The Medieval Leper and His Northern Heirs

Overview

Medieval history is rich in rules and regulations for lepers, but reveals little of who they were or what became of them. This book searches for the reality of the individuals themselves, people who through their disease - or suspicion of it - contributed a unique chapter to social and medical history. Their hopes, fears, frustrations, and sufferings are explored partly through English medieval sources but mainly through the record of the remarkable survival of both leprosy and many medieval attitudes to it in ...
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Overview

Medieval history is rich in rules and regulations for lepers, but reveals little of who they were or what became of them. This book searches for the reality of the individuals themselves, people who through their disease - or suspicion of it - contributed a unique chapter to social and medical history. Their hopes, fears, frustrations, and sufferings are explored partly through English medieval sources but mainly through the record of the remarkable survival of both leprosy and many medieval attitudes to it in the Aland islands between Sweden and Finland in the seventeenth century, where the struggle of a poor community both to contain the disease and to provide for those suffering from it were recorded for over a quarter of a century by the rural dean. The medical identity of medieval leprosy is confirmed from descriptions, from portraits (many previously unpublished or forgotten), and from the characteristic mutilations of bones; an appendix of original documents forms a unique collection of source material for social and medical historians. The late PETER RICHARDS was a former Professor of Medicine and Dean of St Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and President of Hughes Hall, Cambridge.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780859915823
  • Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
  • Publication date: 8/17/2000
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.18 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: Leprosy
The Tradition
I A Cross-roads in History 3
II The Lepers of Aland 13
III Bread, Beer and Firewood 24
IV Means of Support 33
V Sentence and Certificates 40
VI Separation 48
VII Husbands and Wives 62
VIII Despair and Hope 68
The Disease
IX The Rise and Fall of the Disease 83
X Leprosy - Fact or Fiction? 98
Documents
1 Office at the seclusion of a leper 123
2 Regulations of Sherburn leper hospital (founded 1181), confirmed by Richard Kellawe, bishop of Durham (1311-16) 125
3 Regulations of the leper hospital of St. Julian near St. Albans (founded 1146) - revised by Abbot Michael in 1344 129
4 Regulations of the Enkoping leper hospital, Sweden, given by Archbishop Birger of Uppsala (1367-83) 137
5 Regulations of the leper hospital of St. Mary Magdalene, Exeter, restated early in the fifteenth century 140
6 Regulations for St. George's hospital, Svendborg, Denmark, in 1486 142
7 King Hans' decree concerning the quarrel between the warden and lepers in St. George's hospital, Naestved, Denmark, in 1492 144
8 Chancery warrant for proper medical examination of Joanna Nightingale of Brentwood, who refused to be isolated on suspicion of leprosy, 1468 145
9 Petition of Nicholas Harris, footpostman of Totnes, to the Royal College of Physicians of London for a certificate that he was not a leper, 1620 147
10 Royal patent of Gustaf II Adolf of Sweden, July 15th, 1619, authorising the foundation of Sjahlo leper hospital in Finland 149
11 Regulations of the leper hospital at Gloskar in the Aland islands, drawn up by Per Brahe, Regent of Finland, 1653 150
12 Proposal for the budget of Gammelstads hospital, Helsingfors, 1651 152
13 Budget for Sjahlo leper hospital and mental hospital, Finland, by decree of King Carl XI of Sweden, May 6th, 1695 154
14 Extract from a letter written to Johannes Petersen in 1767 by Joen Givertsen, a priest suffering from leprosy in Iceland 157
15 A Lament: poem by Peder Olsen Feidie, patient in St. George's hospital for lepers, Bergen, from 1832 to 1849 158
16 Law regarding the isolation of people infected with leprosy and their confinement in public hospital in Iceland, 1898 162
17 Letter from President Relander of Finland to the lepers in Orivesi hospital after his visit in January 1930 165
Chapter Notes 166
Select Bibliography 170
Index
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