Pills, Shocks & Jabs: the Remarkable Dissenting Doctors of Georgian Bristol - Peter Cullimore
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Peter Cullimore, author of Saints, Crooks & Slavers (and resident of Montpelier) tells the remarkable story of the dissenting doctors of Georgian Bristol.
A pioneer in jabs against the deadly smallpox pandemic of the 1700s; a “madhouse” doctor who reformed brutal treatment of the mentally ill; a male midwife with a sideline in painting exquisite watercolours; an amateur GP who dispensed pills free of charge and treated disease with electric shocks. All were prominent doctors in Georgian Bristol - and all were Quakers.
These religious dissenters were inspired by a shared moral code, desire to help the sick and needy and a lively interest in new scientific ideas. Forming their own distinctive community and social life, the Quakers faced prejudice among employers and the wider public alike.
Pills, Shocks & Jabs reveals how close personal links with each other enabled talented individuals from a tiny religious minority to flourish in medicine. The book also draws parallels with the modern global battle against the coronavirus.
Keeping it proper local: The book reveals that 93 (and 95) Stokes Croft - now Neon Tiger - was the home of an 18th century maltster who was also a philanthropist and amateur doctor. Shurmer Bath gave away free pills to the poor and treated his patients with electric shocks. He was part of a tiny but influential Quaker enclave in the Stokes Croft and St Pauls area.
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