Chapter

‘Cur’d in a Different Manner’: Children’s Physic

Hannah Newton

in The Sick Child in Early Modern England, 1580-1720

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199650491
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741647 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199650491.003.0003
‘Cur’d in a Different Manner’: Children’s Physic

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Historians have often assumed that early modern doctors neither treated children, nor recognised the need to adapt medicines to complement their distinctive temperaments. This chapter discredits these assumptions, demonstrating that a concept of ‘children’s physic’ existed in early modern England: physicians and laypeople regularly administered medical treatments to children, and were careful to adapt these treatments to suit their tender bodies. The chapter is divided into three: the first part asks how doctors diagnosed children’s diseases, and shows that the traditional techniques used for diagnosing the patient’s condition were considered inappropriate for children. The second part examines the types of treatments that were considered most and least suitable for children, thereby providing evidence to suggest that there was an awareness of children’s special medical needs. The third part then identifies the various ways in which the remedies were tailored to children’s distinctive physiologies.

Keywords: child; paediatrics; medicine; doctor; recipe; treatment; gentle; adaptation; pain; taste

Chapter.  14182 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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