SATIRE – Medicine

(This piece had some relevance to events occurring at a local medical center.)

A fragment…of the lost diary of Samuel Pepys, Gent. (1633-1703)

In relation medical practices in his day

London Journal: The New Diary of Samuel Pepys, Gent.


January 4. 1671/72—Lords-day.


Up betimes and by coach to the College of Chirurgie in White-hall, established nigh these forty years by my Lord Duke for the care of the sick (and enrichment of the Guild of Chirurgeons). Much activity though it be a Day of Reste, and to my great amusement all agitated by tales of the frolics of the Physician-in-Ordinary to His Majestie, Sir Aubrey Snoot. Sir Aubrey hath been observed in flagrante by a sweeping wench and Sir W. Batten gave us an account of his prowess in the Arts of Venus with a Lady of the Court. Sir Aubrey’s feat of gallantry excited much admiration for the dis-ease of his field of battle, non campus sed mesa.

  1. At my office, where not much work done to-day for discussion of Chirurgical matters. Mr. Sheply spoke upon the matter of the College and the ars amatoria, calling us to remember Dr Brindsley, a physician and Minister of the Church (tho’ a dissenter and low man say some). Many were the wenches and even ladies of quality comforted by Dr Brindsley in his apartments in the College. Mr. Shepley hath entered into some study of the matter and discoursed upon the foetid and perfumed air of the ‘Spital and its effect upon the amatory propensities of old physicians. His reason was strong and all agreed that no blame attached to these gentlemen for their amatory enthusiasms. But Dr. B. says they cannot claim especial Powers, for their spirits are excited by a sort of phisic.

Early to bed, but some difficulty sleeping.