The Rise of the Surgeon in Restoration London: Richard Wiseman and his Contemporaries. (360G-Wellcome-088198_Z_09_Z)
In 1937, Fenwick Beekman argued that most surgical advancements took place in Scotland during the early Enlightenment. Consequently, historians focused heavily on institutional histories of surgery in Glasgow and Edinburgh. More recently, however, Phillip Wilson redirected that focus when he charged historians with neglecting London s surgeons and their practices in his own biographical study of Daniel Turner. Wilson was right in redirecting our attention. After the Restoration, surgeons bec ame a more public and powerful group in London. Their numbers increased; they published more; and they partook in the important debate between learned and new medicine. Put simply, surgeons had become a formidable force by the end of the seventeenth century. My project proposes to investigate the causes behind this change and provide a deeper understanding of how surgeons interacted with each other, their patients and other types of medical practitioners during this period. It does this by c ombining a study of several notable surgeons with other kinds of institutional and social histories. This in turn will demonstrate the ways in which surgeons laid claims to medical expertise and how they used those claims to elevate their social, political and intellectual status after the Restoration.
£133,992 26 Mar 2009