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September In A Calendar, In The Guildbook Of The Barber Surgeons Of York

September In A Calendar, In The Guildbook Of The Barber Surgeons Of York

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1486

Shelfmark: Egerton MS 2572

Item number: f.48r

Length: 27.2

Width: 18.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

In the Middle Ages naval and military barbers were not only responsible for cutting hair (to remove lice), but also for surgery such as tooth-extraction, and amputations. In England it was not until 1745 that a surgeons' guild was created, separate from the barbers' guild. This manuscript was written for the guild of Barber Surgeons of York. Sts. Cosmas and Damian were medical doctors who were martyred in about the year 287, later becoming the patron saints of doctors. Their feast is recorded on 27 September, four lines from the bottom of this page, to the right of which has been added two lines in red, which read 'the tone [i.e. one] a Physician / And the toder [i.e. other] a Surgion'.

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