Click here to skip to content

Medical Recipes, from Bald's 'Leech-book'

Medical Recipes, from Bald's 'Leech-book'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1000

Shelfmark: Harley MS 55

Item number: f.1r

Length: 28.4

Width: 19.3

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

This manuscript contains fragments of several separate books. This page comes from a chapter of a 'laeceboc', that is, a leech-book ('leech' is an old-fashioned word for a physician). The leech-book contained mainly charms, some of them poetic, and recipes for treating ailments afflicting humans and livestock, such as lice, boils, stomach-ache. The book's sources include ancient medical texts passed on from Roman times, some via Arabian sources--Arab traders apparently were key suppliers of ingredients--as well as native herbal and magical traditions. The style of its handwriting suggests that it could have been written either at York or Worcester, but it was at Worcester later in the middle ages.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites


Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: