Category Archives: Medicine & Science

The Medical Free-for-All that was Georgian Britain

It’s easy to assume that the treatment options open to people in Georgian times were prescribed by income and social class. This is incorrect. Naturally, in such a laissez faire era, the richer you were, the more choices were open … Continue reading

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Forthergil’s Chymical Nervous Drops

Surely a Remedy Worth Having! One of the particular joys of reading through eighteenth-century newspapers is finding advertisements for various ‘quack’ remedies and patent medicines. This one, from The Norfolk Chronicle for 17th March, 1781, really wins the prize! What … Continue reading

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Georgian “Madness” and Melancholy

In the eighteenth century, “madness” was used as a catch-all description for just about any type of mental illness, from depression to full-blown psychosis and mania. The causes were much debated, not just by medical men either. Some saw madness … Continue reading

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The Georgian Apothecary

Medicine in georgian times was categorised largely by the social class of the practitioner and the scale of fees they charged. Some doctors did tend to focus on one or two main approaches to treatment — sea bathing, for example. … Continue reading

Posted in Commerce, Medicine & Science | 5 Comments

The Cure for ‘Green Sickness’

‘Green sickness’ was described as a condition ‘peculiar to virgins’, which was said to turn the skin a greenish colour and leave the sufferer weak and melancholic. It was also believed to be common throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, … Continue reading

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A Pair of Famous Quacks

Despite The Enlightenment, the eighteenth century was still an age of credulity and superstition. Astrological almanacs and charms were sold by the thousand. Every sort of fortune-teller, quack doctor and peddler of patent remedies set themselves up in business. Since … Continue reading

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The Georgian and Regency Home Medicine Chest

On a recent visit to Edinburgh, my wife and I visited The Georgian House in Charlotte Square. It’s a late-Georgian townhouse, wonderfully preserved, furnished and displayed by The National Trust for Scotland. During our visit, we spotted the early Regency … Continue reading

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