital of Lazars”     |Before 1397.       |
  |Canterbury, Kent             |St. Nicholas             |                   |
  |Chatham, Kent                |St. Bartholomew          |In time of William |
  |                             |                         |  II. or before    |
  |                             |                         |  1100.            |
  |Chichester, Sussex           |St. James and St. Mary   |Before 1199.       |
  |                             |  Magdalene              |                   |
  |Chesterfield, Derbyshire     |St. Leonard              |Before 1208.       |
  |Crowmersh, Oxfordshire       |    ...                  |About 1248.        |
  |Dartford, Kent               |Trinity.                 |                   |
  |Dartford, Kent               |St. Mary Magdalene       |About 1330.        |
  |Devizes, Wiltshire           |    ...                  |Before 1207.       |
  |Doncaster, Yorkshire         |St. James                |Time of Henry III. |
  |                             |                         |  or before 1272.  |
  |Dunwich, Suffolk             |St. James                |Before 1199.       |
  |Edinburgh                    |Greenside                |In 1591, but       |
  |                             |                         |  probably a       |
  |                             |                         |  previous         |
  |                             |                         |  hospital.        |
  |Exeter, Devonshire           |St. Mary Magdalene       |Before 1163.       |
  |Eye, Suffolk                 |St. Mary Magdalene       |About 1330.        |
  |Glasgow, Lanarkshire         |St. Ninian               |In 1350.           |
  |Gloucester                   |St. Margaret             |Before 1320.       |
  |Goreleston, Suffolk          |      ...                |Mentioned in 1372. |
  |Hardwick, Norfolk            |St. Lawrence             |Time of Edward II. |
  |                             |                         |  or before 1327.  |
  |Hedon, Yorkshire             |St. Sepulchre            |Before 1216.       |
  |Hereford                     |St. Giles.               |                   |
  |Herting, Sussex              |St. John the Baptist     |Before 1199.       |
  |Hexham, Northumberland       |      ...                |About 1210.        |
  |Hithe, Kent                  |St. Andrew               |Before 1336.       |
  |Huntingdon                   |St. Margaret             |Time of Malcolm    |
  |                             |                         |  IV. of Scotland, |
  |                             |                         |  who died 1165.   |
  |Ipswich, Suffolk             |St. Mary Magdalene       |                   |
  |Ipswich, Suffolk             |St. James.               |                   |
  |Kingcase, Ayrshire           |St. Ninian               |Before time of     |
  |                             |                         |  Robert Bruce?    |
  |Kirkby, Westmoreland         |St. Leonard.             |                   |
  |Lancaster, Lancashire        |St. Leonard              |About 1190.        |
  |Langwade, Norfolk.           |                         |                   |
  |Langport, Somersetshire      |St. Mary Magdalene       |About 1310.        |
  |Lerwick, Shetland.           |                         |                   |
  |Leicester                    |St. Leonard.             |                   |
  |Linlithgow                   |St. Magdalene            |Before time of     |
  |                             |                         |  Alexander II.    |
  |Little Maldon, Essex         |St. Giles.               |                   |
  |Lincoln                      |Holy Innocents.          |                   |
  |London and vicinity          |St. Giles                |In 1101.           |
  |   ”          ”              |Highgate                 |In 1472.           |
  |   ”          ”              |Between Milesend and     |                   |
  |                             |  Stratford Bow.         |                   |
  |   ”          ”              |At Kingsland.            |                   |
  |   ”          ”              |At Shoreditch.           |                   |
  |   ”          ”              |Lock, Kent Street,       |                   |
  |                             |  without Southwark.     |                   |
  |   ”          ”              |St. James, Westminster   |Very early.        |
  |Long Blandford, Dorsetshire  |                         |                   |
  |Lowcrosse, Yorkshire         |St. Leonard.             |                   |
  |Lynne, Dorsetshire           |St. Mary Magdalene       |Before 1336.       |
  |Lynne, Norfolk               |St. Mary Magdalene       |In 1145.           |
  |  ”       ”                  |St. John.                |                   |
  |  ”       ”                  |West Lynne.              |                   |
  |  ”       ”                  |Cowgate.                 |                   |
  |  ”       ”                  |Setch Hithe.             |                   |
  |Mayden Bradley, Wiltshire    |Virgin Mary              |Before 1135.       |
  |Norwich, Norfolk             |St. Mary Magdalene       |Before 1119.       |
  |  ”         ”                |St. Mary.                |                   |
  |  ”         ”                |Without St. Magdalene’s  |                   |
  |                             |  Gate.                  |                   |
  |  ”         ”                |Without St. Bennet’s     |                   |
  |                             |  Gate.                  |                   |
  |  ”         ”                |Without St. Giles’ Gate. |                   |
  |  ”         ”                |Without St. Stephen’s    |                   |
  |                             |  Gate.                  |                   |
  |Northampton                  |St. Leonard              |In 11th century.   |
  |Otteford, Kent               |           ...           |Time of Henry III. |
  |                             |                         |  or before 1272.  |
  |Otley, Yorkshire             |           ...           |Time of Edward II. |
  |                             |                         |  or before 1327.  |
  |Oxford                       |St. Bartholomew.         |                   |
  |Papastour, Shetland.         |                         |                   |
  |Peterborough,                |St. Leonard              |Before 1154.       |
  |  Northamptonshire           |                         |                   |
  |Pilton, Devonshire           |St. Margaret             |Before 1197.       |
  |Plymouth, Devonshire         |St. Mary Magdalene.      |                   |
  |Plympton, Devonshire.        |                         |                   |
  |Pontefract, Yorkshire        |St. Mary Magdalene.      |                   |
  |Racheness in Southacre,      |St. Bartholomew          |Before 1216.       |
  |  Norfolk                    |                         |                   |
  |Ripon, Yorkshire             |St. Mary Magdalene       |Beginning of 12th  |
  |                             |                         |  century.         |
  |Rochester, Kent              |St. Katherine            |  About 1316.      |
  |Romendale or Rumney in       |St. Stephen and St.      |Time of Baldwin,   |
  |  Kent                       |     Thomas              |  Archbishop of    |
  |Rothfan, Banffshire          |     ...                 |Before 1249.       |
  |Selwood, Somersetshire       |     ...                 |About 1212.        |
  |Sherburn, Durham             |The Virgin, Lazarus      |Before 1181.       |
  |Shrewsbury, Kent             |St. Giles                |Before 1189.       |
  |Southampton, Hampshire       |St. Mary Magdalene.      |                   |
  |St. Alban’s, Hertfordshire   |St. Julian               |Between 1100 and   |
  |                             |                         |  1135.            |
  |Stamford, Lincolnshire.      |                         |                   |
  |Sturbridge, Cambridgeshire   |St. Mary Magdalene       |Very early.        |
  |Tannington, Kent             |St. James                |Before 1189.       |
  |Taunton, Somersetshire.      |                         |                   |
  |Tavistock, Devonshire        |St. Mary Magdalene.      |                   |
  |Tenby, Pembrokeshire         |St. Mary Magdalene.      |                   |
  |Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire  |                         |                   |
  |Thetford, Norfolk            |St. John                 |Time of Edward I.  |
  |    ”        ”               |St. Margaret             |About 1390.        |
  |Towcester, Northhamptonshire |St. Leonard              |About 1200.        |
  |Walsingham, Norfolk          |                         |                   |
  |Warwick                      |St. Michael              |Time of Henry I.   |
  |                             |                         |  or Stephen.      |
  |Wycomb, Buckinghamshire      |St. Margaret and St.     |                   |
  |                             |  Giles.                 |                   |
  |Yarmouth, Norfolk            |Outside North Gate       |Before 1314.       |
  |York, Yorkshire              |St. Nicholas             |About 1110.        |




Sir James Simpson’s Paper, Part I. p. 10.—“In 1350, in the reign of
David II., the Lady of Lochow, daughter of Robert, Duke of Albany,
erected a leper hospital at the Gorbals of Glasgow, near the old
bridge.—(Gibson’s _Hist. of Glasg._ p. 52; Cleland’s _Glasg._ vol. i.
p. 68.)”

There is some mistake here. If the leper hospital was founded by the
Lady of Lochow, daughter of the Duke of Albany, it must have been a
hundred years after 1350. The dukedom of Albany was not created until
1378, and the first daughter of that house who married a Knight of
Lochow was Marjory, the wife of Sir Duncan Campbell, who died in 1453.

The earliest record notice of the hospital which I have observed is in
1494, when William Steward, prebendary of Killern and rector of
Glassfurd, endowed a chaplain to serve in the chapel of St. Ninian,
which he had lately built, “_ad Hospitale Leprosorum degentium prope
Pontem Glasguensem_.” He provided that yearly, on the anniversary of his
death, twenty-four poor scholars should assemble in the chapel of the
hospital to perform certain services, for which one penny was to be paid
to each of them, along with one shilling to the lepers—“et leprosis non
sociatis degentibus in dicto Hospitali xijd.” The lepers were to ring
the chapel bell for the _Salve Regina_ every night, and to pray in the
chapel for their benefactors.—(_Regist. Episcopal. Glasg._, vol. ii.
pp. 488-490. Edinb. 1843, Mait. Club.) In 1505 we have “pauperibus
leprosis in Leprosario Sancti Niniani trans pontem Glasguensem
degentibus.”—(_Liber Collegii Nostre Domine Glasguensis_, p. 259.
Glasg. 1846, Maitland Club.) In 1528, James Houston, sub-dean of
Glasgow, founder of the Lady College (now the Tron Kirk) of Glasgow,
ordered twelve pennies to be distributed yearly, on the anniversary of
his death, to the lepers beside the Bridge of Glasgow, and others, who
should appear in the churchyard of the Lady College to say orisons for
his soul—“_leprosis extraneis et commorantibus juxta Pontem Glasguensem
comparentibus in cimiterio prefecto Ecclesie Collegiate oraturis
Deum_.”—(_Lib. Coll. Nostre Domine Glasguensis_, p. 51.) The Tron Kirk
or Ladye College was on the north side of the Clyde, and within the
burgh of Glasgow, so that we have here proof that lepers in 1528 were
not forbidden to enter the burgh. Contrast this feeling towards them
with the feeling shown in the Leges Burgorum and Statuta Gilde of the
twelfth and thirteenth centuries, printed in the _Acta Parliamentorum
Scotiæ_, vol. i., and with the banishment of all lepers from Glasgow in
1593 and 1594, as instructed by the Kirk-Session Records, abridged in
Wodrow’s _Biograph. Collect._, vol. ii. part ii. p. 41.

Did this difference of toleration arise from some corresponding
difference in the intensity or general diffusion of the disease?


The existence of a leper-house at Stirling is proved by entries in the
Rotuli Scaccarii Regum Scotorum, MS. in the General Register House.

  1463-4. “Et leprosis prope burgum de Striuelin ex elimosina Domini
            Regis percepientibus annuatim octo bollas farine—viij bolle

          Rot. Scacc., No. 251.

  1466-7. “Et leprosis prope burgum de Striuelin ex elemosina Regis de
            anno compoti—viij bolle farine.”

          Rot. Scacc., No. 257.

  1473-4. “Et leprosis prope burgum de Striuelyne ex elemosina Regis—iiij
            celdre farine.”

          Rot. Scacc., No. 266.

  1497-9. “Et leprosis ad finem orientalem burgi de Striuelin
            percepientibus annuatim octo bollas ex elemosina Regis de
            dictis annis [7 Jul. 1497-10 Jul. 1499]—iiij celdre farrine

          Rot. Scacc., No. 314.

   1499-1501. “Et leprosis ad finem orientalem burgi de
                Striuelin—j celdra farrine auenatice.”

               Rot. Scacc., No. 319.

   1504-5. “Et leprosis de Striuelin in elimosina viij bolle
             ordei—viij bolle farrine.”

            Rot. Scacc., No. 329.

   1505-6. “Allocatur compotanti in elimosina leprosis ad finem
             burgi de Striuelin de termino compoti—viij bolle farrine

           Rot. Scacc., No. 331.

   1506-7. “In elimosina leprosis ad finem burgi de
             Striueling—viij bolle farrine.”

           Rot. Scacc., No. 333.

   1511-12. “Et leprosis prope finem ville de Striueling in
              elemosina de anno compoti—viij bolle ordei.”

            Rot. Scacc., No. 347.

Observe how literally the situation of the leper-house, as described in
the language of record “_ad finem burgi_,” answers to Henryson’s
phrase—“yone hospitall _at the tounis end_.”


The leper hospital of Aberdeen was in existence before 1363. A charter
of that year describes certain lands as bounded by the king’s highway
leading from the burgh of Aberdeen _versus domos Leprosorum_; and again
_a domibus dictorum Leprosorum_.—(_Registrum Episcopatus Aberdonensis_,
vol. ii. p. 283.)

The use of the plural _domos_ and _domibus_ may possibly denote that
there were two hospitals, as at Canterbury and elsewhere—one for men
and one for women.

The Regent and the Privy Council interposed for the repair or
restoration of the leper hospital of Aberdeen in 1574; in 1578 it was
placed under the charge of a master; and in 1591 there were patients in
it.—(_Selections from Ecclesiastical Records of Aberdeen_, pp. 20, 23.
Aberd. 1846, Spald. Club.—_Extracts from the Burgh Records of
Aberdeen_, 1570-1625, pp. 70, 71. Aberd. 1848, Spald. Club. _Book of Bon
Accord_, p. 342.) There would seem to have been an outbreak of leprosy
in Scotland about this time. It was in 1584 that the Magistrates of
Edinburgh issued orders for finding a commodious place for a
leper-house; in 1589 a leper-house was ordered to be built; and in 1591
there were five patients in it. (Sir James Simpson’s Paper, Part I. p.
11.) So also in Glasgow, in 1586 the Kirk-Session of Glasgow gave orders
that “the Lepper Folk’s House or Spittal beyond the Bridge” should be
visited, “to see how the same should be reformed.” These orders were
renewed in 1587; in 1588 “the yard of the Lepper House” was built; and
in 1589 six lepers are found in the Hospital. (Wodrow’s _Biographical
Collections_, vol. ii. part ii. pp. 40, 41. Sir James Simpson’s Paper,
Part I. p. 10.) In 1593, “the Lepper House [of Glasgow] was charged to
receive none but townsfolks, and all Leppers were banished the town;”
and in 1594 the Kirk-Session “beseeches the magistrates to put all
Leppers out of toun, for fear of infection.”—(Wodrow’s _Biographical
Collections_, vol. ii. part ii. pp. 40, 41.)

If there were really a new access of leprosy in Scotland about
1580-1590, the disease seems speedily to have abated, at least in
Aberdeen. In 1604, when a female leper applied for admission, “the Keys
of the Hospital” were given to her, showing that the place was then
empty and locked up.—(_Selections from the Ecclesiastical Records of
Aberdeen_, p. 34.) In May 1610 it was ordered that two merks should be
given by the Kirk-Session “to the Lepper woman laitlie put in the Lepper
Hous, becaus she will not gett any of the rent of the said Hous till
Martenes next;” denoting, apparently, that there was but one leper in
the hospital at this time.—(_Selections from the Ecclesiastical Records
of Aberdeen_, pp. 73, 74.) In 1612, a female leper, “being expellit
furth of this toun, as ane not meit to dwell within the same,” is
allowed to take up her abode in the leper-house, although “sche be not
borne and bred within this burght.”—(_Extracts from the Burgh Records
of Aberdeen_, vol. ii. (1570-1625), p. 308.) I do not observe record of
any later patient. Fifty years afterwards, in 1661, both the leper
hospital and its chapel (erected in 1519) were ruined if not razed to
the ground, “and scarcelie is the name knowne to many.”—(Gordon’s
_Description of Bothe Touns of Aberdeene_, pp. 18, 19. Aberd. 1842,
Spald. Club.)

Mr. Albert Way, in the _Promptorium Parvulorum_, p. 298,
says—“Heutzner, who visited England during the reign of Elizabeth,
speaks of the English as very subject to the disease of leprosy.” I have
not Heutzner’s book at hand, but it might be looked at to see if he
speaks of leprosy being prevalent in England so late as the reign of
Queen Elizabeth.


The date of the first charter now extant of the leper-house at Rothfan
(now Rathven) in the Enzie, was between the years 1224 and 1226, as can
be shown from the list of witnesses who attest it. It may be remarked
that the founder, John Bisset, is believed to have been a kinsman of
that Manaser Bisset, sewer to King Henry II. of England, who founded the
leper hospital of Mayden Bradley in Wilts, and whose wife Alice, an
heiress, is said to have been herself a leper.—(_Monasticon
Anglicanum_, vol. vi. part ii. p. 643, edit. ult.)

The hospital of Rathven still exists, but has long ceased to be occupied
by lepers. Its tenants, in 1563, were simply “beidmen,” and their number
had been reduced from seven to six. They had 42 marks for their ordinary
charges, and £7 : 4s. for their habits. At the end of the last century
every bedeman had half-an-acre of land for life, one boll of oatmeal
yearly, and 9s. 6d. also yearly. At that time none of the bedemen lived
in the hospital. But it was repaired not many years ago, and when the
_New Statistical Account of Scotland_ was published, two of the six
bedemen resided in the hospital. It stands in the village of Rathven, in
the district of the Enzie, and the shire of Banff.—(_Antiquities of the
Shires of Aberdeen and Banff_, vol. ii. pp. 142-145. Aberd. 1847, Spald.


In 1296, Friar William Corbet, master of the house of St. Lazarus of
Harop (Frater Willelmus Corbet, magister domus Sancti Lazari de Harop),
had letters for the restitution of his lands, directed to the Sheriff of
Edinburgh (a sheriffdom which then included both Haddingtonshire and
Linlithgowshire), from King Edward I. of England, as overlord of
Scotland.—(_Rotuli Scotiæ_, vol. i. p. 25. London, 1814.)

In 1376, King Robert II. granted a charter to his eldest son, John, Earl
of Carrick, Steward of Scotland, of the lands of Prestisfelde, St.
Giles’ Grange, and Spetelton, in the sheriffdom of Edinburgh, then in
the King’s possession by reason of the forfeiture of the Friars of
Harehope, abiding at the faith and peace of the King and kingdom of
England, contrary to the faith and peace of the King and kingdom of the
Scots, (racione forisfacture Fratrum de Harehope ad fidem et pacem Regis
et regni Anglie, ac contra fidem et pacem nostras existencium). The
grant was to lapse when the Friars of Harehope became reconciled to the
faith and peace of the King and kingdom of the Scots.—(_Registrum Magni
Sigilli Regum Scotorum_, p. 132. Edin. 1814.)

These notices do not enable us to fix the position of Harop or Harehope,
showing only that it had lands near Edinburgh. The only other notice of
the house which I have observed rather perplexes the question than
otherwise. It occurs in the history of the deprivation of English
priests of their Scotch benefices, given by Fordun (_Scotichronicon_,
lib. xi. cap. xxi.), and, with some variations, in a memorial of a
Scotch monk claiming the Priory of Coldingham, about 1422, printed in
the _Priory of Coldingham_, pp. 246-258. Lond. 1841, Surtees Soc. It is
here said that Harehope, or Holme, was founded by King David, the son of
St. Margaret; that certain lands in Lothian were annexed to it, in the
neighbourhood of Edinburgh, namely Spitalton and St. Giles’ Grange; that
the monks (_monachi_) and laymen of the house, being Englishmen,
conspired against the realm of Scotland; that King David therefore
declared their lands forfeited, and bestowed them on Walter of Wardlaw,
Bishop of Glasgow, for his life; that after Bishop Wardlaw’s death the
lands were given to his kinsman the Laird of Ricarton, by whose heirs
they were possessed at the time this record was written. The memorial
printed in the _Priory of Coldingham_ expressly quotes the Ricarton
charters—“Ut patet in cartis dicti domini de Ricarton exinde
confectis.” If these be still extant, they may remove the doubts which
meanwhile may attach to the question whether the “Harehope or Holme” of
Fordun and the Scotch Prior of Coldingham be certainly the same with the
“Harehop” of the _Rotuli Scotiæ_ in 1296, and the charter of King Robert
II. in 1376. The possessors of the latter are described as Friars
(_fratres_), of the former as monks (_monachi_)—an all-important
distinction in that age, and not at all likely to be overlooked. Then,
again, Fordun and the Scotch Prior of Coldingham say nothing of the
grant of the possessions of Harehope to the Earl of Carrick,—if,
indeed, they do not relate grants of these possessions incompatible with
the charter of King Robert II. in 1376. On the other hand, we have, both
in that charter and the notices of Fordun and the Scotch Prior of
Coldingham, mention of the same lands of Spitaltoun and St. Giles’
Grange as the possessions of Harehope.

The Spitaltoun here referred to may perhaps be identified with the
“Spittle toun” of Upper Liberton, near Edinburgh. At the same time there
is a Spitaltoun in the lands of Warristoun, near Ricarton.

In Spottiswood’s _Account of the Religious Houses in Scotland_, it is
said that the hospital of St. Mary Magdalene, near Linlithgow, “was
formerly governed by the Lazarites.”—(Bp. Keith’s _Catal. of Scotch
Bishops_, p. 477, edit. 1824.) It is added that the hospital at Lanark
“belonged likewise to this sect.” It does not necessarily follow from
the words of the charter in the _Registrum de Neubotle_ (p. 149) that
the Friars of St. Lazarus, there spoken of, had their Hospital in
Linlithgow. The words are,—“Unam particam terre cum crofto de quarta
parte illius tofti quod tenui de Fratribus de Sancto Lazaro in villa de
Lynlitgu in burgagis scilicet illum particum terre que iacet ex
orientali parte illius tofti.” The object here seems to be rather to
indicate the position of the piece of land as being in Linlithgow than
to describe the Friars of St. Lazarus as being located there.


_Glasgow._—In 1593 the rental of the leper-house of Glasgow was £7 :
15s. in money, and 18 bolls of meal.—Wodrow’s _Biographical
Collections_, vol. ii. part ii. p. 40; Glasg. 1848, Mait. Club.

_Rothfan or Rathven._—In 1563 the money rent of the hospital of Rathven
seems to have been £35 : 4s. In 1798 the hospital had 3 acres of land, 6
bolls of oatmeal, and £3 : 15s. of money rent.—_Antiquities of the
Shires of Aberdeen and Banff_, vol. ii. pp. 143-145; Aberd. 1847, Spald.


A passage in the will of “old John of Gaunt, time-honour’d Lancaster,”
in 1398, seems to support the opinion expressed at p. 18, that the leper
hospitals in general did not contain many patients.—“Item, jeo devise a
chescun maison de lepres deinz v. lieues entour Londres charges de v.
malades, v. nobles en l’onur des v. plaies principalx de Nostre
Seigneur, et a ceux qi sont meyns charges, trois nobles en l’onur de la
Benoit Trinite.”—(_Testamenta Eboracensia_, vol. i. p. 227; Lond. 1836.
Surtees Soc.)


_Ireland._—Ireland is excluded from consideration, else proof of the
existence of leprosy in that island in the end of the seventh century
might be adduced. St. Finan, a native of Munster, who died between 675
and 695, “was surnamed Lobhar, or the Leper, from his having been
afflicted for thirty years of his life with some cutaneous
disorder.”—(Dr. Lanigan’s _Ecclesiastical History of Ireland_, vol.
iii. pp. 83-88; Dublin, 1822.)

_England._—As to England, says Mr. Albert Way, “it has been affirmed
that leprosy was brought into Europe by the Crusaders; in the
Anglo-Saxon vocabulary, however, which has been attributed to Aelfric,
occurs the word ‘LEPROSUS = hreofliz, oððe, licðrowera,’ Jul. A, II. f.
123.”—(_Promptorium Parvulorum_, vol. i. p. 297; Lond. 1843. Camden

To the instances given by Sir James Simpson, Part I., p. 39, of the
occurrence of leprosy in England before the first Crusade, may be added
the case of a noble Englishman of the south of England—_nobili viro sed
leproso_—miraculously cured at the tomb of St. Cuthbert at Durham, as
related by Reginald of Durham from the recital of a fellow-monk,
Turold—“qui se hæc audisse a veteranis canonicis asseruit, in quorum
presentia et aspectu hoc gestum fuit.” The canons here spoken of were
ejected from Durham in 1083—thirteen years before the first Crusade.
Reginald of Durham wrote before 1195. He speaks of the disease
thus:—“Accidit ut lepræ morbum passim eam enutriendo incurreret, ita
ut, modico interposito tempore, tota vultus illius superficies
horribilis videntibus appareret. Suis etiam quandoque, sanie ulcerum
difluente, factus est evitabilis; et in consortii communione nonnullis
effectus intolerabilis.” Yet, when he journeyed from the south of
England to the tomb of St. Cuthbert he was “nobilibus juvenum
ministrantium, amicorum et parentum, constipatus
agminibus.”—(_Reginaldi Dunelmensis Libbellus de Beati Cuthberti
Virtutibus_, cap. xix. pp. 37-41; Lond. 1835. Surtees Soc.)

The disease was probably not unknown among the Anglo-Saxons, yet the
silence of their laws (the word Leper is not to be found in the index to
Thorpe’s Collection) with regard to it, contrasts strongly with the
frequent enactments for its prevention in the twelfth and thirteenth
centuries both in England and Scotland, and (if we allow the Welsh laws
the antiquity which is claimed for them) in the tenth and eleventh
centuries in Wales. May not the anomaly be explained by supposing that
the disease broke out with new severity about the beginning of the
twelfth century?

_Scotland._—No trace of leprosy is to be found in Adamnan’s Life of St.
Columba, written in the seventh century. But of one of St. Columba’s
contemporaries—St. Kentigern of Glasgow, who died about 600—it is
related that in that city he cleansed lepers—“mundabat leprosos.” These
are the words of his biographer, Joceline of Furnes, who wrote towards
the end of the twelfth century.—(_Vit. S. Kentigerni_, cap. xxxiv.;
Pinkert. _Vit. Antiq. Sanct. Scotiæ_, p. 270.) The same biographer
relates that at St. Kentigern’s tomb in Glasgow lepers were
cured—“leprosis cutis munditia restituitur.”—(_Vit. S. Kentigerni_,
cap. xliv.; Pinkert. _Vit. Antiq. SS. Scot._, p. 295.)

So also it is related of St. Boniface of Rosemarky, who appears to have
flourished in the beginning of the eighth century, that he cleansed
lepers—“leprosos mundabat.” These are the words of the Breviary of
Aberdeen (Proprium Sanctorum pro tempore hyemali, fol. lxx.), printed in
1510, but quoting and using older materials.

St. Aelred of Rievaux, who died in 1166, relates that lepers were
cleansed at the tomb of St. Ninian at Whithern in Galloway—“ad ejus
namque sacratissimum tumulum curantur infirmi, mundantur
leprosi.”—(_Vit. S. Ninian_, cap. xi.) He mentions specially two

   “Visi sunt præterea venire in civitatem viri duo leprosi. Qui
   præsumptuosum æstimantes cum lepræ contagio scabiem tangere,
   quasi delonge poscunt auxilium. Accedentes autem ad fontem, et
   sanctum arbitrantes quidquid sanctus contigerat Ninianus,
   lavacio illo se abluendos putarunt.... Mundantur leprosi tactu
   lavacio, sed meritis Niniani.”—(_Vit. S. Niniani_, cap. xi. §
   4; Pinkert. _Vit. Antiq. SS. Scot._, pp. 22, 23.)

All these writers—St. Aelred of Rievaux, Joceline of Furnes, and the
compiler of the Aberdeen Breviary—wrote so long after the Saints whose
miracles they commemorate, that their testimony cannot avail as proof in
itself of the existence of leprosy in Scotland in the seventh and eighth
centuries. Besides, they speak only in general terms—“leprosos
mundabat,”—which may be little or nothing more than a rhetorical
flourish. But the passages which have been quoted are at least
sufficient to demonstrate that in the twelfth century the existence of
leprosy in Scotland from a remote age was a matter of unquestioned
belief. Of the general prevalence of the disease on this side of the
Tweed in that and the subsequent age, there is abundant evidence
elsewhere in the Leges Burgorum and other ancient capitularies of Scotch

The canon of the Scotch Church, “De monitionem faciendo leprosis,”
printed in the Registrum Episcopatus Aberdonensis, vol. ii. p. 32, and
elsewhere, belongs to the thirteenth century, probably to the latter
part of that century. If, as seems to be the case, it be merely a
diocesan statute, and not a statute for the whole of Scotland, it will
only show more forcibly the general prevalence of the disease. The
diocese for which it was enacted was apparently Aberdeen, containing at
that time about eighty parishes, and the number of lepers must have been
great before it could be found necessary to guard against the injury
done to the parochial clergy by the withdrawal of the dues and oblations
of the inmates of the leper hospitals.


The Venedotian Code (the Laws of the Women)—

   “Should her husband be leprous, or have fetid breath, or be
   incapable of marital duties; if on account of one of these
   three things she leave her husband, she is to have the whole
   of her property.”—(_Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales_, p.
   39. Lond. 1841.)

The Dimetian Code (of Women)—

   “For three causes, if a woman desert her husband, she is not
   to lose her agweddi [dowry]; for leprosy, want of connection,
   and bad breath.”—(_Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales_, p.

The Laws of Howel Dda, according to the Gwentian Code (of Women)—

   “For three causes a woman loses not her agweddi, although she
   may leave her husband; to wit, on account of leprosy, bad
   breath, and default of connection.”—(_Ancient Laws and
   Institutes of Wales_, p. 365.)

These citations are from Aneurin Owen’s translation of the Welsh text of
the Welsh laws, published in parallel columns with the Welsh text by the
Record Commissioners. These laws are of uncertain date; they are
commonly attributed to Howel Dda, but bear interpolations or alterations
of much later date. The oldest MSS. of them are of the twelfth century.

I add the passages regarding lepers which occur in the Latin versions of
the Welsh Laws, the oldest MSS. of which are of the thirteenth

   “Tribus de causis potest femina habere suum egwedy [suam
   dotem], licet ipsa uirum relinquat; scilicet, si sit leprosus
   uir; et si habeat fetidum anhelatum; et si cum ea concumbere
   non possit.”—(_Liber Legum Howel Da_, lib. ii. cap. xx., sec.
   xxxi. _Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales_, p. 796; Lond.

   “Tribus de causis habebat femina suum aguedi [suam dotem],
   licet ipsa virum suum relinquat; id est, si leprosus sit vir;
   et si fetidum hanelitum habueret; et si cum ea coire non
   possit.”—(_Liber Legum Howel Da_, lib. ii. cap. xxiii. sec.
   xiii. _Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales_, p. 827.)

   “Leprosi cum seculum dimittunt ebedyw [_i.e._ heriot _seu_ caulp]
   dare debent dominis suis.”—(_Liber Legum Howel Da_, lib. ii.
   cap. xxii. sec. ix. _Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales_,
   p. 797.)

The Dimetian Code (of Murder)—

   “If there be a relative of the murderer, or of the murdered,
   who is an ecclesiastic in holy orders, or in an ecclesiastical
   community, or leprous, or dumb, or an idiot, such neither pays
   nor receives any part of galanas” [assythment, or fines for
   murder].—(_Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales_, p. 200.)

The Dimetian Code (Triads)—

   “There are three persons, no one of whom, by law, can be a qualified
   judge; one of them is, a person having a defect, as one who is deaf, or
   blind, or leprous, or an insane person,” etc. etc.—(_Ancient Laws and
   Institutes of Wales_, p. 200.)

The next class of passages is taken from what are called the “Anomalous
Welsh Laws,” which, in the state they are now found in, are supposed to
be of the sixteenth century:—

   “If a person become a surety, and before the termination of
   the suit he should become leprous, or a monk, or blind, ....
   he must fulfil his promise while he lives.”—(_Ancient Laws
   and Institutes of Wales_, p. 403.)

   “There is to be no objection to a pleader, but for having
   violated his religious profession, and quitting the world, or
   his becoming a separated leper.”—(_Ancient Laws and
   Institutes of Wales_, p. 516.)

   “Three sons who are not to have patrimony—The son of a
   priest, the son of a leper, and the son of a man who had paid
   his patrimony as blood land. The son of a leper is not to have
   it, because God has separated him from worldly kin—that is,
   such son as a leper may have after being adjudged to a
   lazar-house; and a son a priest shall have after taking
   priestly orders; and the third has no patrimony, as his
   father, prior to him, had determined it by law.”—(_Ancient
   Laws and Institutes of Wales_, p. 556. See also p. 603.)

   “Three persons to whom saraad [fine for insult] is not due—A
   leper, a natural fool, and an alltud [an alien serf] who is
   not married to an innate Cymraes: And, nevertheless, there is
   worth in law attached to each of them, and whoever shall
   ill-use them and injure them in person and property is subject
   to a dirwy [fine or punishment].—(_Ancient Laws and
   Institutes of Wales_, p. 656.)

   “Three persons who are not to be invested with the judicial
   function—An inefficient person, as one that is deaf, or
   blind, or maimed, or leprous, or insane, or mute,” etc.
   etc.—(_Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales_, p. 671.)

   “A leper cannot be a pleader.”—(_Ancient Laws and Institutes
   of Wales_, p. 764.)

The Welsh term for leper is _Clafwr_, obviously an adaptation of the
Latin word.

It should be kept in view that the license which the Welsh laws give to
the wife to leave a leprous husband is in direct contradiction to the
canon law as declared by Pope Alexander III. to the Archbishop of
Canterbury in 1180:—“Mandamus quatenus si qui sunt in provincia tua
viri vel mulieres qui lepræ morbum incurrunt, ut uxores viros et viri
uxores sequantur, et eis conjugali affectione ministrent, sollicitis
exhortationibus inducere non postponas. Si vero ad hoc induci non
poterunt, eis arctius injungas ut uterque altero vivente continentiam
servet. Quodsi mandatum tuum servare contempserint, vinculo
excommunicationis adstringas.”—(_Corpus Juris Canonici_, vol. ii. col.
656. Edit. 1747.)

The same Pope, in the same year, decreed that lepers might
marry:—“Leprosi autem si continere nolunt, et aliquam quæ sibi nubere
velit invenerint, liberum est eis ad matrimonium convolare.” He settled
another and more delicate point:—“Quodsi virum sive uxorem divino
judicio leprosum fieri contigerit, et infirmus a sano carnale debitum
exigat, generali præcepto Apostoli, quod exigitur est solvendum: cui
præcepto nulla in hoc casu exceptio invenitur.”—(_Corpus Juris
Canonici_, vol. ii. col. 656. Edit. 1747.)

Pope Urban III. found, in 1186, that subsequent leprosy was a sufficient
reason why betrothed persons should not be compelled to marry.—(_Corpus
Juris Canonici_, vol. ii. col. 657. Edit. 1747. See also col. 344.)

NOMENCLATURE OF THE DISEASE.—The terms “Leprosi” and “Elephantuosi.”

The “MS. History of the Durham Cathedral and Diocese,” referred to in
Sir James Simpson’s Paper, Part II. p. 77, was printed in Wharton’s
_Anglia Sacra_ in 1691, and more perfectly in the _Historiæ Dunelmensis
Scriptores Tres_, by the Surtees Society in 1839. The passage quoted
stands thus (pp. 11, 12):—

   “Præterea Hospitale de Schyreburne construxit, et elefantiosos
   in episcopatu suo circumquaque collectos, ibidem instituit,
   aptisque eorum usibus habitaculis ampliant; et ne quid
   sollicitudini caritatis deesset, ad eorum perpetuam
   sustentationem et nonnullorum susceptionem terras et ecclesias
   concessit et confirmavit. In geminum creditur esse bonum, quod
   et pauperum necessitatibus liberrime prospexit, et societatem
   immundorum a cohabitacione mundorum segregavit.”

“Elephantuosi” is here put as equivalent to “Leprosi.” In the Chronicle
of Battle Abbey, written about 1180-1200, some slight distinction seems
to be implied between the words. The writer is speaking of the Abbot
Walter, who died in 1171:—

   “Leprosorum maxime et elephantiosorum ab hominibus ejectioni
   compatiens, eos non solum non abhorrebat, verumetiam in
   persona propria eis frequenter ministrans, eorum manus
   pedesque abluendo fovebat, et intimo caritatis pietatisque
   affectu blanda oscula imprimebat.”—(_Chronicon Monasterii de
   Bello_, p. 135; Lond. 1846. Anglia Christiana.)

But, after all, the two terms may here be used merely rhetorically.
There are other instances of such a tautology. Ducange (t. iii. coll.
49, 50), quotes _Elephantiæ lepra_ and “Leprosi enim vere atque
Elephantia debent habere.” At the same time he cites from an old
Latin-French Glossary, “ELEPHANCIA = une maniere de mesclerie.” In the
same way some writers distinguish between _mesellerie_ and _cordrerie_.
On the other hand, the _Catholicon Anglicum_, an Anglo-Latin Dictionary
of the year 1483, has “A LEPYR = lepra, elefancia,
missella.”—(_Promptorium Parvulorum_, vol. i. pp. 297, 298. Lond. 1843.
Camden Soc.)


Reginald of Durham (sometimes also called Reginald of Coldingham), a
Benedictine monk, who wrote before 1195, gives the following
description of a leper girl who had been for three years in the
hospital at Budele, near Darlington, in the bishopric of Durham:—

   “Nempe omnem facierum illius superficiem laceræ putredinis
   cicatrix nunquam sana totam obduxerat, et falliculis [_l._
   folliculis] crudæ carnis sparsim patentibus et hiulco meatu
   saniem venenoso meatu rimantibus, horridam cunctis visu
   reddiderat. Labiorumque ipsius extrema circumquaque marcentia
   diriguerant, quia particulares quasdam ejus regiones usque ad
   profunda quædam dimensionum dispendia vis sæva diutini
   languoris consumendo exederat. His itaque aliisque illius
   aegritudinus modis corpus ejus dilaceratum periit,”
   etc.—(_Libellus de Vita et Miraculis S. Godrici_, p. 456.
   Lond. 1847. Surtees Soc.)

The leprosy is cured by a miracle at the tomb of S. Godric at Finchale,
when the appearance of the face is thus described:—

   “tota sana comparuit, omnisque lepræ prioris fœda scabies
   jam recesserat, labiaque illius sana ac tenua, facies vero
   tota incontacta ac clara, velut parvuli cujusdam triennis
   apparebat. Quæ una cum matre sospes domum rediit, quæ illo
   prius tota lepræ pustulis et sanie contracta pervenit.”

Among other witnesses to the miraculous cure, Ralph Haget, sheriff of

   “dicebat quod facies ejus cutis licet sana, tenera sit et
   clara, tamen ubi cicatrices ulcerum quondam fuerant illa
   superficies videtur aliquantulum comparere subrufa; labiorum
   vero extrema quæ frustris carneis pinis fuerant valliculata,
   tota sunt plena atque rotunda, sed aliquanto altius

This was confirmed also by Norman the priest of Hailtune, who got the
girl into the lepers’ hospital at Badele, near Darlington, and who
subsequently showed her to his parishioners in his church.—(_Libellus
de Vita et Miraculis S. Godrici_, pp. 457, 458.)

The same writer, in the same work, gives other descriptions of leprosy.
A young shepherd of the north of England “lepra percussus cunctis
horrori fuit.” He is miraculously cured—“tumorque omnis cum deformi
rubore fugatus abscesserat, novaque coloris insoliti superficies in
facie et toto corpore ipsius relucebat; et nulla omnino pustula vel
cicatricis macula in ipso residendo comparuit.”—(_Lib. de Vit. et
Mirac. S. Godrici_, p. 431.)

A woman—“diutino tempore toto corpore lepræ fuerat contagio maculisque
cum pustulis horrende perfusa ... cunctis horrida et detestenda, nulli
pene ad videndum tolerabilis fuerat.”—(_Lib. de Vit. et Mirac. S.
Godrici_, p. 431.)


In 1203, a piece of land in Sudton in Kent was in dispute in the King’s
court between two kinswomen—Mabel, the daughter of William Fitz Fulke,
and Avicia, the widow of Warine Fitz Fulke. Among other pleas, it was
urged by Avicia, that Mabel had a brother, and that his right to the
land must exclude her claim. Mabel answered that her brother was a
leper—“E contra dicit Mabilla quod leprosus est.” The judgment is not
recorded; but the notice shows two things—(1) The doctrine of the civil
death which followed leprosy; (2) The comparatively good condition of
the person who in this instance was smitten with leprosy.

The case is recorded in the _Placitorum in Domo Capitulari
Westmonesteriensi asservatorum Abbreviatio_, p. 39. Lond. 1811. Record

In 1280 it was certified to King Edward I. that Adam of Gangy, brother
and heir of Ralph of Gangy, deceased, of the county of Northumberland,
holding land of the king in chief, was struck with leprosy (_leperia
percussus_), so that he could not conveniently repair to the king’s
presence to pay his homage to the king (quod ad presenciam Regis ad
homagium suum Regi faciendum commode accedere non potest). It was
therefore ordered that Thomas of Normanville, the elder, should in lieu
and turn of the king take the leper’s fealty for his lands.—(_Rotulorum
Originalium in Curia Scaccarii Abbreviatio_, vol. i. p. 33. Lond. 1805.)

Here, again, we see leprosy attacking a person of comparatively high
position. But here the disease neither inferred civil death nor excluded
the leper from all intercourse with his fellows.

In 1313, Nicholas the Leper (Nicholaus le Lepere) and William the Leper
(Willielmus le Lepere) are manucaptors or pledges that John de la Poile,
knight of the shire returned for Surrey, will do his duty in
Parliament.—(_Palgrave’s Parliamentary Writs_, vol. ii. pp. 89, 113.)

Here we have a family of note bearing the name of Leper, derived no
doubt from the leprosy of an ancestor.

Before 1083 a miraculous cure of leprosy is said to have been effected
at the shrine of St. Cuthbert at Durham, on the person of a noble of the
south of England—“vir quidam in longinqua Australium Anglorum regione
qui multæ nobilitatis gratia inter comprovintiales preditus erat. Hic
tam corporis sani virtute gaudebat, quam omni prosperitatis affluentia;
et divitiarum gloria cæteros excedebat,” etc. etc.—(_Reginaldi
Dunelmensis Libellus de Beati Cuthberti Virtutibus_, pp. 37-41. Lond.
1835. Surtees Soc.)

The same writer, in another work, relates the cure of three lepers at
the tomb of St. Godric of Finchale. One, a male, was a shepherd; the
other two were women, apparently of the middle or lower
ranks.—(_Reginaldi Dunelmensis Libellus de Vita et Miraculis S.
Godrici_, pp. 430, 431, 455-458. Lond. 1845. Surtees Soc.) The shepherd
was a youth (_juvenis_); one of the women was a girl (_puella_).


Another illustration of the prevalence of leprosy among the English
clergy, alluded to at p. 106, Part III., is supplied by the will of
Richard Basy, of Bylburgh, in Yorkshire, in 1393:—“Item lego
presbiteris cæcis vel leprosis seu aliter languentibus, qui non valent
celebrare circa divinum officium celebrandum, et aliis pauperibus eodem
modo languentibus et jacentibus, xl. solidos.”—(_Testamenta
Eboracensia_, vol. i. p. 192. Lond. 1836. Surtees Soc.)

Pope Lucius III. decreed in 1181 that rectors of churches who were
struck with leprosy should serve their cures by coadjutors; and Pope
Clement III., in 1190, ordained that leprous priests should be removed
from their priestly office, but should be supported from the fruits of
their benefices.—(_Corpus Juris Canonici_, vol. ii. coll. 447-448.
Edit. 1747.)


The silence of Wyntoun, Fordun, and our other early Scotch chroniclers,
as to the disease of which King Robert Bruce died, may not improbably be
explained by their reluctance to associate the heroic monarch with an
odious and degrading malady. But the King’s metrical biographer names
his disease, or at least its origin; and it would be interesting to know
if that disease can be identified with leprosy.

 “For a malice him tuk sa sar,
  That he on na wiss mycht be thar.
  This malice off enfundeying
  Begouth; for, through his cald lying,
  Quhen in his gret myscheiff wes he,
  Him fell that hard perplexite.”

—(Barbour’s _Bruce_, pp. 406-407. Dr. Jamieson’s edit. 1820.)

In Mr. Cosmo Innes’ later edition the passage stands thus—

 “For ane male es tuk him sa sar
  That he on na wis mycht be thar.
  His male es of ane fundying
  Begouth, for throu his cald lying,
  Quhen in his gret mischef was he,
  Him fell that hard perplexite.”

—(Barbour’s _Bruce_, p. 469. Aberd. 1856. Spalding Club.)

What is “enfundeying,” as Dr. Jamieson calls it, or “ane fundying,” as
Mr. Innes makes it? Dr. Jamieson glosses it as “perhaps asthma,” but on
what ground I do not see. At the same time I am unable to suggest any
interpretation of the term. Can medical nomenclature supply none?


To the list of persons (Part III. pp. 133, 134) who tended or even
kissed lepers without being smitten with the disease, may be added
Walter de Luci, Abbot of Battle, in Sussex, from 1139 to 1171, who often
washed and kissed the feet and hands of lepers—_eorum manus pedesque
abluendo fovebat, et intimo caritatis pietatisque affectu blanda oscula
imprimebat_.—(_Chronicon Monasterii de Bello_, p. 135. Lond. 1846.
Anglia Christiana.)

The story (Sir James Simpson’s Paper, Part III. p. 134) quoted from
Matthew Paris, about the good Queen Maud, is to be found in an earlier
writer, St. Aelred of Rievaux, from whose _Genealogia Regum Anglorum_
Matthew Paris, or rather Roger of Wendover, borrowed it. It may be
remarked, generally, that late editors have shown that all that part of
Matthew Paris’ history which is previous to the year 1235 is really the
work of Roger of Wendover. As such it has been reprinted by the English
Historical Society.


_Oxford, St. Bartholomew._—The date of foundation of this hospital is
left blank in the list of British Leper Hospitals, p. 160. It certainly
existed before the 24th November 1200, when the lepers of St.
Bartholomew of Oxford had letters of protection from King John.—(_Rot.
Chart. in Turr. Lund._ vol. i. p. 99.)

_Berington._—On the 20th July 1199 King John confirms to the canons
regular of Lantony, among their other possessions, the half of
Berington, which had been given to them by the Earl Roger for the
procuration of thirteen lepers—“_Ex dono Rogeri Comitis aliam
dimidietatem de Berington ad procurationem tredecim
leprosorum._”—(_Rot. Chart. in Turr. Lund._ vol. i. p. 7.) “Procuratio”
seems to be used here in the sense of _necessaria ad victum et
vestitum_.—(See Ducange, t. v. col. 885.)

_Carlisle._—The lepers of Carlisle had letters of protection from King
John on 25th February 1201.—(_Rot. Chart. in Turr. Lund._ vol. i. p.

_Badele, near Darlington, in the county of Durham._—The reception of a
leprous girl into the hospital of Badele, about three miles from
Darlington, is related by Reginald of Durham in his _Libellus de Vita et
Miraculis S. Godrici_, p. 456. Lond. 1845. (Surtees Soc.) The work was
written before 1195.

_Canterbury._—The date of foundation of this hospital is left blank in
the list of British Leper Hospitals, p. 158. It certainly existed before
the death of Archbishop Lanfranc in 1089, for the contemporary historian
of Canterbury expressly says it was built by him:—“Ligneas domos in
devexo montis latere fabricans, eas ad opus Leprosorum delegavit, viris
in istis a fœminarum societate sejunctis.”—(_Eadmeri Hist. Novorum_,
p. 9. Lond. 1623.)

_York._—_One_ leper hospital at York is noted in the list of British
Leper Hospitals, at p. 161. There were _four_. The will of Henry of
Blythe, painter of York, in 1365, has this bequest:—“Item lego quatuor
domibus Leprosorum civitatis Eboracencis equaliter ij solidos
dividendos.”—(_Testamenta Eboracensia_, vol. i. p. 75. Lond. 1836.
Surtees Soc.) The will of Master Adam Wigan, rector of St. Saviour’s,
York, in 1433, has—“Item lego cuilibet domui quatuor domorum leprosorum
iij s. iiij d.—(_Test. Ebor._ vol. ii. p. 26. Lond. 1855. Surtees Soc.)
The will of Richard Russell, citizen and merchant of York, in 1435,
shows that at York, as elsewhere, the leper hospitals were beyond the
city walls:—“Et cuilibet leproso in quatuor domibus Leprosorum in
suburbiis Ebor., v solidos.”—(_Test. Ebor._ vol. ii. p. 55.) Again, in
the will of William Gyrlyngton, draper of York, in 1444:—“Item lego
quatuor domibus Leprosorum in suburbiis Ebor., xx solidos per equales
portiones.”—(_Test. Ebor._ vol. ii. p. 93.) The lepers of York have
similar bequests in 1446, in 1454, and 1441.—(_Test. Ebor._ vol. ii.
pp. 115, 182, 187.) I do not observe any legacies to them after 1454.

_Beverley._—The leper hospital here, as at York, Canterbury, Glasgow,
Stirling, Aberdeen, etc., stood in the suburbs. The will of John
Brompton, merchant of Beverley, in 1444, has this legacy—“Item leprosis
extra barras boriales Beverlaci ij s. et dimidiam celdram
carbonum.”—(_Test. Ebor._ vol. ii. p. 97.)

_Newcastle-upon-Tyne._—The will of Roger Thornton, merchant of
Newcastle, in 1429, has this legacy—“Item to the Lepre men of
Newcastell, xl s.”—(_Northern Wills and Inventories_, part i. p. 78.
Lond. 1835. Surtees Soc.)

_Winchester._—The existence of a leper hospital at Winchester is shown
by the will of Martin of Holy Rood, master of the hospital of Sherborn,
in 1259 [referred to in Sir James Simpson’s Paper, Part I., p.
36]—“Fratribus Leprosis Wyntonie, ij solidos.”—(_Northern Wills and
Inventories_, part i. p. 10.)

_Lynne, Norfolk._—_Five_ leper hospitals at Lynne, in Norfolk, are
enumerated in the list of British Leper Hospitals, p. 160. There seem to
have been _six_. Mr. Albert Way, in a note to the _Promptorium
Parvulorum_, vol. i. p. 297, Lond. 1843 (Camden Soc.), cites, from
Parkins’ _Account of Lynne, in Blomf. Norf._ iv. 608, the bequest of
Stephen Guybor, in 1432, to every house of lepers about Lynn, “namely,
at West Lynn, Cowgate, Herdwyk, Setchehithe, Mawdelyn, and Geywode.”
Four of these may be identified with those in the list, p. 160. “West
Lynn” and “Cowgate” are the same in both lists; “Mawdelyn” is “St. Mary
Magdalene’s;” and “Setchehithe” is “Setch Hithe.”

[Illustration: [SIZE OF ORIGINALS]]



The physicians and surgeons who, in ancient times, pursued their medical
profession at Rome, and in different parts of the Roman empire, have
left us various palpable relics of their craft. Thus, in the ruins of
Pompeii and Herculaneum, numerous surgical instruments, pharmacy and
drug-bottles, etc., have been found; and elaborate drawings and accounts
of these have lately been published by Savenko, Vulpes, Renzi, and
others. On the sites of the old Roman cities and colonies throughout
Western Europe, various surgical and medical relics of the same kind
have been at different times discovered; as lancets, probes,
cupping-glasses, scalpels, oculist-stamps, phials, etc. But of medicine,
as it was still earlier exercised in Greece and in the Grecian colonies,
few such tangible vestiges remain. We have, it is true, had carefully
transmitted down to us the imperishable professional writings of
Hippocrates and others of the purely Greek school; but time has spared
few, or indeed almost no, material remnants of the professional
instruments or vessels used by the ancient Greek surgeons and

Perhaps the great rarity of such archæological remains may serve as some
apology for the present notice of some specimens of ancient Greek
medical vessels or vases. Besides, the vases which I wish to describe
are interesting in other points of view. They are all of them intended
to contain one and the same drug, as shown by the inscriptions on their
exterior; this drug was derived by the ancient Greeks chiefly from
Hindostan,—one of the many points of evidence of the former freedom and
frequency of the traffic between the south of Europe and India; and at
the present day the same drug is still employed extensively and
successfully, by the native practitioners of the East, for the very
purposes for which it was, in former times, used by the medical
practitioners of Greece.

The drug to which I allude is the _Indian Lycium_ or _Lykion_, the
ΛΥΚΙΟΝ ΙΝΔΙΚΟΝ of Dioscorides. In modern collections and
writings, I know of four ancient vases or drug-bottles intended to
contain this valued eye-medicine. If our museums, however, were properly
searched, perhaps various other Greek vases, for the same or for similar
medicines, would be detected. The four specimens of bottles or vases for
_Lycium_, to which I have adverted, are the following:—

1. In the collection of Greek antiquities contained in the British
Museum is a small vase, made of lead, and of the exact form and size
represented in Plate, Fig. 1. The vase is of a sub-ovoid form, and is
somewhat above an inch in height, and about three quarters of an inch in
breadth. An inscription, preceded by the ornament of a small tripod,
encircles the middle of the vase. The inscription is in Greek letters,
of which the following is a correct copy:—


This inscription may be read as ΛΥΚΙΟΝ ΠΑΡΑΜΟΥΣΑΙΟΥ—the _Lycium of
Paramusaeus_—as suggested to me by Mr. Birch, who first had the
kindness to direct my attention to this vase, or, and perhaps more
correctly, it may be rendered ΛΥΚΙΟΝ ΠΑΡΑ ΜΟΥΣΑΙΟΥ—the _Lycium_ sold
_by Musaeus_. Mr. Birch informs me that he thinks he met with the name
of _Paramusaeus_ as a medical practitioner in Fabricius’ _Bibliotheca
Græca_. I have not been fortunate enough to detect the name in question,
notwithstanding some considerable search through that learned work. On
the other hand, the name of _Museus_, or _Musaeus_, is well known in
Athenian biography. (See Fabricius’ _Bibliotheca_, vol. i. pp. 120-133.)
I should, perhaps, have already stated, that the vase in question was
sent to the British Museum, among a collection of antiquities from

2. Through the kindness of M. Sichel of Paris, I am enabled to give, in
Plate, Fig. 2, an engraving of a second _Lycium_ jar, not hitherto
published, of nearly the same dimensions as the specimen contained in
the British Museum. This second specimen is not made of lead, but of
pottery-ware. It bears upon its side the inscription:—


This inscription—“the _Lycium of Heracleus_”—has the word ΛΥΚΟΝ spelt
without the I; errors of this kind being, as is well known, very common
in old Greek and Roman letterings.

3. M. Millin of Paris published, nearly forty years ago, an account of a
similar vase, found at Tarentum, a well-known Greek colony and
settlement (_Description d’un Vase trouvé à Tarente._ Paris, 1814). This
vase is slightly larger than either of the above, but somewhat
mutilated. It is made of clay, and has on its front, in Greek letters,
the inscription _Lycium of Jason_.


The form and size of this jar are represented in Plate, Fig. 3. M.
Millin fancied that probably this small vase or jar was intended as a
child’s toy; but two years after he wrote, M. Tochon d’Anneci gave an
account of a similar jar, and first suggested that it must have been
destined to contain a collyrium or an ointment—_destinè à contenir un
collyre ou un onguent_. (See his _Dissertation sur l’Inscription
Grecque, et sur les Pierres Antiques_, etc., Paris, 1816.)

4. The vase described by M. Tochon is delineated in Plate, Figs. 4, 5,
and 6. It is of the same material, and nearly of the same size, but less
mutilated than that previously delineated by M. Millin. It presents also
in front the same inscription (see Fig. 5), namely—


M. Tochon believes, further, that this vase was found, like that of
Millin, at Tarentum. At least, it was originally given to M. Tochon by a
person who had resided for a long time in that city, and who had himself
acquired the specimen there. M. Sichel has reason to think it not
improbable that his specimen (Fig. 2) also came from Tarentum. And it is
perhaps not uninteresting to remark, that Galen, Celsus, and various
other old medical authors, repeatedly mention a Greek physician of the
name of Heracleus or Heraclides, who practised at Tarentum, and was the
author of various treatises on the Materia Medica, etc. (See an
enumeration of his writings, etc. in Kühn’s _Opuscula_, vol. ii., p.
156, etc.) Among his large collection of collyria and medicines for
diseases of the eye, Galen gives formulæ for making different eye
medicines bearing the name of Heracleus, as, for example, two
“_agglutinatoria pilorum Heraclidæ Tarentini_ (Ἥρακλεῖδου Ταραντίνοῦ).
See Kuhn’s edition of _Galen_, vol. xii. p. 741.

The medicine mentioned in the preceding inscriptions, the LYCIUM or
ΛΥΚΙΟΝ, was a drug which enjoyed much favour among the ancients; and it
was supposed to be possessed of great medical value and virtues. It was
used principally as an astringent remedy to restrain inflammatory and
other discharges. Dioscorides, Galen, Oribasius, and Paulus Ægineta,
dilate upon the medicinal properties of the Lycium. Dioscorides
recommends it as an astringent for the cure of various complaints, as
obscurities of the cornea, psoriasis, and pruritus of the eyelids,
purulent ears and tonsils, ulcers of the gums, chapped lips, fissure of
the anus; in cæliac and dysenteric affections, both in draughts and
clysters; in hæmoptysis and coughs; in female fluxes, hydrophobia, and
so forth. The Indian variety, he states, cures inflammation of the
spleen and jaundice, prevents menstruation, purges water, and is a
counter-agent to deadly poisons. (Dr. Adam’s Trans. of _Paulus Ægineta_,
vol. iii. p. 234.) Two varieties of Lycium were in use—one obtained from
Lycia and Cappadocia, etc., and the other from India. The latter was
regarded as by far the most valuable. Thus, when treating of the two
varieties of Lycium, Galen mentions the Indian as the most powerful for
all purposes—τὸ Ἰνδικὸν ἰσχῦρότερόν ἐστιν εἰς ἅπαν. (_De
Simp. Medicam._ lib. vii. 64.) Such late writers as Paulus Ægineta,
Ætius, etc., allude also to the superior value of the Indian variety.
For instance, in Roxarius’ edition of _Oribasius_ it is stated that the
Indian Lykion “præstat ceteris et est efficacius.” (_Medicin. Collect._
lib. xi.) Avicenna, the celebrated Arabian physician, who gives a long
account of the medical uses, etc., of Lykion, remarks, “Magis vincens,
secundum existimationem, est quod Indicum est,” etc.; and he compares
its properties with that from Mecca. (_Canon Medicinæ_, Lib. ii. cap.

Of all the uses to which the Lycium was applied in medicine, by far the
most important was the employment of this drug, and particularly of the
Indian variety, as a collyrium or local application to the eye, in the
treatment of different varieties and forms of ophthalmic inflammation.
Thus Scribonius Largus, the reputed body physician to the Emperor
Claudius, and one of the most original among the ancient medical
writers, declares that “he attributes to no collyrium whatever such
great efficacy as to the genuine _Indian Lycium_ used by itself. For
if,” says he, “near the commencement of ophthalmia, any one anoints
himself with this collyrium, he will immediately—that is, on the same
day—be freed from present pain and future swelling. It is unnecessary
(he adds) to dilate on its virtues, for a person experienced only in
other collyria would scarcely credit the effects of this simple drug.”
(_De Composit. Medicamentorum_, cap. 3.) Marcellus lauds its power in
nearly the same words. (_De Medicam. Lib._ cap. 8.)

The Lykion, or Lycium, is still used extensively by the native medical
practitioners of India, under the Hindoo name of _Rusot_ or _Ruswut_. In
a learned article on the nature of the λύκιον of Dioscorides, contained
in the _Transactions of the Linnæan Society_, vol. xvii. p. 82,
Professor Royle has shown that the Indian Lycium or Rusot is an
inspissated extract, prepared from the wood or roots of several species
of Berberis, as the _Berberis lycium_, _aristata_, etc., growing on the
mountains and plains of Upper India, and principally procured from
Nuggur-kote, near Lahore.[366] “On inquiring,” says Dr. Royle, “in the
shops of the druggists in the bazaars of India, I everywhere learned
that both the wood (_dar-huld_) and the extract Rusot were imported from
the hills into the plains, and that large quantities continued to be
brought from Nuggur-kote as well as other places.” And he adds,—“The
_Rusot_ is at the present day procurable in every bazaar in India, and
used by the native practitioners, who are fond of applying it both in
incipient and chronic inflammation of the eye; and in the latter state
both simply and in combination with opium and alum. It is sometimes
prescribed by European practitioners; and I have heard that it was found
very efficacious by Mr. M^cDowell in the ophthalmia of soldiers who had
returned from the expedition to Egypt. I have myself occasionally
prescribed it; and the native mode of application makes it particularly
eligible in cases succeeding acute inflammation, where the eye remains
much swollen. The extract is, by native practitioners, in such cases,
rubbed to a proper consistence with a little water, sometimes with the
addition of opium and alum, and applied in a thick layer over the
swollen eyelids; the addition of a little oil I have found preferable,
as preventing the too rapid desiccation. Patients generally express
themselves as experiencing considerable relief from the application.”

My friend, Dr. Wise, the author of that learned work _Commentaries on
the Hindoo System of Medicine_, some time ago brought to Scotland with
him a small quantity of the Indian Lykion. I have seen one or two cases
of recent conjunctival ophthalmia treated by the application of this
Lykion, with speedy relief and cure. Dr. Wise has been so good as
furnish me with the following interesting letter regarding his own
extended experience with it.

“The use (says Dr. Wise) of the mixture of Lykion or Ruswut is very
generally known over Hindostan, where diseases of the eye are common,
and probably over Asia and Africa, if we are to believe that this was
the black application employed with such success to the diseased eyes of
our soldiers in Egypt. It is likewise probable that Dioscorides obtained
it nearly two thousand years ago from the East, where the plant is
indigenous, and introduced it into Europe. Having found great personal
benefit from the application of the mixture of Lykion to my eyes when
inflamed, I employed it extensively when superintendent of the Eye
Infirmary, Calcutta; and so convinced was I of its efficacy, that I
brought a supply with me to Europe, with the intention of bringing it to
the notice of the profession. I found you investigating the subject; and
at your suggestion, Dr. Walker was so kind as to try the medicine, and I
am sure will inform you of the results he saw derived from its use. The
Indian mixture consists of equal weights of Lykion and burnt alum, with
half the weight of opium. These ingredients are mixed with lemon-juice,
and reduced to the consistence of cream, and applied round the eyelids
and over the eyebrow of the inflamed eyes. This mixture is washed off,
and again applied twice in twenty-four hours; and it was only when
accompanied with fever, that aperients and other parts of the
antiphlogistic regimen were required. In less urgent cases the mixture
was only applied at night, and produced no inconvenience, unless when it
dried, and the lids felt stiff, when it was softened by applying a
little moisture. I found the Lykion mixture most useful in all cases of
inflammation of the external tunics of the eye. When both eyes were
inflamed, it was interesting to mark the advantage this simple remedy
had when applied to one eye, while the usual remedies of leeches,
blisters, etc., were applied to the other eye. Another most important
application of the Lykion is when the ophthalmia is accompanied with
severe pain. On such occasions, after applying the mixture, a piece of
live charcoal (_gool_) produced the most soothing effect when approached
near the eye. With this intention, the charcoal was placed upon an
earthen cup, and held on a wooden stand by the patient, and he
approached or withdrew it from the eye according to his own feeling. The
great relief in this case was in part from the anodyne effect of the

Mr. Walker has kindly given me the following note of his experience with
the Lykion at the Edinburgh Eye Dispensary:—

“I have used (he writes me) the Indian Lykion in a considerable number
of cases of eye-disease. The affections in which I found it most useful
were those of the conjunctiva, such as the simple, catarrhal, and
pustular forms of inflammation. In them its action was well marked and
beneficial, the disease generally subsiding in a day or two; sooner
perhaps than it would have done under the ordinary treatment. I have had
no opportunity of trying it in purulent ophthalmia; but I believe that
in it also it would prove of service. Cases of slight rheumatic and
catarrho-rheumatic inflammations have been benefited, but not cured, by
it alone. In some affections of the eyelids, as ophthalmia tarsi and
chronic ophthalmia, it did good; but such cases often get well with very
little treatment. I applied it to the eyelids in the form of a paste,
with opium and burnt alum, as recommended by Dr. Wise. This was repeated
two or three times a day. The patients generally complained of a burning
and smarting of the lids after its application, similar to what is
produced by a mustard blister.”

The four ancient Greek vases, mentioned in the preceding notice as
inscribed with the name of the drug _Lykion_ or _Lycium_, are each of
very small dimensions, the Plate representing all of them of their
original sizes and forms. They are small, in consequence, in all
probability, of the foreign drug which they contained being difficult to
procure in large quantities, and being hence an article of high price in
the markets of Greece and Italy. The value set upon the contained drug
would seem to be indicated by another circumstance—namely, by the shape
of the interior of the vases. In the specimens described by Millin and
Tochon, the cavity of the jars is narrow and conical from above
downwards, the mouth being wide, and the interior becoming more and more
tapering and contracted as it descends downwards. The section of the
interior of the vase of Tochon, given in Plate, Fig. 6, represents this
peculiar and deceitful form of the cavity. In consequence of this
peculiarity in their form, these jars contained, in fact, much less of
the Lykion than their mere external appearance indicated. This remark,
at least, holds true of the two vases from Tarentum bearing the name of
_Jason_. The vase of _Museus_ from Athens, belonging to the British
Museum, appears more honest at least in its construction. The high price
of the pure Lykion probably led also to the fact mentioned specially by
Dioscorides (lib. i. cap. 133), Pliny (lib. xxiv. cap. 14), and Serapion
(lib. ii. cap. 398), of the frequent adulteration of the drug. And,
perhaps, as in similar inscriptions on some modern medicine-nostrums and
packets, the names of the preparer or vendor, _Jason_, _Heracleus_, and
_Museus_, stamped on the vases, were added in attestation of the purity
and unadulterated character of the drug which these vases contained.

[Illustration: Fig. I., Fig. II.



Little or nothing has hitherto been written by archæologists regarding
the medical staff of the Roman army. Indeed, in none of our common works
on Roman antiquities, as in those of Rosini, Kennet, Adam, Smith,
Ramsay, etc., is there any allusion whatever made to the question,
whether or not the Roman troops were furnished with medical officers. In
one anonymous work on Roman antiquities, translated from the French, and
published in London in 1750, the subject is referred to, the author
stating that during the commonwealth there were no physicians in the
Roman armies; and he adds that, even under the Emperors, “it does not
appear there were any physicians in the armies, as there are surgeons in
ours.”[367] Nor does there exist, as far as I am aware, in the Roman
classics, any very distinct allusion to the matter. I have also, in
vain, searched among Roman medical authors, and among the writings of
the Greek physicians who practised at Rome, for any direct notices,
relative to the medical or surgical care of the numerous and scattered
armies employed by Rome in the different quarters of the world. In fact,
the only passages, with which I am acquainted, relating at all to the
subject, consist of a casual remark in one of the military epistles of
Aurelian; two incidental legal observations contained in the law
writings of Modestinus, and in the Codex of Justinian; an allusion by
Vegetius to the medical care and expense of the sick in camp; and an
expression by Galen as to the opportunities for anatomical observation
presented to the physicians during the German wars.

The reference to the medical superintendence of the army by Aurelian
occurs in Vopiscus’ Life of that Emperor (chap. vi.) In issuing some
peremptory orders regarding the discipline of the army, after
enumerating various rigid rules which the soldiers were to observe,
Aurelian concludes with the following admonition and announcement:—“Let
each soldier aid and serve his fellow; let them be cured gratuitously by
the physicians (_a medicis gratis curentur_); let them give nothing to
soothsayers; let them conduct themselves quietly in their hospitia; and
he who would raise strife, let him be lashed.”[368] The date of this
order is not earlier than A.D. 270, the year when Aurelian became

When treating of those who, by absence from Rome, etc., were exempted
from some burthens and taxes, the jurist Modestinus, who wrote in the
earlier half of the third century, mentions, among others, the military
physicians (_Medici Militum_), “because,” he adds, “the office which
they fill is beneficial to the public, and ought not to be productive of
any injury to themselves (quoniam officium, quod gerunt, et publice
prodest, et fraudem eis adferre non debet”).[369]

In Justinian’s _Corpus Juris Civilis_, lib. x. tit. 52, drawn up in the
sixth century, there is a series of laws, “De Professoribus et Medicis.”
The first of these laws exempts the physician of a legion (_Medicum
Legionis_) from civil duties when he is absent in the public

In his work _De Re Militari_, Vegetius, who wrote towards the end of the
fourth century, devotes a chapter (lib. iii. 2) to the regulation of the
health of an army; and incidentally rather than directly alludes to the
cure of sick soldiers by the skill of the physicians (_arte
medicorum_).[371] Enumerating also elsewhere the duties of the Præfect
of the Camp, he states that his authority extended over his sick
fellow-soldiers, and the physicians who had the care of them, and he
regulated the expenses relative thereto. (Lib. ii. cap. 10.)

The passage I have alluded to as in the works of Galen is of an earlier
date than any of the preceding, and is to be found in liber iii. cap. 2,
of his work, _De Compositione Medicamentorum per Genera_. In discoursing
regarding the treatment of wounds, he talks of the necessity of a
knowledge of human anatomy for their proper management. In order to know
the anatomy of man, he recommends here, as elsewhere, the anatomy of the
monkey to be studied, maintaining that without such knowledge you cannot
take due advantage of the opportunities that you may accidentally have
presented to you of becoming acquainted with the anatomical structure of
human bodies. And he adds, that in consequence of a want of this
knowledge the physicians (οἱ ἰατροι) employed in the German wars, and
having the power of dissecting the bodies of the barbarians, did not
learn more than the cooks understand.[372]

This paragraph, though indistinct as regards the status and office of
these Ἰατροι, is still sufficiently explicit as to the fact
that there were physicians in the Roman army during the German wars that
Galen alludes to; and these wars were no doubt those that occurred from
the year A.D. 167 to 175, immediately previous to the time when Galen
wrote the work from which we have quoted.

The history of other more ancient governments than that of Rome is not
without allusion to the office of army physicians. Homer,[373]
Herodotus,[374] and Pliny,[375] each comment on the number and fame of
the medical men with which the kingdom of Egypt abounded. Diogenes
Laertius, in his life of Plato, tells us of Plato’s sickness when
travelling in Egypt; and adds that he remarked, like Homer, that the
Egyptians were all physicians (φαναι παντας ἀνθρώπους Αἴγυπτιους ἰατρους
εἰναι).[376] They had, moreover, paid medical officers attendant upon
their troops in war. For, in describing the status and character of the
Egyptian physicians, Diodorus Siculus specially mentions that, when
engaged in military expeditions, the soldiers were cured without fees,
for the physicians of the army received a salary from the state.[377]

One instance is referred to in history, in which an Egyptian king, when
thrown from his horse in battle, wounded and speechless from injury of
the head, had his skull trepanned by his surgeons. I allude to Ptolemy
Philometor, who defeated Alexander Balas, the pretender to the throne of
Syria, in the year B.C. 146. According to Livy, the victor himself died
after the battle during the attempts of his surgeons to relieve him.
“Ptolemaeus, in caput graviter vulneratus, inter curationem, dum ossa
medici _terebrare_ contendunt, exspiravit.”—(_Epit._ lib. lii.)

Nor is the old classical literature of Greece without reference to
surgical services tendered to the soldier in war. Homer describes the
double character of army surgeons and warriors as combined in the
persons of Podalirius and Machaon.[378] And when the latter is wounded,
he puts into the mouth of Idomeneus the well-known expression (Iliad,
lib. xi. v. 514), that the medical man is to the army more valuable than
many warriors; knowing as he does how to excise arrows, and to apply
soothing medications:—

  Ιητρος γαρ ανηρ πολλῶν ἀνταξιος ἀλλων,
  Ιους τ’ ἐκταμνειν, επι τ’ ηπια φαρμακα πασσειν.

In the course of the Iliad, the surgical treatment followed in
individual cases among the disabled Greek warriors is sometimes minutely
entered upon; and thus the different modes of operation by which the
transfixing arrow, dart, and lance, were, in those early days of
surgical science, removed from the bodies of the wounded, may be
sometimes gathered from Homer’s lucid and minute descriptions. He
mentions three different methods, at least, by which war-weapons were
extracted—viz., first, by evulsion, or traction of the weapon
backwards, as in the case of Menelaus (Iliad, lib. iv. 214); secondly,
by protrusion, or pushing of the instrument forward, as in the case of
Diomede (v. 112); and, thirdly, by enlarging the wound, and cutting out
the weapon, as was the practice of Patroclus in the case of Eurypylus
(xi. 843). I am not aware that Homer ever individualises any internal
medical treatment except once (xi. 638), when he mentions a mixture of
Pramnian wine, cheese, and flour, as having been administered by the
nursing hand of Hecamede to the wounded Machaon,[379] ere she prepared
the warm bath for him and washed away the clotted blood (xiv. 7).

The author of the ancient Greek treatise Περὶ Ἰητρου, an essay usually
included in the works of Hippocrates, explicitly advises the young
physician to attach himself for a time to some army, in order to learn
the best methods of extracting war-weapons, and to acquire practical
skill in the treatment of accidents.[380]

Xenophon alludes in various parts of his works to physicians or surgeons
connected with the Greek armies. In describing the laws of the
Lacedemonians, as instituted in the earliest ages of Greek history by
Lycurgus, he incidentally mentions that physicians were attached to the
Spartan army. For in the arrangements previously laid down for the
troops before a battle, it was ordered that there should be placed
behind the station occupied by the King several officials, and among
others, the soothsayers or priests, the physicians, the minstrels, the
leaders of the army, and any persons who were voluntarily present in the
expedition (καὶ μάντεις, καὶ ἰατροὶ, καὶ αὐληταὶ, οἱ τοῦ στρατοῦ ἄρχοντες,
καὶ ἐθελούσιοι ἠν τινες πατρῶσιν).

Again, in his celebrated account of the retreat of the ten thousand
Greeks, Xenophon states that at the conclusion of the fifth day of their
march, and after considerable skirmishing with the troops of
Tissaphernes, “they appointed eight physicians, for there were many
persons wounded.”[381]—(_Anabasis_, lib. iii. c. 4, § 30.)

Lastly, in his semi-historical or political romance—the _Cyropædia_
(lib. i. 6, § 15), Xenophon makes his young royal hero, Cyrus, the
founder of the Persian monarchy, speak, among other matters, of the
importance of medical officers being attached to armies. “With respect
to health” (says Cyrus), “having heard and observed that cities that
wish health choose physicians, and that commanders, for the sake of
their soldiers, take physicians; so, when I was placed in this command,
I immediately attended to this point; and I believe that I have men with
me that are very skilful in the art of physic.” In the same work
Xenophon subsequently describes Cyrus as commending to the professional
services and care of his medical officers the Chaldeans who had been
wounded and captured in fight with him.—(_Instit. Cyri_, lib. iii. c.
2, § 12.)

Few individual instances are recorded in Greek history of surgical aid
being afforded on the field of battle. One of the most interesting
examples is that mentioned by Quintus Curtius in reference to Alexander
the Great at the taking of the capital of the Oxydraceæ, or Mallians.
The Macedonian King, who had leaped down, almost alone, within the walls
of the fortress, was struck with a long arrow (duorum cubitorum
sagitta), which entered the right side of the thorax (per thoracem
paulum super latus dextrum infigeretur). The wound produced great
hæmorrhage and faintness. Alexander was carried on his shield to his
tent; and the shaft of the arrow being cut off and his cuirass removed,
it was discovered that the head of the arrow was barbed, and could not,
consequently, be removed without the artificial dilatation of the wound
and imminent danger from increased bleeding; for the large weapon was
fixed in its situation, and seemed to have penetrated into the internal
viscera (quippe ingens telum adactum erat, et penetrasse in viscera
videbatur). At Alexander’s request, the surgeon Critobulus undertook the
extraction, enlarged the wound, and removed the arrow-head, which,
according to Plutarch, was “three fingers broad and four long.” Great
hæmorrhage (ingens vis sanguinis) attended the operation; death-like
insensibility supervened; and, when the flow of blood continued in
despite of the medicaments (medicamenta) applied, a cry and wail was set
up by those around, that the king was dead. At last, however, the
hæmorrhage stopped, under the state of syncope. That very syncope,
observes Arrian, saved his life; and Alexander gradually recovered. But
every modern surgeon must admire the boldness, not less than the
expertness, of Critobulus, when he reflects for a moment on the fearful
peril attendant on such an operation, performed on so august a
patient—and at a time, too, when surgical science as yet possessed no
certain means of restraining surgical hæmorrhage.[382]

In the earlier periods of Roman history and Roman warfare, the treatment
of the military sick and wounded was, in all probability, trusted to the
casual care of some fellow-soldiers whose tastes and inclinations had
led them to pay more than usual care to the rude surgery which existed
at the time.[383] As early, however, as the commencement of the
Christian era, we find Celsus laying down distinct, and in many
instances very excellent and practical precepts for the extraction of
war-weapons from the bodies of the wounded[384]—as of arrows, spears,
leaden bullets (_glandes plumbeæ_), etc.

Occasionally the weapons used in ancient war seem to have been forged
for the special purpose of rendering their extraction by the surgeon a
matter of difficulty and danger. At least we find Paulus Ægineta
complaining that some of them have “their barbs diverging in opposite
directions, like the forked lightning, in order that, whether pulled or
pushed, they may fasten in the parts.”[385]

Still, let me repeat, neither in Celsus nor in Paulus Ægineta, nor,
indeed, in any other ancient medical work, have we, as far as I know,
any allusion to the circumstance of surgeons or physicians being
regularly appointed as army medical officers in the Roman army, for the
purpose of superintending the treatment of the wounded, or—what is of
still greater importance—in order to take professional care of the
soldiers disabled by sickness and disease, and whose number in warfare
is generally very much greater than the number of those that are
disabled in fight.

Modern military experience has, in many instances, proved the high
importance of the services and superintendence of a medical military
staff; and not so much in reference to the care of individual cases, and
the cure of the wounded, as in reference to the general health and
consequent general strength and success of whole armies. In fact, in war
the devastations produced by sickness and disease have often been found
greatly more formidable and fatal than any devastations produced by the
sword; fevers, dysenteries, and other distempers of the camp, have
carried off far more soldiers than the ball or bayonet; malarious and
morbific agency has sometimes terminated a campaign as effectually as
the highest military strategy; and armies have occasionally, in later
times, been as completely destroyed by the indirect ravages of disease
as by the direct effects of battle.

Nor was the experience of the Roman armies in this respect different
from our own. When the Emperor Septimius Severus determined to subdue
the whole of Scotland, he about the year 208 led, according to Herodian
and Dion Cassius,[386] an army of not less than 80,000 men across the
Forth, marched them north, apparently as far as the Moray Firth, and
thence returned to York. But though in this course the Roman Emperor
nowhere met the enemy in open fight, he is stated to have lost, in this
single campaign, not less than 50,000 of his troops. The marshes, fens,
woods, etc., of Caledonia were far more destructive to the Roman
invaders, than were the spears, long swords (ingentes gladii) and
scythed chariots (corvini) of its painted, and almost naked,

We know, from the oft-repeated anecdote regarding Arcagathus, as told by
Pliny, that in the early days of republican Rome the practice of
medicine was not encouraged among the inhabitants of the Eternal City.
But, in the later periods of the empire, Rome abounded with native and
foreign physicians; and, when we find the Roman people exalted in so
many branches of art and knowledge, we could not but expect that common
experience, and results like that of Severus, would have suggested to
them the propriety of increasing the strength and success of their
armies, by having medical men to watch over the health of the soldiers
that were fighting in so many different regions around the Roman

Some modern discoveries in Great Britain and elsewhere show that such a
conjecture is not at variance with truth, and that the Roman armies were
provided, at all events in the time of the Empire, with a medical staff.

Housesteads, in Northumberland (the ancient Borcovicus), formed one of
the principal stations on the great defensive wall which the Emperor
Hadrian reared, in the second century, from the Tyne to the Solway. Many
Roman remains have been found at Housesteads.[388] Thirty years ago the
embellished monumental tablet, represented in the accompanying plate,
Fig. 1, was discovered among these remains. This tablet was, according
to the inscription upon it, raised by the first Tungrian cohort to the
memory of their MEDICUS ORDINARIUS.[389] The plate represents this
interesting relic, which is preserved in the Newcastle Museum. The
inscription upon the tablet reads as follows, in its contracted and in
its extended forms:—

   D     M           D[IIS]   M[ANIBUS]
    ANICIO               ANICIO
   INGENUO              INGENUO
    MEDICO               MEDICO

And I append Mr. Brace’s translation of it:—“Sacred to the gods of the
shades below. To ANICIUS INGENUUS, Physician in Ordinary of Cohort the
first of the Tungrians. He lived twenty-five years.”[390]

The first Tungrian Cohort, which erected this monument over the grave of
their young physician, distinguished itself under Agricola at the battle
of the Mons Grampius.[391] It was afterwards, as we learn from some
legionary inscriptions, engaged at Castlecary in erecting there a
portion of the more northern Roman wall of Antoninus, which ran from the
Forth to the Clyde.[392] Subsequently it was stationed at Cramond, near
Edinburgh, and there raised an altar to the _Matres Alatervæ et
Campestres_.[393] Still later, this Cohort was stationed in Cumberland;
and latterly at Housesteads, in Northumberland, where the monument
we allude to, and several others, were erected by them.[394]

The youth of this military physician is remarkable. He died at

The elaborate nature of the carving of this monumental tablet affords
the strongest evidence of the esteem and respect in which this young
physician was held by his Cohort. In fact, it is more ornamented than
many of the altars raised by this and other Cohorts to the worship of
their gods.

It has been suggested by Mr. O’Callaghan[395] that the animal
represented on the monument is a hare, and that it was selected as an
emblem characteristic of the watchfulness of the profession to which
ANICIUS INGENUUS belonged. In his admirable work on the Roman Wall, the
Rev. Mr. Bruce describes, more correctly, the figure to be that of a
rabbit; and he further conjectures that it had some reference to the
worship of Priapus. The whole device is, in all probability, far more
simple in its signification. The _cuniculus_, or rabbit, when found on
ancient Roman monuments and coins, is generally held by archæologists
and numismatists as the recognised emblem of Spain,[396] as, for
example, on the coins of Sextus Pompey and Galba; and the circular
bucklers or cetræ which are placed on this tablet, on either side of the
animal, are equally strong characteristics of the same country. Indeed,
there can be little or no doubt that these devices indicate merely that
this young military physician was of Spanish birth and origin.

Several monumental and votive tablets have been discovered in other
parts of the old Roman world, affording further evidence of the Roman
troops being provided with a medical staff. In Gruter’s great work on
Roman inscriptions there are copies of at least three inscriptions, in
which physicians of Cohorts (_medici cohortum_) are mentioned.[397] One
of these inscriptions (p. 219, 3) bears the name of a physician who had
the same _nomen gentilicium_ as the medical officer of the Tungrian
Cohort who died at Housesteads—viz., “M. JULIUS INGENUUS MEDIC. COH.
II. VIG.” The tablet, which was found at Rome, contains a votive
imperial inscription from twelve or thirteen persons, and among others,
from the physician to the second “Cohors Vigilum.” Another of the
inscriptions of Gruter is specially interesting in relation to its date,
for it was cut at the commencement of the reign of Domitian,[398] and in
the year of the consulship of F. Flavius Sabinus, which year
chronologists know to have been the eighty-third of the Christian era.
We are, consequently, afforded evidence by this inscription that before
the end of the first century, at least—however much earlier—medical
officers were appointed to the Cohorts of the Roman army. The
inscription itself is upon an altar or votive tablet, dedicated by
SEXTUS TITUS ALEXANDER, physician of the fifth Prætorian Cohort, to
Æsculapius, and the safety of his fellow-soldiers. A copy of this altar
and its inscription is given in the accompanying plate, Fig. 2. The
stone seems to have been found at Rome.

Another altar, discovered also at Rome, and inscribed in the same terms
to Æsculapius, is given by Gruter (p. 68, 2). In this instance, the
dedicator is SEXTUS TITIUS, medical officer to the sixth Prætorian
Cohort; and he erects it for the health of the fellow-soldiers of his
Cohort, in conformity with a vow which he had undertaken. The whole
inscription is as follows:—

         VI.   PR.
         D.      D.

Long ago Reines published in his _Syntagma Inscriptionum_,[399] a tablet
found at Rome and erected by TITUS CLAUDIUS JULIANUS, Clinical Physician
to the fourth Prætorian Cohort, to himself, to his wife Tullia Epigone,
to their freedmen, freedwomen, and descendants.

     D.                  M.
         H. M. H. N. S.

Muratori, in his Thesaurus,[400] cites a Roman sepulchral tablet
discovered at Veterbi, and containing an inscription by a father to his
deceased son, M. VLPIUS SPORUS, Physician to the Indian and Asturian
Auxiliaries (Medico Alarum Indianae et tertiae Asturum).[401]

The tablets to which I have hitherto alluded all refer, with the
doubtful exception of the first and last, to one rank of medical
military men, namely the surgeons of cohorts (_Medici Cohortum_). It is
generally believed that each cohort consisted of about 500 or 600 men;
though this appears to have varied at different times. From the
preceding tablets, each cohort seems to have been provided with at least
one medical officer, if not more. For the distinctive terms “Ordinarius”
and “Clinicus,” which occur in the first and last of the preceding
inscriptions, when added to the usual term “Medicus Cohortis,”
apparently tend to indicate a different grade or rank of medical officer
from the latter.

Whether, however, or not there were different grades among the Roman
_Medici Cohortum_, we have sufficient evidence for proving that there
existed in the Roman army a higher rank of medical officer than
these,—namely, _Medici Legionum_. The Roman legion consisted of ten
cohorts.[402] We have seen that the individual cohorts of which the
legion was composed were each provided with a medical officer or
officers. I have already cited a law from Justinian’s Codex, showing
further that there were military physicians to the Roman legions. The
evidence of monumental tablets affords additional proof, that over the
whole legion, another, and in all probability a superior medical
officer, was placed. More than one monumental tablet has been
discovered, dedicated not to the _Medicus Cohortis_, but to the _Medicus
Legioni_. Thus Maffei, in his _Museum Veronense_, gives the inscription
of a tablet raised by Scribonia Faustina to the manes of her very dear
husband, L CÆLIUS ARRIANUS, physician to the Second Italian Legion, who
died at the age of forty-nine years and seven months. The inscription
in the original runs as follows:—

      D             M

In the _Collectio Inscriptionum_ (vol. i. No. 448) of Hugenbach and
Orelli, there is published another Roman tablet found in Switzerland (at
Gebistorf, near Windisch), bearing the name of a Legionary physician.
The inscription states that Atticus Patronus erected this tablet to
TITUS CLAUDIUS HYMNUS, physician to the twenty-first Legion, and to
Claudia Quieta, his wife.[404]


Orelli gives in the same work (vol. ii. No. 4996), another tablet found
at Salon, in which a third physician to a legion is named; the tablet
being erected by M. BESIUS TERTULLUS, physician of the eleventh Legion,
to the memory of his “hospes,” Papiria Pyrallis.

I have already alluded to a passage in Vegetius, showing in relation to
the government of the Roman medical staff, that the medical officers as
well as their patients were both placed under the control of the Præfect
of the Camp, to whose multifarious duties, these, among other matters,
pertained. “Praeterea aegri contubernales, et medici a quibus curantur,
expensae etiam ad ejus industriam pertinebant.”[405] Vegetius does not
allude to the existence of any special sick quarters; but a writer of
the second century, who lived under Trajan and Hadrian, Hyginus
Gromaticus, in his essay “De Castrametatione,”[406] in laying down the
proportions and measurements of the different parts of a Roman camp,
describes the proper situation in it for the Hospital or
“Valetudinarium.” This observation of Hyginus is interesting as far as
regards the probable date of the first institution of camp hospitals;
for we have no allusion to them in Polybius’ earlier account of the
different points and parts of a Roman camp of his day; and even in the
first century of our era, when Tacitus describes Germanicus as visiting
and encouraging the wounded soldiers under his command, he uses such an
expression, “circumire saucios” as to lead to the supposition, that the
invalids in the Roman camp were still, like the old Homeric heroes, laid
up in their own tents.[407] Indeed, Lampridius speaks of the Emperor
Alexander Severus in the third century, still visiting his sick soldiers
in their tents (aegrotantes ipse visitavit per tentoria milites).[408]
Let me add, that medical stores appear, as we might expect, to have been
carried with the imperial armies. At least in the war conducted by
Germanicus against Arminius, we are told by Tacitus, that in one of
their contests with the German army, the Roman troops lost their
intrenching tools, tents, and remedies or dressings for the wounded
(fomenta sauciis);[409] and subsequently we find Agrippina the wife of
the Roman general, distributing gratuitously among the soldiers, clothes
to the needy, and dressings to the wounded (militibusque, ut quis inops
aut saucius, vestem et fomenta dilargita est).[410] We have the
transport of the wounded sick sometimes spoken of; as, for example, when
Tempanius leads back his victorious troops from the Volscian war;[411]
but the only instance in which, as far as I remember, any special
description of ambulance is mentioned, occurs in Hirtius’
_Commentaries_, where he tells us that, after the battle fought near
Ruspina, Labienus ordered his wounded to be carried to Adrumentum, bound
in waggons (saucios suos jubet in plostris deligatos Adrumentum
deportari).[412] The passage should more probably read “plostris

The remarks which I have hitherto made refer only to the medical staff
and organisation of the Roman army. If, however, as the preceding facts
tend to show, the Roman troops were furnished with a medical staff,
there is, _a priori_, every probability that the Roman fleet was
similarly provided. The contingencies, however, of a naval, as compared
with a military life, render the preservation of such monumental proofs
as we have already adduced in relation to the existence of army medical
officers much less likely in relation to the existence of medical
officers in the fleet. Indeed I am only aware of the discovery of one
ancient tablet referring to the naval medical service. In his late
splendid work on the Latin inscriptions found in the kingdom of Naples,
Mommsen has given a careful copy of the tablet in question.[413] The
inscription upon it was first, I believe, published by Marini.[414] The
tablet itself, which is now placed in the antiquarian collection at
Dresden, was originally discovered in the Elysian fields, near Baiæ; and
consequently in the vicinity of the famous _Pontus Julius_, and the
station of the imperial Misenian fleet. The inscription on the stone
bears that M. SATRIUS LONGINUS, physician to the three-banked ship or
trirem, the CUPID,[415] and those or the heirs of those freed by Julia
Venerias, his wife, erected the tablet to the manes of this deserving

       D.        M
      HER. BEN. MER

In the preceding inscription LONGINUS is designated _Medicus
Duplicarius_; the term duplicarius in this as other inscriptions
signifying that, by the length or superiority of his service, he was
entitled to double pay and rewards. The “duplex stupendium” and “duplex
frumentum” is repeatedly alluded to by Varro, Livy, Virgil, and other
classical authors, as a military reward accorded to the more deserving
soldiers and officers of the army; and the corresponding adjective
“_duplicarius_” not unfrequently occurs in old Roman inscriptions.

In a previous page it has been stated that nowhere in the Roman
classics does there exist any distinct allusion to physicians or
surgeons as forming a regular part of the staff of the Roman army. There
are several references, however, in ancient medical and classical
authors to the fact of medical men being placed in professional
attendance upon Roman Senators,[416] Consuls,[417] and Emperors during
the course of their military campaigns. Thus Galen tells us that he
himself was summoned in this last capacity to attend upon the Emperors
M. Aurelius and L. Verus at Apuleia during their proposed campaign
against some of the German tribes.[418]

Various fragmentary notices exist regarding the physicians who attended
upon those Roman Emperors who visited Britain. A medical author (whom
Galen often quotes), Scribonius Largus, has left a valued therapeutical
work, _De Compositione Medicamentorum_. This work was written, as we are
informed in the preface to it, when the author was absent from Rome, and
deprived of the greater part of his library. In his _History of
Medicine_, Sprengel states, but I know not on what precise authority,
that the work in question was composed by Largus when he was absent with
the Emperor Claudius during his short campaign into England.[419] Our
countryman, Sir Thomas Browne, makes a similar statement. In his
_Hydriotaphia_, when discoursing on the want of Roman notices regarding
the state, habits, etc., of the ancient Britons, he observes, “We much
deplore the loss of that letter which Cicero expected or received from
his brother Quintus, as a resolution of British customs; or the accounts
which might have been made by Scribonius Largus, the physician
accompanying the Emperor Claudius, who might have discovered that frugal
bit of the old Britons (mentioned by Dion) which, in the bigness of a
bean, could satisfy their hunger.”[420]

We have already had occasion to allude to the disasters which attended
the Scottish campaign of Severus, and to the imperfect health of the
emperor himself during his invasion of Scotland. The evidence of
Herodian further shows us that during it he was attended by his own
physicians, and that their conduct after the emperor’s return from
Scotland to York, whilst in the highest degree commendable as regards
their faith and duty to the emperor, proved the cause of their own
downfall and destruction. The anxiety of Caracalla for the death of his
father Severus is well known. We have the testimony of Herodian to the
fact, that while the father and son were living at York, Caracalla at
one time attempted to destroy his father with his own hand. The same
historian further informs us, that the unhappy son attempted to induce
the medical attendants of Severus to adopt means to hasten the emperor’s
death.[421] He adds further, that in consequence of the court physicians
not complying with his unrighteous request, Caracalla, immediately after
the demise of Severus, commenced his reign of bloodshed and terror by
putting to death these recusant physicians of the late emperor.[422]

In the retrospect, it affords a strange subject of meditation for us in
the nineteenth century, to consider that, some fifteen hundred years
ago, it thus happened in England, that a number of physicians were
themselves doomed to death for refusing to pervert their professional
trust so far as to become the murderers of the royal invalid who had
confided his health to their care. And the modern physician may look
back with some degree of pride upon the fact, that in an age and at a
court where cruelty and corruption held unrestrained sway, some members
of the medical profession at least remained so uncorruptible as to
endanger and sacrifice their own lives rather than tamper with the life
of their patient.[423]


Nº I

  Fig. I

  Fig. II

  Fig. III







About two hundred years ago there were found at Nymegen, in Holland, two
small, greenish, flat, square-shaped stones or tablets, each engraved on
its four lateral surfaces or edges with inscriptions, the letters of
which were cut incuse and retrograde. In his work on the Roman and other
antiquities of Nymegen,[424] Schmidt, one of the greatest archæologists
of his day, described these two stones; but he confessedly altogether
failed in interpreting their nature and uses, or in reading the legends
inscribed upon them.

A few years later, another distinguished Dutch antiquary, Spon of
Leyden, published an account of a third tablet, similar in character to
the two described by Schmidt;[425] and he suggested that they were
engraved stones, which the ancient pharmacopolists used as lids for
covering the jars or boxes in which their ointments, oils, or collyria
were kept.[426]

Subsequently, during the currency of the last century, Chishull,[427]
Caylus,[428] Walch,[429] Saxe,[430] and Gough,[431] published accounts
of various other stones, analogous in their character to the two first
discovered at Nymegen. And, through the labours and interpretations of
these and other authors, it came at last to be generally admitted among
antiquaries, that the nature of the legends upon the stones in
question,—the incuse and retrograde form of their inscriptions,—and
the localities in which they were found, all proved them to be
medicine-stamps, employed for the purpose of marking their drugs, by the
Roman doctors, who (some sixteen or seventeen centuries ago) practised
at the various stations throughout Europe, that were in those olden
times occupied by the colonists and soldiers of Rome. Latterly, since
the beginning of the present century, various additional examples of
similar Roman medicine-stamps have been discovered at different old
Roman towns and stations in France, Germany, etc., and described by
Tochon,[432] Sichel,[433] Duchalais,[434] Dufour,[435] and others.

These Roman medicine-stamps all agree in their general characters. They
usually consist of small quadrilateral or oblong pieces, of a greenish
schist and steatite, engraved on one or more of their edges or borders.
The inscriptions are in small capital Roman letters, cut retrograde and
intagliate (like the letters on modern seals and stamps), and
consequently reading on the stone itself from right to left, but making
an impression, when stamped upon wax or any other similar plastic
material, which reads from left to right. The inscriptions themselves
generally first contain (and that repeated on each side) the name of the
medical practitioner to whom the stamp pertained; then the name of some
special medicine, or medical formula; and, lastly, the disease or
diseases for which that medicine was prescribed. In a few instances, the
modes and frequency of using the medicine are added. In some instances,
the designation of the medicine, and of the disease for which it is
intended, are alone given. Perhaps still more frequently, when the
number of items is limited, the name of the medical practitioner only
appears, along with the name of some special medicinal preparation or
remedy prepared or sold by him. And sometimes the stamps present merely
the appellation of the medicine alone, without either the name of the
practitioner who vended it, or the name of the disease against which it
was supposed to be efficacious.

To this brief description one more curious fact remains to be
added,—namely, that in almost all, if not in all, the Roman
medicine-stamps hitherto discovered, the medicines inscribed upon them
are drugs for affections of the eye and its appendages; and the
diseases, when specified upon them, are always ophthalmic diseases.
Hence it may, with great probability, be concluded, that either these
stamps were used by oculists alone, or they were used by the general
medical practitioner in marking his eye-medicines only. On this account
some authors have not inaptly described them under the special
designation of Roman Ophthalmic or Oculist stamps.

The number of the stamps that have already been discovered amply proves
that ophthalmic diseases must have been extremely frequent in the sites
of the old Roman colonies spread throughout western Europe; and although
only three such oculist-stamps are as yet described as having been found
within the confines of Italy itself,[436] yet the frequent references to
individual oculists at Rome by Celsus, Galen, and others, and the
elaborate descriptions of eye-diseases left us by the various Greek and
Roman medical authors, who practised in the Eternal City during the time
of the empire, alike testify to the fact, that these diseases were also
sufficiently common in the Roman capital, and that many of the
fellow-citizens of Horace could probably personally apply the well-known
description which the poet gives of himself:—

  Hic oculis ego nigra meis Collyria lippus

Galen, Celsus, Ætius, Paulus Ægineta, etc., all describe the different
diseases of the eye with care and minuteness; and the Roman
practitioners had evidently studied these affections, and their specific
distinctions, with no small degree of attention. In modern times medical
literature has been enriched with more complete and elaborate monographs
upon the diseases of the eye, than upon the diseases of any other single
organ of the body. But, perhaps, few of these monographs describe a
larger number of ophthalmic diseases than was professed to be known and
discriminated in those distant times when Galen wrote and practised.
This author, in the 16th chapter of his book, entitled _Introductio seu
Medicus_ enumerates and defines nosologically not less than one hundred
and twenty-four diseases to which the eye and its appendages are

In the management of these diseases of the eye, the Roman practitioners
used, as we shall afterwards see, bleeding, antiphlogistics,
scarification, and other appropriate constitutional and local treatment.
But the practical part of their treatises, referring to ophthalmic
affections, is specially loaded with collyria—professedly of use in
almost every stage of every disease of the eye.[438] Galen speaks of
Asclepiades describing in his works a plentiful forest of collyria
(_collyriorum silva_).[439] In his book, _De Compositione Medicamentorum
secundum Locos_, Galen has himself left us formulæ for upwards of two
hundred of the ancient collyria. Ætius gives as great, if not a greater
number. The “Opus de Compositione Medicamentorum” of Myrepsus contains
recipes for eighty-seven ophthalmic collyria; and the works of
Scribonius Largus, Celsus, Actuarius, Oribasius, Alexander Trallianus,
Marcellus, Paulus Ægineta, etc., present us with abundance of formulæ
for the same class of preparations.

These collyria were composed of very various,[440] and in some instances
of very numerous, ingredients. But most of them which had attained any
great degree of reputation, seem (like the compound formulæ, or
prescriptions in our modern pharmacopœias), to have each passed under
a short specific name, by which they were no doubt readily and generally
recognised by the profession, and perhaps also by the public, in those
ancient times. The specific appellations of the individual collyria were
derived from different sources.

Some of them were known under the names of the oculists who invented or
employed them. Thus Galen gives recipes for the collyria of Asclepiades,
of Philoxenis, of Capiton, of Zoilus, of Cassius, of Sosandrus, of
Phaedrus, of Syneros, of Hermeius, of Erasistratus, of Marcus, of
Antonius Musa; the collyrium of Sergius, the Babylonian oculist; the
collyrium of Philip of Cæsarea; and many others.[441] Occasionally the
appellation under which the collyria were known was derived from some of
their more marked physical properties, as the “collyrium _Chloron_
appellatum,” from the green colour of the preparation; the _Cirrhon_,
from its yellowish tint; _Euchron_, from its agreeable hue (a colore
bono dictum); the collyrium _Cygnus_, from its white or swan-like
hue;[442] the _Aromaticum_, from its pleasant odour; and so forth. One
or other of the principal ingredients entering into its composition
seems to have given the name under which other collyria were known, as
the _Nardinum_, from its containing spikenard; the collyrium
_Diasmyrnes_ (δια, with, and σμυρνα, myrrh), from its
containing myrrh; the _Diarrhodon_, from its containing roses, etc.
Occasionally the collyrium seems to have derived its name and fame from
some great person whom it had been fortunate enough to benefit or to
cure. Thus, for example, Galen gives a recipe for the collyrium which
Phlorus used in the case of Antonia, the mother of Drusus; for the
“_collyrium Harmatium_,” which King Ptolemy used, etc. One was termed
_Achariston_, from its cheapness; and this collyrium repeatedly occurs
on the oculist-seals. Another was termed _Atimeton_, from its supposed
great value. But perhaps the most common mode of appellation was the use
of some recommendatory name, advertising the supposed high qualities of
the drug. Thus the old Greek and Roman authors give various species of
the collyrium _Monohemeron_,—so named from its being alleged to effect
a cure in a single day; others are designated the _Miraculum_, the
_Mysterium_, the Nectar collyrium (_Nectarium_); the Royal (_Collyrium
Basilicon_); the Royal Indian (_Collyrium Indicum Regale_); the
gold-like (_Isochryson_); the divine (_Isotheon_), etc. etc. And lastly,
a collyrium was often known under some high-sounding but unmeaning name,
such as the collyrium _Olympus_, _Proteus_, _Phœnix_, _Phyon_,
_Sphærion_, _Philadelphium_, etc. etc.

Under such designations the principal collyria of the Roman oculists
were known and used (like the one invented and boasted of by Galen) “per
omnes gentes quibus imperant Romani;” and it is under such special
appellations that we find these different collyria mentioned in the
inscriptions engraved upon the old oculist-stamps, which have been
turned up among the ruins of their ancient colonial stations.

Above sixty Roman oculist-stamps have now been discovered in different
parts of Western Europe, but particularly in Germany, France, and
Holland. Some time ago one was found about ten miles east of Edinburgh;
and it is principally with the view of describing this, and along with
it the other specimens that have been detected in the British Islands,
that I have ventured to draw up the present imperfect essay. I have been
the more induced to do so because this Scottish stamp is remarkable,
both as being found on almost the very frontier of the ancient Roman
empire, and as being one of the most perfect yet discovered. Besides, I
entertain a strong hope that such a publication as the present may
perhaps be fortunate enough to lead, through the zeal of some members of
the profession, to the detection in this country of additional examples
of these curious remains of our Roman medical predecessors.

In treating, in the following sections, of the individual Roman
medicine-stamps that have been found in Great Britain, I shall begin
with some account, first, of the specimen found at Tranent, and of two
other undescribed specimens contained in the British Museum. Afterwards
I shall notice the other similar stones or tablets that have been
hitherto brought to light in these islands, in an order chronologically
in reference to the dates at which they severally happened to be
rediscovered in those localities in which they had lain concealed and
buried for many a long century. And lastly, I shall attempt to offer
some general remarks upon the probable uses of the medicine-stamps; the
nature of the drugs and the character of the diseases mentioned upon
them; the names, status, and residences of their proprietors; and
various other correlative points.



The Scottish specimen of Roman medicine-stamp, to which I have adverted
in the preceding page, was discovered some years ago at Tranent in East
Lothian, not far distant from the old, and doubtlessly in former times
extensive, Roman settlement or _Municipium_ at Inveresk.[443] The stamp
now belongs to the Museum of the Society of Scottish Antiquaries.

It was presented to the Museum by the late Mr. Drummond Hay, formerly
one of the Secretaries of the Society. From Mr. Hay’s notes it appears
that it was found amid a quantity of broken tiles, brick, and other
debris of an old (and probably Roman) house, near the church of Tranent.
For many years after being deposited in the Antiquarian Museum its
character remained undiscovered, till the present excellent Secretary of
the Society, my esteemed friend Mr. Daniel Wilson, was led, in reading
the descriptions of other similar stamps, to ascertain its true

The stamp itself is, as usual, formed out of a greenish-coloured
steatite. The stone is of the figure of a parallelogram, nearly two and
a half inches in length, and with inscriptions cut upon two of its
sides. There is a roundish projection at either extremity of the stone,
as seen in the accompanying lithograph (Plate I., No. I., Figs. 1, 2,
3), where the stone and letters of the two inscriptions are, in every
respect, faithfully copied from the original as to form and size. The
letters are, as in all other similar medicine-stamps, cut incuse and
reversed, so as to read from left to right when the inscription was
stamped upon any impressible material. Fig. 2 shows one of the
inscriptions as it appears cut intagliate upon the stone. Fig. 3
presents an accurate copy of this inscription as it is seen when stamped
upon wax. Fig. 1 is an equally faithful copy of the second inscription
placed on the opposite side of the stone. It will be observed that, as
in the original, the size of the lettering varies on the two sides.

The lettering on the two sides (1 and 2) runs thus, as it stands
inscribed upon the stone:—



The two inscriptions read as follows, when we separate the individual
words composing them from each other:—



Let us endeavour to interpret each of these inscriptions in detail,
supplying the elisions and contractions which exist in almost all Roman
inscriptions; but which are less in this seal than in most others.

ASP_e_RITUDIN_es_.—_Lucius Vallatinus’ Evodes for cicatrices and

Several of the collyria derived, as I have already observed, their
designation from some special physical character. The present instance
is an example in point, the appellation _Evodes_ (εὐώδες) being derived
from the pleasant odour (εὐ, well, and ὄζω, I smell) of the composition.
Marcellus, in his work _De Medicamentis_, specially praises the
collyrium known under the name of _Evodes_; and that too in the class of
eye-diseases mentioned on the Tranent seal. For, in his collection of
remedies for removing ulcers, cicatrices, etc., of the eyes and eyelids,
he recommends (to use his own words) “præcipue hoc quod quidam
Diasmyrnon, nonnulli _Evodes_, quia boni odoris est, nominant.” And he
directs the _Evodes_ to be dissolved and diluted in water, and
introduced into the eyes with a probe, or after inverting the eyelid,
when it was used with the view of extenuating recent cicatrices of the
eyes, and removing granulations of the eyelids,—“ex aqua autem ad
cicatrices recentes extenuendas, et palpebrarum asperitudinem tollendam
teri debet, et subjecto specillo aut inversa palpebra, oculis

Scribonius Largus had previously described, in nearly the same words,
the collyrium,—“quod quidam εὐώδες vocant,” and its uses in recent
cicatrices and granulations, etc. Both these authors give the same
recipe for the composition of the _Evodes_,—viz. pompholyx, burnt
copper, saffron, myrrh, hematites, opium, and other ingredients, rubbed
down in Chian wine. Its agreeable odour was probably owing to a
considerable quantity of spikenard being used in its composition.[445]
Galen gives two other collyria, of a different composition, and for
other affections, as known at his time under the same name of
_Evodes_,—the one termed the “_Evodes_ of Zosimus,” the other the
“diasmyrnon _Evodes_ of Syneros.”[446]

Crocodes for affections of the eyes._

The term diathesis in this inscription is used in a different sense from
that in which we now employ the same word in modern medicine. At the
present day we apply the term diathesis to designate the tendency or
predisposition to some special disease, or class of diseases. In the
times of the Roman physicians, it was often used as synonymous with
disease itself; and in the Latin translations of the Greek texts of
Galen, Aetius, etc., it is hence rendered usually by the general word
“affectus,” “affectio,” etc. The first sentence in Paulus Ægineta’s
chapter on Ophthalmic Diseases, affords an instance in point: “Quum
dolores vehementiores in oculis fiunt, considera ex quanam affectione
(διαθεσει) oculum dolere contingit.”[447] Thus, also, the
_Evodes_ of Zosimus (to which I have before alluded) is entered by Galen
as a remedy simply against “dolores et recentes affectus,” according to
the Latin translation of Kühn,—“προς περιωδυνιας και προσφατους
διαθεσεις,” according to the original Greek text. He uses diathesis, in
fact, as a general term for eye-diseases. Thus, when speaking of
diseases of the eye in general, he observes,—“Scripsi omnia quæ necesse
est Medicum de oculorum affectibus (διαθεσεων) nosse.”[448]
In its last syllable in the inscription on the seal, diathesIS stands
instead of the Roman accusative diathesES, or the Greek accusative
diathesEIS. This usage, however, is not without classical authority.

The collyrium mentioned in the prescription (the _Crocodes_) derives its
designation from its containing the crocus, or saffron, as one of its
principal ingredients.

In describing the therapeutic effects of the crocus, Dioscorides
mentions, as its first special use, its efficacy in “fluxions of the
eyes”—(oculorum fluxiones cohibet).[449]

Pliny, in enumerating the qualities of the crocus, begins by observing
that it has a discutient effect upon all inflammations, but chiefly on
those of the eyes (discutit inflammationes omnes quidem, sed oculorum
maxime); and in speaking of its combinations he tells us that it has
given a name to one collyrium (collyrio uno etiam nomen dedit).[450] But
it entered into the composition of very many of the ancient
eye-medicines, and more than one of these passed under the name of
_Crocodes_, as in the inscription on the seal. Galen, in his list of
eye-remedies, gives the recipe for the composition of a _Crocodes_
collyrium for epiphoræ, pains, and affections (διαθεσεις) from
wounds of the eye.[451] He discusses the composition also of the
aromatic _Crocodes_ of Heraclides, and the oxydercic _Crocodes_ of
Asclepius, etc.[452] When describing, in another part, the remedies for
ulcers of the eyes, he mentions a collyrium containing crocus, and
adds, “habet autem hoc plurimum in se crocum, unde etiam _Croceum_
(κροκωδες) appellatur.”[453]

Celsus,[454] Alexander Trallianus,[455] and Paulus Ægineta[456] give
recipes for eye collyria, under the name of diacrocus (δια κροκος).

I have not yet alluded to the expression APALO, standing before
_Crocodes_. This expression presents the only difficulty in reading the
inscription; and various suggestions might be offered in regard to its
explanation. But it seems most probable that it was used as a qualifying
term to the _Crocodes_. Several of the collyria have the Latin adjective
“lene,” and “leve,” placed before them, in order to certify their mild
nature. Scribonius Largus gives a whole division of collyria, headed
“Collyria composita levia.” Aetius has a chapter, “De Lenibus
Collyriis.” The expression _apalo_, as a part and prefix to _Crocodes_,
would seem to indicate the same quality in the crocodes sold by
Vallatinus, the term being in all likelihood derived from the Greek
adjective απαλος, or the corresponding Latin adjective _apalus_
(mild, soft). Homer frequently uses the word as signifying soft,
delicate, and especially as applied to different parts of the body (see
_Iliad_, book iii. 371; xvii. 123, etc.); and, indeed, both Aetius and
Paulus Ægineta employ the Greek adjective therapeutically in the sense
of mild, and as applied to collyria. In the treatment of acute
inflammatory ulcers of the eye, after inculcating the usual
antiphlogistic treatment, Aetius adds, “collyria vero tenera (απαλα)
ulcerate oculo infundantur.”[457]

When treating of carbuncles and carcinoma of the eye, Paulus Ægineta
observes that the affection may be alleviated “by the injection of
soothing (_tenera_, απαλα) collyria, such as the _Spodiacum_,
_Severianum_, and the like.”[458] And again, when giving his formulæ for
different collyria in another part of his works, he applies the term
απαλον to the collyrium _Diathalium_, or collyrium made from olive
leaves (Διαθαλιον απαλον), upon the same principle, and
evidently with the same signification, as the word is used in the
Tranent stamp, as applied to the collyrium _Crocodes_.[459]

I am indebted to the kindness of Mr. Birch for the impressions of two
unpublished oculist-stamps, contained in the British Museum. Their forms
and inscriptions are represented in Plate I., Nos. II. and III.; and I
shall describe them under these numbers. They are supposed to have
formed part of the collection of Sir Hans Sloane; but no note exists as
to the precise locality in which they were discovered.



This large stamp consists (Plate I., No. II.[460]) of a flat
quadrilateral stone, about an inch and a half broad, and engraved upon
three of its sides. A portion of one corner of the stone is broken off.
The probable deficiency which is thus produced in one of the
inscriptions is supplied in this, and in some other similar instances in
the sequel, by Italic letters. The three inscriptions read as follow:—



  3. (_Sex_): JUL: SEDATI CRO-
     (_cod_)ES AD DIATHES

The name of the oculist—SEXTUS JULIUS SEDATUS—is imperfect on the
third or broken side, the prænomen “SEX” being wanting on that side in
the first line, and the middle syllable “COD” of the word Crocodes being
also wanting, from the same cause, in the second line.

The restored reading of this third side—viz., SEXTI JULII SEDATI
CROCODES AD DIATHES_es_—need not be dwelt upon, as it is so very
similar to that on one side of the Tranent stone. The other two sides
contain the names of two new varieties of crocodes.

One of these varieties—the CROCODES PACCIANUM—received its name from
Paccius, a celebrated Roman medical practitioner, who either invented
this special collyrium, or brought it into repute. Paccius, who lived
about the commencement of the Christian era, is said to have amassed a
fortune by the sale of a secret nostrum. At his death he bequeathed the
prescription for it to the Emperor Tiberius, who placed a copy of it in
the various public libraries.[461] In the list of his ophthalmic
medicines, Galen gives formulæ for various collyria invented by Paccius,
such as the “_Sphragis Paccii_,”[462] “_Asclepiadeum Paccii_,”[463]
“_Collyrium_ ex terra Samia _Paccii Ophthalmici_ ad affectus intensos
(επιτεταμενας διαθεσεις).”[464] Galen does not give any recipe
for the _Crocodes_ of Paccius; but it was evidently a collyrium duly
esteemed at the time in which he wrote; for, in his chapter on ulcers of
the eyes, he specially names the “CROCODES PACCIANUM,”[465] and
recommends its use in cases in which the accompanying inflammation has
already ceased, and at the stage when a stimulating application becomes

The other variety of crocodes used by Sedatus is the CROCODES
DIALEPIDOS. A formula for _Dialepidos_ is given by Marcellus,[466] with
the crocus as the first ingredient mentioned in its composition. The
_Dialepidos_ derived its name from its containing the scales—(λεπιδες)
of burnt copper, or the black peroxide of that metal,—a preparation
which Dioscorides (lib. v. cap. 89) describes as useful in eye-diseases;
and which Galen declares to be a “medicamentum multo utilissimum,” vol.
xii. p. 223.



A second Roman medicine-stamp is (as I have already stated, p. 244)
contained in the British Museum. The stone is small and broken, and only
engraved on one side (see Plate I., No. III.) The inscription does not
include, as usual, the name of the oculist who possessed and employed

The lettering on this stamp is very distinct, except in one particular.
It is doubtful whether the third last letter is intended for an “L,” or
stands, as suggested by Mr. Way, for an “I,” with a period-point after
it, thus—“I.” An inspection of the stamp itself has impressed me with
the belief, that the doubtful letter is truly an “L;” and if so, the
inscription would run:—


Or, to read it in an extended form, COLLYR_ium_ P_ost_ C_a_L_iginem_
OC_ulorum_—_Collyrium for blindness of the eyes._ And I may observe
that several of the prescriptions found on these medicine-stamps are
collyria professing to be useful against and after (_ad_ and _post_)

But if the doubtful letter is an “I,” and not an L, then the
inscription, when extended, may be read as follows:—COLLYR_ium_ P_ost_
CI_catrices_ OC_ulorum_, or, “_Collyrium after cicatrices of the eyes._”

The P may stand for P_ro_, and not for P_ost_; but I am not aware of any
instance of the former preposition (_Pro_) occurring in these
inscriptions, while several examples of this use of the latter
preposition (_Post_) are known. An instance of this use of the
preposition _Post_ will be found in the sequel, in Stamp No. VI.



The first Roman medicine-stamp discovered in Great Britain was described
about a hundred and thirty years ago by Mr. Chishull in the learned
“Dissertatio De Nummo ϹΚωΠΙ,” which he addressed to Haym, and
which this last-mentioned author has published in the preface to his
second volume of the _Tesoro Brittanico_.

The stamp had been found some years previously at Colchester, a
well-known and extensive Roman colonial station. Mr. Chishull believed
it to have belonged to some old Roman Iatraliptes, or curer by
ointments.[467] The following is a copy of the inscription on this
Colchester stamp, as given by Chishull:—



And Mr. Chishull interpreted these inscriptions thus:—“Quinti Julii
Murranii Melinum, sive ex malis cotoneis oleum, ad claritatem oculorum
faciens. Iterumque, Quinti Julii Murranii stagium opobalsamatum, sive
myrrhæ oleum opobalsamo permixtum, ad cap. _i.e._, ad caput medicandum

In this interpretation, Mr. Chishull seems to have fallen into more than
one important error, as we shall endeavour to show by considering the
two inscriptions in detail.

(Quintus?) Julius Murranus, for clearness of vision._

Two or three varieties of the collyrium _Melinum_ are given by
Galen.[468] Thus, in his list of collyria he gives formulæ for the
_Melinum_ of Lucius; for the _Melinum atarachum_ (_i.e._ against the
taraxis); and for a _Melinum delicatum_, fitted for those who could not
bear the irritation of any powerful medicament.

Different opinions have been expressed in relation to the origin and
signification of the term _Melinum_. Walch,[469] like Chishull, derives
the term from “malum” (μῆλον), an apple, supposing it to be the
principal ingredient in the collyrium. And certainly Pliny and Paulus
Ægineta speak of an oil termed _melinum_,[470] being made from the
quince (Malum Cydoneum); and the flower of the plant is described by
Pliny as useful in inflammation of the eyes. But no “malum” enters into
the composition of any of the three _Melina_ collyria, which I have
referred to in Galen.

The best variety of alum seems, in ancient times, to have come from the
island of Melos; and, according to Pliny, this drug was consequently
termed _Melinum_. It was believed to be useful in discussing
granulations of the eyes (oculorum scabritias extenuat).[471] Hence Saxe
(p. 29) and Tochon (p. 18) have conjectured that the alum or _Melinum_
of Pliny was the _Melinum_ which has been found inscribed on several
oculist-stamps. But again, the same objection holds,—namely, that in
none of the collyria _Melina_ of Galen was alum a component ingredient.

In his observations, however, upon the different forms of emplastra (and
many of which were named _Melina_), Galen gives a sufficient explanation
of the origin of this term as it was applied to plasters; and the same
holds, no doubt, also in reference to its application to collyria.
According to his own explanation, it was a term significant merely of
the colour of the resulting medicament, like the green, brown, etc.,
plasters and collyria, named _chloron_, _cirrhon_, etc. etc. Gesner,
Cooper, and other philologists, lay down _Melinum_ as an adjective,
meaning yellow. And perhaps the term was originally derived from the
yellow colour of the quince or μῆλον, in the same way as the _citrine_
(_Unguentum Citrinum_), which is still common in modern pharmaceutical
language, was a term originally derived from the yellow colour of the
_citron_ (κιτριον) or lemon, and was applied to designate ointments,
etc., of that special tint. In further proof of this origin and
signification of the term _Melinum_, I may add, that, in mixing together
the ingredients contained in the _collyrium melinum delicatum_ of Galen
(vol. xii. p. 769), I find that a yellow or orange-coloured fluid is the
result. The yellowish tint of the _emplastra melina_ was, as Galen tells
us, generally, but not always, derived from their containing verdigris,
altered by a moderate boiling with the other component ingredients.[472]
The collyria _Melina_ of Galen contain ceruse and calamine in their

The _Melinum_ is professed, in Murranus’ stamp, to be efficacious for
the clearing of the eyesight (ad claritatem). The _Melina_ collyria of
Galen are all alleged by him to have effects conducive to this
object—viz. the removing of cicatrices and calli, and every weakness of
vision (omnem hebetudinem visus).

CAP (CAL_igines_).—_Q. Julius Murranus’s Opobalsamic Stactum, or
Opobalsamic Eye-drops, for dimness or blindness._

Mr. Chishull read _Stagium_ instead of _Stactum_, the CT of the latter
word having been mistaken by him for GI. Mr. Forster showed to the
London Antiquarian Society,[473] in 1767, a plaster-cast of what was
doubtlessly this same Colchester stamp, and gave the reading correctly
in the second inscription as Stactum.

The Latin designation _Stactum_, analogous to the Greek terms _Stacton_,
_Enstacton_, and derived from the verb σταζω (I drop), denoted any
liquid collyrium, applied by drops into the eye—“collyria enstacta, hoc
est, instillatitia, appellata.”[474]

A collyrium, with the appellation _Stactum_ or _Staticon_, is described
by Marcellus,[475] Myrepsus,[476] Paulus Ægineta,[477] etc.; and
Aetius[478] gives a chapter of collyria under this designation. In this
chapter Aetius describes five collyria _Stactica_; and, of these, four
contain the Opobalsam[479] as an ingredient, showing the origin and
propriety of the term _Opobalsamatum_ in the inscription on the seal.

Chishull read the last three letters of the inscription CAP, and thought
that the oil was serviceable for head diseases. But if the inscription
is not really CAL, the P has in all probability been substituted by an
error of the engraver for L (CAL), an abbreviation for Caligines. In
confirmation of this opinion, I may remark that the same inscription
occurs at greater length on an oculist-stamp found at Daspich in France;
and in it the _Stactum Opobalsamatum_ is professed to remove
_Caligines_.[480] There is, indeed, little doubt but that Murranus of
Colchester vended, of old, his Opobalsamic Eye-drops for the same
alleged purpose. This quality of “visum acuens” is attributed to two out
of the four forms of Opobalsamic Eye-drops mentioned by Aetius. And the
_Stactum_ is (according at least to the testimony of Myrepsus) “ad
acumen visus mirabile admodum.”—P. 660.



This stamp was found, in the year 1731, at Bath, a well-known Roman
station. It was discovered in a cellar in the Abbey-yard. Shortly
afterwards the stamp was exhibited to the Antiquarian Society of London
by Mr. Cutler. Mr. Mitchell of Bristol, who possessed the stone about
the middle of the last century, submitted it also for examination to the
Royal Society of London. I have, through Mr. Norman of Bath, and other
friends in England, attempted to trace out the present proprietor of
the stamp, with a view of ascertaining more correctly the exact nature
of the inscriptions upon it; but these efforts have been quite

Mr. Lethieullier presented to the London Antiquarian Society plaster
casts of the inscriptions on the stamp; and three of these plaster
impressions of it are still preserved in the London Antiquarian Museum.
These plaster casts, however, are very imperfect; and the lettering upon
them is now unfortunately defective at some of those very points that
are otherwise the most difficult to decypher.

Manuscript notices of this Bath medicine-stamp exist in the Minute-books
of the Antiquarian Society for 1744 (vol. iv. p. 210), and for 1757
(vol. viii. p. 29); the last is with an impression taken with ink from
the inscriptions. For copies of these I am deeply indebted to the polite
kindness of Mr. Akerman, the distinguished secretary to the Society. The
outline in Pl. II., No. V., presents a copy of a rude drawing of the
Bath stamp given in the Minute-book of the Antiquarian Society for April
27, 1732.[481] Mr. Akerman has also obligingly furnished me with this
sketch, which is interesting as giving us the form of the stone. On the
exposed sides of this sketch there is given retrograde, as on the
original stone, one of the inscriptions. This inscription the engraver
has entered in the plate, as corrected from the pertaining plaster-cast
in the museum; and below it, in the plate, is a reversed impression of
this inscription.

[Illustration: Nº V




In 1788 Mr. Gough published, in the _Archæologia_, “Observations on
certain Stamps or Seals used anciently by the Oculists.”[482] In
this communication he has given, amongst others, copies of the
inscriptions on the medicine-stamp found at Bath; but without making any
attempt whatever to read and decypher these inscriptions. He appears to
have seen the stone itself, as he describes it as “square, of a greenish
cast, and perforated.” He presents the following as the legends or
inscriptions on the four sides of the stamp:[483]—



  3. T. IVNIANI D[symbols]VM


The two first of these inscriptions are given with sufficient
distinctness and accuracy; and they do not offer any great difficulties
in the way of explanation. But the two last have been copied so
imperfectly,—and, perhaps, so inaccurately,—by Mr. Gough, as to
surround their meaning with no small degree of uncertainty and doubt.

In all of the four inscriptions, the name of the proprietor or oculist,
T(_itus_?) JUNIANUS, is perfectly distinct. The first side reads as

1. T. JUNIANI THALASSER AD CLARITATEM. _T. Junianus’ Thalasser (or
Marine Collyrium) for clearness of vision._

The collyrium _Thalasseros_ (θαλασσερος) is mentioned by several of the
old Greek and Roman authors, who have discussed the subject of diseases
of the eye and collyria, as by Galen,[484] Myrepsus,[485] Aetius,[486]
Alexander Trallianus,[487] and Paulus Ægineta.[488]

The name itself—_Thalasseros_—is evidently derived from θαλασση, the
sea. Fuchs, the translator of Myrepsus, avows that he can form no
conjecture as to why the collyrium was termed Thalasseros (quam autem ob
causam nescio). In Cornarius’ translation of Aetius, it is entered as
“Thalasserum, _hoc est marinum_.” And in all probability it originally
received its high-sounding and attractive appellation from the marine
colour of the preparation, the hue of the collyrium being, as we have
already seen, sometimes the cause and source of its distinctive
appellation, as in the collyria termed _Melinum_, _Cygnus_, _Cirrhon_,
etc. It has been conjectured that the name was imposed upon it in
consequence of one or other of its ingredients being of marine origin.
But in none of the formulæ given for it by the authors already named,
does any sea ingredient enter into its composition.[489]

The object of the _Thalasseros_ in our inscription was to produce
clearness of vision (_ad claritatem_). It was used in vision impaired
from cataract (_suffusio_) and other causes. Galen describes the
_Thalasseros_ of Hermophilus as “accomodatum ad suffusiones et ad omnem
hebetudinem visus; facit et ad incipientem suffusionem” (vol. xii. p.
781). Myrepsus assigns to it the powers of “lachrymas retinens, ad
inchoantes suffusiones et nyctalopas, et ad recentem pupillæ
dilatationem” (sect. xxiv. cap. 51). It is adapted, according to
Trallianus, “ad hebetudinem, et incipientes suffusiones; et callos
exterit” (lib. ii. cap. v. p. 175).

2. T. JUNIANI C_e_R_us_SOMAELINUM AD CLARITATEM.—_T. Junianus’ Leaden_
(?) _Melinum (or Golden Yellow Collyrium) for clearness of vision._

I have already had occasion to speak of the signification and qualities
of the collyrium named _Melinum_. In the Colchester stamp the _Melinum_
is invested with the same supposed properties as the _Crsomelinum_ in
the above legend on the Bath seal,—namely, “ad claritatem.”[490]

The prefix CRSO, in _Crsomelinum_, admits of more than one
interpretation. Galen gives four different formulæ for “collyria
_Melina_.” Three of these contain, as one of their ingredients, the
_Cerussa_, or carbonate of lead; and the prefix CRSO may possibly stand
as a contraction for _Cerussa_, implying the presence of this medicine
in the collyrium. And, in relation to this view, it is to be recollected
that this preparation of lead was, in these ancient times, held in some
esteem as a local application in eye-diseases. Galen recommends it as an
anodyne in pains of the eyes, and as a general astringent and sedative

Another, and perhaps more probable meaning, has been suggested to me by
my friend M. Sichel. He supposes the CRSO to be a contraction for CHRSO,
_golden_ (from χρυσος, gold), the prefix marking the golden
colour of this _melinum_, or yellow collyrium. In this way we would have
Junianus retailing his “Golden Yellow Collyrium” to the colonists and
natives of Bath some sixteen centuries ago. And we all know that “Golden
Ointment” for the eyes is an application not by any means unknown to the
medical practitioners and pharmacopolists of England in the nineteenth


In the above line I give the reading of the third side of the Bath
medicine-seal, such as it stands copied into the manuscript minute-books
of the Antiquarian Society for 17th November 1757. By turning back to
the inscription, as cited in a previous page from Gough, it will be seen
that the three medial letters IEX are in a rude Brittano-Roman
character, which allows us only to guess at their true signification.
Unfortunately, the plaster cast of this side of the stamp does not
happen to be preserved with the others, so as to enable us to ascertain
the probability of either reading; and it is more than doubtful whether
the inscription thus given by these opposed authorities is correctly
copied, either by Gough, or in the Society’s minute-book. And I believe
I state the general experience of all who have worked at the
deciphering of Roman and other inscriptions, in observing that the
perplexities connected with the reading of them have often been
produced, much more by grave errors in the published copies of the
inscriptions, than by actual difficulties in the interpretation of the
original, after a true copy has been once obtained.

In the present instance, by reversing the usual mode of procedure in
such investigations, we may perhaps arrive at the probable truth. In
other words, if we consider the disease prescribed for, we may possibly
arrive at a knowledge of the drug prescribed. Now the affection on this
side of the Bath stamp is _old cicatrices_ (VETERES CICATRICES). This
disease, or rather result of disease, is mentioned on various Roman
medicine-stamps discovered on the continent of Europe, as on examples
found at Verona, Lillebonne, Ingweiler, and Saint Cheron,[492] and in
one which I shall notice in the sequel, lately detected in Ireland. In
all the instances which I have just named, the collyrium indicated on
the inscriptions as the remedy (VETERES CICATRICES), is the collyrium
termed DIAMYSOS or DIAMYSUM, which contained, as its principal
ingredient, the metallic preparation known under the name of Μισυ, or
Mysy, among the ancient medical authors; and Marcellus Empiricus gives a
formula for the formation of a collyrium DIAMYSOS from it. Looking to
these facts, in relation to other analogous Roman medicine-seals, it
seems not an improbable conjecture that the word on this third side of
the Bath stamp is the same, perhaps more or less mis-spelt or
contracted; and consequently, that the whole inscription is T. JUNIANI
DIAMYSUM AD VETERES CICATRICES. The re-discovery of the stamp itself can
alone settle this and other difficulties connected with it.

If we judged of the nature of the inscription by the characters of the
letters, as given by Gough, the disputed word might perhaps be more
correctly read DRYCUM or DRYXUM. And possibly, in this way, it may
signify an astringent and detergent collyrium, made from the bark,
acorn, or galls of the DRYS (δρυς) or oak—a tree that held a
place in the materia medica of Hippocrates, Galen, and the other
ancients, and which still maintains its place in our own modern
Pharmacopœias. Dioscorides, and the other old pharmaceutical
authorities, describe the _Drys_ or Quercus as possessing desiccant,
astringent, and other properties; and they attribute especially these
powers to the gall excrescences that so often grow upon it, and which
they incorrectly deemed the fruit of this tree. According to Oribasius,
the gall of the oak—“siccat, repercutit, contrahit, constringit, et
particulas infirmas roborat.”[493]

Further, in favour of the present supposition, that the collyrium of the
inscription may possibly be named from the DRYS, I may take the present
opportunity of mentioning that the ancient Roman oculists seem to have
pursued, in regard to old cicatrices of the eye, a treatment which is
not followed by their successors in modern times. “All cicatrices on the
transparent part of the eye,” says Aetius, “appear white (omnes
cicatrices in nigro oculi _albæ_ apparent”);[494] and consequently
give, by their presence, a disagreeable and disfiguring effect to the
eye.[495] Some of the Roman oculists seem to have used various collyria,
for the purpose of dyeing or changing the colour of these white specks
or pearly cicatrices, and of thus imparting to them some kind of tint
that rendered the appearance of the eye, and the distinction between the
transparent cornea and its white opacities, less marked and striking.
For this purpose the gall-nuts of the oak or DRYS appear to have been
greatly used. Aetius does not approve of the practice of tinting
cicatrices; but, in a chapter bearing the heading of “Albuginum
Tincturæ,” he describes half-a-dozen applications and collyria that
might be employed for the purpose of staining and correcting the colour
of old cicatrices of the eyes, lest, he adds, his readers should be
ignorant of the means which might effect this (ut ne ignorentur ea quæ
hoc facere possunt). In three or four of these collyria the gall-nut
forms a leading ingredient,[496] and it seems to have been generally
used previously to, or in combination with, blue vitriol (_atramentum
sutorium_). Myrepsus gives a “collyrium tingens crassas albugines et
cicatrices,” containing galls with chalcanthus (or copperas), roasted
lead, etc.; and a second formed of burnt and washed lead, etc., combined
with unripe galls.[497] Paulus Ægineta mentions two dyes for
cicatrices, both of them containing galls along with chalcanthus.[498]
Alexander Trallianus gives a collyrium for staining cicatrices, which he
pronounces “valde generosum.” It consists principally of chalcanthus and

Lastly, let me offer one more conjecture. If the debateable word in this
legend be correctly copied as DIEXUM into the Antiquarian Society
minute-book, it may probably signify the collyrium DIOXUS or DIOXUM
given by Marcellus, and which he recommends for the removal of
granulations of the eyelids. This collyrium was composed of cadmia,
burnt copper, hæmatites, myrrh, and gum.[500]


This fourth legend on the Bath stone offers the most puzzling of all the
inscriptions hitherto found upon the Roman medicine-stamps discovered in
Great Britain. As Mr. Gough gives it, the last words of the inscription
DELICTA, or more probably DELECTA[501] A⃨ MEDICIS (esteemed by
physicians), are alone intelligible. The plaster cast of this side of
the seal, contained in the Museum of the Antiquarian Society of London,
contains an extremely imperfect copy of the second line, and not an over
perfect one of the first; but we see enough in it to be quite aware of
the great carelessness with which Mr. Gough had originally copied the
whole inscription. The second last letter in the line is not the Greek
ρ, as Gough prints it, but the Latin Q; and the name of the collyrium is
not HOBSUM, as he gives it, but apparently PHOEBUM. At all events there
is a P, which he has omitted, before the H; and the two medial letters,
which he read F S, are seemingly E B. Such is the conclusion to which a
careful examination of the lettering of the cast itself forces me; and
what is much more important,—because affording far stronger evidence
than mine,—Mr. Akerman reads this inscription in the same way. I may
add, that (as I am informed by the same gentleman) the word is always
copied and written as PHOEBUM, in the several notices of the stamp
contained in the minute-books of the Antiquarian Society, and to which I
have already referred; and Gough’s Greek ρ is always given as the Roman

Still, with all these emendations, I confess myself quite at a loss to
decipher, satisfactorily, the inscription. The spelling of all the
inscriptions on this stamp is executed very carelessly,—as in
_crsomaelinum_ for _crysomelinum_; _thalaser_ for _thalasser_; and
possibly the term QUECVMO may be a mis-spelling by the engraver for
LEUCOMA. If so, the inscription would stand as


Or, as we may then translate it, “_The Phoebum of T. Junianus for
Leucoma, esteemed by physicians._”

I am not aware that any of the old authors have described a collyrium
under the name of PHOEBUM. But it looks like one of those specious
titles which the oculists were so fond of selecting and assuming; and we
find described in their works collyria with analogous semi-astronomical
and mythological appellations, such as _Sol_, _Aster_, _Lumen_, _Phos_,
_Uranium_, etc.[502]

I shall venture only one more remark, viz. the possibility of the term
being PHORBIUM and not PHOEBUM. “The PHORBIUM,” observes Galen,
“possesses attenuating, attractive, and discutient powers. They apply
its seeds, mixed with honey, to LEUCOMA; and it is believed to have the
power of extracting spicula of wood.”[503]



Mr. Douce published in 1778[504] a notice of a square flattened Roman
medicine-stamp, a quarter of an inch thick, and each side or edge
measuring about two inches.

Mr. Gough published in the _Archæologia_ a sketch of this stamp, which
is copied into Pl. II., No. VI. Some wax impressions were taken of the
stone, but the stone itself was (it is stated in the same volume of the
_Gentleman’s Magazine_, 1778, p. 510) “lost out of a pocket that had a
hole in it, and probably, instead of gracing a museum, has contributed
its mite towards mending the roads.”

The four sides of the stone contained the following series of
inscriptions, the terminal and initial letters of three of the lines
being wanting, and supplied in our copy below by italic letters:—





The name of the oculist, M. JUL. SATYRUS—_M(arcus?) Jul(ius)
Satyrus_—is sufficiently distinct, and occurs with each of the four
legends of the stamp. When we analyse further the inscriptions on the
four sides of the seal, they severally read as follows:—

1. M(_arci_) JUL_ii_ SATYRI DIALEPIDOS AD ASP_e_R_itudines_.—_Marcus
Julius Satyrus’ Dialepidos or Copper collyrium for granulations of the

The three first sides of this stamp have the special collyria inscribed
upon them, beginning each with the letters DIA, from the Greek
preposition δια, “with,” and here signifying “made with.”[505] The three
principal ingredients in the three first inscriptions are all given,
combined with this initial preposition δια, and under their Greek
appellatives,—λεπιδος, σμυρνα and λιβανος—forming instances, among
many others, of the anxiety of the ancient Roman oculists to invest
their drugs with all the mysterious attraction and formality of a Greek
name; just as some modern English physicians foolishly enough consider
it still proper to write always the names of the medicines which they
now prescribe in the language of the ancient Romans, thus, like their
predecessors, attempting, in the exercise of their profession, to act
upon that principle in the weakness of human nature which holds “omne
ignotum pro mirifico.”

I have already described (see Stamp No. II., p. 245) the composition of
the collyrium termed _Dialepidos_, and the origin of the name of the
inscription from the λεπιδες, or scales of the oxide of copper.

Diasmyrnes or Myrrh collyrium of M. Jul. Satyrus, after the commencement
of ophthalmy._

The principal ingredients in the collyrium _Diasmyrnes_, namely, myrrh
(μῤῥυα or σμυρνα), was a drug to which important therapeutical
virtues were formerly ascribed. It was applied in the treatment of
various diseases. In reference to affections of the eye, it had the
power, according to Dioscorides, of filling up ulcers of the organ,
removing cicatrices and scales obstructing the pupil; and besides, it
cured eruptions and granulations of the eyelids (oculorum ulcera
complet, exteritque albugines, et ea quae pupillis tenebras offundunt;
quin et scabritias seu asperitudines expolit).[506]

Various collyria were used by the ancients, bearing the name of
_Diasmyrnes_ or _Diasmyrnon_, from myrrh constituting their leading
ingredient. Aetius has one of his long chapters on collyria headed
“Collyria Diasmyrna et Chiaca appellata.”[507] Actuarius, in his section
“De affectionibus Oculorum,” speaks of the collyria _Diasmyrna_ (quæ ex
myrrha constant) in the plural number, and as well known in his
time.[508] Paulus Ægineta, in discussing the treatment of hypopion or
suppuration in the cornea, speaks of sometimes making the abscess burst;
and, if so, then, he adds, “cleanse the ulcer by means of the more
potent remedies, such as those called _Diasmyrna_,”[509] etc. Among his
formulæ for individual collyria in his several books, he gives a receipt
for the collyria _Diasmyrnes_. (Aldine edition, p. 118.)

Galen gives several collyria _Diasmyrna_, as the _Diasmyrnum_ Odorum
Synerotis,[510] the _Diasmyrnum_ Glaucidanum, and the _Diasmyrnum_ ex
hæmatite.[511] And in his work _De Simplicium Medicamentorum
Temperamentis ac Facultatibus_, he states, “Sed et collyria sunt plurima
quæ medeantur suffusionibus, et maxime quod plurimam recipit myrrham,
quale est quod a Democrate compositum est, quod vocant

The term _Lippitudo_ in this legend, and which we will find recurring in
the sequel, was, according to Galen, anciently applied to that form of
ophthalmy which consists of inflammation of the conjunctival covering of
the cornea (lippitudo inflammatio est membranæ, quæ corneæ adnata
est.)[513] But the term was also used to designate other forms or
varieties of ophthalmic inflammation. The disease described by Celsus
under the name of _Lippitudo_ appears (says a high modern authority on
eye-diseases) to have been “catarrhal conjunctivitis.”[514] The same
oculist speaks of Lippitudo as “an excoriation of the edges of the lids,
or bleared eyes;” and he describes obliteration of the Meibomian
follicles as the cause of incurable Lippitudo.

Satyrus’ Dialibanum, or Incense collyrium, for Suppurative discharge
from the eyes._

Frankincense (_thus_, λιβανος, λιβανωτος)[515] was frequently
used by the ancient oculists in their collyria. According to Galen[516]
and Paulus Ægineta,[517] in consequence of its detergent powers, it
apparently cleanses and fills up ulcers in the eyes (expurgare et
implere quæ in oculis consistunt ulcera videtur). It has the power,
according to Oribasius, “astringendi, calefaciendi, _caliginem oculorum_
discutiendi, cava ulcera implendi, ad cicatricem perducendi,”[518] etc.

Alexander Trallianus gives a formula for the collyrium _Dialibanum ad
chemosim efficax_; and he describes the _Dialibanum_ as, like the
Libanum, of much use in eye-diseases, and particularly for inflammations
which are accompanied with ulceration (multi est usus, maxime ad
inflammationes quae cum ulcere infestant).[519] Celsus recommends it in
ulcers of the eye following pustules (fit quoque proprie ad hæc quod
δια λιβανου vocatur).[520] Paulus Ægineta gives a formula for the
_Dialibanum_, in his chapter on collyria.[521] Marcellus Empiricus, who
offers two recipes for its composition, ascribes to it the power of
being efficacious in the disease noted on our inscription, namely, “ad
suppurationes oculorum.”[522]

When speaking of the treatment of suppuration of the eye, Galen lays
down the following indications for the use of the _Diasmyrnes_, and
_Dialibanum_:—“At quando pus, quod in oculis est, digerere placet,
collyriis quæ myrrham habent, maxime utemur; quæ utique et _Diasmyrna_
Græci proprie vocant; his certe minus, sed reliquis melius faciunt quæ
_Dialibanum_ vocant.”[523]

4. (M): JUL: SATYRI PENIC_illum_ LENE EX OVO.—_M. Jul. Satyrus’ mild
Penicillum; to be used with an egg._

The term _Penicillum_ has been found inscribed on several different
Roman medical stamps, as upon specimens discovered at Vieux and Paris,
each marked with _lene penicillum_; upon one discovered at Nais
(_penicillum ad omnem lippitudinem_); and upon another at Famars. Its
signification has given rise to several opinions somewhat differing from
each other.

M. Grivaud considers the _Penicillum_ indicated on the Roman
medicine-stamps, to be merely a small brush or hair-pencil, such as is
still used at the present day to wipe away the more viscid discharges
that may be found adhering to the palpebræ and eyelashes.[524] According
to M. Sichel, the _Penicillum_ consisted of a pledget or folds of
charpie, which the ancient oculists used both for the purpose of
cleansing the eyes, and of introducing into them soothing washes and
collyria.[525] M. Eloi Johanneau,[526] and M. Duchalais,[527] describe
the _Penicillum_ as a soft and fine sponge, employed in applying
collyria to the diseased eye. Blancardi, in his _Lexicon Medicum_,
defines the word _Penicillum_ as “lint reduced to charpie, and
besmeared with ointment to be applied to ulcers.”

The word _Penicillum_ occurs in the writings of Pliny and Celsus, and is
used by these ancient authorities in such a manner as to give
countenance to each of the preceding opinions. Thus Pliny, in his
chapter on sponges (_De Spongiarum Natura_), speaks of a variety of very
fine sponge under the name of _Penicillum_; and this, when soaked in a
preparation of honeyed wine (mulso), was, he says, applied to tumours of
the eyes.[528] These _Penicilli_ were also (he adds) useful, when very
soft and fine, in cleansing the eye in ophthalmy.[529] Celsus, in his
observations on the diseases of the eye, three or four times, and in
different senses, uses the term. In inflammation of the eye, he
recommends the eyes to be fomented with a _Penicillum_ or pledget,
squeezed out of a warm watery decoction of myrtle or rose leaves, before
local medicines and collyria are applied to them.[530] Elsewhere, he
recommends a pledget or _Penicillum_ to be laid, or, if necessary, bound
over the eyes, squeezed out of water; or, if the attack is more severe,
out of vinegar and water (_Penicillo_ uti expresso ex aqua; si major, ex
posca).[531] In another passage, he states that in intense ophthalmia
the white of an egg or the milk of woman, dropped into the eye with a
_Penicillum_, relieves the inflammation, and that this may be used by
the patient when neither a physician nor other medicines are at
hand.[532] And again, he recommends the patient to take a bath, and
foment his head and eyes freely with the warm water, then to wipe both
with a _Penicillum_, and anoint his head with iris ointment.[533] Here
we have the _Penicillum_ used by the same author as a mechanical means
both of cleansing the eye and of making local applications to it.
Further, in his chapter on the surgery of the eyes, Celsus uses the word
_Penicillum_ in the signification of tents. Thus, in describing the
operation for ancyloblepharon, or agglutination of the eyelids, he
directs the eyelids, after being separated by a probe, to be kept
asunder by small _penicilla_ laid between them, till the ulceration of
the part is cured.[534]

The preceding quotations show that, besides other significations, there
is no doubt that the term _Penicillum_ was used to designate a soft
sponge, and perhaps also a brush or pledget of charpie that was
occasionally employed in ophthalmic practice, for the double purpose of
fomenting or cleansing the eye, and of dropping local applications into
it. But it seems very unlikely that a stamp should be used by the
oculist to mark the material of these _Penicilli_ with. It would be both
difficult and unnecessary to stamp in any way either a piece of sponge
or of charpie with such an inscription as that found upon this and the
other Roman seals. And I would venture to suggest, that it appears much
more probable that the collyrium, ointment, or lotion, that was to be
used with the sponge or charpie, was sometimes designated _Penicillum_,
from the special mode in which it was to be applied; in the same way as
we have found various eye-drops passing under the general designation of
_Stactum_, from the special mode in which they were applied to the
diseased organ. In this way the LENE PENICILLUM in the legend of our
present oculist-stamp would not signify the material which was used in
the application of the medicine, but the name of the medicine or
collyrium as indicative of the mode in which it was to be used.

The employment of the collyrium PENICILLUM mixed with an egg (EX OVO) is
often indicated upon the oculist-stamps; and in the ancient Roman
authors it is a mode in which many of the collyria were directed to be
prepared before they were applied to the diseased eye.



In his paper in the _Archæologia_ (vol. ix.), Mr. Gough published a
sketch and account of a medicine-stamp, inscribed on three of its sides,
and remarkable in one or two respects. The sketch which he has given of
it is copied into Plate II., No. VII. The stamp itself is preserved in
the British Museum. It is thicker, and more rounded at the edges, than
the generality of these flat medicine-stones.

After quoting the three inscriptions on its sides, Mr. Gough gives the
following very brief and unsatisfactory account of the reading of this
stamp. “From the inscriptions,” he observes, “we learn that the owner’s
name was FL., or FLAVIUS SECUNDUS, and that his composition was made of
Opobalsamum and Myrrh, and the white of eggs.”[535]

Mr. Gough pointed out that the third side of the stamp was engraved in
letters of a rude and negligent form, and different in character from
the inscriptions on the two other sides. But he failed in seeing that
the remaining sides are both imperfect; and that the latter half of one
of the inscriptions, and the first half of the other, are deficient, in
consequence of the stone, which was at first much larger, having been
broken or reduced in size, and subsequently again rubbed down and
smoothed on two of its sides before one of these sides was cut with the
rude lettering above alluded to. When these circumstances are attended
to, the inscriptions on the three sides appear to stand as follows:—

  1. LJULIVENISD . . . . .
     OPOBALSAMTU . . . . .

  2. . . . . . . ASMVRNESBIS
     . . . . . . MPETUEXOVO


The name of the proprietor is evidently L. JUL. IVENIS [L(_ucius?_)
_Jul(ius) Ivenis_]; and I may remark in passing, that the cognomen
of IVENIS is one which has been found recurring among the Roman
pottery-stamps found in England.

It is impossible to fill in, with anything like precision and certainty,
the defective words in the two first inscriptions. But judging from the
analogy of other similar and more perfect stamps, these two inscriptions
probably read somewhat as follows when the seal was entire.

1. L. JUL. IVENIS D_iapsoricum_ OPOBALSAM_a_TU_m_ _ad Claritatem_.—_L.
Jul. Ivenis’ Opobalsamic Diapsoricum for clearing of the sight._

The adjective, OPOBALSAMATUM, has hitherto been generally found united
upon medicine-stamps with one of two collyria—viz. with _Stacticum_ (as
in seal No. IV.); or with _Diapsoricum_, as in seals found at Jena and
Lyons. The D preserved in the first line is, in all probability, the
initial letter of the latter collyrium.

The _Psoricum_ was a mixture of cadmia and chalcitis, according to
Dioscorides, Pliny, and Celsus;[536] or of litharge and chalcitis,
according to Galen, Aetius, and Paulus Ægineta.[537] This metallic
compound derived its name of _Psoricum_ from its supposed utility in the
treatment of parts affected with the eruption of scabies or _psora_. The
eyelids, according to the ancient oculists, were the occasional seat of
eruptive or pruriginous inflammation (_psorophthalmia_, _scabrities_,
_prurigo_, etc.) In enumerating the diseases of the lining membrane of
the palpebræ, Galen mentions, among others, _sycosis_, _chalazosis_, and
_psoriasis_.[538] Various collyria employed for the removal of these
affections were termed _Psorica_, and most of them, though not all,
contained the metallic compound alluded to. “Quae scabros in palpebris
affectus persanant, atque ob id _Psorica_ appellantur.”[539] When
speaking of the specific affections of the eyes and their appropriate
local applications, Actuarius, in the same way, remarks, “Quae scabiosis
palpebrarum affectionibus medentur, id circo _Psorica_
appellantur.”[540] He gives (p. 307) formulæ for various forms of the
_Collyrium Psoricum_; as the _Psoricum aridum_, the _Psoricum Aelii_,
etc. Aetius recommends the collyrium _Psoricum_ against “scabros ac
corrosos angulos, et intensos pruritus, milphoses et prurigines.”[541]
Scribonius Largus describes the composition of a collyrium _Psoricum_
made from the metallic compound of the same name (facit hoc collyrium
bene quod _psoricum_ dicitur), and fitted to remove blindness,
granulations, and xero-ophthalmia.[542] Marcellus Empiricus credulously
invests the collyrium _Psoricum_ with signal powers for various
eye-diseases, but particularly for old-standing blindness (antiquam
coecitatem). For if (says he) we may credit the experience of the author
of the remedy, it has, at the end of twenty days, restored sight to a
person who had been blind for twelve years (nam ut auctori hujus remedii
de experimento credamus, duodecim annorum coeco intra dies viginti visum
restituisse se dicit).[543]

On the Jena medicine-stamp the _Diapsoricum Opobalsamatum_ is entered as
efficacious for the clearing of the sight (ad claritatem);[544] and in
the proposed restoration of the reading of the present English stamp, I
have added to it the same therapeutic indication, as one not unlikely to
have originally filled up the part that is now deficient in this line of
the stamp.

2. _L. Jul. Ivenis Di_ASMYRNES BIS _Lippitudinis i_MPETU EX
OVO.—_The myrrh collyrium of L. J. Ivenis, to be used twice a day,
mixed with an egg, at the commencement of Ophthalmy._

Already we have considered the composition, etc., of the Collyrium
_Diasmyrnes_ (see pp. 267, 268.) It is entered, as efficacious in
attacks of Lippitudo, on the medicine-stamps of Jena, Nais, etc. In the
Jena stamp it is, as in the present instance, ordered to be used mixed
with an egg.[545]

The word BIS denotes, in all probability, the frequency with which it
was to be used daily. Occasionally the ancient authors state in the same
way in their works the frequency with which a special collyrium was to
be used. Thus, for example, Paulus Ægineta, after describing the
composition of the brown collyrium (collyrium fuscum), adds that it is
to be applied thrice a day (illinitur _ter_ in die ... ex ovo aut lacte,
etc.)[546] Indeed when speaking of the variety of collyrium mentioned in
the legend on this stamp,—namely, of the “collyria quæ quod ex myrrha
constant διασμυρνα vocantur,” Actuarius expressly states that the
affected eye is to be annointed with the _Diasmyrnes_ “twice a day
(_bis_ in die).”[547]

3. The third side of this medicine-stamp is engraved, as already
observed, by a different and far more inexperienced hand than the other
two sides. The letters are very roughly and rudely formed. The
inscription indicates the name of another oculist,—of one who probably
became the possessor of the stamp after IVENIS. The new proprietor’s
name is F., or probably FL., SECUNDUS, and the inscription reads, F.
SEKUNDI AT ALBAS, _the collyrium_ or _preparation_ of _F. Secundus
against Albugines_.

In reading it, I suppose the AT to be a mis-spelling for AD,—a mistake
of which there are not wanting other examples in the illiterate and
careless engravings sometimes found upon these medicine-stamps.[548] And
I have interpreted the ALBAS as signifying _albas cicatrices_ (white
cicatrices), or, in other words, _albugines_ of the cornea,—a
suggestion for which I am indebted to M. Sichel. Already I have quoted
the expression of Aetius to the effect that all cicatrices of the cornea
are “_Albæ_;” and the nouns by which such eye-cicatrices are designated,
both by the Greek and Roman physicians, namely, λευκωμα and _albugo_,
are words derived from, and intended to signify, the white colour
(λευκος, _albus_) of these lesions.



An anonymous correspondent, C. D., sent to the _Gentleman’s Magazine_,
in 1772, a sketch and notice of what, no doubt, is a Roman
medicine-stamp, but both the sketch given of it and the description are
excessively meagre. The correspondent dates his letter from Southwell,
in Nottinghamshire. He says, “The inscribed stone was found lately by
casting up the ground, in the neighbourhood of Littleborough in this
county. The stone is oblong, about two inches long, and one broad. It
contains inscriptions on the edges or rim of the two ends, and on one of
its oblong sides, but not on the other.”

“It is,” says the correspondent, “supposed to be a Tessera or kind of
tally, such being, as we are told, a little flat square piece of stone,
and having a particular inscription, and was used in the Roman armies,
by being on certain occasions delivered to each of the soldiers, to
distinguish them from the enemy, and also in setting their nightly
guard, by being given from one centurion to another, quite through the
army, till it returned to the tribune who first delivered it. Upon the
receipt of this, the guard was set immediately. But,” he continues, “as
the inscription on the above drawing cannot be made out to satisfaction,
many of you will be glad to know whether it has been such a Tessera as
is above supposed; or what else it may have been, or also an explanation
of its legend, by some of your antiquarian correspondents.”

The inscription on one of the long sides of the stone appears to be the
name of the proprietor of the stamp; but the published copy of it
presents such irregular lettering, as to defy any certain deciphering of
what the name is. (See Plate III., No. VIII.) On the other two sides the
inscriptions are as follow:—

  2. STATVS.

These two words evidently are misspellings, either on the original
stamp, or (what is equally probable) in its published copy, for the
Collyria termed _Diapsoricum_ and _Stactum_. But I have already, in
reference to previous inscriptions, discussed the signification of these
two terms at such length as not to require to revert to them. (See under
Stamps No. IV. and No. VIII.)


The initial B, as it stands in the first line, seems to defy all kinds
of conjecture in regard to its signification. In this, as in one or two
other instances, the only hope of obtaining a true reading of the legend
is in the re-discovery of the stamp itself.



This seal is remarkable both from its inscription, and from its round
form. In this last respect it is, I believe, as yet unique,—no other
specimen of a medicine-stamp of the same circular figure having, as far
as I know, been hitherto described. The stone is about seven-eighths of
an inch in diameter, and a quarter of an inch thick. Its form and
inscription are seen in Plate III. No. IX., where the upper figure shows
the stamp presenting the usual incuse and reversed inscription; and the
second or lower figure shows the impression left by the stamp upon

This curious medicine-stamp was found, in 1808, by a person ploughing in
a field near the Roman wall at Wroxeter (the ancient Uriconium),
Shropshire. It was first figured and very briefly noticed by Mr. Parkes
in the _Gentleman’s Magazine_ for 1810, p. 617. “Several (observes Mr.
Parkes) have attempted to decipher the legend, but no one has as yet
been able to give a satisfactory reading.” Mr. Nightingale (1813), in
his account of Shropshire in the _Beauties of England and Wales_[550]
mentions the stamp; and Mr. Hartshorne in his _Salopia Antiqua_[551]
(1841), has given an embellished and consequently less accurate copy of
the inscription than that originally published by Mr. Parkes. Mr.
Hartshorne describes it as “an amuletal seal,” and adds, “it has
hitherto baffled the endeavours of those who have attempted to explain
it.” Lastly, Mr. Albert Way has lately correctly published it as a
specimen of a Roman medicine-stamp, and has interpreted the second and
fifth lines, leaving the others still undetermined. But the whole
appears capable of being deciphered. The inscription runs thus:—

   AD OM
   O EX O

J (_ulii?_) B (_assi?_) CL_e_M_entis_ DIAL_i_BA_num_ AD OMNEM Διαθεσιν
(Diathesin) VNO EX O_vo_.—_The Dialibanum or Incense collyrium of
Julius Bassus Clemens, for every eye-disease; to be used mixed with an

The name of the practitioner or proprietor, given in the first line of
the seal, offers the principal difficulty in reading the inscription.
But the CLM is in all probability a contraction, as I have ventured to
interpret it, for CLEMENS,—a common cognomen or family name among the
Romans. The B as an initial could stand for any of the various gens
names which begin with this letter, as Balbus, Betutius, etc. I have
conjecturally given it as _Bassus_, principally because on an old
monumental tablet, discovered at Leyden,[552] the cognomen of CLEMENS is
preceded by the nomen gentilicium of BASSUS,—showing the combination in
question not to have been unknown among the Roman colonists formerly
scattered over Western Europe. Besides, _Bassus_ was a name by no means
unknown in ancient Roman medical literature and practice. When
mentioning, in the preface to his first Book, the more distinguished
disciples and followers of Asclepiades, Dioscorides places, as the
foremost in his enumeration, _Julius Bassus_. Galen (_De Simpl. Medicam.
Facult._ lib. i. cap. 7) and Cælius Aurelianus (_Contra
Hereses_—Preface to lib. i.) both cite the practice and authority of
_Bassus_; and Pliny, in his _Index Auctorum_, mentions that this
physician wrote in Greek, although he was by birth a Roman.[553]

The nature and composition of the Collyrium _Dialibanum_ we have already
had occasion to consider under a former head. (See Stamp No. VI., p.

I have also formerly shown that the Greek term Διαθεσις was used as a
general term for eye-disease (see p. 241); and no doubt its initial
letter Δ stands in the present inscription under this signification.

Many of the ancient collyria were, like the _Dialibanum_, preserved and
sold in a firm or solid form, and were directed to be dissolved or
mixed with the white of one or more eggs at the time when they were
required for application to the eye.[554] Hence the expression, UNO “EX
OVO,” in this and other stamp legends.

This stamp, like some others, has a rude figure of a plant engraved
along with the inscription. The trunk of the plant is given at the
commencement of the third line by Mr. Hartshorne as an I—thus
unnecessarily confusing the reading of the legend.



In the Journal of the British Archæological Association for 1849, Mr.
Roach Smith has described a medicine-stamp found at Kenchester, in
Herefordshire, and communicated to him by Mr. Johnson. I myself am
indebted to the kindness of Mr. Johnson for both a model and drawings of
this medicine-stamp, which is quadrilateral, and engraved on its four
sides. It has, besides, the word SENIOR inscribed on one of its flat
surfaces; and the four first letters of the same word are repeated on
the opposite surface. I shall afterwards have occasion to re-advert to
this curious point.

Mr. Smith has published a sketch of the stamp; but the more correct
drawings of it in Plate III., No. X., have been kindly furnished to me
by Mr. Johnson. The six lowest figures in this plate represent, first,
the two flat surfaces of the stone, with the retrograde inscriptions
upon its four sides; and, secondly, these four inscriptions as they
appear when impressed upon wax.

The inscriptions on the four sides of this stamp read as follows:—



  3. (T) VINDAC. ARI

     VISTI ... RINM

The name of the oculist or proprietor, T. VINDAC ARIOVISTUS, _Titus (?)
Vindacius_ or _Vindex Ariovistus_, is singular; the name ARIOVISTUS
being the same as that of the celebrated German king and general that
plays so interesting and important a part in the Commentaries of Cæsar,
and the reputed valour and prowess of whose troops daunted for a time,
and almost created a mutiny in, Cæsar’s army.

On this stamp there are no names of any specific eye-diseases given; but
the four sides contain the designation of four collyria that we have not
met with on any of the previous medicine-stamps which we have had
occasion to describe. These are the collyria _Anicetum_, _Nardinum_,
_Chloron_, and _Thurinum_.

1. T. VINDAC_ii_ ARIOVISTI ANICETUM.—_The Anicetum_ or _infallible
Collyrium of T. Vindacius Ariovistus_.

The collyrium _Anicetum_, or Ανικητον, is, as far as I know, described
by Oribasius alone. It was composed of red copper, combined with
henbane, hemlock, spikenard, frankincense, etc. Oribasius enters it as a
collyrium “ad carbunculos aptum.”[555]

Mr. Roach Smith supposes that the collyrium _Anicetum_ of this stamp
derives its name from being a preparation containing aniseed. But the
formula given by Oribasius does not present this ingredient; and the
origin of the term is, we believe, very different. Galen presents us
with a clue to its true meaning, when discussing the subject of
plasters, in the sixth book of his work, _De Compositione
Medicamentorum_. One, bearing the name of ANICETUM, is (he observes)
called so in consequence of its many and wonderful effects (vocatum est
insuperabilis (ΑΝΙΚΗΤΟΝ) propter miranda et multa ipsius opera).[556]
The term itself is, no doubt, derived from the Greek participle νικητος
“conquered,” with the prefix of the privative α. Among his own list of
collyria, Galen enters the one known in his time under the name of
Collyrium Aster,[557] as unsurpassed (Αστερ Ανικητον[558]).

2. T. VINDAC.—ARIOVISTI NARDINUM.—_T. Vindacius Ariovistus’ Nardinum_
or _Spikenard Collyrium_.

The ancient authorities on the Materia Medica describe several kinds of
spikenard, according to the localities in which it is procured, as the
Indian, Syrian, Celtic, etc. It was used by the Romans in many of their
ointments and perfumes,[559] and sometimes added to their wines.[560]

The nard, or spikenard, was used principally to perfume various
medicines, etc. But high medicinal properties were also attributed to it
in various diseases, and, amongst others, in diseases of the eye. (See
Dioscorides, lib. i. cap. vi.) It entered into the composition of many
of the ancient collyria, and several were named from it in consequence
of its forming their leading ingredient. Aetius has a long chapter on
formulæ for “Collyria Nardina et Theodotia,”[561] and bestows the most
extravagant praises upon some varieties of the spikenard
eye-applications. Speaking of one of them, he observes, “It is not easy
to relate the powers and efficiency of this medicine; indeed my readers
would scarcely credit it, for under the most desperate affections it
recalls the eye to its natural state.”[562]

3. T. VINDAC. ARIOVISTI CHLORON.—_The Chloron_ or _green Collyrium of
T. Vindax Ariovistus_.

Already I have had occasion to allude to the collyrium _Chloron_, as one
of those which derive their particular appellation from the tint or
colour of the preparation. The green collyrium, or _Chloron_, is
mentioned in many of the old treatises upon affections of the eye. For
example, Galen gives several such collyria in succession, as, vol. xii.
pp. 763 and 768, the “_Chloron_ ad diatheses;” and again, two forms of
_Chloron_ used by Zoilus the oculist.

4. T. VINDAC. ARIOVISTI _Tu_RINUM. _The Frankincense Collyrium of T.
Vindacius Ariovistus._

The designation of the collyrium on this fourth side of the Kenchester
stone is so very much destroyed as to render the deciphering of it
extremely difficult and problematical.

Mr. Roach Smith has not attempted to read it; but has contented himself
by giving N as the last letter of the collyrium, and the only one
capable of being deciphered, printing the whole legend on this side

  VISTI ... N.[563]

But certainly the terminal letter is not N. Mr. Johnson has kindly
supplied me with two wax impressions of the legend on this side. One of
these is faithfully copied in Plate III., No. X., lowest figure. The
examination of it will show that the terminal letter is not an N; for
the supposed middle or oblique line of the letter descends downwards
from left to right, and not, as it should do, provided the letter were
N, from right to left. The two first letters of the name of the
collyrium are entirely obliterated. In the position of the third letter
there is the head of a letter which may stand for R, B, or P. The
following letter is apparently an I; and the next an N. In reading it, I
have supposed these three consecutive letters to be RIN, and the
terminal letter to be an M, or rather a V and M braced together. An
instance of a similar bracing or conjunction of two letters is seen in
the legend of the second side of this stone, where the terminal two
letters TI of “_Ariovisti_” are conjoined into one. Further, I have
ventured to suggest the two initial letters as TU, and the whole name as
consequently TURINUM.

The collyrium _Thurinum_, or _Turinum_, is inscribed on three Roman
medicine-stamps that have been discovered in France,—the first in
Paris, the second at Cessi-sur-Tille, and the third at Solangei. The
two last are both described by M. Fevret de Saint-Mesmin.[564] The
collyrium evidently derived its specific name from its principal
ingredient frankincense, or _thus_, this latter Roman noun being
sometimes spelt with, and sometimes without, the _h_. In the Solangei
stamp the collyrium is written THURINUM; but in the stamps of Paris and
Cessi-sur-Tille it appears without the H, or as TURINUM.

The collyrium _Turinum_ is, it is scarcely necessary to add, merely a
latinised form for the Greek collyrium _Dialibanum_, the composition and
virtues of which we have considered in the previous pages (see pp. 269
and 283). The Latin translators of Oribasius and Paulus Ægineta render
the collyrium Dialibanum as written by these Greek authors by the term
“_Collyrium ex thure_.”[565] In the same way the κολλουριον το δια
λιβανου γινομενον of Galen is rendered by Kühn, and his other
translators, as “Collyrium quod fit ex THURE.”[566]



In the beautiful work on the Roman remains of Cirencester, published
last year by Professor Buckman and Mr. Newmarch, a Roman medicine-stamp
is described.[567] It was found, in 1818, in the Leauses garden at
Cirencester, deposited in a fictile urn.

This stamp is of the form of a parallelogram, and is inscribed on two of
its sides. Plate III., No. XI., shows the lettering of these two
inscriptions, as well as the size of the sides, and the rude
cross-markings that appear on the two ends of the stone. The
inscriptions are as follow:—



Messrs. Buckman and Newmarch read MINERVALIS as signifying “pertaining
to Minerva;” but it is no doubt the name, as in other specimens, of the
oculist who was the proprietor of the stamp. And from the inscriptions
left us upon Roman tombs, we know that _Minervalis_ was a Roman

The two inscriptions are easily read; they are as follow:—

OVO.—_Minervalis’ frankincense Collyrium for attacks of Ophthalmy; to
be used with an egg._

We have already had occasion to discuss the nature of the Collyrium
Dialibanum (p. 269), and it is unnecessary to recur to it. On a
previous occasion, also (p. 284), the signification of the common
expression, _ex ovo_, was adverted to.

2. MINERVALIS MELINU_m_ AD OMNEM DOLOREM.—_Minervalis’ yellow Collyrium
for every pain or disease of the eye._

More than once we have had occasion to allude to the Collyrium _Melinum_
(pp. 250, 257). The only singularity in the present instance is, that we
have here the _Melinum_ offered as a panacea for every painful affection
to which the eyes of the colonists and natives of Cirencester might be
subject, at the time that MINERVALIS practised amongst them. One of the
forms of the Collyrium _Melinum_ given by Galen is professed by him to
be efficacious “ad omnem oculorum hebetudinem.”—(Kühn’s edit. vol. xii.
p. 786.)



A Roman medicine-stamp has lately turned up in these islands, in a
locality in which its presence could be little expected—viz., in the
county of Tipperary, in Ireland. It has been described by Mr. Albert Way
in an interesting paper, published after the first part of the present
essay appeared in the _Monthly Journal of Medical Science_.[569] Dr.
Dowsley, of Clonmel, who now possesses this stone, has kindly furnished
me with a wax impression of its inscription, and with the following note
relative to the locality in which it was discovered:—“It was found (he
says) near the village of Golden, parish of Relig-Murry, in the county
of Tipperary, in a field near the ruins of an old hospital, or at least
what was supposed to be such; but it was built at so remote a period,
that there is now no record of what the building was for, nor of the
founder of it, and so little of the walls are at present standing, that
even the style of architecture cannot be known. The seal was discovered
by a labourer when digging. There was no pottery nor coin found; but
near it was a human skeleton much decayed, the position of which in the
ground was not noticed. The soil in this field is peculiarly rich and
very deep; it is frequently carted away for manure; most likely it was
an ancient burial-ground. The village of Golden is about a mile from the
old Abbey of Athassel.”

It is unnecessary to discuss here how such a Roman relic reached this
part of Ireland,[570] and whether it was conveyed there or not when the
Romans were colonising Britain; or, what is probable, at a later period.
But I may merely remark, there can be no doubt that Roman civilisation
and Roman practices spread in the earlier centuries of the Christian era
to parts beyond the precise line of Roman conquest. Other Roman relics
have been found in Ireland,[571] though Ireland was never subject to the
Roman arms; and Roman vases, ornaments, and coins, have been discovered
even in those more distant and northern Scandinavian settlements, to
which the Roman power never penetrated.[572]

Plate III., No. XII., shows the figure of this Irish medicine-stamp. It
is engraved only on one side, and the inscription runs as follows:—


M(_arci?_) JUVEN_tii_ TUTIANI DIAMYSUS AD VET_eres_ CIC_atrices_.—_The
Diamysus of Marcus Juventius Tutianus, for old cicatrices._

At the end of the first line there is a small cut in the inscription
(see Plate), which, in all probability, is not a letter, but a mark or
ornament intended to fill up that space. If a letter, it is most likely
C, standing perhaps for collyrium.

In speaking of the Bath stone, I have already taken occasion to state
that this same inscription of _Diamysus ad veteres cicatrices_ has now
been found on various Roman medicine-stamps discovered in different
parts of France.

The collyrium DIAMISYOS or DIAMYSOS derived its designation from
containing as its principal ingredient the _Misy_, a metallic vitriolic
preparation, used to a considerable extent as a stimulant and escharotic
among the ancients; and it was retained even to a comparatively late
period in the London Pharmacopœia.[573] It appears to be still used
medicinally in the East.[574]

The chemical nature, however, of _Misy_ has given rise to some
considerable doubt and discussion. It was usually found, and generally
described, along with two other cognate fossils, _Sori_ and _Chalcitis_.
And Galen, who enters into an elaborate description of them, visited the
copper mines of Cyprus, with a view of determining the precise nature of
these three mineral substances.[575]

Dr. Adams,[576] who has examined this question with all his well-known
great learning and care, believes that these three minerals were merely
varieties of _chalcanthum_ or copperas. In his opinion the _Chalcitis_
was probably a kind of pure sulphate of copper which had contracted an
efflorescence from age; the _Sori_ was sulphate of copper combined with
zinc or other impurities; and the _Misy_ was a combination of sulphate
of copper with sulphate of iron, the predominance of the chalybeate salt
giving to the fossil its peculiar colour. For the Misy, says
Dioscorides, is “of a golden appearance, hard, shining like gold when
broken, and glancing like stars.”

In his remarks on the _Misy_, Dioscorides speaks of the analogy of its
caustic power with those of Chalcitis; but the only diseases that he
referred to as having the _Misy_ used in their treatment, are the
diseases of the eye. And he does so in telling us that the Egyptian kind
of _Misy_ is quite inferior to the Cyprian in forming eye-medicines
(ocularia medicamenta).[577]

In speaking of its medical powers, Galen,[578] Oribasius,[579] and
Paulus Ægineta,[580] describe the _Misy_ as escharotic, and astringent.
In giving his list of eye-medicines, Galen places the _Misy_, _Sori_,
etc., amongst those local applications which have a detergent
effect.[581] Paulus Ægineta enters the _Misy_ in his list of
“detergents of foul ulcers” of the eye (vol. iii. p. 548). Pliny, in
describing the properties of Misy, states that “extenuat scabrities
oculorum.”[582] Celsus in his work repeatedly alludes to the _Misy_ and
its effects.[583] One of the collyria which he describes when treating
of granular ophthalmia, contains the _Misy_ (see page 294). And he adds,
that with the exception of those affections which require mild
applications, this special collyrium is adapted to every kind of
disorder of the eye (adversus omne genus oculorum valetudinis idoneum
est). Galen (vol. xii. p. 736), Oribasius (lib. iv. p. 51), and Paulus
Ægineta (vol. iii. 556), all give formulæ for the collyrium PANCHRESTOS
of Erasistratus, which contained _Misy_ as its leading ingredient. “It
has,” says Paulus, “wonderful efficacy in diseases of the eyes.”
Oribasius enters it as a “compositio admirabilis.” The _Misy_, as a
reputed “valedissimum medicamentum,” enters as an ingredient into
several of the collyria described by Actuarius.[584]

In a previous page I have already taken occasion to state that Marcellus
Empiricus gives a formula for a collyrium under the name inscribed upon
the stone of the collyrium DIAMISYOS; and he describes it as calculated
“ad aspritudines oculorum tollendas et ad lachrymas substringendas.”

The collyrium _Diamisyos_ of Marcellus Empiricus consists of _Misy_
burnt till it becomes red, and then combined with spikenard, saffron,
cadmia, calcined copper, opium, myrrh, Cyprian scales, and gum, with all
which it was to be rubbed down in the best wine, shaken and filtered.
But he gives also the alternative of adding to the _Diamysos_ another
ingredient, which was long an article in the materia medica—viz.
vipers. For some (he observes) add to the collyrium _Diamisyos_ “a
viper, dried and baked well in the sun, as if it were salted” (quidam
adjiciunt huic collyrio viperam siccam et arefactam bene in sole tanquam
si sit salita). He goes on, however, still further to explain that
prayers and incantations must be used in making this addition to the
_Diamisyos_. For (he observes) if you thus wish to add the dried viper,
you must first extract its bones, roll it up in linen, and then pour
over it the wine of the collyrium, previously charming the viper (sed
prius eam praecantabis) as follows, lest it cause tears and produce
harm, saying, “As thou dost not see, even so may thy juice, when tasted,
hurt no one, but I pray that with the purpose for which thou hast been
added, thou mayest[585] further the cure (quomodo tu non vides, sic et
tuus succus gustatus nulli noceat, sed ob rem propter quam adjecta es
proficias bene curationi, precor).”[586]


Medical men are, for the most part, agreed upon two points in relation
to the history of syphilis—viz. that it is a species of disease which
was unknown to the Greek, Roman, and Arabian physicians; and that it
first began to prevail in Europe in the later years of the fifteenth

The non-existence of syphilis in ancient times, and the circumstance of
its original appearance in Europe about the date alluded to, are
opinions strongly borne out by two sets of facts. For, first, no
definite account of this marked and extraordinary species of disease is
to be found in the writings of any one of the ancient Greek or Roman
physicians, historians, or poets; and, secondly, of the numerous authors
whose works exist in the learned collections of Luisinus,[587]
Astruc,[588] and Girtanner,[589] and who saw and described the malady in
the later years of the fifteenth or commencement of the sixteenth
century, almost all comment upon it as (to use their own general
expressions) _morbus novus, morbus ignotus, ægritudo inaudita,
ægritudo nova, malum novum, novus et nostro orbe incognitus
morbus_, etc. etc.[590]

It would not, however, affect our present object were we to consider the
disease, as it appeared about the period in question, not to have been a
new malady previously totally unknown, but merely, as some have thought,
an aggravated form of a disease formerly existing in so mild a form as
not to have attracted general observation.

Nor need I stop here to inquire into the much more difficult questions
of the probable source of syphilis, and the exact date at which syphilis
first burst forth in Europe. In relation to the object which I have at
present in view, it matters not whether the malady sprang up
spontaneously and endemically in Spain, Italy, or France, at the era in
question; or was imported from Africa, as Grüner,[591] Infessura,[592]
and others allege; or from Hispaniola, as Astruc,[593] Girtanner,[594]
Weatherhead,[595] and various other authorities, have stoutly and not
unsuccessfully maintained. Nor is it necessary for me to discuss whether
it first showed itself in 1493, as Sanchez[596] and Hensler[597]
consider that they have proved; or in 1492, as Fulgosi[598] asserts; or
as early even as the month of October 1483, as Peter Pinctor,[599] in
1500, demonstrated astrologically, to his own complete satisfaction at
least, that it ought to have done, inasmuch as that was—as he
sagaciously convinced himself—the precise and exact date of the
conjunction of Venus with Jupiter, Mars, and Mercury; and the
conjunction of these or other stars in the heavens above, was—so he and
many of the astrological physicians of his day believed—the undoubted
origin of this new scourge on the earth below.

In such a notice as the present, we may most safely, I believe, and that
too without entertaining the question of the exact source or
geographical origin of syphilis, start from the general proposition that
the disease was in 1494 and 1495 first distinctly recognised in Italy,
during the invasion of that country by the victorious army of Charles
VIII. of France. The malady is usually allowed to have first broken out
in a very marked degree at Naples, about the time that Charles took
possession of that city, in the spring of 1495; or nearly two years
after Columbus’ return from his first voyage to Hispaniola. Charles set
out again for France in May 1495; and the malady seems to have been both
diffused by his infected troops along the line of their northward march,
and afterwards carried to their respective homes by his own French
soldiers, as well as by his various Swiss, German, and Flemish

But it is as little my intention at present to trace the progress as to
ascertain the first origin of syphilis in Europe. The chief object of
the present communication is to adduce some data which show that the new
malady was not long in reaching the shores of Scotland, and in
spreading to different towns in that kingdom. In proof of this, I have
principally to appeal to one or two old edicts and ordinances relative
to the disease, and to other collateral but slighter evidence bearing
upon the subject. The edicts or statutes in question were issued by the
Town-Council of Aberdeen, in relation to the existence of the malady in
Aberdeen; and by the Privy Council of Scotland, in relation to the
prevalence of the disease in Edinburgh. The two first edicts in both
places were issued in 1497. That of Aberdeen is the earlier. It is dated
the 21st of April 1497. Its words, as they stand in the old and
carefully preserved Council Records of that city,[600] are the

“The said day, it was statut and ordanit be the Alderman and Consale for
the eschevin _of the infirmitey cumm out of Franche and strang partis_,
that all licht weman be chargit and ordanit to decist fra thar vices and
syne of venerie, and all thair buthis and houssis skalit, and thai to
pas and wirk for thar sustentacioun vndir the payne of ane key of het
yrne one thair chekis, and banysene of the toune.” (Vol. i. p. 425.)

A few years later—or on the 8th October 1507—a long list of statutes
was passed by the “Prouest, bailyes, and counsale” of Aberdeen, for the
“common proffitt, weil, and gud reull of the burgh.” Two of these
statutes refer again to the introduction and spread of syphilis. By the
first of these statutes it was enacted “That diligent inquisitioun be
takin of ale infect personis with this strange _seiknes of Nappillis_,
for the sauetie of the town; and the personis beand infectit therwith
be chargit to keip thaime in their howssis and vther places fra the
haill folkis.” (Vol. i. p. 437.)

Two or three enactments follow in the “statut buk” on minor subjects,
one ordering the hygienic measure “that thar salbe certane personis to
cleng the toun and dicht the causaies;” and then succeeds another
sanitary ordinance relative to the avoidance of syphilis—viz. “That
nayne infeccht folkis with the _seiknes of Napillis_ be haldin at the
common fleschouss, or with the fleschouris, baxteris, brousteris,
ladinaris, for sauete of the toun, and the personis infectit sale keip
thame quyat in thar houssis, zhardis, or vther comat placis, quhill thai
be haill, for the infectioun of their nichtbouris.” (P. 437.)

The Edinburgh edict regarding syphilis was six months later in date than
the first of those issued by the magistrates of Aberdeen, and is more
lengthy in its details and provisions. It was drawn up, as I have
already said, by the King’s Privy Council, and apparently sent to the
magistrates for due execution. It is preserved in the first volume of
the _Town Records of Edinburgh_, fol. 33, 34, and is entitled in the
rubric “Ane Grangore Act;”—Grandgore being an early term often applied
to syphilis in Scotland. This edict has been repeatedly printed, but
usually in a very incorrect form. The exact date and words of it are as

“xxii Septembris anno i^ai iiii^c lxxxxvii zeiris. It is our Souerane
Lordis will and the command of the Lordis of his Counsale send to the
Provest and baillies within this burch, that this proclamatioune follow
and be put till executioune for the eschewing of the greit apperand
danger of the infectioune of his liegis fra this contagius seiknes
callit the Grandgor, and the greit vther skayth that may occure to his
legeis and inhabitouris within this burch—that is to say—We charge
straitlie and commandis be the authoritie abone written, that all maner
of personis being within the fredome of this burch quhilkis ar infectit
or hes bene infectit vncurit with this said contagious plage callit the
Grandgor, devoyd red and pas furth of this toun and compeir vpoun the
sandis of Leith at x houris befoir none, and thair sall thai haue and
fynd botis reddie in the havin ordanit to thame be the officiaris of
this burch reddely furneist with victuallis to haue thame to the Inche,
and thair to remane quhill God prouyde for thair health, and that all
vther personis the quhilkis takis vpoune thame to hale the said
contagious infirmitie and takis[601] the cure thairof, that they devoyd
and pas with thame, sua that nane of thir personis quhilkis takis sic
cure vpoune thame vse the samyn cure within this burch in presens nor
peirt ony maner of way—and quha sa beis fundin infectit and nocht
passand to the Inche as said is be Monounday at the sone ganging to, and
in lykwayis the saidis personis that takis the said cure of sanitie
vpoun thame gif thai will vse the samyn thai and ilk of thame sal be
brynt on the cheik with the marking irne that thai may be kennit in tyme
to cum—and thairefter gif ony thame remanis that thai sall be banisht
but fauouris.”

It is almost unnecessary to add that the measures adopted by the public
authorities in Aberdeen and Edinburgh were utterly inadequate to arrest
the further dissemination of syphilis after it was inoculated upon the
country. It seems indeed to have been spread to the more populous towns
of Scotland within a year or two after its first introduction into the
kingdom. There are some references in official documents of the period
which incidentally but amply prove this rapidity in its diffusion.

The notices to which I here specially refer exist in the Accounts of the
Lord High Treasurer of Scotland. The Register House, Edinburgh, contains
a curious and valuable series of these Accounts, detailing the daily
expenses of the kings of Scotland from the reign of James III. down to
the ascension of the English throne by James VI. At the time of the
first appearance of syphilis in our northern realm, the throne of
Scotland was occupied by James IV., a prince who was a great patron of
the arts and sciences of his time. He was a practitioner in them also,
as well as a patron of them. At different times we find him busily
experimenting in chemistry, in physiology, and in medicine. His daily
expense-books contain many entries of purchases for instruments and
materials to make the unmakeable “quinta essentia,” or philosopher’s
stone; and he had laboratories for these investigations both at
Edinburgh and Stirling. His alchemical assistant—John the Leeche—whom
he had imported from the Continent and made Abbot of Tungland,
experimented for the king in physiology as well as in chemistry. John,
Dædalus-like, undertook to prove the improvability of human progression
by flying to France with wings. “To that effect he causet (states Bishop
Lesley[602]) mak ane pair of wingis of fedderis, quhilkis beand fessinit
apoun him, he flew off the castell wall of Striveling, but shortly he
fell to the ground and brak his thee bane.” But the doctrine of
sympathies was in vogue in these days, and by that doctrine the
afflicted Abbot easily, of course, and clearly explained all. For the
cause of his fall, or “the wyt thairof he asscryvit to that thair was
sum hen fedderis in the wingis, quhilk yarnit and covet the mydding and
not the skyis.” Like the Egyptian king mentioned by Herodotus, King
James made also a physiological or rather philological experiment to
ascertain the primeval language of mankind; and for this purpose his
Majesty sent a deaf and dumb woman to live with and bring up two young
children upon the island of Inchkeith in the Firth of Forth—the same
island to which we have found the first victims of syphilis previously
banished, and itself the old “Urbs Guidi” of the venerable Bede. When
the two children, the companions of the “dumb voman cam to the aige of
perfyte speach, some sayes” (to quote the account of Lindsay of
Pitscottie) “they spak guid Hebrew;”[603] but the cautious old Scottish
chronicler sagely doubts the truth of this tradition. King James
personally practised the art of leechcraft, as well as experimented in
alchemy and physiology. “He was,” says Pitscottie, “weill learned in the
airt of medicine, and was ane singular guid chirurgiane; and thair was
none of that professioune, if they had any dangerous cure in hand, bot
would have craved his adwyse” (p. 249). So states the ancient Scottish
historian. The High Treasurer’s Account shows that the king had in one
important respect a right royal way of gaining patients,—a way by the
adoption of which he probably might have secured a considerable
consultation and private practice even in these modern days of
high-pressure rivalry, and keen competition. For he paid his patients,
instead of being paid by them. Thus, for example, in his daily
expense-book, under the date of April 14th and 15th, 1491, are the two
following entries:—

“Item to Domenico to gif the king leve to lat him blud, xviii
shillings.” “Item til a man yat come to Lythgow to lat the king blud
and did it nocht, xviii shillings.”

Some time afterwards he buys from a travelling pedlar “thre compases,
ane hammer, and a turcase to tak out teeth;” and forthwith, we find the
Scottish king becoming—like the more modern Peter the Great of
Russia—not a dentist to royalty, but himself a royal dentist, as the
two following entries may suffice to show (the first of them—provided
there be any truth whatever in dental orthography—surely indicating a
tooth of rather a tough and tusky character):—

“Item, to ane fallow, because the king pullit furtht his twtht, xviii

“Item, to Kynnard, ye barbour, for tua teith drawin furtht of his hed
be the king, xviii shillings.”

He seems to have tried his royal hand also at ocular surgery. But the
terms of the following entry would seem rather ominously to hint that he
was not a very successful operator for cataract:—

“Item, giffin to ye blind wif yat hed her eyne schorne, xiii shillings.”

A prince imbued with such medical and surgical propensities would
naturally feel deeply interested in the first appearance within his
realm of such a malady as syphilis; and in his Treasurer’s accounts
there are several entries indicating that the king had bestowed monies
upon various persons affected with this disease. Perhaps these monies
were given less in the way of alms than in the way of a reward for the
king’s medication of the patients; less for the behoof of royal charity
than of royal chirurgery. The entries I advert to all occur during the
currency of the years 1497 and 1498.[604] They are as follows:—the
first sum given away being to a person at Dalry, when the king was on
one of his many pilgrimages to the ancient and holy shrine of St. Ninian
at Whitehorn, in Wigtownshire.

  September 1497.

“Item, to ane woman with the grantgore thair [Dalrye, in Ayrshire],
be the kingis command                               iijs. vjd.”

  2 October 1497.

“Item to thaim that hed the grantgor at Linlithquho      viijd.”

  21 February 1497-8.

“Item, that samyn day at the tounne end of Strivelin to the
seke folk in the grantgore                                 ijs.”

  22 February 1497-8.

“Item, the xxij day of Februar giffin to the seke folk in the
grangore at the tounn end of Glasgo.                       ijs.”

  April 1498.

“... seke folk in grangor in Lithgw as the King
com in the tounne                                   ijs. viijd.”

In the course of the preceding remarks I have had occasion to adduce
seven or eight different notices with regard to the appearance of
syphilis in various cities and districts of Scotland during the years
1497-8, as at Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Linlithgow, etc. A
diversity of allusions to the same disease, of a less direct and
official character, and somewhat later in date, may be traced in various
olden Scottish works and writings. The malady is occasionally alluded
to, for example, in the reports left us of some of the old criminal and
other trials of Scotland. Thus a minute in the Records of the Privy Seal
of Scotland records the punishment of a medical man in whose hands a
dignitary of the church had died while under treatment for syphilis. The
entry is as follows:—

January 18th, 1509.—“Respitt made to Thomas Lyn, burges of Edinburgh,
for ye slauchtir of umquihile Schir Lancelote Patonsoun, chapellain,
quhilk happinit be negligent cure and medicine yat ye said Thomas
tuk one him to cure and hele ye said umquhile Schir Lancelote of ye
infirmitie of ye Grantgor yat he was infekkit with. To endure for xix
yeeris. (Subscripsit per dominum Regem apud Edinburghe.)”[605]

Some, perhaps, of my professional brethren may think that this nineteen
years’ banishment from the town was a proper punishment for an
unprofessional charlatan undertaking the cure of syphilis in the
sixteenth century; and some, possibly, may even hold, that it would not
be an improper proceeding in this—the nineteenth century.

The disease is alluded to in some of the old Scotch witch trials of the
sixteenth century.

One of the most remarkable of these trials was that of a lady of station
and wealth—Euphame Macalzane, daughter of Lord Cliftonhall, a judge of
the Court of Session. Among other matters, she was “indyted and accusit”
of using, during the birth of her two sons, anæsthetics in the form of
charms, and a fairy stone “layit under the bowster,” whereby, in the
words of the dittay, “your seiknes was cassin of you unnaturallie, in
the birth of your fyrst sone upon ane dog, quhilk ranne away and wes
newir sene agane. And in the birth of your last sone, the same prakteis
foirsaid wes usit, and your naturall and kindlie payne, unnaturallie
cassin of you uponn the wantonne cat in the house, quhilk lyke wyis wes
newer sene thair efter.” In the fourteenth item of her indictment she is
accused of trying to break off a marriage by “certane witchcraft,” and
by alleging that the intended bridegroom had the “glengore.” For these
and other analogous crimes this unfortunate lady was “takin to the
Castel-Hill of Edinburghe, and thair bund to ane staik, and brunt in
assis, quick to the death.”[606]

There are also various sarcastic allusions to syphilis by the Scottish
poets of these early days, amply testifying to the fact of its rapid
diffusion both among the followers of the court—who were then the most
common objects of poetical satire—and among the community at large.

William Dunbar, the flower of the old Scottish poets, was, at the period
of the first introduction of syphilis in 1497, in the prime of manhood;
and in two or three years afterwards, viz. in 1500, he was attached to
James IV. and his court by an annual state pension. In a number of
verses addressed to his patroness, Margaret, the Queen of James IV. and
the sister of Henry VIII.—verses which appear to us at the present day,
and with our existing standards of taste, as utterly degraded and
indecent—Dunbar commemorates the communication of the new disease under
the name of the “pockis” and the “Spanyie pokis,” to the Queen’s men (as
he terms them) during the jollities of Fastern’s e’en, and the reign of
the Abbot of Unreason; and he closes his stanzas with an earnest advice
to all youths, to

  “Be ware with that perrelous play
   That men callis libbing of the Pockis.”[607]

The after effects and consequences of the disease he describes as

  “Sum that war ryatouss as rammis,
   Ar now maid tame lyk ony lammis,
     And settin doun lyk scarye crockis,
   And hes forsaikin all sic gammis
     That men call libbing of the Pockis.”

  “Sum thocht thame selffis stark lyk gyandis,
   Ar now maid weak lyk willow wandis,
     With schinnis scharp, and small lyk rockis,
   And gottin thair bak in bayth thair handis,
     For ower oft libbing of the Pockis.”

Another and later poet of that age, Sir David Lyndsay of the Mount,
alludes to the occurrence of syphilis at the Christmas feasts in an
inferior officer of the court—viz. in John Mackrery, the king’s
“fule,” or royal jester, who, according to the poet—like many a poor
fool since John’s time—did

 “In his maist triumphand gloir
  For his reward get the Grandgoir.”[608]

The same author includes this disease elsewhere (p. 147) among the

 “Quhilk humane nature dois abhor,
  As in the Gut, Gravel, and Gor.”

A metrical translation of Hector Boece’s _History of Scotland_ was made
in the earlier half of the sixteenth century, apparently by command of
James V. It has been published for the first time, within the last two
years, under the authority and direction of the Master of the Rolls. The
author of this rhyming _Buik of the Chronicles of Scotland_, William
Stewart, when translating Boece’s account of the fatal disease produced
in the old mythical Scotch king, Ferquhard, by the bite of a wolf, tells
us (vol. ii. p. 313) that the resulting gangrenous wound defied the
skill of the leiches, and the fœtor of it, and its discharges were

 “Moir horribill als that time for till abhor,
  No canker, fester, gut, or yit Grandgor.”

In the celebrated old poem of the _General Satire of Scotland_,
attributed by most authorities to Dunbar, and which, from some
circumstances adverted to in the course of it, is supposed by Sibbald
and Chalmers to have been written in 1504 (seven years after the first
introduction of syphilis), the author deplores the extent to which the
disease had by that time already spread in Scotland, observing—

 “Sic losing sarkis, so mony Glengoir markis,
  Within this land was nevir hard nor sene.”[609]

In several of the notices which I have just quoted, the new disease,
syphilis, is alluded to under the names of “Gor,” “Gore,” “Grandgore,”
etc. Few maladies have been loaded with a more varied and more extensive
nomenclature. The terms in question, “Gore” and “Grandgore,” are of
French origin, and are old names corresponding to pox and great
pox—“verole” and “grand verole.” In the earlier periods of the history
of syphilis they were terms commonly employed by the French themselves
to designate the affection. To quote one confirmatory sentence from
Astruc (p. 1166), the disease “Gore et Grandgore a Gallis initio vocata
erat.” John le Maire, in his celebrated poem on syphilis, published in
1520, gives this as one of the designations of the disease used at that
time by the commonalty:—

 “La nommoit Gorre ou la verole grosse,
  Qui n’espargnoit ne couronne ne crosse.”[610]

Old Rabelais, whose _Gargantua_ and _Pantagruel_ are perfect
repositories of the low and licentious French words of the era at which
syphilis first appeared, uses the term Grandgore as a synonym for
syphilis; and in his wild allegorical style he makes the poor and
widowed poet, Rammagrobis, take this grandgore to bed for his second
wife. The term Grandgore seems to have been applied to the disease in
Scotland for a long time after its introduction. For example, the
author of the _Historie of the Kennedys_ quotes a letter written in the
latter part of the sixteenth century by the Laird of Colzean to the
Laird of Bargany, whose “neise was laich,” maliciously suggesting to him
that yet he might lose “sum uther joynt of the Glengoir, as ye did the
brig of your neise.”[611] Still later, or in 1600, the Kirk-Session of
Glasgow requested the magistrates “to consult the chirurgeons how the
infectious distemper of Glengore could be removed from the city.”[612]

In Scotland, as elsewhere, the disease also passed under other
designations. When syphilis first broke out it was frequently, as is
well known, designated from the country or people from whom it was
supposed to have been transmitted. Thus, the Italians and Germans at
first generally spoke of it as the French disease; while the French
talked of it as the disease of Naples; and the Dutch, Flemings,
Portuguese, and Moors, applied to it the name of the Spanish pocks or
Castilian malady. Dunbar, in the Scottish poem already alluded to as
addressed to Queen Margaret, speaks of it, in most of the stanzas, under
the simple title of “pockis,” but in one he gives it, as I have already
hinted, the distinctive and significant appellation of the Spanish

 “I saw cow-clinkis me besyd;
  The young men to thair howssis gyd,
    Had better liggit in the stockis;
  Sum fra the bordell wald nocht byd,
    Quhill that thai gatt the Spanyie Pockis.”

In two of the Aberdeen Town-Council entries we have already seen the
malady spoken of as “the sickness of Naples.” This name was at first
often applied to the malady. The disease was, however, much more
generally known in Scotland and in the other kingdoms of Europe under
the name of the French pox. The first Aberdeen edict speaks of it in
1497 as the “infirmity come out of France.” In the manuscript Session
Records of the parish of Ormiston for 1662, there is an entry regarding
the malady under the appellation of the French pox, one of the minutes

“The minister, Mr. Sinclair, hath given out to James Ogilvy,
apothecary-chirurgeon, for curing William Whitly, his wife and daughter,
of the French pockis, 35 lbs. Scots.”

Grunbeck and Brandt, who wrote on syphilis in 1496, when speaking of the
diffusion of the disease at that early date over Europe, both allude in
very vague and general terms to its having invaded France, Germany,
etc., and reached as far as Britain.[613] But the earliest specific
notice of syphilis in England which I remember to have met with is in
1502; and in this notice the malady is spoken of under the same name
that I have been adverting to, of “French pox.” The notice in question
is contained in the interesting Privy Purse Expense Book of Elizabeth of
York, the queen of Henry VII., edited by Sir Harris Nicolas. This
charitable lady seems from these records to have had several protégés
under her immediate care and keeping. Among these protégés is entered
John Pertriche, one “of the sonnes of mad Beale.” There are various
articles of expenditure noted in the Queen’s private expense book as
lavished upon this John Pertriche during the currency of 1503; as monies
for his “dyetts,” for buying “shirtes,” “shoyn,” and “hosyn,” “cloth for
a gown,” and “fustyan for a cote” to him. There are twenty pence
expended “for his lernyng;” and the last two items in the account record
attempts of two different and rather opposite kinds to amend the mental
and moral deficiencies of this hopeful youth. These two ultimate items

“For a prymer and saulter (book to John), 20 pence.”
“And payed to a Surgeon whiche heled him of the Frenche pox, 20

To finish this very rough and meagre sketch, let me here add that by the
end of the sixteenth century—and perhaps long before that date—the
malady was abundant enough in England. Writing in 1596, or in the time
of Queen Elizabeth, William Clowes, “one of her Majesties chirurgians,”
observes to his “friendly reader,” “If I be not deceived in mine
opinion, I suppose the disease itselfe was never more rife in Naples,
Italie, France, or Spain, than it is in this day in the Realme of


The preceding notices, however brief and imperfect, relative to the
first introduction and dissemination of syphilis in Scotland, are not
simply matters calculated to gratify mere antiquarian curiosity. They
appear to me to be capable of a much higher application, for they offer
so many elements tending to illustrate the general history of the first
appearance of syphilis in Europe. Besides, we may, I believe, be
justified in drawing from the data they afford several not uninteresting
nor unimportant corollaries, both in regard to the first origin and mode
of propagation of the disease, and the distinction of it from other
affections with which it has sometimes been confounded.

_1st Corollary._—These notices tend to corroborate the pathological
opinion, that syphilis was a species of disease new to Europe when it
first excited the attention of physicians and historians in the last
years of the fifteenth century.

Like the numerous list of contemporary authors and physicians quoted by
Astruc, Grüner, and Weatherhead, the Aberdeen edict speaks of syphilis
in the last years of the fifteenth century as a disease hitherto
unknown, “the infirmity come out of France and foreign parts.” The
Edinburgh edict mentions it as “_a_ contagious disease callit the
grandgore.” If it had been previously known, the definite, and not the
indefinite, article would have, in all probability, been employed. And
if such a disease had previously existed on the continent of Europe,
there is every reason to believe that it would have also existed and
been known in Britain. Besides, this reasoning certainly admits of being
inverted and changed, in so far that we may probably lay it down with
equal justice, that if the disease was new, as it would appear to have
been, in Scotland at that time, it was in all probability new also to
the other kingdoms of Europe.

_2d Corollary._—But if syphilis was thus new in Britain in the end of
the fifteenth century, this shows that it is a species of disease
distinct and different alike—1st, from gonorrhœa, and, 2d, from
Greek leprosy, with both of which maladies it has, as is now well known,
been occasionally confounded; for both these maladies existed, and were
abundantly recognised, in this, as in other countries, long before the
era of the introduction of syphilis. Gonorrhœa was early
distinguished by English authors under the name of “burning,” or
“brenning” (_ardor urinæ_, _arsura_, etc.) Thus, Andrew Borde, in his
“_Breviary of Health_,” 1546, speaks of it as the “burning of an
harlotte.” “Burning of harlottes” is also mentioned in Bulleyn’s
_Bulwark of Defence_, 1562. But it is under this same name that
reference is made to the same disease in one of the ordinances enacted
about 1430, for the better regulation of the eighteen brothels that
stood for centuries on the Bankside in Southwark, under the jurisdiction
of the Bishop of Winchester. At the above date it was decreed that “no
stewholder keep noo woman wythin his hous that hath any sickness of
brenning.”[615] This statute was enacted half-a-century before the
introduction of syphilis in England; and nearly a century previously,
gonorrhœa had been accurately described, among others, by John Arden,
surgeon to Richard II., who, writing about 1380, gave a correct summary
of the symptoms, pathology, and treatment of this malady. In an old
English medical poem, evidently written not later than the last part of
the fourteenth century, and published lately by Mr. Stephens of
Copenhagen, there is a receipt for “all maner brenninge” (line 294);
and then follows a series of cures (line 510, etc.)—

               “if ye verge be brente
  As man of woman may so be schente,
  Thorow cas yᵗ womā may be his bote
  Off qwom his sekenesse be gan ye rote.”[616]

There is no doubt, further, that gonorrhœa was well known to the
Greek, Roman, and Arabic authors, and is described unmistakably in their

I might also, if it were here necessary, adduce abundant evidence to
show that the two diseases, Greek leprosy and syphilis, though sometimes
confounded together, were always in general regarded as two entirely
different affections; and that, as such, the hospitals severally
appointed for the reception of those unfortunates labouring under the
diseases in question were kept distinct and separate. Thus, in 1527, the
Carmelite monk, Paul Elia, proposed to the burgomaster of Copenhagen a
plan for an hospital outside the town for “syphilis, cancer, and other
great sores,” similar to the Leper Hospital already existing;[617] for
syphilis had, at an early period of its existence, spread itself into

When syphilis broke out in Edinburgh, in 1497, those affected by it were
not sent to the leper hospital then existing near the town, but they
were ordered off to Inchkeith. In the course of the next century, we
find in the Kirk Session books of Glasgow the two maladies recognised as
distinct, and two separate hospitals devoted to those affected by these
two separate diseases. For on the 20th October 1586, the Kirk Session
“ordains some to visit the leper folks’ house or spittal beyond the
brig, to see how the same, and the dykes of the yards may be reformed,
and that nane be received but town’s folks.” But again, in 1592, the
same Session directed “that the house beyond the stable-green-port for
women afflicted with the Glengore be looked after.”[618]

In a late census of Norway, above two thousand lepers were found in that
small kingdom; but the Scandinavian physicians do not confound together
syphilis and Greek elephantiasis, and have no difficulty in
distinguishing them. Nor have our own colonial professional men in the
East and in the West Indies, where both diseases exist, any dubiety, at
the present day, in recognising them as two totally different and
specific maladies.

_3d Corollary._—As regards the mode or modes in which syphilis was
supposed to be so speedily propagated at its first appearance in Europe,
the Aberdeen and Edinburgh records are both interesting, though in some
respects they offer very opposite testimony on this point.

For some time after syphilis broke out, it was believed, both by medical
men and by the non-medical public, that the disease was communicable,
and constantly communicated from the infected to the healthy by the
employment of the clothes, vessels, baths, etc., used by those already
suffering from it, and by the slightest corporeal contact, or even by
inhaling the same air with them. I might appeal on this head, if it
were necessary, to the individual and general testimony of Schilling,
Torella, Brandt, Massa, and almost every other early continental author,
historical or medical, who mentions the first outbreak of syphilis. Some
even thought that neither the presence of infected persons, nor of
fomites, was always absolutely requisite. In his work, _De Morbo
Gallico_, published in 1551 (above half-a-century after the disease
commenced), Benedict Victorius, of Fienga, like most of his
contemporaries, still maintained that “the state of the air” (to use his
own words), “together with that of the putrid humours, are sufficient to
beget the affection;” and in strong confirmation, he adds, “I myself
happened once to know some honest and religious nuns, who were confined
in the strictest manner, and yet contracted the venereal disease from
the peculiar state of the air, together with that of the putrid humours,
and the weakness of their habit of body.”

The same belief in the easy contagion of syphilis without contact or
intercourse extended to our own country. It was, in particular, strongly
believed that the malady could be propagated from the sick to the
healthy by the medium of the breath. One of the gravest articles of
guilt brought against the celebrated Cardinal Wolsey, when he was
arraigned before the English House of Lords in 1529, was the allegation
that (to quote the _ipsissima verba_ of the indictment, as laid before
Henry VIII.), “whereas your Grace is our Sovereign Lord and Head, in
whom standeth all the surety and wealth of this realm, the same Lord
Cardinal, knowing himself to have the foul and contagious disease of the
great pox, broken out upon him in divers places of his body, came daily
to your Grace, rowning in your ear, and blowing upon your most noble
Grace with his perilous and infective breath, to the marvellous danger
of your Highness, if God of his infinite goodness had not better
provided for your Highness. And when he was once healed of them, he made
your Grace believe that his disease was an impostume in his head, and of
none other thing.”[619]

The notion that the breath of persons having the venereal disease was
infectious seems to have prevailed as late as the reign of William and
Mary. Dr. Oates, in his _Picture of the late King James_ (1696),
says,—“Tom Jones, your quondam chaplain, was afraid to go to old
Sheldon, for fear he should give him the pox by breathing on him.” (Part
II. p. 106.)

The Edinburgh regulations of September 1497 are evidently framed upon
the idea that “the contagious plage callit the grandgore,” as they term
it, was propagated by simple contact, and personal intercourse, or
probably even by the air. Hence their strict injunctions for the removal
and detention of the “infectit, or that hes bene infectit and incurit,”
to their secluded position upon the island of Inchkeith, for “the
eschewing” (to cite again the words of the edict) “of the greit apperand
danger of the infectioune of the lieges.” Indeed, it seems to have been
believed that the disease might be communicated through medical
attendants, or intermediate individuals who were themselves unaffected.
This is at least the natural, or, indeed, the only interpretation of
that part of the edict which enjoined that all persons who take upon
them “to hale the said contagious infirmitie,” go with their infected
patients to Inchkeith; and if they attended and treated such cases
within the city, they did so at the peril of being themselves cauterised
on the cheek with the “marking iron,” and banished without favour
(banisht but favouris) out of the town.

The anxiety of the authors of the Edinburgh regulations to prevent this
supposed medium of communication through a third person is further
displayed in the severity of the punishment—(the application, namely,
of the actual cautery to the face)—denounced against the medical
attendants who should infringe the above edict by not passing to, and
remaining on, Inchkeith. “Lykwayis the saidis personis that takis the
said cure of sanitie vpoun thame, sal be byrnt on the cheike with the
marking irne that thai may be kennit in tyme to cum.”

For some time after the first outburst of the disease, sexual
intercourse with the infected does not seem to have been suspected as
the source and means by which the syphilitic contagion was propagated.
Nor was the local primary affection of the sexual organs generally
noticed by the authors of these times as either a constant or marked
symptom. They were acquainted with, and described, only the secondary
symptoms of the malady—the hideous eruptions on the skin—the ulcers of
the throat—the nocturnal pains in, and lesions of, the bones—while
they mostly all pass over the genital organs, as if they remained
unaffected. So much so was this the case, that we find Montagnana, in
1498, advising not as a means of infection, but rather as a means of
cure, moderate coition; for, in laying down various rules of treatment
to a sick bishop under his care for syphilis, he inculcates, among
other items “coitus vero sit temperatus.”[620]

When treating of this subject, and when speaking of both the usual mode
of the infection of syphilis and its primary local symptoms generally
escaping notice at the era of the first appearance of the disease,
Swediaur observes,—“It is worthy of remark, that although many authors,
since the year 1500, make mention of the genital organs, and say that
syphilis may more generally (ut plurimum) be communicated by coition;
not one before that time (1500) points out the (primary) affection as
essential or characteristic of the disease. All (Swediaur adds) look
upon it as a disease pestilential and contagious without coition, and
even without any direct contact” (vol. i. p. 36). The observations of
Astruc and Girtanner, and other authors on this point, are nearly to the
same effect.

In relation to this question, that of the actual mode and means of
propagation of syphilis, the edict of Aberdeen, in 1497, is particularly
remarkable and interesting, and most fully maintains the character of
the capital of the north for that native shrewdness and sagacity which
the poet Dunbar long ago solemnly assigned to it. We have just now
referred to Swediaur, etc., stating that up to 1500 all European writers
looked upon syphilis as spreading, pestilentially and contagiously,
without coition. Three years earlier, the aldermen and town-council of
Aberdeen seem to have arrived at more just ideas of its laws of
propagation, and to have distinctly suspected impure sexual intercourse
as the mode of communication of the malady. This seems to be fully
borne out by their ordering, “for the eschewing of the infirmitey,” that
(to use the words of the edict) “all licht weman be chargit and ordanit
to desist fra thar syne of venerie;” and we have the usual glowing and
earnest threat of the application of the actual cautery, or “ane key of
het yrne (hot iron) to thair chekis,” in case of disobedience. The later
Aberdeen edicts of 1507, which we have already quoted at length, show,
however, that the rulers of the burgh had been subsequently led to adopt
the erroneous idea of the leading authorities of the day, that the
disease might be transmitted also in the way of common contagions, and
even, perhaps, by the medium of a third person.

_4th Corollary._—The early notices that I have adduced of the
appearance of syphilis in Scotland are curious as proofs of the rapidity
with which the disease travelled, at its first outbreak, over the
kingdoms of Europe. The new malady was, as I have already stated, first
distinctly recognised during the period that Charles VIII. of France
occupied the city of Naples, or rather immediately after he left that
place. The cases of the disease that had appeared previously were not,
at least, anywhere in such numbers, or in such severity, as to excite
any marked and decided degree of attention from physicians or from the
public. That Naples was the locality in which the contagion first burst
forth so extensively and overtly as to be considered almost the source
and cradle of the new epidemic; and further, that this happened at the
precise date of the visit of the French army, seems, as has been
suggested by various authors, to be shown by the very designations
respectively conferred at the time upon the new affection by the
Neapolitans and French. For whilst, as already alluded to, the French,
as is well known, designated it at its first commencement among them the
Neapolitan disease, alleging it to have been communicated to them by the
inhabitants of Naples, the Neapolitans, on the other hand, termed it the
French disease, believing that it had been brought to them by the
victorious army of France. Now the date of Charles’s sojourn in Naples
is well known. His army, in their march through Italy, arrived at Rome
on the 4th December 1494, and entered Naples on the 21st or 22d February
1495; and after remaining three months, they vacated the city on the
20th May. On the 24th of the same month the renowned Spanish general
Cordova landed in Sicily; on the 6th July the battle of Fuornovo was
fought, and next day King Ferdinand returned to Naples; but the last
remains of the French army did not reach France till the end of the
following year. The Aberdeen edict, however, was issued within less than
two years after Charles commenced his march homeward. Or, we may state
the matter otherwise. Columbus arrived at Palos, in Andalusia, after his
first voyage to the New World, on the 15th March 1493, having previously
landed at Lisbon on the 6th, and visited the Portuguese King at
Valparaiso: while Pinzen, the commander of the other remaining caravel
of Columbus’ tiny fleet, was, about the same date, driven northward into
the French port of Bayonne. Possibly one focus or centre for the future
spread and dissemination of syphilis was left in this French port by
Pinzen’s crew, if they brought the infection with them; but I have
nowhere found any allusion to this question. Columbus reached Spain,
from his second voyage, in April 1496. The edict of the Aberdeen
aldermen and council was passed on the 23d April 1497, or exactly four
years and thirty-eight days from the date of Columbus’ first return to
Spain; while the famous ordinance of the Parisian authorities regarding
syphilis was issued on the 6th March 1497, only forty-eight days before
that of Aberdeen.[621]

In reference to the rapidity with which syphilis spread from the south
and middle of Europe to this small and isolated kingdom of Scotland, it
is necessary to remember that in the last years of the fifteenth
century, and during the reign of James IV., the intercourse of this
country with “France, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, and Flanders was (to
quote the words of the Scottish historian, Mr. Tytler) as regular and
uninterrupted, not only in the more solemn way of embassies, but by
heralds, envoys, and merchants, as that carried on with England.”[622]
There was in actual operation, also, at that very date, another medium
by which such a disease was very likely to be carried from the Continent
to our shores, and diffused among the population of the larger towns. In
November 1495, Perkin Warbeck, under the title of Prince Richard, Duke
of York, arrived in Scotland, and was received with regal honours by
King James, who bestowed upon him in marriage his cousin, the Lady
Catherine Gordon. This pretended claimant to the English throne remained
in Scotland till July 1497. He was preceded, accompanied, and followed
to this country by gay and reckless “soldiers of fortune” from the
Continent, Ireland, England, etc.—the men of all others most likely to
transmit and diffuse such a disease as syphilis. These adventurers
appear to have been quartered by the Scottish King upon various towns.
Thus, the town-records of Aberdeen show that, as early as the 5th July
1495,—some months before Warbeck himself arrived in Scotland,—a burgh
tax was imposed “to the sustentacioun of aught Inglismen of the Duk of
Yorkis, direkit to the toune by our souerane lordis hiennes, and his
letteris therapone.”—(_Spalding Club Extracts_, vol. i. p. 57.)

The speed, however, with which the disease thus travelled from the south
of Europe to its western confines has been often employed as an argument
to show that the contagion of syphilis was propagated at its first
introduction by laws different from those which now regulate its
communication. In other words, it has been often alleged that the
disease was then spread from kingdom to kingdom, and from city to city,
by epidemic influences and by general contagion, and not merely by the
slower medium of impure sexual connection. We have just seen such a
doctrine so far belied by the sagacious regulations of the magistrates
of Aberdeen; and when we look to the then existing state of Society,
both on the Continent and in our own country, to the loose manners and
licentious lives of these times, we shall probably find a sufficient
solution of the, at first sight, difficult problem of the rapid
dissemination of the new malady. The morals of the general mass of the
people are ever found to be principally regulated by the example set
before them by the aristocracy and clergy. At the date of the
introduction of syphilis into Europe, the notorious habits of the two
latter ruling bodies were assuredly such as to expedite greatly the
diffusion of the new scourge that had sprung up among them; and hence,
at its first outbreak, we find the disease fixing itself upon several
of the highest members of the continental courts, and of the church. The
Emperor Charles V., and Pope Alexander VI., kings and cardinals, princes
and bishops, peers and priests, are openly and publicly recorded among
its victims by those who personally watched and described the first
ravages of syphilis. In fact the disease was then scarcely, or indeed
not at all, looked upon as conferring any degree of infamy.

In his tract on the malady,[623] published at Rome in the year 1500,
Peter Pinctor mentions by name, and without any reticence, three of the
more illustrious patients whom he had treated for this new
disease—namely, the Prebendary Centez, the Cardinal of Segovia, and his
Holiness the reigning Pope. Writers thought it no imputation on their
own characters to publish an account of the disease as it occurred in
their own persons. The physician Joseph Grunbeck of Burkchausen, in his
essay “De Pestilentiali Scorra sive Mala de Frantzos” (1496), tells his
readers how he himself caught the disease from the atmosphere, when
walking in some fields near Augsburg. One of the earliest adherents and
fiercest champions of the Reformation in Germany was Ulric Hütten, “the
poet and valiant knight of the sixteenth century,” as Merle D’Aubigné
designates him. In 1519, Hütten, though bred to arms, and not to physic,
published a treatise—_De Guiaci Medicina, etc., Morbo Gallico_. In this
treatise he details his own case and sufferings from the disease, how he
had been “utterly vexed with the sycknes,”—had been eleven times
salivated for it, and was at last cured by guiacum. This treatise,
written, as the preface bears, by “that great clerke of Almayne, Ulrich
Hütten, Knycht,” was translated by Thomas Paynell, Chanon of Marten
Abbey, and published in England in 1539. The disease was, in Hütten’s
opinion, produced “throughe some unholsome blastes of the ayre.” His
polemical antagonist, Erasmus, in his _Colloquy of Gamos and Agamos_,
denounced fiercely the character of this reforming and literary
knight:—“Qualis eques (he exclaims) cui per Scabiem vix in sella sedere

In order to show how swiftly a disease, propagated in the way syphilis
is, might overrun the society of continental Europe towards the
conclusion of the fifteenth century, it is only necessary to allude to
the dire and deplorable state of morals among those that ought to have
set an example to the community—namely, the clergy of these days, as
painted by the tongue and pens of their own writers. In an official
sermon published by Martene (tom. ii. p. 1758), and preached in St.
Peter’s at Rome by the Apostolic Auditor prior to the election of the
Pope in the year 1484, the corrupt morals and dishonesty of the whole
church are denounced; and it is added that many do not merely commit,
but triumph even in, such sins as the subversion of chastity and other
virtues (de pudicitia, cæterisque virtutibus subversis, triumphantes).
The frightful licentiousness and obscene orgies of the reigning pontiff,
and of his family and court, which speedily followed, formed a hideous
practical commentary upon this text. A high Romanist who had the honour
of refusing a cardinal’s hat, Claud D’Espence, Rector of the University
of Paris, after exposing the infamy of the taxes of the apostolic
chancery, with its list of “filthy and horrid iniquities” (fœdorum
tamque horrendorum scelerum)—a license for any and all of which could
be purchased—adds, “You shall say we ingenuously confess that God
permits this (Lutheran) prosecution to come upon his church on account
of the sins of men, chiefly of priests and prelates, from whose sins the
Scriptures cry out that the sins of the people are derived.... Is it
wonderful if the malady descend from the head to the members, from the
supreme Pontiff to others?[624] Where under heaven is there a greater
license of all evils (infamia, impudecentia, etc.)?... Truly (adds
D’Espence, and he had personally visited Rome), evils such and so great
that no one can believe but he who has seen, and no one can deny but he
who has not seen....

  Vivere qui cupitis sancte, discedite Roma;
  Omnia cum liceant, non licet esse bonum.”[625]

Previously another orthodox Roman ecclesiastic, Nicolas de Clemangis,
Archdeacon of Bayeaux, had, in indignant, and, let us hope, in too
sweeping terms, denounced the continental nunneries of these dark days
as little better than brothels, and the taking of the veil as almost
synonymous with a profession of public prostitution:—“Nam quod aliud
sunt puellarum monasteria nisi quædam non dicam Dei sanctuaria, sed
Veneris execranda postibula. Sed lascivorum et impudicorum juvenum ad
libidines explendas receptacula ut idem hodie sit puellam velare, quod
et publice ad scortandum exponere.”[626] Truly in these pre-Reformation
days there was, as Cardinal Bellarmine confesses and laments, “almost no
religion left.”[627]

As far as regarded the predisposing habits and influence of the clergy,
matters were not better in Britain than on the Continent, when the
disease first reached this country. We have already seen Cardinal
Wolsey, the primate of England, publicly accused in Parliament of
labouring under the disease. We can, however, wonder the less at the
disease attacking such a high dignitary, when we recollect that,
according to some writers,[628] there was openly inscribed over the
doors of a palace belonging to this prelate—“_Domus Meretricium Domini
Cardinalis_.” Polydore Vergil, the sub-collector of the Pope’s revenues
in England, speaks, perhaps in exaggerated terms, of the orgies in the
residence of Wolsey, by which he allured at first the young King Henry
VIII. “Domi suae voluptatum omnium sacrarium fecit quo regem frequenter
ducebat. Sermones leporis plenos habebat, etc.”[629] The manners of the
inferior dignitaries of the church offered only too close an imitation
of those of its primate. The commissioners appointed by Henry VIII. to
visit the monasteries of England have recorded a sad, and (even setting
aside the influence of prejudice) probably only too true a picture of
the moral degeneracy of the great mass of the regular clergy of the
time. With some few cheering and honourable exceptions, they found the
occupants of most of the monasteries following lives of degraded vice
and licentiousness, instead of religious purity and exemplary rectitude.
When the visitors received their commissions and instructions, they were
despatched into different parts of the kingdom, at the same time, that
the monks might have as little warning of their approach as possible.
They executed, says the historian Henry,[630] their commissions with
zeal and diligence, and made some curious discoveries almost in every
house, not much to the honour of its inhabitants. Accounts, he adds, of
their proceedings were transmitted by the visitor to the vicar-general,
and they contained sufficient materials to render the monasteries
completely infamous,—for their gross, absurd superstition, their
shameful impositions, their abandoned unnatural incontinency, etc. etc.
Some of the old abbots and friars did not attempt to conceal their
amours, because they knew it was impossible. The holy father, the prior
of Maiden Bradley, assured the visitors that he had only married six of
his sons and one of his daughters out of the goods of the priory as yet;
but that several more of his children were now growing or grown up, and
would soon be marriageable. He produced a dispensation from the Pope,
permitting him to keep a mistress; and he asseverated that he took none
but young maidens to be his mistresses, the handsomest that he could
procure; and when he was disposed to change, he got them individually
provided with very good lay husbands.[631] “These be the men” (exclaimed
Simon Fish, in one of his celebrated public sermons which he delivered
at the period we speak of), “these be the men that corrupt the whole
generation in your realm, that catch the pox of one woman, and bear it
to another; that be burnt with one woman, and bear it to another.”[632]

Clerical morals and manners were not in a much healthier state on the
Scottish side of the Border. Towards the end of the fifteenth century,
we have not on record any such obscene scandal as was detailed in a
previous century in the _Chronicle of Lanercost_ regarding Priest John,
who is alleged to have publicly celebrated phallic orgies among the
young inhabitants of his parish of Inverkeithing,[633] a town which was
certainly a place of no small note and importance in these early days.
But clerical morals were still confessedly in a sad state about the time
that syphilis first appeared in this part of the island. The _General
Satyre_ of Scotland, written, as I have already stated, at the
commencement of the sixteenth century, stigmatises amongst other

 “Sic pryd with prellatis, so few till preiche and pray,
  Sic haunt of harlettis with thame, baythe nicht and day.”[634]

Queen Mary would seem to have regarded the health of the high Roman
church dignitary who baptized her son James VI. with considerable
suspicion, perhaps, however, only in as much as he was one of a class
with a very bad character in that respect. King James, in “A Premonition
to all most mightie Monarchs, Kings, Free Princes, and States of
Christendome,”[635] thus refers to it:—“For first, I am no apostate, as
the Cardinal (Bellarmine) would make me, not onely having ever been
brought up in that religion which I presently professe, but even my
father and grandfather on that side professing the same: and so cannot
be properly an Heratike, by there own doctrine, since I never was of
their church; and as for the Queene my mother of worthy memorie,
although she continued in that religion wherein she was nourished, yet
she was so farre from being superstitious or Jesuited therein, that at
my Baptisme (although I was baptized by a Popish Archbishop) she sent
him word to forbeare to use the spettle in my baptisme; which was
obeyed, being indeed a filthy, and an apish trick, rather in scorne than
in imitation of Christ; and her owne very words were, that ‘She would
not have a pokie priest to spet in her child’s mouth.’”

Of the dissolute lives of the Scotch, like the other clergy of these
times, we may find ample proof in some of the contemporaneous medical
works. We know, for example, from an old medical author, something of
the inner life of the identical “pockie priest” who baptized James VI.
In 1552, Dr. Jerome Cardan, the famous Italian physician, came from
Milan to Edinburgh to visit professionally the high ecclesiastic in
question—namely, John Hamilton, Archbishop of St. Andrews—who was
suffering under severe and recurrent attacks of asthma. He travelled
with all possible expedition, and in these “good olden times” the part
of his journey from London to Edinburgh only took twenty-three days.
Cardan has left us in his works a copy of the lengthy and very minute
medical and hygienic directions which he drew up for the behoof of the
archbishop. Besides giving him innumerable medical prescriptions, he
lays down for him excellent rules regarding his food, drink, exercise,
sleep, etc., down to the materials of which his bed and his pillows
should be composed. He adds for the Archbishop’s guidance the following
rule—“De Venere. Certe non est bona, neque utilis: ubi tamen contingat
necessitas, debet uti ea inter duos somnos, secilicet post mediam
noctem, et melius est exercere eam ter in sex diebus pro exemplo, ita ut
singulis duobus diebus semel, quam bis in una die, etiam quod staret per
decem dies.”[636]

The quiet and matter-of-course style in which these rules are laid down
and published proves only too strongly the dissolute life of some of the
highest clergy in our land; and in order to appreciate the full force of
this observation, it is necessary to remember that Cardan’s patient was
the living head of the Scottish Roman Catholic church of that day—the
Primate and Metropolitan of Scotland.[637] Perhaps still more
unequivocal evidence of the scandalous profligacy of the Scottish clergy
of these times is to be found in their own statutes, and in the legal
documents of the country.

In a provincial council of the Scottish clergy, held at Edinburgh in
1549, the circumstance that there had come very grave scandals to the
church from the incontinence of ecclesiastics (ex clericorum
incontinentia, gravissima ecclesiæ scandala esse exorta) was taken into
consideration, and the edict of the Council of Basle “De Concubinariis”
put in force. Another edict was passed by this Edinburgh synod
“exhorting” both the prelates and inferior clergy not to keep their own
illegitimate children in their company, prohibiting their promotion of
them in their churches, and forbidding the endowment of them with
baronies out of the church’s goods.[638] But perhaps the dissolute and
depraved state of the Romish church in Scotland is more clearly
photographed in a subsequent edict, which they passed in a large synod
held at Edinburgh in 1558-9. This edict does not “exhort” against
incontinence on the part of the priests, but it simply and shamelessly
restricts, and lays down a legal limit to, the amount of property which
they might unsacrilegiously abstract and purloin from the pious
endowments belonging to the Church (de patrimonio Christi) for the
marriage portions of the bastard daughters of their concubines; the
synod enacting that neither prelates nor any other ecclesiastics should
directly or indirectly give with their illegitimate daughters, in
marriage to barons or other landowners, any greater sum than one hundred
pounds yearly of the Church’s patrimony.[639]

The legitimation of bastard children was necessary before they could
inherit or dispose of property, and exercise other legal rights. The
Privy Seal Records of Scotland for the earlier years of the sixteenth
century have been preserved, and are full of entries of legitimation of
the bastard children of Scottish prelates and priests. Lord Hailes gives
us some sad information regarding the numbers of the illegitimate
children of the Scottish bishops, abbots, and monks of these
times.[640] Among others, he states that David Bethune, the immediate
predecessor of Hamilton in the archbishopric of St. Andrews and primacy
of Scotland, had three bastards legitimised in one day; and afterwards,
Patrick Hepburn, Bishop of Moray, had seven—five sons and two
daughters—all acknowledged in one day. John Leslie, Bishop of Ross,
himself the illegitimate son of an official in the diocese of
Moray—viz. of Gavin Leslie, parson of Kingusie, was the father of
several illegitimate children; and it is, says the learned author of the
_Book of Bon Accord_, sufficiently amusing to find his name among those
of the other members of the chapter of Aberdeen who solemnly counselled
their ordinary to “caus the lay kirkmen within their diocie to reforme
thameselfes in all thair slanderous maner of lyving, and to remove thair
_oppin_ concubins.”[641]

Concubinage among the lower clergy, provided it was not slanderously
open and avowed, would almost seem to have been overlooked and connived
at by the church dignitaries of those degenerate times.[642]

The remains of the old chapel of St. Ninian, at Leith, still exist in
the vicinity of Edinburgh. The spire of the church is, even at the
present day, a conspicuous object above the second harbour bridge,
though the chapel itself and its prebendary are degraded to common
dwellings. This chapel was founded by Robert Bellenden, Abbot of
Holyrood, and endowed for two chaplains. In the charter of foundation,
which is dated 1493 (four years before syphilis broke out in Edinburgh),
it is—in accordance with a common formula in these deeds—ordained that
if “either of the aforesaid chaplains keep a lass or concubine, in an
open and notorious manner, he shall be degraded; which seems,” as the
historian Maitland pertly observes, “to imply this, that they or either
of them might keep a miss or misses provided it were not publickly

Nor was poverty on the part of a portion of the priesthood apparently
any great obstacle to such, as well as to less sinful indulgences. For,
according to the testimony of honest George Marjoribanks (see his
_Annals of Scotland_, p. 5), “In the yeir of God 1533 Sir Walter Cowpur,
Chaiplaine in Edinburgh, gate a pynte of vyne, a laiffe of 36 unce
vaight, a pock of aite-meill, a pynte of aill, a schiepe-hede, ane penny
candell, and a faire woman for ane xviii^d grote.”

Very shortly before the commencement of syphilis, the dissolute manners
of the English clergy, especially of the regulars, created such noise
and commotion among the laity, that Pope Innocent VIII. sent in 1490 (a
few years before the actual appearance of the disease) to Archbishop
Merton, authorising him to admonish his abbots and priors that “by their
lewd and dissolute lives they brought ruin upon their own souls, and set
a bad example to others.” In obedience to this bull, the Primate sent
monitory letters to the superiors of all convents and religious houses
in his province, admonishing and commanding them, by the authority he
had received from the Pope, to reform themselves and their subjects from
certain vices, of which they were said to be guilty. The monitory letter
that was sent on this occasion to the Abbot of St. Alban’s is published
in Wilkins’s _Concilia_, vol. iii. p. 632. If that Abbot and his monks
were stained with all the odious vices of which the Primate openly
accuses them in this letter, they stood much in need of reformation.
Some of these vices, says Dr. Henry, were so detestable that they cannot
so much as be named in history. “You are infamous,” writes the
Archbishop to the Abbot, for “simony, usury, and squandering away the
possessions of your monastery, besides other enormous crimes.” One of
these crimes was, that the Abbot had turned all the modest women out of
the two nunneries of Pray and Sapwell (over which he pretended to have a
jurisdiction), and filled them with prostitutes; that these nunneries
were esteemed no better than brothels, and that he and his monks
publicly frequented them as such. His Grace seems to have been well and
accurately informed, for he even names some of these infamous women and
their gallants. The monks, too, were at least as profligate as their
Abbot, for they also kept their concubines both within and without the

When such was the scandalous life led by some of the clergy, we cannot
wonder that, before the introduction of syphilis, Rabelais (himself at
one time a monk) should apply to the gonorrhœal disease the very
significant term of “rhume ecclesiastique;” or that, after the
appearance of syphilis, this latter and greater malady should have
spread speedily among all ranks, down from the clergy to the laity, and
from the king to the churl, and should have become diffused by such
stealthy but rapid steps over the countries of Europe, as to have at
first been mistaken for a malady spreading itself, not by impure
intercourse, but by general epidemic influences. And when we advert to
the existing state of society in that age, and couple it with such
notices as we have found in the Aberdeen records, we may surely (in
despite of all that has been written to the contrary, both in ancient
and modern times) reasonably doubt whether the laws regulating the
propagation of syphilis in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were in
any degree different from what we know them to be in the nineteenth
century. The Aberdeen edict shows that three hundred and sixty odd years
ago, or in 1497, the common mode of infection of the disease was
precisely the same as all acknowledge it to be at the present day.


  [1] From the _Edinburgh Med. and Surg. Journal_, No. 149.

  [2] _Study of Medicine_, vol. i. pref. p. xxiii.

  [3] See some learned notices regarding this strange species of
  mania (the wolf-madness or wehrwolf of the Germans) in Burton’s
  _Anatomy of Melancholy_ (edit. of 1804), vol. i. p. 13, and
  Heinrich Hase’s late work on the _Public and Private Life of
  the Ancient Greeks_, p. 17. Ploucquet, in his _Literatura
  Medica_, gives references to a number of articles and
  monographs on the subject under the word “Lycanthropia,” vol.
  i. p. 510.

  [4] See particularly the Canon De Leprosis of Pope Alexander
  III. in the _Monasticon Anglicanum_, tom. ii. p. 365; and
  Semler’s _Historiæ Ecclesiasticæ Selecta Capita_, tom. iii. p.

  [5] The terms employed by Matthew Paris are quite precise.
  “Habent insuper _Templarii_ in Christianitate novem millia
  Maneriorum; _Hospitalarii_ vero novemdecim.” _Anglor. Historia
  Major_ (ed. of 1644), p. 417. In referring to the subject under
  the word “Leprosaria,” Ducange states, “Dominus Matthæus Paris,
  _Hist. Angl._ p. 63, affirmat suo tempore fuisse Leprosarias
  1900 (19,000?) in toto orbe Christiano.” See his _Glossarium,
  Med. et Inf. Latinitatis_, tom. iv. p. 126. At p. 63 of the
  Appendix to Paris, the institution of one hospital at St.
  Alban’s is referred to; but neither here nor elsewhere in his
  work can I find any allusion whatever to the existing number of
  leper hospitals in England, or in Christendom in general.

  [6] Velley, Villaret et Garnier, _Histoire de France_, tom. ii.
  (ed. of 1770), p. 291.

  [7] Velley, etc., _Histoire_, ii. p. 292.

  [8] Mezeray, _Histoire de France_, tom. ii. 1645, p. 168. “Il
  n’y avoit n’y ville, n’y bourgade, qui ne fust obligée de bâtir
  un hospital pour les (Lepres) retirer.”

  [9] _Antiquitates Italicæ Medii Aevi_, tom. iii. p. 53. “In
  Italia vix ulla erat civitas quæ non aliquem locum, Leprosis
  destinatum, haberet.”

  [10] _Acta Sanctorum a Patribus Soc. Jesu Antuerpiæ Collecta._
  Holst in his Work on Radesyge (_Morbus quem Radesyge vocant_:
  Christianae, 1817), refers to the works of Smid and Petersen,
  as showing that Denmark formerly suffered much from leprous
  diseases (morbis Leprosis olim graviter vexatam fuisse), p. 90.

  [11] For reference to the prevalence of leprosy and leper
  hospitals in Ireland, see Ledwich’s _Antiquities of Ireland_
  (Dublin, 1804), p. 370.

  [12] Terms manifestly (according to Junius, Johnson,
  Richardson, etc.) mere corruptions of the word hospital.

  [13] _Manuscript Chartulary of the Priory of Coldingham_, p.
  25. Advocates Library, Edinburgh. In the above Latin extract
  the original orthography is preserved.

  [14] _Liber de Sanctæ Mariæ de Melros._ Presented by the Duke
  of Buccleuch to the Bannatyne Club, Edin. 1839, tom. i. p. 70.
  See also Morton’s _Monastic Annals of Teviotdale_, 1832, p.

  [15] _Stat. Ac. of Scotland_, No. xvi. p. 75.

  [16] _Registrum Monasterii de Passelet_, 1163-1529. Presented
  by the Earl of Glasgow to the Maitland Club, tom. i. p. 21. I
  am indebted to Mr. E. Thomson of Edinburgh, and formerly of
  Ayr, for pointing out to me the fact and inference in the text.

  [17] See Chalmers’ _Caledonia_, vol. iii. p. 496; and _Records
  of the Burgh of Prestwick, from the fifteenth to the eighteenth
  century_. Glasgow, 1834, p. 127.

  [18] _The Lord of the Isles._ Canto v. Note vii.

  [19] _Session Papers_, Advocates’ Library, vol. xxix. Petition
  of Colonel Fullarton to the Lords of Council and Session, Jan.
  18, 1798, for the patronage, etc., of Kingcase.

  [20] _Geographiæ Bleauvianæ_, vol. vi. p. 60.

  [21] _Gibson’s History of Glasgow_ (1778), p. 52. _Cleland’s
  Glasgow_, 1816, vol. i. 68.

  [22] _Burgh Records of Glasgow, from 1573 to 1581_ (printed
  1832), p. 1.

  [23] _Ibid._ p. 52.

  [24] _Ibid._ p. 127.

  [25] _Memorabilia of Glasgow_, selected from the Minute Books
  of the Burgh, 1588 to 1750 (printed 1835), p. 55.

  [26] _Manuscript Records of the Town-Council of Edinburgh_,
  vol. vii. p. 168. There would seem to have been a
  Leper-hospital belonging to Edinburgh antecedent to that built
  at Greenside. At least in the _City Council Records_ for 30th
  September 1584, I find a missive for Michael Chisholm and
  others, to inquire into “the estait and ordour of the _awld_
  (old) fundatioun of the Lipperhous besyde Dyngwall.” The
  Castle of Dyngwall, the residence of the Provost of the
  adjoining Trinity College, formerly stood on the site of the
  Orphan Hospital, behind Shakespeare Square.

  [27] _Manuscript Records of the Town-Council_, vol. ix. pp. 9
  and 12.

  [28] _Ibid._ vol. ix. p. 123.

  [29] Pennecuik’s _Historical Account of the Blue Blanket or
  Craftsmen’s Banner_. Edinburgh, 1722, p. 135.

  [30] _Manuscript Records_, vol. xvii. p. 298.

  [31] _Ibid._ vol. xix. p. 210.

  [32] _Book of Bon Accord_, 1839, p. 341.

  [33] _Book of Bon Accord_, 1839, p. 312.

  [34] Kennedy’s _Annals of Aberdeen_, vol. ii. p. 82, and vol.
  i. p. 168.

  [35] _Registrum Episcopatus Moraviensis_, Edinb. 1837, pp.
  77-78. Sir John G. Dalyell’s _Brief Analysis of the Records of
  the Bishopric of Moray_, Edinb. 1826, p. 34.

  [36] Rhind’s _Sketches of Moray_ (1840), p. 114.

  [37] _A Brief Description of Orkney, Zetland, Pightland Frith_,
  etc. Edinb. 1701, p. 72.

  [38] _View of the Ancient and Present State of the Zetland
  Islands_, vol. ii. p. 103. Edinb. 1809.

  [39] Vol. ii. pp. 7, 88.

  [40] See _Transactions of the Society of the Antiquaries of
  Scotland_, vol. i. p. 295.

  [41] Boece gives with great gravity the following extravagant
  account of the holy origin of the oily well of
  Liberton:—“Nocht two milis fra Edinburgh (says he) is ane fontane
  dedicat to Sanct Katrine, quhair sternis of oulie springis
  ithandlie (where drops of oil rise constantly) with sic
  abondance, that howbeit the samin be gaderit away, it springis
  incontinent with gret aboundance. This fontane rais throw
  ane drop of Sanct Katrinis oulie, quhilk was brocht out
  of Mount Sinai, fra hir sepulture, to Sanct Margaret, the
  blessit Queene of Scotland; and als sone (as soon) as Sanct
  Margaret saw the oil spring ithandlie, be divine miracle, in
  the said place, she gart big ane chappell (made be built a
  chapel) there in the honour of Sanct Katherine.”—_Bellenden’s
  Translation of Boece’s Hystory and Chroniklis of Scotland_, p.

  [42] _Memorial of the Rare and Wonderful Things in Scotland_,
  at the end of his _Abridgement of the Scotch Chronicles_.
  London, 1612.

  [43] _Dyet of the Diseased_, book iii. cap. 19.

  [44] _Trans. of the Society of Antiquaries_, vol. i. p. 324.

  [45] _The Oily Well; or a Topographico-Spagyrical Description
  of the Oily Well at St. Catherine’s Chappel, in the Paroch of
  Liberton._ Edinburgh, 1664.

  [46] Sir Thomas Murray’s edition of _The Acts of Parliament
  made by James the First_, etc. (Edinburgh 1681), p. 18; or T.
  Thomson’s edition of _The Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland_
  (1814), vol. ii. p. 16.

  [47] Surtees’ _Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham_,
  vol. i. p. 127.

  [48] Nicolson and Burns’ _History of Westmoreland and
  Cumberland_, vol. ii. p. 250.

  [49] Dugdale’s _Monasticon Anglicanum_, tom. ii. p. 458.
  Tanner’s _Notitia Monastica_ (fol. edit.), p. 395.

  [50] It may be proper to state that the references made to the
  _Monasticon Anglicanum_ throughout the present paper, apply
  always to the first edition of that great work, unless when it
  is otherwise specified.

  [51] In the index to Tanner’s _Notitia Monastica_ (Nasmith’s
  folio edition), 509 hospitals, leper-houses, and Maisons dieu
  are referred to as having existed in England previously to the
  Act for their suppression by Henry VIII. (See a table in
  Taylor’s _Index Monasticus_, p. xxv.) We have no collection of
  data on which to form any similar general calculation for
  Scotland. In Chalmers _Caledonia_ (vol. ii. p. 347) nine
  hospitals are stated to have existed in the county of Berwick
  alone. In the Scottish Parliament of 1424, an Act was passed
  regarding the hospitals “uphaldane to pure folks and seik”
  (poor people and sick) throughout the kingdom, and empowering
  the chancellor and bishops to “reduce and reforme tham to the
  effec of thair first fundacione” (see Thomson’s edition of the
  _Scotch Acts of Parliament_, vol. ii. p. 7). Some of the
  hospitals in these early times were founded for the reception
  of the sick and infirm, others for lepers, many for the poor
  and aged, and a considerable number for the gratuitous
  entertainment of pilgrims and travellers. Among the whole long
  English list I have only found four endowed as lunatic asylums.
  A few were instituted for purposes which sound strangely in the
  ears of the present generation. Thus the hospital of Flixton,
  or Carman’s Spittle, in the parish of Folketon, Yorkshire, was
  founded in the time of King Athelstane, to preserve travellers
  from being devoured by the wolves and other voracious and
  forest beasts of the districts (“pro conservatione populi inde
  transeuntis, ne populus ille per lupos et alias bestias voraces
  et sylvestres, inibi existentes, devoretur”). See the renewed
  charter of Henry VI. in the _Monasticon Anglicanum_, tom. ii.
  p. 372.

  [52] Bloomefield’s _History of Norfolk_, continued by Parkin.

  [53] Taylor’s _Index Monasticus to the Diocese of Norwich_, p.
  52, seq.

  [54] _Pitcairn’s Criminal Trials in Scotland_, vol. ii. p. 29.

  [55] _De Secretis Naturæ_ (Amsterdam ed. of 1790), p. 241.

  [56] _British Monachism, or Manners, etc., of the Monks of
  England_, p. xv.

  [57] _Historiae Ecclesiasticae Selecta Capita_, tom. iii. p.

  [58] On the north-west side of the ruins of the Kingcase
  Hospital Chapel, Ayr, the burial-place of the leper bedesmen is
  still pointed out, but the numerous and marked “undulations of
  the green sward” are their only tombstone.

  [59] _MS. Records of the Town-Council of Edinburgh_, vol. ix.
  p. 123.

  [60] _Ancient Records of the Burgh of Prestwick._ Glasgow,
  1834, p. 40.

  [61] Surtees’ _Durham_, vol. i. 128.

  [62] _Index Monast._ p. 55.

  [63] _Monasticon Anglicanum_, tom. ii. p. 390.

  [64] Paris, _Historia Anglor._ edit. of 1644, Additam. p. 169.

  [65] As in the hospital of St. Laurence, Canterbury, which
  contained lepers of both sexes. See Strype’s _Life of
  Archbishop Parker_, 1791, vol. i. p. 224.

  [66] Surtees’ _Durham_, vol. i. p. 286.

  [67] In a passage breathing the very spirit and prejudices of
  the middle ages, Mezeray states that during all the twelfth
  century, two very cruel evils (deux maux tres cruels) reigned
  in France, viz. _leprosy_ and _usury_; one of which (he adds)
  infected the body, while the other ruined families.—_Histoire
  de France_, tom. ii. p. 169.

  [68] _Historia Anglor._ etc., Appendix, p. 164.

  [69] _De l’Origine de Chevalrie_, chap. ix. p. 126.

  [70] _Le Histoire du Clerge Seculier_, etc. See Table from it
  in Taylor’s _Index Monasticus_, p. xxvii.

  [71] Helyot’s _Histoire des Ordres Religieux_ (edit. of 1792),
  vol. i. p. 257.

  [72] Rivius’ _Historia Monast. Occident._ (1737), p. 223.

  [73] _History and Antiquities of Leicester_, vol. ii. p. 72.

  [74] There was in England at least one alien cell of Lazarites,
  at Lokhay, Derbyshire, subject to a French house. Tanner’s
  _Notitia Monastica_, p. 83.

  [75] _Monasticon Anglicanum_, 2d ed. vi. p. 632. _Notitia
  Monastica_, p. 239.

  [76] _MS. Chartulary of Newbottle Abbey_, p. 205, Advocates’
  Library, Edinburgh. Since writing the above I find that
  Maitland, in his _History of Scotland_, includes, but without
  any references or details, the institution of Lazarites at
  Linlithgow, among his meagre list of Scottish Hospitals, vol.
  i. p. 269.

  [77] _Histoire des Ordres Religieux_, tom. i. p. 264.

  [78] _Historical Account of the Blue Blanket_, etc., containing
  the fundamental principles of the Good Town (Edin. 1722), p. 6.
  Probably the Lazarites are here confounded with the
  Hospitallers or Knights of St. John.

  [79] Geddes’ _Tracts_. View of all the Orders of Monks and
  Fryars in the Roman Church. London (1794), p. 46.

  [80] Helyot, tom. i. p. 262, and Moehsen’s _Commentatio Prima
  de Medicis Equestri dignitate Ornatis_ (1750), p. 56.

  [81] _Bul. Rom._ tom. ii. Const. 95, Pii iv. § 4.

  [82] _Abrégé Hist. de l’Ordre de Notre-Dame_, etc., or Helyot,
  tom. i. p. 397.

  [83] _Testament of Cresseid_ (Bannatyne Club edition, 1824), p.

  [84] _Edinburgh Town-Council Records_, vol. ix. p. 123.

  [85] See a copy of the charter in Kennedy’s _Annals_, vol. i.
  p. 167.

  [86] Taylor’s _Index Monasticus_, p. 12.

  [87] _Ibid._ See instances at pages 57 and 60.

  [88] _Monast. Anglic._ tom. ii. p. 365, and _Hist. Angl._
  Scripta edit. Lond. 1652. Coll. 1450, l. 4.

  [89] _Life and Acts of Matthew Parker_, by J. Strype, 1791,
  vol. i. p. 224-26.

  [90] Taylor, ut supra, p. 127, _Table of Revenues_.

  [91] Dugdale’s _Mon. Anglic._ 2d ed. vol. vi. p. 652.

  [92] _Ibid._ p. 637.

  [93] _Val. Ecclesiast. Temp. Henr. VIII._, tom. v. 1825, p.

  [94] _Ibid._ p. 645.

  [95] _Itinerary through England_, etc. (by order of Henry
  VIII.), Hearne’s edit vol. v. p. 105.

  [96] _Monast. Anglic._ vi. p. 632; or Thoresby’s _History and
  Antiquities of Leicester_, vol. iii. (1790), p. 175.

  [97] Paris’ _Historia Anglor._ etc. Additamenta, p. 163.

  [98] Sed bene cavendum quod nec putridum, nec corruptum, vel
  morticinum illis rogetur.

  [99] Surtees’ _History of the County of Durham_, vol. i. pp.
  129 and 286.

  [100] _Chronicon de Lanercost_ (Edinburgh 1841), p. 241.
  _Chronica Th. Walsingham_ in Camden’s _Anglica_, etc. (1603),
  p. 113. Hume’s _History of England_ (ed. of 1792), vol. ii. p.

  [101] _Histoire de France_, Mezeray, tom. ii. p. 72. Velley,
  etc., tom. ii. p. 292.

  [102] _Ordonnances des Roys de France de la Troisieme Race_
  (1723), tom. i. p. 814.

  [103] _Ib. loc. cit._ This Ordonnance is dated Crecy, 16th
  August 1321.

  [104] Velley, Villaret, etc. _Histoire de France_, vol. vi. p.

  [105] _De Morbis Veneriis_, ed. of 1740, p. 7.

  [106] Letter to Von Troil, in his work on Iceland, p. 323.

  [107] _History of the Holy Warre_ (1647), p. 254.

  [108] _General History of Scotland_ (1794), vol. ii. p. 266.

  [109] Ingram’s Edit. of the _Saxon Chronicle_, 1823, p. 302. See
  also Wharton’s _Anglia Sacra_, tom. i. p. 264—and Gervase, in
  Leland’s _Collectanea de Rebus Britannicis_ (Hearne’s Edit.),
  tom. i. p. 263. Dr. Lingard, in his _History of England_, vol.
  ii. p. 44 of 2d edit., states on the authority of Ordericus
  Vitalis, etc., the date of Lanfranc’s death as 1079, which, if
  correct, and not a mere misprint, would only add to the force
  of the argument in the text.

  [110] _Antiquities of Canterbury_, vol. i. p. 42, and vol. ii.
  p. 169.

  [111] _Eadmeri Historia Novorum sive Sui Seculi_, p. 9.

  [112] _History of Northampton_, vol. i. p. 363.

  [113] Bishop Tanner’s _Notitia Monastica_, edit. of 1744, p.

  [114] Ruel and Hartmann’s _Collectio Conciliorum
  Illustratorum_, 1675, tom. iv. p. 100. The Lombards had a
  similar law, see Lindenbrog’s _Codex Legum Antiquarum_, 1613,
  p. 609.

  [115] _Histoire de Bretagne_, Paris, 1707, tom. i. p. 204.

  [116] Wharton’s _Anglia Sacra_, tom. ii. pref. p. 32.

  [117] _Cambro-Briton_ and _Celtic General Repository_, vol.
  iii. p. 199.

  [118] Chalmers’ _Caledonia_, vol. ii. 789.

  [119] _Liber Cartarum Sancté Crucis de Edwinesburg_ (Bannatyne
  Club edit. 1840), p. 6.

  [120] _Transactions of the Society of Scottish Antiquaries_,
  vol. i. p. 299.

  [121] _Chronica de Mailros_, a cod. unico in Bibl. Cott.
  servato. Bannatyne Club edition, Edinburgh, 1835, p. 88.
  Crawford’s _Genealogical History of the Family of the
  Stewarts_, 1710, p. 5. Lord Hailes’ _Annals of Scotland_, ed.
  of 1797, vol. i. p. 327. Fordun gives the year as 1178,
  probably from a difference in the style of reckoning; see his
  _Scotichronicon_, Goodall’s edit. 1759, tom. i. p. 475.

  [122] _Registrum Episcopatus Moraviensis_, p. 77.

  [123] Tanner’s _Notitia Monastica Huntingdonshire_, ii. 3.
  _Monast. Anglicanum_, tom. ii. p. 417.

  [124] Paxton’s _Account of the Hospital and Parish of St. Giles
  in the Fields_. Stowe in his _Survey of London_ (Strype’s edit.
  1720, vol. ii. book iv. p. 74), says it was founded about 1117
  (the year preceding Matilda’s death).

  [125] _Anglor. Historia Major_, Append. p. 161.

  [126] _Monasticon Anglicanum_, 2d ed. vol. vi. p. 620.

  [127] _Ibid._ vol. vi. p. 630.

  [128] _Book of Bon-Accord_, p. 342.

  [129] _Records of Prestwick_, p. 91.

  [130] Was it used as a preventative or disinfecting agent? In
  some districts in Scotland at the present day all the
  attendants upon a funeral are regularly provided with tobacco
  and pipes at the expense of the relatives of the dead person.

  [131] Sinclair’s _Statistical Account of Scotland_, vol. xii.
  p. 346.

  [132] _Ancient and Present State of the Zetland Isles_, vol.
  ii. p. 102.

  [133] _Bartholini De Morbis Biblicis Miscellanea Medica_
  (1672), p. 41.

  [134] _Faeroae et Faeroa Reserata_, etc. (London, 1659), pp.
  101 and 311, and _Acta Medica_, etc. _Hafn._ Tom. i. p. 98.

  [135] _Memoires de Medecine for 1782-3_, p. 200.

  [136] _Voyage to Iceland_ (1770), p. 172.

  [137] _Letters on Iceland_ (1780), p. 121.

  [138] _Dissert. Inauguralis de Morbis Islandiae_ (Edinb. 1811),
  pp. 12-17.

  [139] _Iceland, or the Journal of a Residence in that Island_
  (Edinb. 1818), vol. i. p. 295.

  [140] _Voyage en Islande et au Groënland_, etc., livr. 11, 12,
  14, 15, etc.

  [141] _Edinburgh Med. and Surg. Journal_, vol. xviii. p. 102,
  or _Amoenitates Academicae_, tom. vii. p. 97.

  [142] _Ibid._ No. 132, p. 119. See also Dr. Charlton’s
  “Observations on the Norway Hospitals,” _Ib._ p. 105.

  [143] _Die Radesyge oder das Scandinavische Syphiloid_
  (Leipzig, 1828), p. 57.

  [144] _Abrégé Pratique des Maladies de la Peau_ (1828), par MM.
  Cazenave et Schedel.

  [145] _Practical Synopsis of Cutaneous Diseases_ (edit. of
  1829), 411, 412.

  [146] _Library of Medicine_, edited by Dr. Tweedie, vol. i.
  (London, 1840), p. 418. Among his list of Synonyms, Dr. Schedel
  gives “The Tsarath of Moses; Lepra Hebræorum; Lepra Egyptica;
  Lepra; Lardrerie,” etc.

  [147] “Morbus contagiosus, cutis crassa, rugosa, aspera,
  unctuosa, pilis destituta; extremis artubus anæsthesia; facies
  tuberibus deformis; vox rauca et nasalis.” _Synopsis Nosologiæ
  Methodicæ_ (1772), p. 369.

  [148] Class III., Order IV., Genus VIII. _Elephantiasis_; (1)
  Skin thick, livid, rugose, tuberculate; (2) Insensible to
  feeling; (3) Eyes fierce and staring; (4) Perspiration highly
  offensive. Species I. (Tubercular or Arabian Leprosy of
  authors.) “(1) Tubercles chiefly on the face and joints; (2)
  Fall of the hair except from the scalp; (3) Voice hoarse and
  nasal; contagious and hereditary.” Good’s _Physiological System
  of Medicine_ (1817), pp. 257, 258.

  [149] _De Causis et Signis Morborum_, p. 69. (Leipsic, edit. of

  [150] The disease is still designated in different parts of
  Asia and Africa by the same terms, more or less slightly
  changed. In his Travels in Africa, Egypt, and Syria (p. 332),
  Browne speaks of elephantiasis under the local designation of
  _dzudham_; Niebuhr says it is still named in Arabia and Persia
  _dsjuddam_ and _Madsjuddam_. (Pinkerton’s _Collection of
  Voyages and Travels_, vol. x. p. 170.) In Morocco it is called
  at the present day _Jeddem_ and _Murd Jeddem_. (Jackson’s
  _Account of the Empire of Morocco_.)

  [151] The remark in the text applies to nearly all the numerous
  Latin versions made from the Arabic. It is proper, however, to
  add, that the translator of the works of Haly Abbas has so far
  avoided the error alluded to, by translating the Juzam of his
  author by elephanta. With this single exception, the error
  might otherwise, I believe, be called universal.

  [152] The Arabians (_i.e._ the Latin translators from the
  Arabians), and their expositors, as was long ago remarked by
  Eustachius Rudius, and as has been often repeated since, “per
  Lepram nil aliud intelligunt præter Elephantiasim.”—_De
  Affectibus Externarum Corporis Humani Partium_, Venet. 1606, p.

  [153] See Bostock’s _History of Medicine_ (New York edition of
  1836), pp. 43 and 47, or chapters vi. and vii.

  [154] This appropriation of the single term “lepra” for the
  designation of Greek elephantiasis is still adhered to by some
  modern authors. Thus Plenck, in his celebrated _Nosology of
  Cutaneous Diseases_, denominates (after the example of the
  translators from the Arabic) the Barbadoes leg “Elephantiasis,”
  and applies to the Greek elephantiasis the simple term “Lepra.”
  Hence he defines lepra to be “that disease in which the skin,
  particularly of the face, becomes rugose and irregular
  (_aspera_), and is deformed with large reddish-livid and
  chinked tubercles (_rimosis tuberibus_), along with
  insensibility of the extremities, and the voice raucous and
  nasal.”—_Doctrina de Morbis Cutaneis, quâ hi morbi in suas
  Classes, Genera, et Species rediguntur_ (1783), p. 67. See also
  Schilling in his _Commentatio de Lepra_ (1778), p. 2. etc.

  [155] As in the works on Cutaneous Diseases by Turner
  (_Treatise of Diseases incident to the Skin_, 1736), p. 2; and
  Lorry (_Tractatus de Morbis Cutaneis_), p. 376, etc. etc.

  [156] _Memoires de la Societé Royale de Medecine_ for 1782-3,
  p. 170. Alibert employs this term in his _Monographie des
  Dermatoses_ (1835), tome ii. p. 270.

  [157] “_Elephantiasis_ a vulgo Medicorum _Lepra_ vocata et
  quibusdam _Sancti Lazari morbus_.” “Elephantiasis quam vulgus
  male Lepram appellitat.” See pp. 680 and 716 of the “Libri
  quinque Institutionum Chirurgicorum Joannis Tagaultii,” in
  _Uffenbach’s Thesaurus Chirurgiae_ (Francof. 1610).

  [158] “Chirurgia secundum Medicationem Hugonis de Luco” (_in
  Arte Chirurg. Scriptorum Collect._; Venice, 1546), p. 175.

  [159] “Chirurgia Magna et Parva.” In the same collection of
  Surgical works, p. 207, 208.

  [160] _Breviarium practicae a Capite ad plantam Pedis._ Brev.
  ii. cap. 46.

  [161] _Philoneum Pharmaceuticum et Chirurgicum de medendis
  corporis affectibus_; Frankfort, 1599, p. 659.

  [162] “Lilium Medicinæ inscriptum de Morborum prope omnium
  curatione,” vide _Opera Medica_ (Lugd. 1574), p. 49, _sqq._

  [163] _Chirurgiae Tractatus_ vii. (Lugd. 1572), p. 307, _sqq._

  [164] _Pro conservandâ Sanitate_, etc., _Liber utilissimus_
  (Mogunt. 1531), c. 202.

  [165] _Chirurgiae Libri Sex._ (Venet. 1533), lib. v. 23.

  [166] _Selectiorum operum, in quibus Consilia_, etc.
  _continentur_ (Lugd. 1525), Consil. 299.

  [167] _Consilia secundum viam Avicennae ordinata_ (Lugd. 1535),
  Consil. 299.

  [168] _Les Oeuvres d’Ambrose Paré_ (Lyons, 1652), p. 476, etc.;
  or Uffenbach’s _Thesaurus Chirurgiæ_ (Frankfort, 1610), p. 428,

  [169] _Joannis Fernelii Ambiani Universa Medicina_ (Geneva,
  1680), pp. 579 and 517.

  [170] _Julii Palmarii Constantini, Medici Parisienis, de Morbis
  Contagiosis Libri Septem_ (Frankfort, 1601), pp. 257-326.

  [171] _Opera Observationum et Curationum quæ extant Omnia_
  (Frankfort, 1646), p. 973.

  [172] See in Gesner’s Collection _De Chirurgiâ Scriptores_,
  etc. (Tiguri 1555), a tract entitled “Examen Leprosorum.”
  Gregory Horst, _Operum Medicorum_, tom. ii. (Norimberg, 1660),
  p. 127. Franciscus de Porta, _Medicæ Decad._ cap. xxx. lib. 4.
  Von Forrest’s _Observationes Medicæ et Chirurgicæ_, lib. iv. p.
  103. Schenckius, _Observationum Medicarum Rariorum Libri
  Septem_ (Frankfort, 1665), p. 803.

  [173] Several of the authors quoted above, divide the _species_
  Lepra into four modifications or varieties: the Lepra Leonina,
  Lepra Elephantia, Lepra Alopecia, and Lepra Tyria. This
  division, which some of them freely allow to be founded more in
  theory than in nature, seems to have been first proposed by
  Constantinus Africanus. (_De Morborum Cognitione_, chap. 17.)
  Like the fanciful fourfold subdivision of other diseases, it
  was made in correspondence with the Hippocratic and Galenic
  doctrine of the four humours. Theodoric, Arnald, Gilbert, and
  the other authors who, in accordance with the pathological
  creeds of the time, were led to adopt it, attribute each
  particular variety to the operation and predominance of a
  particular humour. John of Gaddesden has attempted, in his
  _Rosa Anglica_, to dress up different medical doctrines in rude
  Latin hexameters, and amongst others, he announces the doctrine
  in question in the five following lines:—

    Sub specie tetrâ deturpat corpora LEPRA;
    TIRIA prima datur, de _flegmate_ quae generatur;
    Turpe pilos pascens ALOPICUS, _sanguine_ nascens;
    Fitque LEONINA, _colera_, fervente canina;
    De _Mel_ _(Melancholia)_ fit tristis ELEFANTIA, tristior istis.

  [174] The _History of Physick_, 5th edit. 1758, vol. ii. p. 263.

  [175] Freind, p. 262.

  [176] Sprengel, vol. ii. p. 448.

  [177] _Bernhardi Gordonii Opera Medica_, Lugd. 1542, pp. 48 and

  [178] _Ib._ p. 54.

  [179] See Freind, Sprengel, Eloy, etc.

  [180] In the _Biographie Universelle, ancienne et moderne_,
  Paris, 1813, tom. viii. p. 293, a third Pope, Innocent VI., is
  added to this list.

  [181] _Chirurgiae Libri Septem_, Lugd. 1572, p. 307, _sqq._

  [182] _Gilberti Anglici Compendium Medicinae, tam morborum
  universalium quam particularium, non solum medicis sed et
  chyrurgicis utilissimum._ Vienna, 1510.

  [183] Eloy’s _Dictionnaire Historique de Medecine, Ancienne et
  Moderne_, 1778, tome ii. p. 349. Aitkin’s _Biographical Memoirs
  of Medicine in Great Britain_, 1780, p. ix.

  [184] Freind’s _History of Medicine_, 5th edition, vol. ii. p.

  [185] _Compendium Medicinæ_ (ut supra), p. 340.

  [186] _Nosologia Methodica_, tome v. p. 229. Before citing
  Gilbert’s description, Sauvages observes, “Plures hujus morbi
  (Elephantiasis) varietates sunt quarum nomina et signa ex
  Gilberto Anglo mutuabimur, loco Leprae Elephantiasin

  [187] _Memoires de Medecine et de Physique Medicale tirés des
  Registres de la Societé Royale de Medecine_, Années 1782-83, p.
  200. Speaking of the Greek elephantiasis, or elephantiasis
  legitima of Sauvages, they observe “on ne trouvoit nulle part,
  pas même dans Arétée de Cappadoce, une exposition plus claire
  que celle qui a été donnée par Gilbert, Medecin Anglois du
  seizieme (?) siecle.”

  [188] Sprengel’s _Histoire de la Medecine_ (Jourdain’s
  translation). Tome ii. p. 404.

  [189] Anthony Wood’s _Athenae Oxonienses_, p. 87.

  [190] Wood gives his name as entered in an old College
  Catalogue in 1320. He compiled his book between 1305 and 1317:
  Freind, vol. ii. p. 277; and Eloy, vol. ii. p. 287. See also
  Hutchison’s _Biographia Medica_, vol. i. p. 323; and Aitkin’s
  _Biographical Memoirs_, p. ix, etc.

  [191] Guy de Chauliac entitles Gaddesden’s book (probably with
  more truth) “una _fatua_ Rosa Anglica.”

  [192] _Rosa Anglica quatuor Libris distincta_ (Papiae, 1492),
  lib. ii. cap. vii. p. 55; or _Joannis Anglici Praxis Medica,
  Rosa Anglica dicta_ (Schopf’s edit. 1595), p. 1076, _sqq._

  [193] _Rosa Anglica_, p. 1079. The editor, Schopf, appends to
  this passage a rubric, stating the above sound counsel as
  “Decretum Joannis Angli de Leprosis.”

  [194] Pitt places him about 1360: Eloy, vol. ii. p. 354;
  Freind, vol. ii. p. 293.

  [195] From the old translation of Glanville’s work, _De
  Proprietatibus Rerum_, by John Trevisa, Vicar of Barkley. See
  _Phil. Trans._ vol. xxxi. p. 59.

  [196] _Eccles. Dunelm. Hist._ l. liii. f. 56, a; vide
  _Monasticon Anglicanum_, tom, ii. p. 437, a.

  [197] Bernhard Gordon of Montpellier, whose description of the
  disease I have already quoted, has been sometimes alleged to be
  a native of Scotland, see Sprengel’s _Histoire_, ii. p. 447;
  but without any other evidence whatever than that derivable
  from his Scottish surname.

  [198] _The Testament of Cresseid_, compylit be M. Robert
  Henrysone, Sculemaister in Dunfermeling. Imprentit at
  Edinburgh, 1593. Reprinted by the Bannatyne Club, Edinburgh,
  1824. The poem has been published, without the name of the
  author, in Godfray’s and most other later editions of Chaucer’s

  [199] This complication was not so common as to be regarded as
  a constant and pathognomonic sign of Greek elephantiasis, but
  it is noted as an important and frequent one, by various
  authors, both ancient and modern. Hally-Abbas tells us, in our
  diagnosis of a case of the disease, to be particular in
  examining “album oculorum ne forte turbatum est” (Lib. i. cap.
  xxiv.); Rhazes attributes great value as a diagnostic mark of
  his Juddam or elephantiasis to the “conturbatio albedinis
  oculorum” (Lib. v. cap. cxx.); Avicenna, among his incipient
  signs, states “et apparet in oculis obfuscatio ad rubedinem
  declivis” (Lib. iv. Fen. iii. Fr. 3, cap. ii.) Not to multiply
  examples, I may merely mention that Theodoric, in the
  thirteenth century, places early among his list of signs
  “oculorum in albedine lividitas” (Lib. iii. cap. lv.); see also
  Lanfranc (Doct. i. Tr. iii. c. 7, albedo oculorum obfuscator);
  Arnald of Villeneuve (Brev. ii. c. 46, multum rubeae); Gilbert
  (Lib. viii. oculi circulos habent rubros), etc. Dr. Heberden,
  in his account of the tubercular leprosy in Madeira, states, in
  regard to a case, “that the confirmed elephantiasis was
  attended with _livid_ and scirrhous tubercles, which had
  overspread the face and limbs; the whole body was emaciated;
  the eyebrows inflated; the hair of the eyebrows fallen off
  entirely; the bones of the nose depressed; the _alae nasi_
  tumefied, as likewise the lobes of the ears; _with a suffusion
  in both eyes_, which had almost deprived the patient of sight,”
  etc.—_Medical Transactions of the College of Physicians_, vol.
  i. p. 35.

  [200] I give the term “livid” as synonymous with the old Scotch
  term “haw,” under the idea that it expresses in all
  probability, as nearly as possible, the meaning of the author.
  The Scottish writer Gawin Douglas renders the Latin adjectives
  “caeruleus” and “glaucus,” by the adjective “haw,” in his
  celebrated translation of “The xiii. bukes of Eneados of the
  famose poet, Virgill, out of Latyne verses, into Scottish
  meter.” For the occasional livid colour of the lumps or
  tubercles in the face, see the extract in the preceding note
  from Dr. Heberden, and the modern descriptions quoted in a
  previous page from Bateman and Schedel.

  [201] Since writing the above, I have met with the following
  interesting notice in the still earlier voyage of Martin to St.
  Kilda, the most westerly island of the Hebrides. Describing his
  visit to St. Kilda, in 1697, he states, “Some thirteen years
  ago, the Leprosy broke amongst the inhabitants, and some of
  their numbers died of it. There are two families at present
  labouring under the disease. The symptoms of it are, their feet
  begin to fail; their appetite declining; their faces becoming
  too red, and breaking out in pimples; a hoarseness, and their
  hair falling off from their heads; the crown (?) of it
  exulcerates and blisters; and, lastly, their beards grow
  thinner than ordinary.”—_Voyage to St. Kilda_ (first published
  in 1698), p. 40 of edition of 1749.

  [202] _MS. Medical Annotations_, vol. iii. p. 226.

  [203] “The Moderator proposed to the session, that, considering
  that a Gracious Providence had not only delivered the Island
  and country from the burden and necessity of maintaining and
  otherwise providing for the poor Lepers, formerly in this
  Island, but had also put a stop to the spreading of that
  unclean and infectious disease, so that there is no appearance
  of the symptoms thereof in any person now in this place, the
  Session should therefore ordain a day to be set apart for
  solemn thanksgiving for so great a deliverance throughout this
  ministry excepting Fowla, which we can have no access to
  probably to inform. The Session having heard the Moderator’s
  proposal, were cordially satisfied therewith, and did agree
  unanimously that a day be set apart for solemn thanksgiving on
  the above account throughout the bounds of the ministry,
  excepting Fowla, as above said.” (Extracts from the MS. Session
  Register of Walls, under date of 17th March 1742.) The 19th May
  1742 was held as the day of thanksgiving, as appears from a
  subsequent entry.

  [204] _Færoæ et Færoa Reserata_ (London, 1659), pp. 310, 311.

  [205] Mackenzie’s _Travels in Iceland during the summer of the
  year 1810_; or _Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal_, vol.
  viii. pp. 202, 203.

  [206] Von Troil’s _Letters on Iceland_, p. 123; Barrow’s _Visit
  to Iceland in the summer of 1834_, pp. 289 and 294.

  [207] Pontoppidan’s _Natural History of Norway_, containing an
  account of its Climate, etc. etc. (London translation, 1755),
  pp. 261, 262.

  [208] See Wellhaven’s account, extracted from the _Transactions
  of the Stockholm Society_, vol. iii. pp. 188-200, into
  Hunefeld’s “Essay on Radesyge,” pp. 38-56.

  [209] See pp. 110-117 of the excerpta in Hensler’s learned
  work, _Vom Abenländischen Aufsatze im Mittelalter_. (Hamburg,

  [210] The disease seems to be noticed under the name of
  Skyrbjugr in some of the oldest Iceland records. (See Olassen’s
  _Islansk Urtagaard Bok_, p. 172; and Back, in Von Troil’s
  _Letters on Iceland_, p. 324.) Munch and Hunefeld suggest, with
  no great probability, that it might have been carried to the
  north by the expeditions which, during the ninth and tenth
  centuries, were made upon the Norman coast by Rolf and others.
  (See Hunefeld’s _Radesyge oder das Scandinavische Syphiloid_,
  p. 57.)

  [211] I have already referred to Bartholin in relation to its
  former prevalence in the Faroe Isles and Iceland. Writing in
  1672, he states that in these parts leprosy “_fuisse olim
  familiarem_” (_de morbis Biblicis in Mis. Med._ p. 41). Jonas,
  Pastor of Hitterdale in Iceland, wrote in 1662 to the
  celebrated Sir Thomas Browne, “Nullus _elephantiasi_ vel
  abominabilior vel pestilentior hic existimatur, et tamen
  postremo hoc seculo pavendus se diffundit.” (Wilkin’s edition
  of Sir Thomas Browne’s Works, including his _Life and
  Correspondence_, vol. iv. p. 261.)

  [212] The date of admission to the church of one of the priors
  of the hospital.

  [213] _Synopsis of Cutaneous Diseases_, p. 419.

  [214] Murray’s Edition of the _Acts of the Parliament of
  Scotland_, vol. ii. p. 18. In Shetland the kirk-sessions seem
  to have latterly taken upon them the legal powers conferred by
  the above Act upon the bishops and other ecclesiastical
  authorities, as shown by the following extract from the Session
  Records of the parish of Walls. “Kirk of Walls, December 6th,
  1772.—This day the Session being informed that Margaret
  Abernethy, relick spouse of James Henry, had been, to all
  appearance, for a considerable time past, deeply tinted with
  the inveterate scurvy, commonly called the Leprosy in this
  place, and was now removed to Brabaster in the midst of a
  number of children, whose parents were in the greatest fear of
  their being infected with that disease by the said Margaret
  Abernethy, and that they and others had again and again called
  upon the Session to convene the said woman before them, in
  order to be sighted, and also to be set apart, if she should be
  found unclean, conform to former use and wont, in this and
  other parishes of the country: Therefore the Session did, and
  hereby do, appoint the officer to require said Margaret
  Abernethy to compear before them at this place, next Wednesday,
  in order to be examined and inspected, as above
  said.”—Extracted from the MS. Session Records of Walls.

  [215] In describing the duties of the examiner, De Chauliac
  observes, “In primis invocando Dei auxilium debet eos
  comfortare, quòd ista passio est salvatio animae et quod non
  dubitent dicere veritatem, quia si reperientur Leprosi,
  purgatorium animae esset; et si mundus habet eos odio, non
  tamen Deus, cum Lazarum Leprosum plus dilexit quam alios. Si
  autem non reperientur tales stabunt in pace.”—P. 310.

  [216] From the “Statuta Milonis Episcopi Aurelianensis, anno
  MCCCXIV. in Synodo autumnali edita,” contained in Martene and
  Durand’s _Amplissima Collectio veterum Scriptorum et
  Monumentorum_ (Paris, 1733), tom. vii. p. 1286.

  [217] _Foedera, Conventiones, Literae et cujuscunque generis
  Acta Publica inter Reges Angliae et aliosquosvis Imperatores,
  Reges, Pontifices vel Communitates._ Vol. xi. (London, 1710),
  p. 635.

  [218] Ropemakers were long treated and shunned as lepers,
  because their trade was one which at an early part of the
  middle ages was principally followed by pilgrims and crusaders
  who had returned in a leprous condition from the East.—Ogée’s
  _Histoire de Bretagne_. Hensler’s _Abendländischen Aufsatze_,
  1790, p. 212.

  [219] _Records of the Burgh of Prestwick_, p. 28.

  [220] In the list (p. 10) of fifty-eight “burges inhabitant ye
  burghe of Prestwik” in 1507, occur the two significant surnames
  of “Allane Leppar” and “Adame Leppar.”

  [221] _Burgh Records of Glasgow_, presented to the Maitland
  Club by Mr. Smith, pp. 1 and 127.

  [222] _Memorabilia of Glasgow_, p. 55.

  [223] Alexander Jenkins’ _History and Description of the City
  of Exeter, and its Environs, Ancient and Modern_, etc. (1806),
  p. 384.

  [224] _Index Monasticus_, p. 61. _Monasticon Anglicanum_ (2d
  edit.), vol. vi. p. 769.

  [225] _Notitia Monastica_, p. 211.

  [226] Lord Lyttelton’s _History of the Life of Henry II. and of
  the Age in which he lived_. (Lond. 1767.) Appendix of
  Documents, vol. iv. p. 220.

  [227] See _Monasticon Anglicanum_, vol. vi. p. 643, 2d edit.

  [228] Leland’s _Itinerary through England and Wales_ (Hearne’s
  edit.), vol. iv. p. 105.

  [229] _Chron. MS. Henrici Knyghton_, in Bibl. Bodl. lib. ii.
  cap. 2; _Monasticon Anglicanum_ (2d edit.), vol. vi. p. 687.

  [230] Agnes Strickland’s _Lives of the Queens of England_, vol.
  ii. p. 78.

  [231] Ryland’s _History of Waterford_, p. 200. Mrs. Gore has
  founded one of her latest tales (“The Leper House of Janval”),
  on the idea of William, the third son of the Empress Matilda,
  becoming a leper. See her _Tales of a Courtier_, vol. ii. p.
  55. I am not aware whether the tale is so far historically
  accurate, or merely assumed, as I do not recollect to have met
  with any notice of the individual history or death of the
  prince (the youngest of the three grandsons of Henry I.) who is
  the subject of the story.

  [232] _Chronicle at large and meere Historie of the Affayres of
  England and Kings of the same_ (1569); see p. 506 of edit. of

  [233] _Chronicles_; or _Union of the two Noble and Illustre
  Families of York and Lancastre_ (1548); see Hearne’s edit. of
  1809, p. 45.

  [234] Hollinshed’s _Chronicles of England, Scotland, and
  Ireland_, 1577. London, edit. of 1808, vol. v. p. 360.

  [235] _History of England_ (1st edit.), vol. iii. p. 315.

  [236] Rapin’s _History of England_ (ed. by Tindal), vol. ii. p.

  [237] Sharon Turner’s _History of England_, vol. ii. p. 272.

  [238] Duchesne’s _Histoire d’Angleterre, d’Ecosse et
  d’Irelande_ (Paris, 1614), p. 1010.

  [239] Strickland’s _Lives of the Queens of England_, vol. iii.
  p. 114.

  [240] _The Chronicle of England unto the reigne of King Edward
  IV._, by Iohn Hardynge (Ellis’ edit. 1813) p. 370.

  [241] Fuller’s _Historie of the Holy Warre_ (3d edit. 1647), p.

  [242] Fuller’s _Historie of the Holy Warre_ (3d edit. 1647), p.

  [243] _Oeuvres de Rabelais_ (Paris, 1835), p. 666.

  [244] Bellenden’s Transl. of Boece’s _Chroniklis of Scotland_,
  vol. ii. p. 102 (edit. of 1821). Dempster’s _Historia
  Ecclesiastica Gentis Scotorum_ (1627), p. 278.

  [245] Spottiswood’s _History of the Church of Scotland_ (edit.
  of 1665), p. 21. See also Fiacre’s story in Lesslie _de
  Origine, Moribus_, etc., _Scotorum_ (1578), p. 156.

  [246] The _Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland_ (Macpherson’s
  edit.), vol. ii. p. 136.

  [247] I have already shown in Part I. that the name here given
  to the leprosy by the old French historian exactly corresponds
  with the Anglo-Saxon designation of the disease “_seo mycle
  adhl_.” It perhaps deserves to be added that (as appears from a
  paper of Dr. Ainslie—_Asiatic Researches_, vol. i. p. 287) the
  term “_Peri Vishadi_,” applied to tubercular leprosy by the
  Brahmins of Hindustan, also literally signifies “the great

  [248] Sir John Froissart’s _Chronycles of England, France_,
  etc., translated at the command of Henry VIII. by Lord Berners
  (London, edit. of 1812), vol. i. p. 19. In p. 28, he again
  states, “it fortuned that King Robert was right sore aged and
  feble, for he was greatly changed with the great sicknes, so
  that there was no way with him but death.”

  [249] Froissart, _Histoire et Cronique_ (edit. of 1559), vol.
  i. p. 13.

  [250] _Collection des Memoires Nationelles_, etc., tom. x. p.

  [251] Johnes’ English edit. of _Froissart’s Chronicles_ (1839),
  pp. 18 and 26.

  [252] _Hemingfordii Chronicon_ (Hearne’s edit. 1731), tom. ii.
  p. 270.

  [253] Camden’s _Anglica, Normannica_, etc., _a veteribus
  Scripta_ (Frankf. 1603), p. 129.

  [254] _Ibid._ p. 610.

  [255] _Scotorum Historia_ (Paris edit. 1574), p. 308.
  Bellenden’s Translation vol. ii. p. 40: “He deceissit in

  [256] _Rerum Scoticarum Historia_ (1762), p. 224.

  [257] _Collectanea de Rebus Britannicis_, vol. i. p. 552.

  [258] _Scalacronica; a Chronicle of England and Wales, from
  1066 to 1362_, by Sir Thomas Gray of Heton. Maitland Club
  edition (1836), p. 19.

  [259] _Chronicon de Lanercost_, 1201-1346, presented in 1839 to
  the Maitland Club by Mr. Macdowall.

  [260] _Histoire de Bretagne_; par Guy Alexis Lobineau (Paris,
  1707), tom. i. p. 135.

  [261] Adams on _Morbid Poisons_, p. 287.

  [262] Cleland’s _Former and Present State of Glasgow_ (1840),
  p. 20.

  [263] The five lepers in Papa, in Shetland, about 1736, were
  all females; see Part II., page 82, _supra_.

  [264] _Monasticon Anglicanum_, vol. vi. (2d edit.), p. 710; and
  also Madox’s _Formulare Anglicanum_ (1702), pp. 22, 255, 314,

  [265] Mackarell’s _History and Antiquities of King’s Lynn_
  (1738), p. 223.

  [266] Bridges’ _History of Northamptonshire_ (1791), vol. i. p.

  [267] _History of Shrewsbury_ (1825), vol. ii. p. 173 (engraved
  seal of the House).

  [268] _Monasticon Anglicanum_, vol. vi. pp. 637 and 643.

  [269] _Historie of the Holy Warre_, p. 102.

  [270] Hailes’ _Annals of Scotland_ (1797), vol. ii. p. 146.

  [271] Jameson’s edition of Barbour’s _Bruce_, Book vi. p. 167.

  [272] Kerr’s _History of Robert the Bruce_ (1811), vol. i. pp.
  332-3, and vol. ii. p. 474.

  [273] Froissart gives the same cause for the Bruce not leading
  the expedition in question (see Lord Berners’ Translation of
  his _Chronicles_, vol. i. p. 19).

  [274] _Chamberlain’s Accounts_ (printed copies), vol. i. p. 37.
  Compotum Constabularii de Cardross.

  [275] See a beautiful lithograph copy of this interesting
  document in the second volume of the Bannatyne Club copy of the
  _Liber Sanctae Mariae de Melros_.

  [276] Froissart (Berners’ translation), vol. i. p. 29. Shortly
  afterwards Froissart states, “And thus, soone after thys noble
  Robert de Brouse, Kyng of Scotland, trespassed out of thys
  incertayne worlde, and his hart was taken owte of his body and
  embawmed, and honourably he was entred in the Abbey of
  Donfremlyne.” When the grave of the Bruce was opened at
  Dunfermline in 1818, the anatomical appearances of the skeleton
  showed that the king’s will had been so far obeyed, the bones
  of the chest being found divided in such a way as to have
  allowed the removal of the heart. This piece of dissection
  seems, at the time at which it was made, to have drawn down the
  dreaded vengeance of the Vatican upon Randolph, Earl of Moray,
  the king’s nephew, and apparently the operator in this case, in
  such a way as forms a strange and startling contrast with the
  medical usages observed towards the dead at the present day. I
  quote the account, as a curious point in the march of
  necroscopic anatomy, from the Appendix to the _Chronicon de
  Lanercost_ (p. 428)—“It appears that, by a constitution of
  Pope Boniface, the mutilation of a dead body subjected those by
  whom it was mutilated to heavy ecclesiastical censures. To free
  himself from these censures, Randolph, two years after the
  death of King Robert, presented a petition to the Pope, setting
  forth that the deceased king had intended to undertake a
  crusade against the Saracens, but was prevented by death, and
  that in his last will he expressly ordered his heart to be
  taken out of his body and carried in such an expedition, which
  was done by James de Douglas, who conveyed it into Spain. The
  Bishop of Moray was employed to obtain from the Pope a
  remission for the crime, dated 8th before the Ides of August,
  in the fifteenth year of Pope John’s pontificate.” Raynald, in
  his _Annal. Ecclest._, gives the extract A.D. 1329. § 81.

  [277] _Compendium Medicinae_ (Lugd. 1510), p. 336.

  [278] See the Maitland Club _Burgh Records of Glasgow_, p. 127.

  [279] See _Memorabilia of Glasgow_, p. 55.

  [280] _Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal_, xxvi. p. 15,

  [281] _Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal_, xxiv. p. 286.

  [282] Debes’ _Færoæ et Færoa Reserata_, p. 311.

  [283] _Dictionnaire des Sc. Medicales_, tom. xi. p. 419;
  Rayer’s _Treatise on the Diseases of the Skin_ (London, 1831),
  pp. 740 and 747.

  [284] _Memoires de la Soc. Roy. de Medecine_ (1776), p. 167.

  [285] _Ibid._ (1782-83), p. 188.

  [286] Bellenden’s Translation of Boece’s _History_, p. lviii.

  [287] See, for example, among non-medical authors, various of
  these causes alleged for the disease in Heron’s _History of
  Scotland_, vol. ii. p. 266 (unwholesome diet, uncomfortable
  lodgings, dirty clothing). Hooker’s _Iceland_, vol. i. p. 189
  (ascribes it to former use of woollen garments). Taylor’s
  _Index Monasticus_, p. xii. (owing to personal filth, close and
  bad lodging, etc.) White’s _Natural History of Selborne_,
  Letter 37 (formerly produced by poverty, want of fresh meats,
  and vegetables, etc.) etc. etc. Similar opinions are offered in
  various medical works.

  [288] The Canons of the Anglo-Saxon Church urged it as a duty
  upon the charitable to give to the poor, meat, mund, fire,
  fodder, bedding, _bathing_, and clothes. Wilkin’s _Leges
  Anglo-Saxonicae Ecclesiasticae et Civiles_, p. 94. Turner’s
  _History of the Anglo-Saxons_, vol. ii. p. 72.

  [289] Hollinshed mentions the “multitude of _chimnies_ latelie
  erected” as one of the “three things marvellouslie altered in
  England” about the beginning of the sixteenth century.
  (_Chronicles of England_, etc. edit. of 1807, vol. i. p. 317;
  and Strutt’s _Horda Angel-Cynnan_, 1774, vol. i. p. 104.) When
  we consider this we shall scarcely wonder that the smoke of
  coals was formerly looked upon as a noted cause of disease, and
  was at one time actually prohibited in London and Southwark.
  (Stow’s _Survey of London_, p. 925. Evelyn’s _Fumifugium_,
  1661. Macpherson’s _Annals of Commerce_, vol. i. p. 474.) In
  1307 fires were ordered not to be lighted near the Tower
  because the Queen was going to reside there. (Macpherson, _ut
  supra_, see the edict in Rymer’s _Foedera_, vol. ii. p. 1057.)

  [290] The last Archbishop of Glasgow (says Arnott) put on a
  clean shirt once a week.—_History of Edinburgh_, p. 259.

  [291] Straw was first used for the king’s bed in 1242, in the
  reign of Henry III., whose court was considered the most polite
  in Europe. (Dr. Henry’s _History of Great Britain_, vol. iii.
  p. 507.) Some estates in England were held by the tenure of the
  proprietors finding clean straw for the king’s bed, and litter
  for his chamber. (Henry, _ut supra_; Camden’s _Britannia_, vol.
  i. p. 311; _Index Monasticus_, p. 12.) In the charter granted
  by Robert the Bruce to the Burgh of Ayr, the providing of this
  latter item for him and his successors, for three days and
  nights, whenever they visited the town, is specially entered in
  the reddenda—“Et inveniendo nobis et heredibus nostris per
  vices in adventibus nostris et heredum nostrorum apud Are per
  tres dies et noctes _literium_ pro aulâ nostrâ.” (_Records of
  Prestwick_, p. 128.) The office of rush-strewer was continued
  till a late period on the list of the royal household (Craik
  and Macfarlane’s _History of England_, vol. i. p. 644.)

  [292] _Chronicles_, vol. i. p. 317.

  [293] Many of the older medical authors lay down various and
  most contradictory lists of articles of food as capable of
  producing leprosy—some accusing too great quantities of animal
  diet—others blaming too much vegetable diet as the cause,
  while a third class, as Theodoric, impugn too free a use of
  either or both (nimium usum carnis vaccinae, buballinae,
  lentium et omnium leguminum. Theodoric, c. 55). Some authors
  state the most strange doctrines on this point. Thus Bernhard
  Gordon gravely states, that to partake of fish and milk in the
  same meal does induce leprosy (comedere lac et pisces in eadem
  mensa inducit Lepram. _Lilium Medicinae_, p. 48). The same idea
  is repeated from Avicenna down to our countryman Gilbert, and
  it is probably not unworthy of being remarked that the same
  prejudice in regard to the influence of a mixed fish and milk
  diet prevails, or prevailed till of late, in such opposite
  points as Madeira and Hindostan.—(Heberden’s paper on
  “Elephantiasis in Madeira,” p. 29; Walker, in _Calcutta Medical
  and Physical Transactions_, vol. i. p. 4 of his “Account of the
  Medical Opinions of the Hindus on Leprosy.” See also Sir
  William Jones’ Works, vol. i. p. 556.)

  [294] _History and Chronicles_, vol. i. p. lx.

  [295] Marsden’s _History of Sumatra_, containing an account of
  the Government, Laws, etc., pp. 151 and 201.

  [296] See references formerly given to the works of Mackenzie,
  Olafsen, Troil, Barrow, Henderson, Hooker, etc.

  [297] Some scattered records of the leper hospital at Hamel en
  Aarde by Messrs. Halbeck and Leitner, are to be found in the
  _Periodical Accounts relating to the Missions of the Church_,
  vol. ix. p. 345, 482, etc., as kindly pointed out to me by Dr.
  William Brown. In 1824 the hospital contained 110 lepers.

  [298] See Heberden, Adams, and Heineken’s papers, already
  referred to.

  [299] Hoest’s _Reise nach Marokos_, p. 248, calls the disease
  Sghidam (Juddam). Lempriere’s Tour from Gibraltar to Tangier,
  Morocco, etc., in 1789, in Pinkerton’s _Collection_, vol. xv.
  p. 689, describes the disease as true leprosy. Jackson’s
  _Account of the Empire of Morocco_ (1801), gives an account of
  the leper hospital or village near Morocco.

  [300] Niebuhr states that three different varieties of leprosy
  are known in Arabia in modern times—viz. the Bohak, Barras,
  and Juddam. “There is (he states) a quarter in Bagdad
  surrounded with walls, and full of barracks, to which lepers
  are carried by force, if they retire not thither voluntarily.
  They come out every Friday to ask for alms.”—(Pinkerton’s
  _Collection of Voyages_, vol. xviii. p. 170.)

  [301] Dejean in Hensler’s _Abendländischen Aufsatze_, p. 240.

  [302] Schilling, _De Lepra_, p. 20. Stedman’s _Narrative of
  Five Years’ Expedition in Surinam_ (1796), vol. ii. p. 285.

  [303] Bajon’s _Memoires pour servir à l’Histoire de Cayenne_,
  etc., vol. i. p. 237. Bancroft’s _Natural History of Guiana_,
  p. 385.

  [304] Winterbottom’s _Account of the Native Africans in Sierra
  Leone_, vol. ii. p. 113.

  [305] F. Moore’s _Travels into the Inland parts of Africa_
  (1738), p. 130. Mungo Park found the disease among the
  Mandingoes.—(See Pinkerton’s _Collection_, vol. xvi. p. 877.)

  [306] Whitelaw Ainslie, in the _Transactions of the Royal
  Asiatic Society_, vol. i. (1824), p. 282. Robinson, in the
  _London Medico-Chirurgical Transactions_, vol. x. (1819), p.

  [307] Pococke’s _Description of the East_, vol. ii. p. 122; or
  Pinkerton’s _Collection_, vol. x. p. 502.

  [308] _Voyages de Pallas en differentes Provinces de Russie_
  (Paris, edit. of 1769), vol. i. pp. 651 and 659.

  [309] Ulloa’s _Voyage to South America_ (London, edit. of 1762),
  vol. i. p. 45, etc. Ulloa states that, at the time of his visit
  to Carthagena, all the lepers of the place were confined in the
  hospital of San Lazaro, and if any refused to go, they were
  forcibly carried thither. The hospital consisted of a number of
  cottages, and the ground on which it stood was “surrounded by a
  high wall, and had only one gate, and that always carefully

  [310] My friend, Dr. Cheyne, lately of San Luis, informs me
  that the hospital of San Lazaro, in the city of Mexico, is set
  aside for the reception of cases of tubercular leprosy.

  [311] As in Ceylon (Marshall’s _Medical Topography of Ceylon_,
  p. 43); Mauritius (Kinnis in _Edin. Med. and Surg. Journal_,
  vol. xxii. p. 286); Madagascar (_Narrative of Madagascar
  Mission_, pp. 208 and 191). I am informed by Dr. Shortt that
  one of the group of the Sechelle Islands is used as a leper
  station. See further Crawford’s _History of the Indian
  Archipelago_ (Edinburgh, 1820), vol. i. p. 34.

  [312] As in Java (Cloyer in _Miscell. Naturae Curiosorum_, Dec.
  i. Ann. 2 (1683), p. 7); Amboyna (Valentyne’s _Beschreibung von
  Amboyna_), vol. ii. p. 249. Clarke’s _Observations on the
  Diseases of Long Voyages_, vol. i. p. 128.

  [313] Casan, in the _Memoires de la Soc. Medicale d’Emulation_,
  vol. v. p. 102. Hillary on _Diseases of Barbadoes_, p. 322.
  Alibert’s _Monographie des Dermatoses_, tom. ii. p. 289; Case
  from Guadaloupe. Peyssonnel’s Report on the Lepers in
  Guadaloupe, in _Philosoph. Trans._ vol. i. p. 38, etc. etc.

  [314] As in Scio, according to information given me by Dr.
  Clarke. Howard, in his _Account of the principal European
  Lazarettoes_, mentions, p. 40, the leper hospital in Scio.
  Hennen, in his _Medical Topography of the Mediterranean_,
  states that elephantiasis is endemic in one small village in
  Cephalonia, p. 275. Savary seems to have met with several cases
  in the islands of the Archipelago (_Letters on Greece_, 1788,
  p. 110).

  [315] It is but proper to add that the tubercular leprosy is
  looked upon by some pathologists as a disease not originally
  endemic in any part of the New World, and that it was first
  imported into and spread through the West Indies, etc., by
  subjects brought from Africa. Hillary professes himself certain
  upon this point. See his _Observations on the Diseases of
  Barbadoes_ (1766), p. 322; and also, for the same opinion,
  Schilling’s _Commentationes de Lepra_ (1778), p. 20.

  [316] _De Morbis Occultis_, lib. i. c. 12.

  [317] _Observationes Chirurgicæ_, lib. iv. obs. 7.

  [318] Du Chesne’s _Historiæ Francorum Scriptores Coaetanei_,
  tom. v. p. 402. Joinville’s _Histoire de St. Louys_ (1668), p.
  121. Sprengel’s _Histoire de Medecine_, tom. ii. p. 373.

  [319] Joinville, _ut supra_, p. 121. “A celui jour du Jeudi
  Saint, il lave les predz aux meseaux, et puis les baise.”

  [320] Du Chesne, _ut supra_, tom. iv. p. 76.

  [321] _Historia Angliæ Major_, p. 42.

  [322] Ruel’s _Collectio Conciliorum_ (1675), tom. i. p. 1108.

  [323] Dupin’s _History of Ecclesiastical Writers_ (London,
  edit. 1695), vol. vii. p. 131.

  [324] _Manipulus Curatorum_ (Bremen, 1577), p. iv. c. 9.

  [325] _Concilia Magnæ Britanniæ_, tom, i. p. 616. Canon lxxii.

  [326] Second Part of Henry VI., act iii. sc. 3.

  [327] Maundrell’s “Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem, at Easter,
  A. D. 1697,” in Pinkerton’s _Collection_, vol. x. pp. 380-81.

  [328] _De Causis et Signis Morborum_ (Leip. edit. 1735), p. 71.

  [329] Baron’s _Description of the Kingdom of Tonquin_, p. 104;
  or Churchill’s _Voyages_, vol. vi. p. 158.

  [330] Richard’s “History of Tonquin,” contained in Pinkerton’s
  _Collection_, vol. ix. p. 728.

  [331] See various enactments of the French provinces on this
  head, given at length in Delamarré’s _Traité de la Police_
  (Paris, 1722), vol. i. p. 636.

  [332] See the document previously cited from Rymer’s
  _Fœdera_, vol. xi. p. 635. I quote the following notice from
  Poulson’s _Antiquities of Beverley_ (London, 1829), vol. ii. p.
  773, as an instance of what in all probability not unfrequently
  took place in these times—viz. the voluntary entrance of
  lepers into the lazar-houses: “Item, in the year of our Lord
  1394, one Margaret Taillor, a leper, came before the twelve
  governors of the town of Beverley in the Guildhall, and prayed
  license to have one bed (et petiit licenceam here [habere] unum
  lectum) in the leper-house without Keldgate bar, which said
  twelve governors, viz. Nicelas Ryse, William Pollesta, etc., by
  their common consent have granted.”—_Lansdowne MS._, No. 896,
  fol. 116.

  [333] Skene alleges that these laws were made by David I., who
  died in 1152-53. George Chalmers states, that, from allusion to
  them in a charter to Glasgow, bearing date 1176, they were at
  least by that time in existence. (_Caledonia_, vol. i. p. 726.)
  See further remarks in the Essays of Anderson, Lord Hailes,

  [334] Skene’s _Regiam Majestatem_. The Auld Lawes and
  Constitutions of Scotland (edit. of 1774), p. 241.

  [335] The economical measures generally adopted for the
  sustenance of the poor lepers are only too significantly shown
  in the following public statute passed in the Scoon Parliament
  of 1386. “Gif ony man brings to the markit corrupt swine or
  salmond to be sauld, they sall be taken by the Bailies, and
  incontinent, without ony question, sall be sent to the
  lepperfolke, and gif there be na lepperfolke, they sall be
  destroyed alluterlie (entirely).”—Acts of Robert III. in the
  _Regiam Majestatem_, p. 414.

  [336] Transcribed from the “Chartulary of Aberdeen” in Wilkin’s
  _Concilia Magnæ Britanniæ_, tom. i. p. 616. Canon lxxii.

  [337] See the edicts to this effect of the state and city of
  Modena, in Muratori’s _Antiquitates Mædii Ævi_, vol. iii. p.
  54; the Synodal Statutes in 1247 of the Church of Le Mans, in
  Martene and Durand’s _Collectio Veterum Scriptorum_, vol. vii.
  p. 1397; _ibid._ p. 1363, etc.; and also the various laws
  enacted by the Magistrates of Paris, in Delamarré’s _Traité de
  la Police_, vol. ii. pp. 636-7, etc. etc.

  [338] _Regiam Majestatem_, Burrow Lawes, chap. 64, p. 241.

  [339] Murray’s _Acts of the Scottish Parliament_, vol. ii. p.

  [340] _Regiam Majestatem_, p. 273.

  [341] _Records of Prestwick_, p. 27.

  [342] _Ibid._ p. 28.

  [343] _Ibid._ p. 29.

  [344] “Liber Statutorum Burgi de Edynburgh”—in the Maitland
  Club _Miscellany_, vol. ii.

  [345] Strype’s edit. of John Stow’s _Survey of the Cities of
  London and Westminster_ (1720), vol. ii. book ii. p. 74.

  [346] Stow’s _Survey_, vol. ii. p. 21.

  [347] Arnott’s _History of Edinburgh_, p. 258.

  [348] _MS. Records of the Town-Council of Edinburgh_, vol. ix.
  p. 123.

  [349] This and the other laws of St. Magdalene’s, Exeter, are
  to be found at p. 30, etc., of an interesting essay of Dr.
  Shapter’s of that city, entitled, “A few observations on the
  Leprosy of the Middle Ages.” The essay, which was printed for
  private circulation, was kindly forwarded to me by the author,
  after the publication of the First Part of the present papers.

  [350] Matthew Paris’ _Historia Angliæ_. Additamenta, pp. 162
  and 168.

  [351] _Monasticon Anglicanum_, tom. ii. p. 438.

  [352] In former times the churchyards seem to have been the
  general resort of beggars. Æneas Sylvius, who visited Scotland
  as the Pope’s Legate in the reign of James I., speaks of there
  seeing the almost naked paupers (pauperes, pæne nudos; ad
  templa mendicantes) supplied with coals as alms.—_Historia de
  Europa_, c. 46. Sibbald’s _Chronicle of Scottish Poetry_, vol.
  i. p. 176.

  [353] We have seen, in a previous page (p. 137, _supra_), that
  the lepers met with by Maundrell, in Palestine, in 1697,
  carried a kind of “cop,” or, as he expresses it, they came
  “with small buckets in their hands to receive the alms of the
  charitable.” Evelyn, in his interesting _Memoirs_, alludes to a
  curious mode of sending alms to the leper that he saw practised
  one hundred years ago in Holland. In his Diary, under the date
  of 26th July 1641, he states, “I passed through Deft to the
  Hague, in which journey I observed divers leprous poor
  creatures dwelling in solitary huts on the brink of the water,
  and permitted to aske the charity of the passengers, which is
  conveyed to them in a floating box that they cast out.”—Bray’s
  edition of _Evelyn’s Memoirs_, etc., vol. i. p. 12.

  [354] _Antiquitates Italicæ Medii Ævi_, tom. iii. p. 54.

  [355] _Sir Tristrem_, a metrical Romance of the thirteenth
  century, edited by Sir Walter Scott (Edinb. 1804),
  Introduction, p. 12.

  [356] Tytler’s “Historical Inquiry into the ancient state of
  Scotland,” _History_ (2d edit.), pp. 305 and 337.

  [357] In Robert de Brunne’s translation (made in the reign of
  Edward the Third) of Peter Langtoft’s Chronicles, the same term
  “mesel” is used as synonymous with leper, and applied to one
  designated in the rubrics “Baldeiano Leproso.”

    Baldewyn the Meselle, his name so hight, ...
    For foul meselrie he comond with no man.

  John Trevisa has rendered the lepra of Glanville by “meselry,”
  in translating, in 1398, the treatise _De Proprietatibus
  Rerum_.—See the London edition of 1535, pp. 109-110.

  [358] _Testament of Cresseid_, as previously quoted.

  [359] Lord Coke’s _First Institutes of the Laws of England_
  (Thomas’ edit.) vol. ii. p. 193, and vol. i. p. 162.

  [360] Lindenborg’s _Codex Legum Antiquarum_ (1613), p. 609.

  [361] _Observations sur l’Histoire de S. Louys_ (in edit. of
  Joinville’s _Life of St. Louis_, 1668. Appendix, p. 34.)

  [362] Delamarré’s _Traité de la Police_ (Paris, 1722), vol. ii.
  p. 636.

  [363] Lobineau’s _Histoire de Bretagne_, vol. i. p. 204;
  Mezeray’s _Histoire de France_, tom. ii. pp. 168-69.

  [364] _Dictionnaire Historique et Geographique de la Bretagne_
  (1778), p. 176.

  [365] _Essai Historique sur la ville de Bayeux_ (1829), p. 254,

  [366] The other variety of Lycium, described by Dioscorides as
  procured in Asia-Minor (Lycia, Cappadocia, etc.), is now
  generally supposed to be an extract from the _Rhamnus
  infectorius_, or other species of _Rhamnus_. (See Professor
  Royle, in _Linnæan Transactions_, vol. xvii. p. 87; Dr. Adams,
  in his admirable edition of _Paulus Ægineta_, vol. iii. p.

  [367] _The Manners and Customs of the Romans_, p. 287.

  [368] _Scriptores Historiæ Romanæ_, tom. ii. p. 402.
  (Heidelberg edition of 1743.)

  [369] _Corpus Juris Civilis Digestorum_, lib. iv. tit. vi. leg.
  33, sec. 2, p. 142. (Leyden Edit. 1652.)

  [370] “Cum te Medicum Legionis secundæ adjutricis esse dicas,
  munera civilia quandiu reipublicæ causa abfueris, suspicere non
  cogeris. Cum autem abesse desieris, post finitam eo jure
  vacationem, si in eorum numero es, qui ad beneficia medicis
  concessa pertinent, ea immunitate uteris.”—(_Ibid._ lib. x.
  tit. 52, p. 855.)

  [371] The whole chapter of Vegetius “Quemadmodum sanitas
  gubernetur exercitus,” etc., is so interesting that I will take
  the liberty of here quoting it in full:—“Now (what is to be
  most specially attended to), I will give directions how the
  health of an army is to be preserved, in as far as regards
  places for encampment, waters, temperature, medicine, and
  exercise. With respect to places, the soldiers should not
  remain long near unhealthy marshes, nor in arid situations that
  are destitute of the shades of trees; nor on hills without
  tents in summer. They ought not to be late in the day in
  commencing their march, lest they contract disease from the
  heat of the sun and the fatigue of their journey; and, indeed,
  in summer, they had better arrive at their destination before
  the morning is advanced. In severe weather they should not
  pursue their journey through snow and ice at night; nor be
  allowed to suffer from scarcity of fuel, or a deficient supply
  of clothing. For the soldier who is obliged to endure cold is
  neither in a fit state for enjoying health, nor for marching.
  Nor should he make use of unwholesome nor of marsh waters. For
  a draught of bad water induces, like a poison, disease in those
  who drink it. And, moreover, in this case, the unremitting
  diligence of the generals, tribunes, and their assistants, as
  wielding the highest authority, will be required, so that their
  sick comrades may be restored by seasonable articles of food,
  and be cured by the skill of the physicians (_arte medicorum_).
  For it is difficult to manage with those who are at one and the
  same time oppressed with the evils of disease and of war. But
  those who are skilled in military affairs have held that daily
  exercise contributes more to the health of the soldiers than
  the physicians do. Wherefore, they have advised that the foot
  soldiers should be regularly exercised during seasons of rain
  and snow under cover, and at other seasons openly. In like
  manner, they have ordered that the horsemen should assiduously
  exercise themselves and their horses, not only on level ground,
  but also in steep places, and in parts rendered difficult by
  wide ditches, so that nothing new or strange may occur to them
  in this respect during the casualties of battle. From all this
  may be inferred how much the more diligently an army ought to
  be trained in the exercise of arms, seeing, as we do, that the
  habit of labour procures alike health in the camp and victory
  in the battle-field. If (Vegetius adds) a multitude of soldiers
  be permitted during the summer or autumn seasons to remain long
  in the same locality, from the corruption of the water, and the
  stench of their filth, the atmosphere is rendered insalubrious,
  their respiration becomes vitiated, and most dangerous disease
  is engendered; and this cannot be remedied by any other means
  than by a change of encampment.”—(_De Re Militari_, III. 2.)

  [372] _Galeni Omnia Opera_, Ed. Kühn, vol. xiii. p. 604. Celsus
  speaks of the possibility of studying human internal anatomy by
  looking at the wounds of soldiers, etc. “Interdum enim
  gladiatorem in arena, vel _militem in acie_, vel viatorem a
  latronibus exceptum sic vulnerari, ut ejus interior aliqua pars
  aperiatur.”—_De Medicina_, lib. i. p. 8.

  [373] See _Odyssey_, lib. iv. v. 229, etc.

  [374] _Euterpe_, II. § 84; _Thalia_, III. §§ 1 and 132.

  [375] _Historia Naturalis_, lib. xxvi. c. 1. Pliny states that
  the Egyptians even prosecuted the study of morbid anatomy by
  dissection:—“In Ægypto, regibus corpora mortuorum ad
  scrutandos morbos insecantibus.”—(Lib. xix. c. 5.) Galen
  advised those who desired, in his day, to become acquainted
  with human osteology, to repair for that purpose to Alexandria,
  for this potent reason, that there were two actual human
  skeletons preserved in that city.—See Kühn’s edit. of Galen,
  vol. ii. p. 220.

  [376] _De Vitis, etc., Clarorum Philosophorum_, lib. iii. v. 8.

  [377] “In expeditione bellica absque mercede curantur; medici
  enim annonam ex publico accipiunt.”—_Bibliothecæ Historicæ_
  (Amsterdam edition of 1746), vol. i. p. 92. Lib. i. § 82.

  [378] It has been suggested by some authorities, but without
  sufficient grounds, that in practice Machaon exercised only the
  art of surgery, while Podalirius followed the art of medicine.
  Hence, it is argued, Agamemnon, when Menelaus was wounded, did
  not send for Podalirius, but Machaon. Arctinus, one of the
  early cyclic poets, takes this view.—See Welcker’s _Cyclus
  Epicus_: “Ilii Excidium Arctini,” xiii. 2.

  [379] See Eustathius’ _Commentarii in Homeri Iliadem_, _loc.
  cit._; and Dr. Adams’ _Paulus Ægineta_, vol. ii. p. 426.
  Plato, in his _Republic_, discourses as to whether the potion
  of Pramnian wine, etc., given to Machaon (whom by mistake he
  names Eurypylus), was not too inflammatory in its
  character.—(Lib. iii. c. 14.)

  [380] The treatise in question, though usually printed amongst
  the Hippocratic works, is not admitted to be genuine by any of
  the translators or commentators upon Hippocrates, with the
  exception of Foes.—See Dr. Adams’ _Works of Hippocrates_, vol.
  i. p. 121.

  [381] Xenophon’s expression (ιατροὺς κατέστησαν ὀκτω) has been
  supposed by some commentators to indicate that eight soldiers,
  perhaps previously experienced to some extent in tending the
  wounded, were selected and improvised into medical officers,
  rather than that eight were chosen out of a greater number of
  medical attendants present with the army. But, in all
  probability, there were present among the ten thousand Greeks
  more than eight men who professed the imperfect medical
  knowledge pertaining to the surgeons of that day. In a later
  part of the _Anabasis_ (v. 8), Xenophon, in defending himself
  against accusations of alleged severity on his part, in the
  course of the retreat, to some of the soldiers under his
  command, argues for its necessity on the principle that
  “physicians also use incisions and caustics for the good of
  their patients.” He owns to having urged some, when themselves
  unwilling, to continue their march towards the shores of the
  Black Sea, through the cold and snows of Armenia, “because,”
  says he, “sitting down and rest made the blood to congeal, and
  the toes to rot off, which was the case of a great many,”—a
  result that lately happened only too frequently to the soldiers
  of our own armies on the opposite or Crimean shores of the

  [382] _De Rebus Gestis Alexandri Magni_, lib. ix. cap. 18. In
  lib. iv. cap. 25, an account is given of the extraction of an
  arrow from the king’s shoulder, by the surgeon Philip of
  Acarnania, who had previously cured Alexander of the attack of
  fever which followed on his bathing, when overheated, in the
  cold waters of the Cydnus. Curtius speaks (iii. 13) of Philip
  as one “inter nobiles medicos,” who were present with the army.
  When describing the well-known incident of the fever draught
  given by this physician Philip to Alexander, Arrian speaks of
  him, not as a medical attendant upon the king, but as one “in
  whose extraordinary skill in physic Alexander had great
  confidence, because of his success in the camp,” or in
  attending upon other members of the army.—(Lib. ii. cap. 4.)
  Alexander himself affected some knowledge of medicine. At
  least, when Craterus was invalided, and Pausanias, the
  physician in attendance upon him, proposed to give him a dose
  of hellebore, Alexander (as we are informed by Plutarch) wrote
  a letter to Pausanias, expressing his great anxiety about the
  case, and desiring him to be cautious in the use of this
  medicine. In Alexander’s own chest-wound, as detailed in the
  text above, the head of the arrow possibly did not enter the
  cavity of the thorax, as its point was, according to Plutarch’s
  account, fixed in the bone (the scapula or a rib?). When Julius
  Cæsar fell under the daggers of his assassins, out of the
  twenty-three wounds which he received, there was none that was
  mortal, in the opinion of the surgeon Antistisius, except the
  second, a penetrating wound of the breast. (See Suetonius’
  _Julius_, c. 82.) After Epaminondas was fatally wounded at the
  battle of Mantinea, he refused to allow the iron of the spear
  with which he was struck to be extracted till the victory was
  decided—aware that, from its site, death from bleeding would
  immediately follow—an event which the result
  confirmed.—(_Cornel. Nepos_, lib. xv. c. 9.)

  [383] At the famous battle at the Lake Regillus, fought 497
  years before the commencement of the Christian era, Livy tells
  us that after Titus Herminius slew Mamilius, he was himself
  struck with a javelin while stripping the body of his enemy;
  and on being brought back to the camp victorious, he died on
  the first dressing of his wound (inter primam _curationem_
  expiraverit).—_Livii Historiarum Libri_, lib. ii. cap. xx. It
  is not, however, stated whether this cure of the wound was
  attempted by the hand of a military comrade, or by that of a
  surgeon. The same historian mentions that a few years later
  (B.C. 483), after the battle in which the Romans defeated the
  Hetrurians, the surviving consul, M. Fabius, distributed his
  wounded soldiers, for the purpose of cure, among the senators
  residing in Rome (saucios milites _curandos_ dividit
  patribus).—See _Livy_, lib. ii. cap. xlvii. And Tacitus, when
  describing the catastrophe resulting from the fall of the
  amphitheatre at Fidena, in the reign of Tiberius, states that
  those injured and wounded by the accident were received into
  the houses of the citizens, and there carefully attended to, as
  (he adds) was the custom in former times after great battles
  (veterum institutis similis, qui magna post proelia saucios
  largitione et cura sustentabant).—_Annal._, lib. iv. c. 63.

  [384] See lib. vii. cap. v. “Telorum ejectio.”

  [385] Dr. Adams’ Translation, book vi. § lxxxviii. vol. ii. p.

  [386] Xiphilin gives the following account from Dion Cassius of
  the various difficulties and disasters encountered by Severus,
  from the rivers, marshes, woods, stratagems, etc., of the
  Caledonians:—“Severus, wishing to reduce the whole island
  under his power, entered into Caledonia, and, in marching
  through it, encountered the greatest difficulties; for he had
  to cut down woods, make roads over mountains, mounds across the
  marshes, and bridges over the rivers. He fought no battle, nor
  did he ever meet with the forces of the enemy in array; but
  they advisedly placed sheep and oxen in the way of our troops,
  so that when our soldiers attempted to seize the booty, and
  were thus drawn far from the line of march, they were easily
  cut off. The waters and lakes, likewise, were destructive to
  our men, as by dividing them they fell into the ambuscades
  prepared for them; and when they could not be brought off, they
  were slain by their comrades, that they might not fall into the
  hands of the enemy. Owing to these causes there died not less
  than fifty thousand of our troops.”—Xiphilin’s _Excerpta_, p.
  305. Severus himself seems to have suffered in his health
  during this Scottish campaign; for during the most of it, he
  required, says Dion, to be carried, on account of his weakness,
  in a closed litter (nam plurimum propter _imbecilitatem_ operta
  lectica vehebatur—p. 305). Both Dion (p. 307) and Herodian (p.
  153) mention that he was disabled by gout.

  [387] Herodian’s account of the labours and difficulties of
  Severus in this campaign sufficiently indicates the sources of
  malaria and disease to which his army was subjected, and, at
  the same time, affords a curious statement regarding the
  condition and habits of the ancient Caledonians:—“Severus’
  first care (says Herodian) was to throw bridges across the
  morasses, that his soldiers might be able to pursue the enemy
  over the dangerous places, and have the opportunity of fighting
  on firm ground; for as the greater part of the island is
  frequently overflowed by the tides, these constant inundations
  make the country full of lakes and marshes. In these the
  barbarians swim, or wade through them up to their middle,
  regardless of mud or dirt, as they always go almost naked; for
  they are ignorant of the use of clothes, and only cover their
  necks and bellies with fine plates of iron, which they esteem
  as an ornament and sign of wealth, and are as proud of it as
  other barbarians are of gold. They likewise dye their skins
  with the pictures of various kinds of animals, which is one
  principal reason for their wearing no clothes, because they are
  loath to hide the fine paintings on their bodies. But they are
  a very warlike and fierce people, and arm only with a narrow
  shield and spear, and a sword hanging by their naked bodies;
  unacquainted with the use of habergeons and helmets, which they
  think would be an obstruction to their wading through the ponds
  and marshes of their country, which, perpetually sending up
  thick gross vapours, condense the air and make it always
  foggy.”—Hart’s _Herodian_, pp. 153, 154. Dion Cassius, who
  lived at the date of Severus’ expedition, gives, when
  describing the expedition, an account of our Caledonian
  ancestors that is in no degree more flattering. “The
  Caledonians,” says he, “both possess rugged and dry mountains,
  and desert plains full of marshes. They have neither castles
  nor towns; nor do they cultivate the ground; but live on their
  flocks and hunting, and the fruits of some trees; not eating
  fish, though extremely plenteous. They live in tents, naked,
  and without buskins. Wives they have in common, and breed up
  their children in common. The general form of government is
  democratic. They are addicted to robbery; fight in cars; have
  small and swift horses. Their infantry are remarkable for speed
  in running, and for firmness in standing. Their armour consists
  of a shield, and a short spear, in the lower end of which is a
  brazen apple, whose sound when struck may terrify the enemy.
  They have also daggers. Famine, cold, and all sorts of labour
  they can bear, for they will even stand in their marshes, for
  many days, up to the neck in water, and, in the woods, will
  live on the bark and roots of trees. They prepare a certain
  kind of food on all occasions, of which taking only a bit the
  size of a bean, they feel neither hunger nor
  thirst.”—Xiphilin’s _Excerpta_, p. 304; and Pinkerton’s
  _Inquiry into the Early History of Scotland_, vol. i. p. 438.

  [388] See Gordon’s _Journey through Scotland_, p. 75. Bruce, in
  his work on _The Roman Wall_, p. 214, speaks of the ancient
  city of Borcovicus as likely, when excavated, to prove “the
  Pompeii of Britain.” Stukeley, in a similar spirit, declared it
  the “Tadmor of Britain.”

  [389] It is possible the word may be a contraction for
  _ordinatus_ (appointed), and not for _ordinarius_.

  [390] _The Roman Wall_: a Historical, etc., Account of the
  Barrier of the Lower Isthmus, extending from the Tyne to the
  Solway, p. 228.

  [391] _Vita Agricolæ_, cap. 36 (Orelli’s edit. vol. ii. p.

  [392] Stuart, in his _Caledonia Romana_, p. 340, gives a copy
  of a legionary tablet found at Castlecary, which states that
  the first Tungrian Cohort had erected 1000 paces (mille passus)
  of the wall.

  [393] Horsley’s _Britannia Romana_, p. 205. Stuart’s _Caledonia
  Romana_, p. 164.

  [394] According to Horsley, it was probably under the reign of
  Marcus Aurelius that the Tungrian Cohort became stationed at
  Castle-steeds, in Cumberland, where they erected an altar to
  Jupiter. Lastly (he adds), this Cohort settled at Housesteads,
  where we have six or seven of their inscriptions under four or
  five different commanders. Here they seem to have continued
  till the lowest time of the empire. The _Notitia_ places this
  Cohort at Borcovicus (Housesteads).—_Britannia Romana_, p. 89.

  [395] _United Service Journal_ for 1841, vol. iii. p. 124.

  [396] See Eckhel’s _Doctrina Nummorum Veterum_, vol. i. p. 8,
  and vol. vi. p. 495.

  [397] _Inscriptiones Romanæ_, p. 68, Fig. 1 and Fig. 2; and p.
  269, Fig. 3.

  [398] The name of Domitian (see the plate) is erased from the
  inscription—a practice which has been followed sometimes in
  relation to the names of other Roman tyrants besides him; but
  the name of the consul on the stone fixes the date and reign.

  [399] _Syntagma Inscriptionum Antiquarum_ (1682), p. 611, 7.
  See also Spon’s _Miscellanea Eruditæ Antiquitatis_, 145, 16;
  and Dr. Middleton’s Dissertation “De Medicorum apud veteres
  Romanos conditione,” in his Works, vol. iv. p. 103.

  [400] _Novus Thesaurus Vet. Inscriptionum_, 1046, 5.

  [401] In the text I have given the reading of this puzzling
  inscription suggested by Hultmann, in his _Miscellanea
  Epigraphi_, p. 415, the letters referring to the corps to which
  SPORUS was attached being very indistinct—namely, “Medico alar
  indianae etheriae astorum.” The inscription, if Hultmann’s
  suggestion be correct, indicates the third wing or cohort of
  the Asturian or Spanish auxiliaries. The first and second wings
  of the Astures (_Astorum_), and the first cohort of them, are
  mentioned in the celebrated “Notitia imperii” as located at the
  time at which that army-list was made out, at three different
  military stations along the line of Hadrian’s wall from the
  Tyne to the Solway; and various inscriptions raised by these
  troops have been dug up in Northumberland and Cumberland. See
  Dr. Bruce’s work, p. 47, 110 and 154. These English slabs all
  read _Asturum_, instead of the _Astorum_ of the Notitia, and of
  the Italian inscription referred to in the text. Let me add
  that inscriptions referring to soldiers of the Ala Indiana or
  Indian wing of auxiliary horsemen, have also been found in
  England.—See an example in Mr. Akerman’s Archæological Index,
  p. 67, and Messrs Buckmann and Newmarch’s Corinium, p. 115.

  [402] “In Legione sunt Cohortes decem.”—_Cincius in Aulus
  Gellius_, xvi. 4.

  [403] _Museum Veronense_, p. 120, 4. See also Gruter’s
  _Inscriptiones Romanæ_, tom. i. p. 633, fig. 5. The exact age
  of the dead, not as to years only, but as to months, as in the
  above tablet, and sometimes even as to days, is a feature
  peculiar to Roman monumental inscriptions. And nothing appears
  to us more strange and interesting in relation to Roman
  monumental tablets, than their total or almost total silence as
  to a future state, and the possibility of meeting beyond the
  grave. Out of the almost innumerable Roman monumental
  inscriptions that have now been copied and published, not one,
  as far as I am aware, ventures to refer to the hope of a future
  life. They seem to have looked upon the idea of a future state
  of existence as poetical imagery only, and not reality; all
  doubting, like Tacitus, “si quis piorum manibus locus; si, ut
  sapientibus placet, non cum corpore extinguuntur magnæ
  animæ.”—_Vita Agricolæ_, cap. 46.

  [404] There is, at the end of the third line, an evident
  ellipsis of the word _Uxoris_. It is scarcely necessary to add
  that, as is well known, these old Roman inscriptions abound in
  errors of orthography and grammar.

  [405] _De Re Militari_, lib. ii. cap. 10.

  [406] Grævius’ _Thesaurus_, vol. x. p. 1021.

  [407] _Annal._ lib. i. cap. 71.

  [408] _Scriptores Historiæ Romanæ_, tom. ii. p. 355.

  [409] _Annal._ lib. i. cap. 65.

  [410] _Ibid._ cap. 69.

  [411] Livy, lib. iv. cap. 39.

  [412] _De Bello Africano_, cap. xxi. The exigencies of war
  sometimes converted the stronger soldiers into the only
  available transport corps for the sick and wounded. Xenophon
  speaks in the _Anabasis_ (lib. iii. cap. iv.), of the number of
  Greeks capable of fighting being diminished, because some
  soldiers were employed in carrying the wounded, and others in
  carrying the arms of the latter. One anecdote subsequently told
  by Xenophon seems to show that, occasionally at least, if not
  as the common rule, one soldier was deemed capable of carrying
  a sick or wounded companion. For he informs us, that towards
  the end of the expedition, when publicly accused of being
  sometimes too severe to the soldiers during the long retreat of
  the Greeks, the only person who came forward to substantiate
  the charge, was a soldier whom he had compelled to carry a sick
  comrade, and who, it turned out, had subsequently dug a pit to
  bury the invalid before he was completely dead. The army held
  that Xenophon had not beaten the complainant so much as he
  actually deserved for this conduct.—_Anabasis_, lib. v. cap.

  [413] _Inscriptiones Regni Neapolitani Latinæ_, No. 2701.

  [414] _Atti e Monumenti de fratelli Arvali_, vol. ii. p. 826.

  [415] In the fragmentary list of the two old Roman fleets
  stationed at Misenum and Ravenna, collected from various
  inscriptions by Mommsen (p. 477), it is not uninteresting to
  find the ships—sixteen or eighteen centuries ago—bearing
  names exactly the same as those borne by our modern royal and
  commercial navies; as The Cupid, The Diana, Mars, Neptune,
  Ceres, The Fortune (_Fortuna_), The Victory (_Victoria_), The
  Hope (_Spes_), The Faith (_Fides_), The Triumph (_Triumphus_),
  Providence (_Providentia_), The Peace (_Pax_), The Tiber
  (_Tiberis_), The Nile (_Nilus_), etc.

  [416] Thus when Cato the younger, after the battle of Thapsus,
  committed suicide at Utica, by stabbing himself in the abdomen,
  his friends rushed into his room, on hearing him fall, and
  among them his attendant physician, Cleanthes, who replaced the
  uninjured bowels, and began to staunch and sew up the gash. But
  on recovering from his state of syncope, Cato thrust aside the
  surgeon, tore asunder the wound, pulled out the entrails, and
  speedily expired.—(See Plutarch’s Life of him, and Hirtius’
  _Commentar. De Bell. Africano_, cap. 88.) Cicero and Seneca
  have written applaudingly of Cato’s suicide. Lucan invests him
  with all godlike virtues; and various modern writers have
  spoken in enthusiastic terms of his unbending moral dignity and
  magnanimity of character. But one anecdote, mentioned by
  Plutarch, seems calculated to detract not a little from our
  modern estimate of the mental character of this “the last and
  greatest of the Romans.” In stabbing himself, Cato could not,
  according to Plutarch, strike sufficiently hard to produce an
  immediately fatal wound, in consequence of inflammation in his
  hand, which had required to be dressed by Cleanthes; for a few
  hours before death, Cato,—that alleged “paragon of Roman
  virtue,”—had severely injured his fist by striking one of his
  slaves in the mouth with it.

  [417] The death of Pansa, the consul, at the battle of Mutina,
  in the year B.C. 48, is detailed by Suetonius and Tacitus in
  such a way as proves that Glycon attended the army as surgeon
  to Pansa, and took professional care of the consul when he was
  wounded. In fact, Glycon was thrown into prison, after Pansa’s
  death, upon a suspicion of having poisoned his wounds.—(See
  Tacitus’ _Annal._ lib. i. cap. 10; Suetonius’ _Octavius_, cap.
  11.) M. Brutus, in a letter to Cicero, begs the interference of
  Cicero in favour of Glycon, and pleads his innocence of the
  deed imputed to him.—(Cicer. ad Brut. 6.)

  [418] Kühn’s Edit. of Galen, vol. xiv. pp. 649, 650.

  [419] _Histoire de la Médicine_, vol. ii. p. 54 (Jourdan’s
  Translation). “Scribonius Largus vivait sous le règne de
  l’Empereur Claude, qu’il suivit dans ses campagnes

  [420] Wilkins’ Edition of Browne’s Works, vol. iii. p. 467.

  [421] “_Medicis_ ministrisque conaretur persuadere, senem ut e
  medio quam primum quoquo modo tollerent.”—Lib. iii. p. 412. The
  Emperor Marcus Aurelius died in Pannonia, when prosecuting a
  war against the German tribes. Dion Cassius alludes to the
  physicians who were in attendance upon Aurelius during this
  long campaign, when adverting to the report that the emperor’s
  death was caused by them, in order to promote his son and
  successor Commodus (“peremptus a _Medicis_ qui Commodo
  gratificabantur.”—_Excerpta_, p. 252). But Capitolinus, the
  principal authority regarding the biography of Aurelius, does
  not even advert to the report. On the other hand, he describes
  Aurelius’ fatal illness as one of seven days’ duration, and
  states that the emperor only dismissed Commodus from his
  presence on the last day, lest he should communicate the
  disease to him. (“Septimo die gravatus est; et solum filium
  admisit; quem statim dimisit, _ne in eum morbus
  transiret._”—_Scriptores Historiæ Romanæ_, vol. ii. p. 298.)

  [422] Lib. iii. p. 413. “Nam et _Medicos_ supplicio affecit,
  quod sibi parum obtemperaverant, jubenti senis maturare necem.”
  This, as stated in the text, was one of the first, if not the
  first, act of cruelty which Caracalla committed after Severus’
  death. Dion affirms that, after murdering his brother Geta, he
  ordered about 20,000 of Geta’s supposed friends to be put to
  death; and amongst others he condemned to death, according to
  Spartian, a class which is medically not uninteresting—namely,
  all those who wore amulets or charms about their necks for the
  cure of agues, a custom which would appear to have been much in
  use both among the Greeks and Romans.—See Hart’s Herodian, p.

  [423] As a further not uninteresting record of the habits of
  these times, as contrasted with our own, let me add (though the
  topic is not altogether medical), that after Severus died at
  York, worn out, according to Herodian, more by grief than by
  disease (moerore magis quam morbo consumptus), his body was
  burned, and the ashes left by the corpse inclosed in an urn of
  alabaster with perfumes (odoribus).—Herodian, p. 413. His
  sons, with their own hands, lighted the funeral pile. Dion
  states that, shortly before his death, Severus sent for the urn
  that was destined to contain his ashes, and addressed it in
  terms too truly significant of the vanity and emptiness of the
  highest earthly ambition and the greatest earthly success: “_Tu
  virum capies quem totus orbis terrarum non cepit._”—Dion, p.

  [424] _Antiquitates Neomagenses, sive Notitia rarissimarum
  rerum Antiquariarum_, etc. (1678), pp. 97, 99. When describing
  these two medicine-stamps (which are interesting as having been
  the first rediscovered in modern times), Schmidt ingenuously
  states:—“De illis quid sentiam, non facile dixerim, sæpe mecum
  cogito, quid sibi illa velint. Ego tamen _nihil_ adhuc
  affirmare audeo.”—P. 98. Hugo Grotius, in his _Respublica
  Hollandiæ_ (1630), speaks of Schmidt as “antiquitatum omnium
  cultor summus, cujus commentarium de Noviomagi oppidi
  (_Nymegen_) antiquitate avidissime expectamus.”—P. 123.

  [425] _Miscellanea Eruditæ Antiquitatis_ (1685), pp. 236-238.

  [426] “Smetius vir eruditus nobis exhibet lapides duos virides
  quadratos, in margine scriptos, quarum usum se ignorare
  fatetur. Ego vero puto fuisse opercula pyxidum in quibus
  unguenta, olea, atque collyria reservabant
  Pharmacopolae.”—Spon, in his _Miscellanea Eruditæ
  Antiquitatis_, p. 236.

  [427] Haym’s _Tesoro-Brittanico_ (1720), vol. ii. Letter in

  [428] Caylus’ _Recueil Antiquites_ (1761), vol. i. p. 225.
  Count Caylus states (p. 226) that the Abbé Le Bœuf, in 1729,
  expressed the following opinion in relation to one of these
  Roman stones that was shown him:—“La regarda comme un moule
  qui servoit à marquer sur la cire les drogues d’un Médecin
  Romain, on comme une formule de recette pour la confection d’un
  médicament.” See also vol. vii. (1767), p. 261.

  [429] _Antiquitatis Medicæ Selectæ._ Jena, 1772.

  [430] _Christophori Saxii Epistola de Veteris Medici Ocularii
  Gemma Sphragide, prope Trajectum ad Mosam eruta._ 1774.

  [431] _Archæologia; or Miscellaneous Tracts relating to
  Antiquity_, vol. ix. (1789), p. 227.

  [432] _Dissertation sur l’Inscription Grecque_ ΙΑϹΟΝΟϹ ΛΥΚΙΟΝ.
  Paris, 1826.

  [433] _Cinq Cachets Inedits de Médecins-Oculistes Romains._
  Paris, 1845. To M. Sichel, one of the most learned of living
  physicians, I am indebted for various valuable suggestions in
  collecting the materials for the present essay.

  [434] _Observations sur les Cachets des Médecins-Oculistes
  Anciens, à-propos de Cinq Pierres Sigillaires inedites._ Paris,

  [435] _Mémoires de la Société des Antiquaires de Picardie_,
  tom. viii. p. 575. (1846). Notice sur un Cachet d’Oculiste
  Romain trouvé à Amiens.

  [436] The three found in Italy have all been discovered in the
  more northern parts of that kingdom,—viz. the first at Genoa,
  the second at Sienna, and the third at Verona. See notices of
  them in Spon’s _Miscellanea Eruditæ Antiquitatis_, p. 237;
  Muratori’s _Thesaurus Inscriptionum_, D. viii. 4; and Maffei’s
  _Museum Veronense_, p. 135.

  [437] Kühn’s Edit. of Galen, vol. xiv. pp. 766-777.

  [438] Some of the ancient collyria were gravely averred to
  possess properties that were optical, rather than medical. Thus
  Alexander Trallianus gives a receipt for a very complex
  collyrium, which, when anointed upon the eyes, enabled those
  who used it to gaze upon the sun even without harm (Possis
  etiam solem citra noxam intueri).—_De Arte Medica_, lib. ii.
  p. 174.

  [439] “Etiam Asclepiades plurimam et optimam tum aridorum tum
  liquidorum collyriorum conscripsit silvam.” See Kühn’s edit. of
  _Galen_, vol. xii. p. 226. Asclepiades, who enjoyed during his
  life high professional popularity at Rome, seems to have
  flourished in the century preceding the commencement of the
  Christian era; and the expression of Galen (_sylva
  collyriorum_) consequently shows us the great number and extent
  of the collyria known and used even at that early period. For
  notices of the time and character of Asclepiades, see Pliny’s
  _Historia Naturalis_, lib. xxv. cap. 7; Grumpert’s _Asclepiades
  Bithyni Fragmenta_, Vinar. 1794; Burdach’s _Scriptorum de
  Asclepiade Index_, Leipzig, 1800.

  [440] In the following passage Galen tersely enumerates the
  very varied general ingredients, and general therapeutic
  effects, of the numerous collyria used by the Roman
  practitioners of his day:—“Nam et liquores, et succi, et
  semina, et fructus, et plantarum particulæ, ocularibus
  compositionibus induntur, veluti etiam non pauca ex iis, quæ
  metallica appellantur; aliqua quidem extreme austera, et
  acerba, atque aeria; aliqua vero his moderatiora et tamen
  fortia; quemadmodum item aliqua omnia mordacitatis expertia, ac
  lenissima per lotionem reddita.”—_De Compositione Medicam.
  secundum Locos_, cap. i.; Kühn’s edition, vol. xii. p. 699.

  [441] Celsus, in the same way, enumerates and describes the
  collyria of Philon, of Dionysius, of Cleon, of Theodotius, of
  Euelpides (_qui ætate nostra maximus fuit ocularius medicus_),
  of Nileus, of Hermon, etc. See his _Medicinæ Libri_, lib. vi.

  [442] Appellantur talia a medicis collyria _libiana_ et
  _cygni_, ob colorem quidem album.—Galen, _de Compos. Med.
  secundum Locos_, cap. i. Kühn’s edition, vol. xii. p. 708.

  [443] See Stuart’s _Caledonia Romana_, p. 154; _New Statistical
  Account of Edinburghshire_, p. 254, etc., for descriptions of
  the Roman remains at Inveresk.

  [444] _Medicæ Artis Principes: De Medicamentis Liber_, p. 273.

  [445] _Medicæ Artis Principes: De Compositione Medicamentorum
  Liber Comp._ xxvi. p. 198.

  [446] Kühn’s Edit. of _Galen_, vol. xii. pp. 753 and 774.

  [447] Cornarius’ Latin Translation in _Medicæ Artis Principes_,
  p. 432.

  [448] Kühn’s Edit. of _Galen_, vol. xii. p. 699.

  [449] _P. Dioscoridis Opera quæ extant Omnia._ (Edit. Saraceni,
  1698) p. 21, lib. i. cap. xxv.

  [450] _Naturalis Historia._ Leyden edit. of 1635, vol. ii. p.

  [451] Kühn’s Edit. of _Galen_, vol. xii. p. 770.

  [452] _Ibid._ pp. 785 and 773.

  [453] Kühn’s edit. of _Galen_, vol. xii. p. 715.

  [454] See Milligan’s _Celsus_, p. 296.

  [455] _Medicæ Artis Principes_, lib. ii. p. 170.

  [456] _Ibid._ lib. iii. p. 432. Our own Pharmacopœias long
  retained similar terms. The London Pharmacopœia, for
  example, for 1662, contains an electuary termed _Diacrocuma_,
  an _Emplastrum Oxycrocum_, etc.

  [457] Cornarius’ Latin edition of _Aetius_, 1549, p. 371; and
  Venice Greek edit. p. 126.

  [458] Dr. Adams’ Sydenham Society edition, vol. i. p. 419; and
  the Basle Greek edition of 1538, p. 76.

  [459] See Dr. Adams’ edition, vol. iii. p. 551, as compared
  with the Basle edition, p. 78.

  [460] The central figure shows the size of the stone, and the
  intagliate inscription on one side. The other figures show its
  three inscriptions as they read from left to right when stamped
  on wax.

  [461] See Scribonius Largus in _Medicæ Artis Principes_, p.
  209; Marcellus Empiricus, in _ibid._ p. 326.

  [462] Kühn’s edit. of _Galen_, vol. xii. p. 751.

  [463] _Ibid._ p. 772.

  [464] _Ibid._ p. 760.

  [465] _Ibid._ vol. xi. p. 715.

  [466] _Medicæ Artis Principes: De Medicamentis Lib._, p. 280.

  [467] Spon also (see his _Miscellanea Eruditæ Antiquitatis_, p.
  236) supposed the Nymegen and Genoa medicine-stamps (the only
  specimens known to exist at the time at which he wrote) to have
  belonged to some of those practitioners (_Myropolæ_ or
  _Unguentarii_) who professed to cure diseases principally by
  the external application of oils, ointment, and friction,—a
  form of charlatanry not altogether unknown in this, the
  nineteenth century. According to Pliny, Prodicus, a disciple of
  Hippocrates, founded the mode of cure termed “Iatraleptice.” By
  this means (adds Pliny) he opened a road to riches to the
  slaves and rubbers themselves employed by the physicians
  (reunctoribus quoque medicorum ac mediastinis vectigal
  invenit). See his _Historia Naturalis_, lib. xxiv. cap. i. in
  Leyden edition of 1695, vol. iii. p. 187.

  [468] Kühn’s _Galen_, vol. xii. p. 787, 786, and 769. Actuarius
  gives a formula for a collyrium _melinum_, but it is a copy of
  the last of Galen. See _Medicæ Artis Principes_, p. 309.

  [469] _Antiquitates Medicæ Selectæ_, p. 55.

  [470] _Historia Naturalis_, lib. xiii. tom. ii. p. 37. Dr.
  Adams’ edition of _Paulus Ægineta_, vol. iii. p. 592.

  [471] _Historia Naturalis_, vol. iii. lib. xxxv. p. 423.
  Scribonius Largus gives (cap. 90, p. 231) a formula, with the
  _alumen melinum_ as one of its ingredients. See the same _Oleum
  Melinum_ described by Dioscorides, lib. i. cap. 55, p. 31.

  [472] Quemadmodum viridium emplastrorum plurima propter
  æruginem præpollentem talia fiunt, præsertim quæ sunt ex ipsis
  coloratiora; ita quoque Melina. Sed viridia æruginem incoctam
  habent, Melina vero coctam quidem sed mediocriter; nam si
  amplius coquas, bicolora emplastra quibusdam appellata,
  quibusdam gilva, efficies. Solent Medici viridia, simpliciter,
  Melina, et rufa, nominare, etc.—Galen _de Compositione
  Medicamentorum per Genera_, cap. vi.—Kühn’s edit. vol. xiii.
  p. 503.

  [473] See _Archæologia_, vol. ix. p. 228.

  [474] Aetius’ _Tetrabiblos_, Cornarius’ edit. p. 359.

  [475] De Medicam. Liber.: _Med. Artis Principes_, p. 281.

  [476] De Compos. Med.: _Ibid._ p. 660.

  [477] Paulus Ægineta’s _Works_. Dr. Adams’ Translation, vol.
  iii. p. 551.

  [478] Cornarius’ Translation, p. 435.

  [479] Opobalsam, the “succus a plaga” of the Syrian balsam
  tree. See _Pliny._ lib. xii. c. 25.—Dioscorides, in describing
  its origin, effects, etc., specially recommends it as a
  detergent application in dimness of sight (quæ pupillis
  tenebras offundunt, exterget).—Lib. i. cap. xviii. p. 18.

  [480] The inscription on the Daspich stone is “Q. VALLERI SEXTI
  special collyrium under the designation of “Collyrium from
  opobalsam”—_Collyrium ex opobalsamo._ See Dr. Adams’
  Translation in the Sydenham Society Edition, vol. iii. p. 554.
  The opobalsam is a frequent ingredient in the various collyria
  described by Galen, Aetius, etc.

  [481] _Catalogue of Antiquities, Coins, etc., in the possession
  of the Society of Antiquaries of London_, by Albert Way, Esq.
  1847, p. 12.

  [482] _Archæologia_, vol. ix. p. 227.

  [483] For the purpose of explanation, I have changed the order
  of the sides, bringing forward as the second what Mr. Gough
  gives as the fourth side.

  [484] Kühn’s _Galen_, vol. xii. p. 781.

  [485] Sectio xxiv. De Collyriis, p. 662.

  [486] _Tetrabiblos_, Sermo iii. cap. 110, p. 434.

  [487] _De Arte Medica_, lib. ii. cap. v. p. 175.

  [488] Dr. Adams’ Translation, vol. iii. p. 554; and vol. i. p.

  [489] Thus, for example, the ingredients in the collyrium
  Thalasseros, as given by Paulus Ægineta, are “calamine, 8
  ounces; verdigris, 2 ounces; Indian ink, 8 ounces; white
  pepper, 4 ounces; median juice, 1 ounce; opobalsam, 2 ounces;
  and gum, 6 ounces.”—_Ibid._ vol. iii. p. 554.

  [490] Kühn’s edit. of _Galen_, vol. xii. pp. 786 and 787.

  [491] _Commentar. in App._ vi. 31. _De Simplic. Med._ ix. 39.
  Dr. Adams’ _Paulus Ægineta_, vol. iii. p. 420. Plautus, in his
  _Mostellaria_ (Act i. scene iii. v. 106), enumerates in the
  same line the _Cerussa_ and _Melinum_ as among the number of
  the cosmetic paints used at the toilets of the Roman ladies:—

    Non isthanc aetatem oportet pigmentum ullum attingere
    Neque _cerussam_, neque _melinum_, neque ullam aliam offuciam.

  [492] See Duchelais’ _Observations_, p. 75; Tochon’s
  _Dissertation_, pp. 26 and 64; Maffer’s _Museum Veronense_, p.
  135; Johanneau in _Melanges d’Archeologie_, p. 177; for
  accounts of stamps inscribed with the legend _Diamysus ad
  Veteres Cicatrices_.

  [493] _Medicinalium Collectorum_, lib. xiii. p. 499.

  [494] _Tetrabiblos_, Sermo iii. cap. 37, p. 382.

  [495] Galen defines Cicatrices and Albugo of the eye as
  follows:—“_Cicatrix_ appellatur ubi nigro oculi ex alto ulcere
  membranae crassities supervenit, ut color _albior_ apparet.
  _Albugo_ nihil a cicatrice differt, nisi quod ex ulcere major
  cicatrix simul et crassior in iride nascitur.”—Kühn’s Edit.
  vol. xiii. p. 775.

  [496] See _Tetrabiblos_, Sermo iii. cap. 40, 37.

  [497] _Medicæ Artis Principes._ De Collyriis, cap. 72 and 73,
  p. 665.

  [498] Dr. Adams’ Translation, vol. i. p. 418.

  [499] _De Arta Medica_, lib. ii. cap. vi. p. 175. Perhaps the
  medical idea of staining the cicatrices of the eyes was
  suggested by the circumstance, that the Romans, like the
  ancient Egyptians, occasionally had recourse to dyeing or
  staining their eyebrows in the decorations of the toilet. On
  the substances (_calliblephara_) used for this purpose, see
  Pliny, lib. xxiii. cap. 4, and lib. xxxv. cap. 16. Juvenal
  alludes to the practice in his Second Satire, v. 93:—

    Ille supercilium madida fuligine tactum
    Obliqua producit acu, pingitque trementes
    Attollens oculos.

  [500] See _Medicæ Artis Principes_. De Medicam. p. 280.

  [501] In the Minutes of the Society of Antiquaries for 17th
  November 1757, the word is copied as DELICATA.

  [502] Thus Nicolaus Myrepsus describes the “Collyrium nominatum
  _Sol_;” the “Collyrium _Aster_, hoc est stella;” the “Collyrium
  dictum _Lumen_.” See his _Opus de Compositione Medicamentorum_,
  sect. xxiv. cap. 2, 22, 3, etc. Trallianus describes the
  collyrium _Phos_, etc., p. 174. Aetius gives, p. 352, a formula
  for the collyrium _Uranium_. See also Oribasius, p. 50. Perhaps
  I ought to have stated earlier, that in quoting the works of
  Oribasius, Aetius, Myrepsus, Trallianus, Scribonius Largus, and
  Marcellus, I always refer, except when it is otherwise
  specified, to the writings of these authors as contained in
  Stephen’s collated edition of the “_Medicæ Artis Principes post
  Hippocratem et Galenum_” (Paris, 1567).

  [503] _De Simplic. Medicam._ Kühn’s Edit. vol. xii. p. 152.

  [504] See _Gentleman’s Magazine_ for 1778, p. 472.

  [505] This form of Greek designation, consisting of the name of
  the principal ingredients in a formula, preceded by the initial
  DIA, was long retained in pharmaceutical nomenclature. The
  London Pharmacopœia of 1677, for instance, has upwards of
  twenty medicines or formulæ commencing with DIA, as the _Pulvis
  Diasennæ_, the _Electuarium Diacinnamomum_, the syrup named
  _Diacodium_, etc. Almost the only remnant of this type of
  nomenclature that is retained in modern medical language, is to
  be found in the well-known term _Diachylon_ plaster. The
  inventor of the _Diachylon_ plaster—Menecrates—lived about
  the time of Tiberius, and, according to the inscription still
  preserved at Rome upon his marble tombstone (See Gruter’s
  _Inscriptiones_, p. 581), he was the author of not less than
  155 medical works, few or no fragments of which remain. His
  plaster has greatly outlived the productions of his pen. The
  medical poet, Damocrates, who wrote several pharmaceutical
  works, put Menecrates’ directions for preparing the _Diachylon_
  into Greek Iambic verse.—See Galen _de Compos. Medicam. sec.
  Genera_, vol. xiii. p. 996.

  [506] _Opera_, lib. i. cap. 77, p. 43. See, also, on its
  properties, Galen’s _Works_, by Kühn, vol. xii. p. 127; Adams’
  _Paulus Ægineta_, vol. iii. p. 349.

  [507] _Tetrabiblos_, Sermo iii. cap. cix. p. 429.

  [508] _De Methodo Medendi_, lib. vi. cap. v. p. 310.

  [509] Dr. Adams’ _Paulus Ægineta_, vol. i. p. 417.

  [510] Kühn’s Edition, vol. xii. p. 774.

  [511] _Ibid._ p. 746.

  [512] _Ibid._ p. 257.

  [513] _Ibid._ vol. vi. p. 876.

  [514] Mackenzie. _Treatise on Diseases of the Eye_ (1830), pp.
  140 and 141.

  [515] Frankincense, saffron, and myrrh, form, as we have seen,
  prominent ingredients in the ancient collyria. Actuarius lays
  down the differences among the therapeutical effects of these
  three eye-medicines, with the following rare
  subtlety:—“_Crocus_ et _Myrrha_ hoc inter se dissident, quod
  ille moderate adstringat, hæc vero citra adstrictionem non
  instrenue discutiat, humiditatesque exsiccet: suntque
  generosiora facultatibus quam _Thus_, quapropter etiam
  discutiunt magis, verum quod detergendi vi careant: in ulcerum
  curatione thuri ceu inferiora cedunt.”—_De Methodo Medendi_,
  lib. vi. cap. v. p. 305.

  [516] Kühn’s Edit. vol. xii. p. 60.

  [517] Dr. Adams’ Edit. vol. iii. p. 217.

  [518] _Medicinalium Collect._ lib. xi. p. 425.

  [519] _De Arte Medica_, lib. ii. p. 173.

  [520] Milligan’s Edit. of _Celsus_, p. 290, lib. vi. 13.

  [521] See the Aldine Greek edition of his works, p. 118.

  [522] _De Medicamentis Liber_, cap. viii. p. 280.

  [523] _De Methodo Medendi_, lib. vi. p. 93. _Tochon_, p. 32.

  [524] _Recueil de Monuments Antiques_, tom. i. p. 281.

  [525] _Cinq Cachets Inedits des Oculistes_, p. 13.

  [526] _Bottin: Melanges d’Archæologie_, p. 114.

  [527] _Observations sur les Cachets_, p. 41.

  [528] On the properties and uses of _Mulsum_ in ocular
  medicine, see a full account in the Second Book of Alexander
  Trallianus, p. 176.

  [529] “Mollissimum genus earum _Penicilli_, oculorum tumores
  levant ex mulso impositi: iidem abstergendæ lippitudini
  utilissimi: eosque tenuissimos et mollissimos esse
  oportet.”—_Naturalis Historiæ_, liber xxxii. cap. xi. p. 289.
  In regard to the locality from which these sponges were
  procured, Pliny afterwards adds,—“Trogus autor est, circa
  Lyciam _Penicillos_ mollissimos nasci in alto, unde ablatæ sint
  spongiæ.”—_Ibid._ p. 290.

  [530] “_Penicillo_ fovere oculos oportet, ex aqua calida
  expresso, in qua ante vel myrti vel rosæ folia decocta
  sint.”—_Milligan’s Celsus_, liber vi. cap. vi. sec. 9, p. 288.
  When describing venesection at the bend of the arm, Celsus uses
  the word _Penicillum_ to imply the pledget or compress applied
  after the operation with the view of arresting the
  bleeding—“Deligandum brachium super-imposito expresso ex aqua
  frigida _Penicillo_.”—Lib. vi. cap. xi. p. 65.

  [531] _Milligan’s Celsus_, lib. vi. cap. vi. p. 284.

  [532] “Quo gravior vero quæque inflammatio est, eo magis leniri
  medicamentum, debet, adjecto vel albo ovi, vel muliebri lacte.
  At si neque medicus, neque medicamentum præsto est, sæpius
  utrumlibet horum in oculis _Penicillo_ ad id ipsum facto
  infusum, id malum lenit.”—_Ibid._ lib. vi. cap. vi. sec. 8, p.

  [533] Deinde in balneo aqua calida quamplurima caput atque
  oculos fovere; tum utrumque _Penicillo_ detergere et ungere
  caput iridis unguento.—Lib. vi. cap. vi. p. 287. Scribonius
  Largus uses the analogous expression—“_Penicillo_
  abstergeretur,” p. 232.

  [534] Igitur aversum specillum, inserendum, deducendæque eo
  palpebrae sunt: deinde exigua _Penicilla_ interponenda, donec
  exulceratio ejus loci leniatur.—_Ibid._ lib. vii. cap. vi. p.
  342. After removing nasal polypi, he recommends a styptic tent,
  or, “aliquid ex _Penicillo_,” to be introduced into the
  nostrils (lib. vii. cap. x. p. 355). See also lib. vii. cap.
  iv. p. 324; and lib. viii. cap. ix. p. 425.

  [535] _Archæologia_, vol. ix. p. 240.

  [536] In his chapter on diseases of the eyes, after giving the
  formula for the _Basilicon_ collyrium of Euelpides—which was
  composed of poppy tears, cerussa, Asian stone, gum, white
  pepper, saffron, and _psoricum_—Celsus adds:—“Now there is no
  simple which by itself is called _Psoricum_; but a certain
  quantity of chalcitis, and a little more than half its quantity
  of cadmia, are rubbed together with vinegar, and this being put
  into an earthen vessel, covered over with fig leaves, is
  deposited under ground for twenty days, and being taken up
  again it is powdered, and is thus called _Psoricum_.”—See
  Greive’s _Celsus_, p. 343.

  [537] “Psoricum is formed by mixing two parts of chalcitis with
  one of litharge, triturating them in vinegar, and, having put
  them into a new pot, by burying them in dung for forty
  days.”—See Adams’ _Paulus Ægineta_, vol. iii. p. 421.

  [538] Kühn’s Edit. vol. xiv. p. 767.

  [539] Galen in Kühn’s Edit. vol. xii. p. 717.

  [540] _Princ. Art. Medicæ, De Methodo Medendi_, lib. vi. p.

  [541] _Tetrabiblos_, pp. 434, 435.

  [542] _De Compositione Medicamentorum_, p. 199.

  [543] _De Medicamentis Liber_, pp. 274 and 275.

  [544] The inscription on the Jena stamp is as follows (see
  Tochon’s _Dissertation_, p. 66): PHRONIMI DIAPSORICUM OPOBAL.

  [545] The inscription alluded to runs thus:—PHRONIMI DIASMYRN.
  POST IMPE. LIP. EX OV. Or, when extended,—“_Phronimi
  Diasmyrnes post impetum lippitudinis ex ovo._”—_Tochon_, p.
  66. _Phronimus_ is the name, of course, of the occulist or

  [546] Cornarius’ Edit.; or Dr. Adams’ Edit. vol. iii. p. 550.

  [547] _Med. Art. Princ. De Methodo Mendendi_, lib. vi. p. 310.

  [548] For example, in the stamp found at Maestricht, and
  described by Saxe, there occurs the inscription _C. Lucci
  Alexandri Crocodes_ AT _aspritudines_, instead of AD
  _aspritudines_. See Tochon’s _Dissertation_, p. 68.

  [549] These figures of the Wroxeter stamp are copies of those
  originally published of it by Mr. Parkes in the _Gentleman’s
  Magazine_ for 1810, vol. lxxx. p. 617.

  [550] _Beauties of England and Wales_ (1813), vol. xiii. p.

  [551] _Salopia Antiqua_, p. 126.

  [552] See a copy of it in Gruter’s _Inscriptiones Antiquæ Orbis
  Romanæ_, tom. ii. p. 896, No. iii.

  [553] See Le Clerc’s _Histoire de la Médecine_, pp. 421 and

  [554] See, for example, Adams’ _Paulus Ægineta_, vol. iii. pp.
  551 and 555, where the collyria _Diasmyrnum_ and _Isotheon_ are
  directed “to be used with an egg”—(“Usus cum _ovo_ est,”
  according to the Latin translation of Cornarius, p. 671, etc.)
  Celsus directs the _Collyrium Philetis_ to be used “vel _ex
  ovo_, vel ex lacte.” Galen repeatedly employs the same
  expression in giving his directions about collyria, as in vol.
  xii. pp. 746, 747, 749, 754, etc.

  [555] _Med. Art. Princ. Synopsis_, liber iii. p. 51.

  [556] Kühn’s Edit. of _Galen_, vol. xiii. pp. 877 and 879.

  [557] _Ibid._ vol. xii. p. 761.

  [558] The same title or designation of ΑΝΙΚΗΤΟΣ (the
  unconquered) was assumed by some of the Indo-Greek kings of
  Bactria. Philosenus (who reigned in the east of Bactria), and
  Antialcides, Lysias, and Archebias (who reigned in the west),
  according to Grotefend’s classification, all appropriated this
  title to themselves. See Werlhof’s _Handbuch der Griechischen
  Numismatik_, pp. 72 and 73.

  [559] The Unguentum _Nardinum_ was one of the favourite
  ointments used by the Romans for anointing the hair previous to
  crowning it with the garland at their festive symposiums.—See
  Horace’s _Carmina_, lib. ii. carm. xi. “Assyriaque _Nardo_
  Potamus uncti.”

  [560] Thus Plautus, in his _Miles Gloriosus_, act iii. sec. ii.
  v. 11, speaks of wine mixed and flavoured with the perfume of

    Demisit _Nardini_ unam amphoram cellarius.

  Horace, in one of his odes addressed to Virgil (_Carmina_, lib.
  iv. c. 12), invites his brother poet to a drinking-party,
  provided Virgil will earn his wine by bringing some spikenard;
  and he declares that a small box of the perfume shall draw a
  whole cask of wine from the storehouses of Sulpicius.

                     _Nardo_ vina merebere.
     _Nardi_ parvus onyx eliciet cadum
     Que nunc Sulpiciis accubat horreis.

  The _onyx_, or alabaster box, mentioned in these lines of
  Horace, was made of a kind of gypsum, and was used for
  containing the more precious ointments, under the belief, as we
  are told by Pliny (lib. xxxv. cap. 12), that this material
  prevented the fragrance of the ointments from being dissipated
  (quoniam optime servare incorrupta dicitur). In explanation of
  the great use of ointments among the Romans, it is to be
  remembered that they then formed their only vehicle for the
  enjoyment of perfumes, the art of distillation being altogether
  unknown to them.

  [561] _Tetrabiblos_, Sermo III. cap. cxiii. pp. 436-8.

  [562] Hujus auxilii actiones ac efficaciam dicere non est
  facile. Audientes enim vix crediderint. Nam desperatas
  affectiones ad naturalem statum revocat.—_Ibid._ p. 438.

  [563] _Journal of the British Archæological Association_, vol.
  iv. p. 280.

  [564] Sichel’s _Cachets Inedits_, p. 15; and Duchalais’
  _Observations sur les Cachets_, p. 35. See also _Mémoire de la
  Commission des Antiquaires de Department de la Côte-d’Or_, vol.
  x. p. 338; or _Rapport sur deux Cachets Inedits d’Oculistes
  Romains_; Dijon, 1841.

  [565] See _Medicæ Artis Principes_,—Oribasius, p. 50; _Paulus
  Ægineta_, p. 672.

  [566] See, for example, Kühn’s _Galen_, vol. xiv. p. 409.

  [567] _Illustrations of the Remains of Roman Art in
  Cirencester, the site of the Antient Corinium_, p. 117.

  [568] See, for example, Gruter’s _Inscriptiones Romanæ_, vol.
  ii. p. DCCLXXXIII. 2; CML. 3; MXXVII. 4.

  [569] Notice of a stamp used by a Roman oculist or empiric,
  discovered in Ireland. _Archæological Journal_, p. 354.

  [570] Much stranger relics than Roman coins or medicine-stamps
  have been found in Ireland. Above fifty Chinese porcelain
  seals, with legends, etc., inscribed upon them in ancient
  Chinese characters, have now been discovered in different parts
  of Ireland, and generally in localities indicating that they
  had lain entombed for many long ages. See Smith in _London and
  Edinburgh Philosophical Journal_ for March 1840; and Getty’s
  _Notices of Chinese Seals found in Ireland_, Belfast, 1850.

  [571] See Ledwich’s _Antiquities of Ireland_, p. 45—Roman
  coins found at New Grange. A celebrated passage in Tacitus
  proves that, even as early as the first century of the
  Christian era, the Irish seaports were better known to the
  merchants of these times than those of Britain were—(“Melius
  aditus, portusque per commercia, et negotiatores cogniti”). See
  _Agricolæ Vita_.

  [572] Hildebrand states, that in the northern or Scandinavian
  districts of Europe there have been found “Roman silver coins
  from about the middle of the first to the commencement of the
  third century (Vespasianus to Severus Alexander); but
  especially those of Hadrianus, Antoninus Pius, Aurelius, and
  Commodus. Along with them,” he continues, “are sometimes found
  various bronze articles, as statuettes, vases, and ornaments of
  various kinds of Roman workmanship, and apparently of the same
  age. These coins, etc., are usually found about the islands of
  Gothland and Oland, and in Scanïa. The coins are worn and
  clipped, so that often the legends and reverses are defaced,
  and the portrait alone tells by whom they were struck. The
  reason of this is (he suggests), that the coins came to the
  north after long voyages. As the Roman eagles were never
  planted on Swedish soil, these coins, etc., must either have
  been brought by the northern pirates from Roman possessions, or
  by merchants trading with Roman subjects. Only one gold coin
  (of Titus), and one ? (of Faustina the elder), are as yet known
  to have been found in the North.” See Hildebrand’s _Monnaies
  Anglo-Saxonnes du Cabinet Royal de Stockholm_. Introduction,
  pp. vi. vii. note.

  [573] See the _Pharmacopœia Londonensis_ for 1662, p. 48.

  [574] See Ainslie’s _Materia Indica_, vol. i. p. 513; and
  Royle’s _Antiquities of Hindoo Medicine_, p. 102.

  [575] I shall quote Galen’s own graphic account of his personal
  visit and observations:—“At the mine in Cyprus, in the
  mountains of the Soli, there was a great cave dug in the
  mountain, at the right side of which, that is to say, on our
  left hand as we entered, there was a passage into the mine, in
  which I saw certain specimens of the three substances stretched
  upon one another like zones, the lowest being that of _sori_,
  upon it _chalcitis_, and then that of _misy_. In process of
  time the chalcitis changes into misy by degrees, and the sori
  can change into chalcitis, but requires a much longer space of
  time. So that it is no wonder that these three substances
  should be possessed of homogeneous (similar) powers, as
  differing from one another in tenuity and density of their
  parts—the grossest being the sori, and the finest the misy,
  whereas chalcitis possesses an intermediate power. When burnt,
  they become more attenuant, but less styptic.”—Adams’ _Paulus
  Ægineta_, vol. iii. note, p. 400. (Kühn’s _Galen_, vol. xii. p.

  [576] See his Edition of _Paulus Ægineta_, vol. iii. notes in
  pp. 253, 400, and 402.

  [577] _Opera_, lib. v. cap. 117, p. 370.

  [578] Kühn’s Edit. of _Galen_, vol. xii. p. 228.

  [579] _Opera_, lib. xv. p. 515, and lib. xiv. p. 483.

  [580] Dr. Adams’ Sydenham Society Edition, vol. iii. p. 253.

  [581] Kühn’s Edit. vol. xii. p. 701.

  [582] _Hist. Nat._ lib. xxxiv. c. xii. v. iii. p. 399.

  [583] See Milligan’s Edit. p. 194, Misy _sanguinem suppremit_;
  p. 197, _rodit_; p. 199, _crustas inducit_, etc.

  [584] See _De Methodo Medendi_, lib. vi. pp. 305-308.

  [585] Viper wine (_Vinum Viperinum_) and viper broth (_Jus
  Viperinum_) had long a place in the London Pharmacopœia; and
  still longer the vipers were retained in it as an ingredient in
  the celebrated but multifarious Theriaca Andromache, which,
  with its discordant farrago of seventy and odd ingredients, was
  only expelled about a hundred years ago from the British
  Pharmacopœias. (See Alston’s _Materia Medica_, vol. ii. p.
  517; Hill’s _Materia Medica_, p. 829; Quincy’s _Dispensatory_,
  p. 400; Mead’s _Essay on the Viper_, 1745, etc.)

  [586] Perhaps this incantation was but a remnant of that ophite
  worship which appears to have in former times prevailed so
  generally throughout the world. On the ancient extent of
  serpent-worship in the old world, see Stukeley’s _Abury_, p.
  32; Colonel Tod’s _History of Rajasthan_; the Rev. J. B.
  Deane’s learned Treatise on the Worship of the Serpent, and his
  observations on various ancient Dracontia, or ophite temples in
  England, France, etc., in the _Archæologia_, vol. xxv. p. 180,
  etc. Latterly, the observations of Mr. Squier would seem to
  show that the same type of worship was, in long past times,
  diffused as extensively over the new world. (See his late work,
  entitled _Serpent Symbol, and the Worship of the Reciprocal
  Principles of Nature in America_.) The supposed connection of
  the serpent and serpent-worship with the healing art has been
  handed down to us emblematically in the serpent symbol with
  which the caduceus of Æsculapius is always represented as
  surrounded. The Romans regarded the serpent as a symbol of
  health, and we find it figured as such on some of the coins of
  Augustus and Claudian.

  [587] _Aphrodisiacus, sive, Collectio Auctorum de Lue Venerea._
  Venet. 1566-67; and Lugd. Batav. 1728.

  [588] _De Morbis Venereis._ Paris, 1740.

  [589] _Abhandlung über die Venerischen Krankheiten._ Göttingen,

  [590] See also a collection by Grüner of the opinions of many
  authors, who wrote in the end of the fifteenth or beginning of
  the sixteenth century, as to the disease being new and
  unknown,—in his _Morborum Antiquitates_, p. 69, _seq._

  [591] _Aphrodisiacus, sive de Lue Venerea._ Jena, 1789.

  [592] _Vide_ Grüner’s _Aphrodisiacus_, p. 38.

  [593] _De Morbis Venereis_, 1740.

  [594] _Ueber die Venerischen Krankheiten_, 1788.

  [595] _The History, etc., of the Venereal Disease._ London,

  [596] _Sur l’Origine de la Maladie Venerienne._ Paris, 1752.

  [597] _Geschichte der Lustseuche._ Altona, 1783.

  [598] Grüner’s _Aphrodisiacus_, p. 115.

  [599] Grüner’s _Aphrodisiacus_, p. 86.

  [600] See _Extracts from the Council Register of the Burgh of
  Aberdeen_, edited by my friend Mr. John Stuart, and published
  by the Spalding Club.

  [601] By an evident clerical error this word is mis-spelled
  “vakis” in the copy of the edict contained in the Town-Council

  [602] _History of Scotland_, by John Lesley, Bishop of Ross, p.

  [603] _The Chronicles of Scotland_, by Robert Lindsay of
  Pitscottie, vol. i. p. 249.

  [604] Two of these entries were published by Mr. Pitcairn, in
  the _Criminal Trials of Scotland_, vol. i. p. 117. My friend
  Mr. Joseph Robertson, Superintendent of Searches in the
  Literary and Antiquarian Department of the General Register
  House, most kindly collated for me the other entries, while
  looking over the Treasurer’s accounts for another purpose.

  [605] Pitcairn’s _Criminal Trials_, vol. i. p. 110.

  [606] Pitcairn’s _Criminal Trials_, vol. i. p. 232.

  [607] See Mr. Laing’s admirable edition of Dunbar’s _Poems_,
  vol. i. p. 115.

  [608] Lyndsay’s _Warkis_ (1592), p. 262.

  [609] See Dunbar’s _Poems_, vol. ii. p. 24.

  [610] _Astruc_, p. 634.

  [611] _Historical, etc., Account of the Principal Families of
  the name of Kennedy_, p. 17.

  [612] Cleland, in 1st Part of the _Transactions of the Glasgow
  and Clydesdale Statistical Society_, p. 13.

  [613] See Grunbeck, in _Tractatus de Pestilentia Scorra_, c. 8;
  and Brant, in his poetical Eulogium _De Scorra Pestilentiali_—

    “Nec satis extremo tutantur in orbe Britanni.”

  [614] _A Brieffe and Necessary Treatise touching the Cure of
  the Disease now usually called Lues Venerea._

  [615] See Mr. Beckett’s papers in the _Philosophical
  Transactions_ for 1718.

  [616] _Archæologia_, vol. xxx. pp. 358 and 359.

  [617] Holdtfeldt’s _Chronik_, p. 6. Astruc (p. 116) points to
  the same fact in regard to Paris, where two leper hospitals
  existed when syphilis began; but the syphilitic patients were
  not sent to them, but to other houses specially hired for the

  [618] See Dr. Cleland’s “Extracts,” in _Transactions of Glasgow
  Statistical Society_, Part i. p. 13, etc.

  [619] _Parliamentary History_, vol. iii. p. 44; Henry’s
  _History of Great Britain_, vol. xii. p. 219; the _Life and
  Reign of King Henry VIII._, by the Right Hon. Edward Lord
  Herbert of Cherbury, 1572, p. 295.

  [620] See his _Consilium pro reverendissimo Episcopo et
  Hungariæ Vicerege_; in Luisinus’ Collection, vol. ii. p. 6.

  [621] _Astruc_, p. 113 (English Edition).

  [622] Tytler’s _History of Scotland_, vol. iv. p. 319.

  [623] _De Morbo fœdo et occulto, his temporibus affligente._

  [624] The simple and newly elected Pontiff, Adrian VI., when
  writing to his Legate at the Diet of Nuremberg, A.D. 1522, in
  the same spirit observes, “We are well aware that for many
  years past the holy city has been a scene of many corruptions
  and abominations. The infection has spread from the head
  through the members, and has descended from the popes to the
  rest of the clergy.”—_Pallav. Op._, vol. i. p. 160; _Sarpi_,
  p. 25.

  [625] See _Claud. Espencæi Opera Omnia_, p. 479. The morals of
  those assembled at the “sacred” Councils of the Church showed,
  perhaps, in these days, little or no amendment upon the morals
  of Rome itself. At the great Council of Constance, for example,
  held in the fifteenth century, there were, according to the
  long list of those present, as given by Lenfant, “seven hundred
  common women” whose habitations were known to Ducher; whilst
  the Vienna list of the same Council sets down the list of
  “meretrices vagabundæ” as fifteen hundred in number (Lenfant’s
  _History of the Council of Constance_, vol. iv. pp. 414, 416).
  This Council was summoned together by that misnamed “Vicegerent
  of God on earth,” Pope John XXIII., a man who, according to his
  own secretary, Thierry de Niem, was guilty of “all the mortal
  sins, and of a multitude of abominable acts not fit to be
  named” (Niem _de Vita Joh. XXIII._, ap. Von’der Hardt, tom. ii.
  p. 391.) Among other matters, the Procurators of the Council
  publicly accused him before it of “cum uxore fratris sui, et
  cum sanctis monialibus incestum, cum virginibus stuprum, et cum
  conjugatis adulterium, et alia incontinentiae crimina” (Concil.
  Constan. Sess. xi., Binius, tom. iii. p. 874). Yet this same
  “infallible” Council of Constance, as it termed itself, called
  together, as it was, professedly for the cure of the evils and
  doctrines of the Church and Papacy, principally distinguished
  itself in history by burning John Huss and Jerome of Prague for
  preaching from the Scriptures the pure and simple gospel of
  Jesus Christ.

  [626] Nicol. de Clemangiis, _Opera_ (edit. Lydii), p. 22.

  [627] _Opera_, tom. vi. col. 296 (ed. of 1617). The history of
  these and other dark times shows us, however, occasional bright
  and isolated glimpses of the existence of true Christianity in
  general society and in the cloisters. In the personal history
  of Luther, for example, few circumstances are more interesting
  than the fact of Staupitz, the Vicar-General of the Order of
  Augustine Monks of Germany, earnestly and tenderly assisting
  the young and distressed monk of Erfurth to arrive at a
  knowledge of salvation by faith alone (as laid down in the
  Scriptures—a copy of which he presented to him), and not by

  [628] See Sir John Dalyell’s _Fragments of Scottish History_,
  p. 11.

  [629] _Polydor. Vergilii Angl. Histor._ (Bull 1570), p. 633.

  [630] See his _History of Great Britain_, vol. vi. p. 434.

  [631] See the whole details given more fully and broadly in the
  _Letters relating to the Suppression of Monasteries_, published
  by the Camden Society, p. 58, etc.

  [632] See his _Supplication of Beggars_, presented to Henry
  VIII. in 1530.

  [633] “Insuper hoc tempore (A.D. 1282) apud Invirchethin in
  hebdomada paschæ, sacerdos parochialis Johannes, Priapi
  prophana parans, congregatis ex villa puellulis, cogebat eas,
  choreis factis, Libero patri circuire; ut ille feminas in
  exercitu habuit, sic iste, procacitatis causa membra humana
  virtuti seminariæ servantia super asserem artificiata ante
  talem choream præferebat, et ipse tripudians cum cantantibus
  motu mimico omnes inspectantes et verbo impudico ad luxuriam
  incitabat,” etc. See the _Chronicon de Lanercost_, p. 109.

  [634] George Bannatyne’s _Ancient Scottish Poems_ (1770), p.

  [635] _King James’s Works_, p. 301.

  [636] _Cardani, Philosophi ac Medici, Opera_, tome ix. p. 135.

  [637] Yet we find the Archbishop, who left some bastard
  offspring, when writing as an author, violently and virtuously
  declaiming against “all kind of lichorie.” See fol. li., etc.,
  of “The Catechisme set furthe by the Most Reverend Father in
  God, John Hamilton, Archbishop of St. Andrews,” printed at St.
  Andrews, 1552. Perhaps the Archbishop held some of the other
  commandments in little more respect than the seventh, if we may
  judge by one of his sayings regarding Queen Mary, when a girl
  of nine or ten years of age, as reported by Sir James Melville
  in his _Memoirs_, p. 73. There is no wonder that Sir James
  found it difficult or impossible to translate the coarse saying
  of the Scotch Primate for the polite ears of Montmorency the
  Constable of France. See _Memoirs of his own Life_, p. 21.

  [638] See the edicts in Wilkins’s _Concilia Magnæ Britanniæ_,
  tom. iv. pp. 47-8.

  [639] See the forthcoming _Statuta Ecclesiæ Scoticanæ_, p. 155,
  edited for the Bannatyne Club by Mr. Joseph Robertson; also
  Wilkins’s _Concilia_, iv. 20.

  [640] See his note to Bannatyne’s _Scottish Poems_, p. 210.

  [641] _Book of Bon Accord_, p. 377; Keith’s _Historical
  Preface_, p. xv.; _Aberdeen Magazine_, 1796, p. 270.

  [642] See Prescott’s _Ferdinand and Isabella_, vol. ii. p. 354.
  In Spain, indeed, it was recognised and sanctioned by law, till
  the scandal was uprooted by strong hand of Ximenes.

  [643] _History of Edinburgh_, p. 497.


  _Printed by_ R. & R. CLARK, _Edinburgh_.

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