Lowder and Hunter

Scope and Content

The content is split into two sections with William Lowder's (d.1801) midwifery lectures at the front and William Hunter's (1718-1783) gravid uterus lectures in the rear and folios 92-104 in the middle of the manuscript are blank. The stamp of the Radford Library is evident on several pages, although no reference to the volume can be found in their 1877 catalogue, suggesting it was either overlooked or acquired after this date.

Lowder's lectures are entitled 'A Course of Lectures on the Theory and Practice of Midwifery by Dr Lowder, August 30th 1782', and bear the original pagination pp.1-181. The lectures are not individually numbered or dated but each new subject matter is clearly defined by a new heading. The topics covered are as follows: on the pelvis, the cavity of the pelvis, pelvis in a recent subject, external organs of generation, internal organs of generation, on conception, of the gravid uterus, of the circulation of the foetus, the situation of the child in utero, particulars to be attended to in diet and during pregnancy, diseases during pregnancy, detecting pregnant women by the touch, of the signs of labour, lingering labours, laborious labours, on opening the child's head [craniotomy], of preternatural labours [breech presentation], of turning cases, of twins, of miscarriages [spontaneous abortion], treatment of women after delivery, and diseases of children.

Hunter's lectures are entitled 'Contents of Dr Hunter's Gravid Uterus Lectures', bear the original pagination pp.1-155 and can be found in the rear of the manuscript when it is turned upside down. Whilst the first lecture is numbered there is no further attempt to number or date the lectures, but again each new subject matter is clearly headed. The topics covered are as follows: figure of the uterus, situation of the uterus, vessels of the uterus, internal surface of the uterus, structure of the navel string [umbilical cord], placenta, membranes, amnion, chorion, position of the foetus in utero, peculiarities of the foetus, circulation of the foetus, sinuses of the uterus, situation of the contents of the abdomen and pelvis in the foetus, appearance of the conception at different times, membrana decidua, progress of the foetus in growth & its age, placenta & membranes of twins, catamenia, nourishment of the child, disorders of women, imperforated hymen, disorders of the vagina, obstructed menses, Dr Hunter's manner of regulating the menses, hysteric disorders, going off of the menses, fluor albus [leukorrhoea], cancer of the uterus, polypus of the uterus, procidentia uteria, conception, treatment of women that are liable to miscarry, caution about women taking journeys, symptoms of a dead child, women's manner of reckoning, how to manage miscarriages, labour, lingering labour, different positions of the child, twins, dead child, floodings, the case of a woman that died of a flood, convulsions, ruptured uterus, inversion of the uterus, laceration of the perineum, suppression of the urine, how to introduce the catheter, treatment of the woman and child after delivery, after pains, child bed fever, consumption, children's marks, thrush, sore eyes, the gripes, teething, weaning, rickets, choice of a nurse, and tongue-tied children.

There is a small diagram on p.73 of Hunter's lectures depicting apparatus used in the removal of polypi from the uterus.

Administrative / Biographical History

See entry MMM/23/1/7 for biographical information on Hunter and MMM/14/2/4 for biographical information about Lowder.