1617 - The Surgions Mate - title page

This is the title to The Surgion's Mate, a book published 'chiefly for the benefit of young Sea-Surgions imployed in the East-India Companies affaires'. The author, John Woodall, was employed by the East India Company from 1614 - 1643 to advise surgeons appointed to the Company's ships. The book was written as a practical guide for ship's surgeons. It gives advice on medicines and cures, as well explaining how to perform operations such as tooth-drawing, blood-letting and the amputation of limbs - an operation which involved the 'desmembering saw'!  The title page gives a flavour of the kind of medical conditions expected to occur on the year long voyages to the east, such as wounds, ulcers, fractures, dislocations, scurvy or 'fluxes of the belly'.

About East India Office Trading Documents

The East India Company and its trading activities provide a fascinating backdrop for many accounts of shipwrecks and smuggling. This selection of documents from the British Library's India Office gives a flavour of the great range of ephemeral texts involved in the many aspects of international trade. In particular we can see how goods from India and China became an integral part of British culture, and sense the stranglehold on commerce that the monopolistic East India Company strove to maintain.

Taken from: India Office Trading Documents
Author / Creator: Woodall, J
Publisher: Edward Griffin
Date: 1617
Copyright: By permission of the British Library
Shelfmark: C.123.e.9.