Is There a Doctor in Lansdowne House?

Sir James Mackintosh was a doctor in Lansdowne House.  But you may remember from an earlier post that his presence was required for something other than practicing medicine.  He was called to exercise his great conversational power.

Dr. Francis Willis – physician to George III
copyright Richard Croft

He might have needed a doctor.  He died from a chicken bone lodged in his throat.

Jane Austen’s World has a lovely article on physicians during the Regency.  I particularly enjoyed the discussion on a doctor’s place in society.

The Beau Monde’s collection of articles is another favorite source of mine.  Alicia Rasley contributed a very comprehensive outline on the subject here.

Actually, this post was inspired by a recent article in a major newspaper  Click on the link to test your knowledge of old medical terms.  See if you can match them with the modern ones.

If someone were to become ill at Lansdowne House, they might be suffering from the following:

Stopping (constipation)

Humid tetter (exzema)

Ship fever (typhus)

Morphew (scurvy blisters)

Podagra (gout)

Catarrh (inflammation of the sinuses)

Brain fever (could mean meningitis, encephalitis or malaria

Grippe (influenza)

I thought these terms were interesting.  I hope you did, too.

This clip from Monty Python’s Holy Grail on the matter is amusing: at 3:00.

“They’re doctors?”

12 thoughts on “Is There a Doctor in Lansdowne House?

  1. I saw that same article on the names of diseases back in the day. I wanted to keep a copy for future ref , but forgot. Thanks for the posting. Now I have a copy in your interesting blog.


  2. Interesting post about the medical terms. Also interesting are the remedies they used for these ailments…they’re probably much more modern in Regency…but, as I’m writing medieval, I’m finding some of the ‘cures’ very interesting. My heroine has studied under Hildegard of Bingen – a 12th century nun who had her own interesting cures for ailments – including eating ground-up earthworms. Yuck!


    • Oh–Hildegard of Bingen. Know her well (at least, from a short presentation I gave to a small group last year). They think she was suffering from migraine headaches, aka as visions. I would like to read your book–is it finished?


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