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Title: Smollett, Lind and Galloway: The Careers of Actual Naval Surgeons and First-Hand Observations on Medicine in the Royal Navy (1740-1840)
Contributor(s): Ryan, John S (author)
Publication Date: 1986
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Abstract: This overview paper is concerned to shed some light on naval medicine from the views of three contemporary surgeons who reported on the vile conditions under which British sailors (and convicts) lived, fought and died over some one hundred years. It ranges from the naval campaigns of the 1740s to the customary use of naval surgeons to supervise convicts bound for Australia, and then to supervise free settlers' travel to this country in the 1840s. Conveniently we may focus on the views of three Scotsmen, whose careers in naval medicine may be said to span the period, viz. : Tobias George Smollett (1721-1771); Dr. James Lind, R.N., (1716-1794); and Surgeon Thomas Galloway, R.N. (1797-1852), the last of whom was at sea during years 1793-1841 and whose own naval listings extended over the period from perhaps 1791 to his death more than 60 years later. The first was briefly a naval surgeon, then novelist, historian and satirist; the second, 'the father of nautical medicine', began in the humble capacity of surgeon's mate in 1739 (the same year as did Smollett), then resigned the service in 1747, but was recalled to the navy by being appointed Senior Physician at Haslar Hospital, where he remained until 1783. In the last years of his life he may very well have met the young Thomas Galloway, long based on Portsmouth as a second surgeon's mate from January 1793, a follower of the other's medical theories, and himself possessed of a like warm humanity. The other two men would have agreed most feelingly with the famous opening to Lind's 1757 book, 'An Essay on the most Effectual Means of Preserving the Health of Seamen in the Royal Navy': "the number of seamen in time of war who are lost by shipwreck, capture, famine, fire or sword are but inconsiderable in respect of such as are destroyed by the ship diseases and by the usual maladies of intemperate climates."
Publication Type: Book
Publisher: Royal Australian Naval College
Place of Publication: Jervis Bay, Australia
Field of Research (FOR): 150799 Transportation and Freight Services not elsewhere classified
210399 Historical Studies not elsewhere classified
210305 British History
HERDC Category Description: A1 Authored Book - Scholarly
Extent of Pages: 47
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Appears in Collections:Book

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