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early as the first part of the thirteenth century, was chiefly of a religious character. Its regulations enjoined charity, attendance at the funerals and obits of deceased members; and though some of the early rules also dealt with such questions as the enticing away of servants of others, and providing for the amicable settlement of disputes, there was nothing in them that applied to any special trade regulations. But by the end of the thirteenth century, or previous at least to 1308, the Company partook of the nature of a trade guild, in addition to its religious and charitable obligations. The first express entry concerning the Company is the presentation and admission in December, 1308, of Richard le Barber as supervisor or master of the barbers, before the Court of Aldermen. At this time the barbers were engaged in the minor surgical operations, such as bleeding, tooth-drawing, and cauterization. Up to the twelfth century, the practice of both surgery and medicine was confined almost exclusively to the regular clergy, but the Council of Tours, in 1163, considered that the shedding of blood was incompatible with the sacred functions of the ministry, and forbad the priesthood any longer to practise surgery. The clergy up to this time had frequently employed the barbers as their assistants in surgical operations, and this edict of Tours put an opportunity within their grasp which they were not slow to seize. Henceforth it was usual for the barber to practise surgery on his own account, and to be usually designated as barber-surgeon.
The London Company of Barbers, in 1308, was, however, composed of two classes of members, those who were barbers proper, but also bled and drew teeth, and those who almost exclusively practised surgery, and who were technically termed barber-surgeons; nevertheless, the latter name was occasionally used for both classes. There existed also in the City, coeval with the Company of Barbers, an entirely separate guild or fraternity of surgeons. The Guild of Surgeons was smaller in numbers, and apparently less influential than that of the barbers; these rival Companies, as might be expected, were often in antagonism-throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. During this period the barbers successfully maintained
yearly for dissection. This union was maintained till 1745, when Parliament again inter
Jones to rebuild their livery hall and other buildings on the leasehold estate in Monkwell
fered, this time to separate the surgeons from the barbers.
Street, which they held of the Corporation of
In 1636 the Company employed Inigo the delivery of lectures and for anatomical
purposes. This theatre was pulled down in 1784, and houses erected on the site. livery hall was burnt down in the Great Fire, the present one being its immediate successor. But in the court-room, or parlour, which is said to be "one of the best proportioned and prettiest rooms in London," the work of Inigo Jones, is still extant. give a sketch of the old entrance to the courtyard of the Barber-Surgeons' Hall; it was built in 1671. Hogarth has commemorated the theatre in his ghastly representation of the dissection of a criminal. theatre, and its remarkably sparse collection of curios, is described in Hatton's New View of London, 1708, as "built in an elliptical form, and commodiously fitted up with four degrees of seats of cedar-wood, and adorned with figures of the seven liberal sciences and the twelve signs of the zodiac. Also containing the skeleton of an ostrich put up by Dr. Hobbs, 1682, with a busto of King Charles I.; two humane skins on the wood frames, of a man and woman, in imitation of Adam and Eve, put up in 1645; a mummy skull, given by Mr. Loveday 1655; the, skeleton of Atherton, with copper joints (he was executed), given by Mr. Knowles in 1693; the figure of a man dead, where all the muscles appear in due place and proportion, done after the life; the skeletons of Cambery Bess and Country Tom (as they call them), 1638; and three other skeletons of humane bodies."
In Mr. Young's handsome volume, liberal and most interesting use is made of the court minutes of the Company, which date back to 1551. The court of the BarberSurgeons in Elizabethan days exercised a remarkably wide control over the conduct of the city surgeons. Surgeons had to present to the court the names and cases of any of their patients who were in danger of death. On February 12, 1573, is entered: "Here was John Frend, and was comaunded to lay downe his fyne for not presentinge Mr. Watson of the Towre, wch dyed of Gangrene in his fote, and he pd xvs." On a second conviction for a like offence, Mr. Frend was committed to prison. Other presentations to the court of the same period show how ready they were to hear the complaints of patients, and to suspend incompetent
practitioners from the power of doing mischief.
521st April, 1573.-Here was one to complaine of one John Burges for not delinge well wth hym in his cure concernynge a sore arme, and he is to be warned the next court."
"7th Sept. 1574.-Here was John Griffen complayned uppon William Pownsabe for gevinge him a powder wch loossed all the teeth in his head, wch John Griffen had the disease wch we call de morbo gallico."
"15th March, 1576.-Here was a complainte determyed upon wch was made against Tho: Hoder, and for that he was provde ignorant he is bounde in xlli never to medle in any matter of Surgery."
Space forbids us making any further extracts from these minutes, or even doing more than indicating some of the considerable and un
expected variety of subjects to which they refer -such as the strewing of herbs, the detection of lepers, the impressment of surgeons for the army and navy, the fights at the gallows for the bodies of criminals, the Christmas-box to the hangman, the letting of the hall for weddings, the execution of the burglar who stole the Company's plate, the chained books, manuscripts, and catalogues of the library, the expenses of the barge, the arrest of a woman surgeon, the resuscitation of several executed criminals, the buying of sweetbriars for the garden, etc.
One section of the volume deals fully with the plate pertaining to the Company. Much has been lost, and still more was parted with during the troublous times of the Great Rebellion. On March 19, 1649, the Company were so severely pressed by assessments for the army, that they resolved, being unable to borrow any more money under their corporate
warden's being green, and the others crimson. The engraving represents the garland of the renter-warden.
The two silver maces pertaining to the beadle of the Barber-Surgeons, an annually elected official who resides at the hall, are as handsome and massive as any in the City, and are carried before the Master on courtdays.
The Company is much to be congratulated upon having found so painstaking and excellent an annalist as Mr. Sidney Young to compile their history, and to describe their charters, minutes, and other valuable possessions; and Mr. Sidney Young is fortunate in having so capable a draughtsman as his son, Mr. Austin Young, by whom the majority of the illustrations of this handsome volume have been delineated. The names of the publishers and printers (Blades, East and Blades) are sufficient guarantee for the superior character of all that pertains to the typography of the work.
Holy Wells: their Legends and
By R. C. HOPE, F.S.A., F.R.S.L.
COME two centuries ago, or less, a party of gentlemen, including the Squire [of Condover], were fishing in the pool, when an enormous fish was captured and hauled into the boat. Some discussion arose as to the girth of the fish, and a bet was made that he was bigger round than the squire, and that the swordbelt of the latter would not reach his waist. To decide the bet the squire unbuckled his belt, which was there and then with some difficulty fastened round the body of the fish. The scaly knight (for so he no doubt felt himself to be) being girt with the sword, began to feel impatient at being kept so long out of his native element, and after
divers struggles he succeeded in eluding his captors, and regaining at the same time his freedom and his watery home, carrying the squire's sword with him."-Miss C. S. Burne's Shropshire Folk-lore, p. 81.
The Monster Fish of Bomere Pool is thus described: He of course lives in the mere, not beneath it like the water-witches. He is bigger than any fish that ever swam, he wears a sword by his side, and no man can catch him. It was tried once. A great net was brought, and he was entangled in it and brought nearly to the side, but he drew his sword and cut the net and escaped. Then the fishermen made a net of iron links and caught him in that. This time he was fairly brought to land, but again he freed himself with his wonderful sword, and slid back into the water and got away. The people were so terrified at the strange sight that they have never tried to take him again, though he has often been seen since, basking in the shallow parts of the pool with the sword still girded round him. One day, however, he will give it up, but not until the right heir of Condover Hall shall come and take it from him. He will yield it easily then, but no one else can take it. For it is no other than Wild Edric's sword, which was committed to the fish's keeping when he vanished, and will never be restored except to his lawful heir. Wild Edric, they say, was born at Condover Hall, and it ought to belong to his family now; but his children were defrauded of their inheritance, and that is why there is no luck about the Hall to this day. This curse has been on it ever since then. Every time the property changes hands the new landlord will never receive the rents twice; and those who have studied history will tell you that this has always come to pass.-Ibid., p. 80.
Many years ago, a village stood in the hollow which is now filled up by the mere. But the inhabitants were a wicked race, who mocked at God and His priest. They turned back to the idolatrous practices of their fathers, and worshipped Thor and Woden; they scorned to bend the knee, save in mockery, to the White Christ who had died to save their souls. The old priest earnestly warned them that God would punish such wickedness as theirs by some sudden judgment, but they laughed him to scorn. They