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Reading and practising medicine in 16th-century Stebbing: Thomas Hull's book of remedies

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How did the residents of Stebbing deal with illness and disease in the 16th century? From whom could they seek advice or treatment? And where did a medical practitioner’s knowledge come from, in such a place?

Answers to these questions of life and death may be found in the pages of a medieval manuscript preserved at Cambridge University Library (MS Add. 9308). Made in the late 14th or early 15th century, this compilation of medical recipes and charms offers cures for everything from headache to sore feet, written in the vernacular language of the day, Middle English. More than a century later, this book came into the hands of one of Stebbing’s residents, who wrote on its first leaf: ‘This is Thomas Hull’s book, of Stebbing’ (f. i recto). Who was this Thomas Hull?

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The Journal of the Stebbing Local History Society

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Wellcome Trust (223661/Z/21/Z)