Lectures on Midwifery

Scope and Content

The volume was once part of the Radford Library, Saint Mary's Hospital, Manchester, where it was allocated the reference number Q135 viz. their 1877 catalogue. The volume has since been referenced M6 Y54 as part of an alternative system. The inside of the front cover bears the inscription ' R. Dobson M.D' as well as a Latin quote from J.F. Schrieber's Historia Vitae et Meritorum Frederici Ruysch about the Dutch botanist and anatomist Frederick Ruysch (1638-1731), and both a Chinese and a Corsican anecdote about childbirth. The back cover contains notes in Latin entitled 'Whimsical Opinion of Paracelsus'.

Folios 1-3 follow on with similar content to that on the inside front cover with an account of 'Grecian Midwives' and the 'Antiquity of Midwifery'. The bulk of the manuscript however is dedicated to notes from Young's lectures which begin with notes on disorders of lying-in women and from then on each lecture is numbered 35-50 and cover the following subjects:

(35) After pains & lochia, (36) accidents that happen between the third & sixth day after delivery, (37) the breasts, scirrhous, nipples, (38) prolapsus uteri [uterine prolapse], (39) polypus & moles or false conceptions, (40) acute disorders of lying-in women, (41) fevers with evident marks of topical inflammations & miliary fever, (42) treatment of miliary fever, (43) management of new-born children & the diseases they are subject to, (44) food proper to new-born infants, qualifications of a nurse, management of a nurse, & time of weaning, (45) different methods in different countries as to animal milk and spoon meats, diseases incident to children within the year, & convulsions, (46) jaundice, aphtha or thrush, sick fits and oppressive nausea, & excrescencies, (47) venereal disease in children, & smallpox, (48) smallpox continued & dentition, (49) diseases of children arising from diet (no content instead a note to "see page __ of MS entitled 'exercitia academica'") (See MMM/1/9), (50) remarks on milk [breast feeding] & diseases of infants within the year.

There are 5 folios (ff.98-102) of detailed notes on worms towards the end which appear to be separate from the lecture notes and the final 8 folios (ff.103-110) are blank. There is a small loose piece of paper inside the manuscript at the rear which reads 'Robert Dobson Esqr in Kirkham Near Manchester, Lancashire, England'.