• 1
    See, e.g., A. Wear, Knowledge and Practice in English Medicine, 1550–1680 (Cambridge, 2000), pp. 120122; S. Cavallo, Artisans of the Body in Early Modern Italy: Identities, Families and Masculinities (Manchester, 2007), p. 26; E. Keller, ‘The subject of touch: medical authority in early modern midwifery’, in Sensible Flesh: on Touch in Early Modern Culture, ed. E. D. Harvey (Philadelphia, Pa., 2002), pp. 6280, at pp. 69–70; B. Duden, The Woman Beneath the Skin: a Doctor's Patients in 18th-Century Germany (Cambridge, Mass., 1991), p. 83; C. Bicks, Midwiving Subjects in Shakespeare's England (Aldershot, 2003), p. 64 (Bicks noted that Simon Forman treated 830 women for gynaecological problems in 1597 but rarely described manual examinations); M. MacDonald, Mystical Bedlam: Madness, Anxiety and Healing in 17th-Century England (Cambridge, 1981), pp. 2628 (MacDonald did not state explicitly that physicians did not touch their patients but described the process Richard Napier went through with his patients, relying on both questions and patient narrative); J. Lane, John Hall and his Patients: the Medical Practice of Shakespeare's Son-in-Law (Stratford-upon-Avon, 1996), p. xl. See also L. McCray Beier, Sufferers and Healers: the Experience of Illness in 17th-Century England (1987), pp. 108109. Beier did not specifically address the issue of touch in treatment, but shows that medical practitioners used a range of methods for treatment.
  • 2
    L. Tatlock, ‘Speculum feminarum: gendered perspectives on obstetrics and gynecology in early modern Germany’, Signs, xvii (1992), 725760, at pp. 733, 757–9; Beier, p. 44. Other works did not address this topic explicitly ( A. Eccles, Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Tudor and Stuart England (1982); Eccles did note at one point that an instrument could be used to help physicians view the internal cavity of the neck of the womb (p. 84)).
  • 3
    L. McTavish, Childbirth and the Display of Authority in Early Modern France (Aldershot, 2005), pp. 6062; W. D. Churchill, Female Patients in Early Modern Britain: Gender, Diagnosis and Treatment (Aldershot, 2012), pp. 6473, 76–9. Churchill's analysis demonstrated clearly the complexities of physician access to the female body and highlights that physicians did touch female patients, who did not feel shame or fear about exposing their bodies to a male practitioner. Importantly, Churchill also considered issues of consent and permission in these cases.
  • 4
    Eccles, pp. 87–8; McTavish, p. 63. For examples of touching the female body outside parturition, see Bicks, pp. 6162; W. Schleiner, Medical Ethics in the Renaissance (Washington, D.C., 1995), pp. 115116. O. Weisser, ‘Boils, pushes and wheals: reading bumps on the body in early modern England’, Social History of Medicine, xxii (2009), 321339, at p. 330; see also Tatlock, pp. 757759, who argued that male midwives used the speculum in order to gain visual access to the interior of women's bodies without touch.
  • 5
    E. D. Harvey, ‘Introduction: the “Sense of All Senses”’, in Harvey, Sensible Flesh, pp. 121, at p. 17.
  • 6
    Schleiner, p. 109.
  • 7
    McTavish, p. 57.
  • 8
    M. H. Green, Making Women's Medicine Masculine: the Rise of Male Authority in Pre-Modern Gynaecology (Oxford, 2008), p. 200; see also Beier, pp. 145146. Elizabeth Pepys was concerned about the shame of having her private parts operated on by a surgeon and urged her husband to stay with her while the operation was performed. Pepys was thankful that the operation was eventually deemed unnecessary.
  • 9
    Churchill, p. 64.
  • 10
    M. Jay, ‘In the realm of the senses: an introduction’, Amer. Hist. Rev., cxvi (2011), 307315, at p. 307.
  • 11
    Jour. Amer. Hist., xcv, no. 2 (2008).
  • 12
    Jour. Amer. Hist., xcv, no. 2 (2008); Amer. Hist. Rev., cxvi, no. 2 (2011). Outlines of the historiography of the history of the senses can be found in these issues. For a discussion of the differences between history of the senses and sensory history, see M. M. Smith, ‘Producing sense, consuming sense, making sense: perils and prospects for sensory history’, Jour. Soc. Hist., xl (2007), 841858, at p. 842.
  • 13
    C. Y. Chiang, ‘The nose knows: the sense of smell in American history’, Jour. Amer. Hist., xcv (2008), 405416; J. Parr, ‘Smells like? Sources of uncertainty in the history of the great lakes environment’, Environmental Hist., xi (2006), 269299; M. Smith, How Race is Made: Slavery, Segregation and the Senses (Durham, N.C., 2006).
  • 14
    E. Cockayne, Hubbub: Filth, Noise and Stench in England, 1600–1770 (New Haven, Conn., 2007); C. Brandt, ‘Fume and perfume: some 18th century uses of smell’, Jour. British Stud., xliii (2004), 444463; M. M. Smith, Sensory History (Oxford, 2007); H. Dugan, The Ephemeral History of Perfume: Scent and Sense in Early Modern England (Baltimore, Md., 2011); H. Dugan, ‘Scent of a woman: performing the politics of smell in late medieval and early modern England’, Jour. Medieval and Early Modern Stud., xxxviii (2008), 229252; M. Milner, The Senses and the English Reformation (Farnham, 2011); Special issue: The senses’, ed. J. Reinarz and L. Schwarz, Jour. 18th-Century Stud., xxxv (2012), 463627.
  • 15
    M. McVaugh, ‘Smells and the medieval surgeon’, Micrologus, x (2002), 113132, at pp. 114–15.
  • 16
    C. Classen, D. Howes and A. Synnott, Aroma: the Cultural History of Smell (1994), pp. 5862. See, e.g., Wear, p. 327.
  • 17
    Classen, Howes and Synnott, pp. 60–2.
  • 18
    K. Harvey, Reading Sex in the 18th Century: Bodies and Gender in English Erotic Literature (Cambridge, 2004), pp. 205208; S. Toulalan, Imagining Sex: Pornography and Bodies in the 17th Century (Oxford, 2007), pp. 6872. Toulalan highlighted the focus in erotic literature upon sight as a means of arousal.
  • 19
    Harvey, pp. 78101; Toulalan, pp. 62–91.
  • 20
    See, e.g., C. McClive, ‘The hidden truths of the belly: the uncertainties of pregnancy in early modern Europe’, Social Hist. Medicine, xv (2002), 209227; L. Gowing, ‘Secret births and infanticide in 17th-century England’, Past & Present, clvi (1997), 87115.
  • 21
    Weisser, p. 324.
  • 22
    T. Hitchcock, English Sexualities 1700–1800 (Basingstoke, 1997), p. 25.
  • 23
    Hitchcock, p. 26.
  • 24
    This anxiety lasted into the 18th century (see R. Ganev, ‘Milkmaids, ploughmen, and sex in 18th-century Britain’, Jour. Hist. Sexuality, xvi (2007), 4067, at p. 46).
  • 25
    Nicholas Culpeper, Culpeper's Directory for Midwives … (1676), sig. A3v–A4r.
  • 26
    P. Crawford, Blood, Bodies and Families in Early Modern England (Harlow, 2004), pp. 3840; L. Gowing, Common Bodies: Women, Touch and Power in 17th-Century England (2003), p. 115; A. Capern, The Historical Study of Women: England 1500–1700 (Basingstoke, 2008), p. 24.
  • 27
    Anonymous, The Sorrowful Bride; Or, The London Lasses Lamentation for Her Husbands Insufficiency (1682–94); Anonymous, The Lamenting Lady … (1620).
  • 28
    Anonymous, The Lamenting Lady.
  • 29
    Gowing, Common Bodies, p. 17.
  • 30
    Gowing, Common Bodies, p. 17.
  • 31
    M. E. Fissell, ‘The marketplace of print’, in Medicine and the Market in England and its Colonies, c.1450–1850, ed. M. S. R. Jenner and P. Wallis (Basingstoke, 2007), pp. 108132, at p. 112.
  • 32
    The terms ‘smell therapy’ and ‘scent therapy’ are not used extensively in this article because the author is discussing both aromatic diagnosis and treatment, and because this is not a term found in the early modern sources.
  • 33
    Jane Sharp, The Midwives Book, Or the whole Art of Midwifery Discovered … (1671); Culpeper, Culpeper's Directory for Midwives.
  • 34
    Anonymous, The Compleat Doctoress: Or A Choice Treatise of all Diseases incident to Women … (1656); John Sadler, The Sick Womans Private Looking-glasse: Wherein Methodically are handled all Uterine Affects, or Diseases Arising from the Wombe … (1636).
  • 35
    Green, Making Women's Medicine Masculine, p. 163.
  • 36
    R. Palmer, ‘In bad odor: smell and its significance in medicine from antiquity to the 17th century’, in Medicine and the Five Senses, ed. W. Bynum and R. Porter (Cambridge, 1993), pp. 6168, at p. 61; see also Milner.
  • 37
    Palmer, p. 62.
  • 38
    Dugan, Ephemeral History of Perfume, p. 5.
  • 39
    Cited in Dugan, Ephemeral History of Perfume, p. 12.
  • 40
    Aromatic substances were used as treatment for the suffocation and descent of the womb in the medieval text the Trotula (see M. H. Green, The Trotula: an English Translation of the Medieval Compendium of Women's Medicine (Philadelphia, Pa., 2001), pp. 7173).
  • 41
    William Salmon, Synopsis Medicinae, or, A Compendium of Astrological, Galenical and Chymical Physick … (1671), p. 359.
  • 42
    Nicholas Culpeper, Select Aphorismes: Concerning the operation of Medicines according to place in the Body of fraile Man (1655), p. 77.
  • 43
    D. Sennert, Practical Physick; The Fourth Book … By Daniel Sennertus, N. Culpeper, and Abdiah Cole … (1664), p. 63.
  • 44
    Green, Trotula, pp. 7173.
  • 45
    Culpeper, Select Aphorismes, p. 77.
  • 46
    These examples were taken from a list that is fairly representative (Sennert, pp. 110111).
  • 47
    See, e.g., Nicholas Culpeper, A Directory for Midwives: Or, A Guide for Women in their Conception, Bearing, and Suckling their Children … (1668), p. 76. Eccles discusses these treatments but with little consideration for concerns about access to the female body (p. 80).
  • 48
    Eccles, pp. 8081.
  • 49
    Culpeper, Select Aphorismes, p. 77.
  • 50
    See H. King, Hippocrates’ Women: Reading the Female Body in Ancient Greece (1998), p. 31. L. Totelin, Hippocratic Recipes: Oral and Written Transmission of Pharmacological Knowledge in 5th- and 4th-Century Greece (Leiden, 2009), p. 103. The test attributed to Aristotle in this book is different to those recited in the early modern period – the smell is intended to colour the eyes and saliva.
  • 51
    M. Pelling, Medical Conflicts in Early Modern London: Patronage, Physicians and Irregular Practitioners, 1550–1640 (Oxford, 2003), p. 220; Cavallo, p. 26.
  • 52
    Pelling, pp. 210216.
  • 53
    R. Porter and D. Porter, Patient's Progress: Doctors and Doctoring in 18th-Century England (Stanford, Calif., 1989), pp. 1718.
  • 54
    Crawford, p. 34.
  • 55
    Crawford, p. 34; see also Churchill, p. 88.
  • 56
    Schleiner, pp. 115116. This concern also related to the status of the woman. It was thought to be less acceptable to touch virgins, as the therapy might spoil their virginity; this was perhaps less of a concern in a discussion of fertility where medical writers assumed that their patients were married (see also Eccles, pp. 79, 83).
  • 57
    Schleiner, pp. 115116; see also Bicks, pp. 7779.
  • 58
    Churchill noted that practitioners were aware of the importance of sexual trust and propriety in maintaining their own reputations and that male practitioners took steps to maintain this (Churchill, p. 89).
  • 59
    Thomas Raynalde, The Birth of Mankinde (1604), p. 191; Sharp, p. 164; Nicholas Culpeper, A Directory for Midwives: Or, A Guide for Women … (1671), p. 74.
  • 60
    Christopher Wirtzung, The General Practise of Physicke … Translated into English, in divers places corrected, and with many additions illustrated and augmented, By Jacob Mosan … (1605), p. 296.
  • 61
    Wirtzung, p. 296.
  • 62
    Sennert, p. 136 (original emphasis).
  • 63
    See also Robert Johnston, Praxis Medicinae Reformata … (1700), p. 246.
  • 64
    Lazarus Riverius, The Practice of Physick in Seventeen Several Books … By Nicholas Culpeper, Physitian and Astrologer. Abdiah Cole, Doctor of Physick. And William Rowland, Physitian … (1655), p. 505 (original emphasis). Repeated verbatim in the 1668 and 1678 editions.
  • 65
    Riverius, p. 505.
  • 66
    Philip Barrough, The Method of Phisick (1601), p. 202.
  • 67
    Barrough, p. 202.
  • 68
    John Tanner, The Hidden Treasures of the Art of Physick Fully Discovered in Four Books … (1659), p. 345.
  • 69
    William Salmon, Systema Medicinale, A Compleat System of Physick Theorical and Practical (1686), bk. V, p. 237.
  • 70
    Tanner, p. 345.
  • 71
    Wirtzung, p. 296.
  • 72
    Wirtzung, p. 296.
  • 73
    M. Solomon, Fictions of Well-Being: Sickly Readers and Vernacular Medical Writing in Late Medieval and Early Modern Spain (Philadelphia, Pa., 2010), pp. 2632.
  • 74
    The following texts do not contain the test: Anonymous, The English Midwife Enlarged Containing Directions to Midwives … (1682); Peter Chamberlen, Dr. Chamberlain's Midwifes Practice: Or, A Guide For Women in that High Concern of Conception, Breeding, and Nursing Children (1665); William Sermon, The Ladies Companion, Or, English Midwife Wherein is Demonstrated the Manner and Order of How Women Ought to Govern Themselves … (1671); Nicholas Fontanus, The Womans Doctour, Or, An Exact and Distinct Explanation of All Such Diseases as are Peculiar to that Sex … (1652).
  • 75
    Jakob Rueff, The Expert Midwife: Or, An Excellent and Most Necessary Treatise of the Generation and Birth of Man … (1637), p. 17, irregular pagination; see also Raynalde, p. 192.
  • 76
    Rueff, p. 18.
  • 77
    Francis Mauriceau, The Diseases of Women with Child, and In Child-bed … (1672), p. 5.
  • 78
    James MacMath, The Expert Midwife: A Treatise of the Diseases of Women with Child and In Child-Bed (Edinburgh, 1694), p. 5 (original emphasis).
  • 79
    See Anonymous, The Compleat Doctoress; Richard Bunworth, The Doctresse: a Plain and Easie Method of Curing those Diseases which are Peculiar to Women … (1656); Nicholas Fontanus, The Womans Doctour; John Pechey, General Treatise of the Diseases of Maids, Bigbellied Women, Child-Bed-Women, and Widows … (1696).
  • 80
    Sadler, p. 111; Alessandro Massaria, De Morbis Foemineis, The Womans Counsellour: Or the Feminine Physitian … (1657), p. 120.
  • 81
    Smith, Sensory History, p. 60.
  • 82
    Sermon, pp. 1213.
  • 83
    For a discussion of frigidity and infertility, see J. Evans, ‘Procreation, pleasure and provokers of lust in early modern England, 1550–1780’ (unpublished University of Exeter Ph.D. thesis, 2010).
  • 84
    Evans, pp. 183196.
  • 85
    Evans, pp. 180196.
  • 86
    Theophile Bonet, Mercurius Compitalitius: a Guide to the Practical Physician (1684), p. 569; see also Walter Charleton, Physiologia Epicuro-Gassendo-Charltoniana … (1654), p. 239.
  • 87
    Bonet, p. 570 (original emphasis).
  • 88
    A. Cunningham, ‘The Bartholins, the Platters and Laurentius Gryllus: the peregrinatio medica in the 16th and 17th centuries’, in Centres of Medical Excellence? Medical Travel and Education in Europe, 1550–1789, ed. O. P. Grell, A. Cunningham and J. Arrizabalga (Farnham, 2010), pp. 316, at p. 10.
  • 89
    Felix Platter, A Golden Practice of Physick in Five Books … By Felix Plater … And R. W. Abdiah Cole (1662), p. 171. The heating qualities of these drugs are also related in Jacques Ferrand, Erotomania: Or A Treatise Discoursing of the Essence, Causes, Symptomes, Prognosticks, and Cure of Love, or Erotique Melancholy (Oxford, 1640), p. 238.
  • 90
    Sennert, p. 63.
  • 91
    For a discussion of aphrodisiacs, see Evans, pp. 221231.
  • 92
    The aphrodisiac qualities of these substances are noted in Classen, Howes and Synnott, p. 72.
  • 93
    Storax is a fragrant resin of the tree styrax officinalis (see The Oxford English Dictionary Online <> [accessed 24 July 2012]).
  • 94
    Sennert, p. 138.
  • 95
    Riverius, p. 509.
  • 96
    Riverius, p. 509 (original emphasis).
  • 97
    Riverius, p. 509. This advice was repeated in John Pechey, The Store-house of Physical Practice: Being A General Treatise of the Causes and Signs of All Diseases Afflicting Human Bodies … (1695), p. 399.
  • 98
    Wirtzung, p. 300.
  • 99
    Sadler, sig. A5v (original emphasis). This was part of a traditional topos of shame seen in medieval texts ( Green, Making Women's Medicine Masculine, pp. 167169).
  • 100
    Rueff, p. 55.
  • 101
    Rueff, p. 53.
  • 102
    Raynalde, p. 195.
  • 103
    Raynalde, p. 196.
  • 104
    Sadler, pp. 114115.
  • 105
    British Library, Additional MS. 72619, Trumbull papers, vol. ccclxxviii, fos. 79r, 89r; Wellcome Library, MS. 373, Jane Jackson, fo. 47r; Wellcome Libr., MS. 751, Elizabeth Sleigh and Felicia Whitfeld, fo. 22.
  • 106
    Sermon, p. 8.
  • 107
    John Pechey, The Compleat Midwife's Practice Enlarged in the Most Weighty and High Concernments of the Birth of Man (1698), p. 319.
  • 108
    Non-aromatic ointments were also applied in this way. Sir William Wentworth recorded that his father had an ointment applied to his genitals by an angel (William Wentworth, Wentworth Papers 1597–1628, ed. J. P. Cooper (Camden, 4th ser., xii, 1973), p. 28).
  • 109
    Beier noted that Samuel Pepys applied a tent to his wife's genital swelling/abscess, showing that husbands could be involved in gynaecological treatments (Beier, p. 145).
  • 110
    Riverius, p. 509 (original emphasis).
  • 111
    Riverius, p. 509.
  • 112
    Riverius, p. 509.
  • 113
    Platter, p. 171.
  • 114
    Platter, p. 177.
  • 115
    See, e.g., MacMath, p. 7.
  • 116
    Fontanus, p. 145.
  • 117
    See, e.g., Sadler, p. 119; or Anonymous, The Compleat Doctoress, p. 145.
  • 118
    Anonymous, The Compleat Doctoress, p. 144.
  • 119
    Wellcome Libr., MS. 373 fos. 73v–74r.
  • 120
    Wellcome Libr., MS. 373 fo. 74r.
  • 121
    D. Harley, ‘Provincial midwives in England: Lancashire and Cheshire, 1660−1760’, in The Art of Midwifery: Early Modern Midwives in Europe, ed. H. Marland (1993), pp. 2748, at p. 40; R. PorterA touch of danger: the man-midwife as sexual predator’, in Sexual Underworlds of the Enlightenment, ed. R. Porter and G. S. Rousseau (Manchester, 1987), pp. 206232; Churchill, pp. 8689. For medieval context, see Green, Making Women's Medicine Masculine, pp. 201202.
  • 122
    Dugan, Ephemeral History of Perfume, pp. 180181.
  • 123
    Bonet, p. 570.
  • 124
    Platter, p. 177. In the original text gloves is mispelled as cloves.
  • 125
    Dugan, Ephemeral History of Perfume, pp. 126153.
  • 126
    In this author's further research on infertility, a range of domestic recipe books from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were examined, none of which explicitly described medical gloves.
  • 127
    Sadler, sig. A4r (original emphasis).
  • 128
    Anonymous, Nugae Venales: Or, A Complaisant Companion: Being New Jests, Domestick and Foreign (1675), pp. 99100.