Rub for rub: or, An answer to a physicians pamphlet, styled, The stroker stroked.
Answer to a physicians pamphlet, styled, The stroker stroked
|Author name: Anon.|
|EEBO ID: 99885023||Date: 1666||Bib name / number: Early English books tract supplement interim guide / C.20.f.4|
|Copy from: British Library|
|UMI Coll. / reel no.: Early English Tract Supplement / A4:2||Physical Description: 1 sheet ( p.).|
|Imprint: London, : [s.n.], Printed in the year 1666.|
Verse: "COme hither, Doctor, and behold in short ..."
Physicians -- Malpractice -- Poetry -- Early works to 1800.
About this work
This set of verses was written by a supporter of Valentine Greatrakes, who was briefly the talk of London in 1666 (prior to more momentous events taking place!) for his cures achieved by stroking or laying on of hands. Greatrakes can best be found on EEBO via a keyword search on the name. This will bring up a self-promotional single sheet printed shortly after Greatrakes arrived in London, Henry Stubbe's The Miraculous Conformist (the title shows that the author was concerned to show that Greatrakes was neither Catholic nor 'fanatic'), David Lloyd's venemous attack on Greatrakes, Wonders no miracles, and the London edition of Greatrakes' wounded account of his own life and how he came to healing by a series of divine inspirations (also its later Dublin reprint). Other mentions of Greatrakes also appear: this broadsheet ought to be added to them. We see in it that an unnamed doctor had attacked Greatrakes in verse. The anonymous author of these verses attacks the medical profession in general, and imputes lechery to the doctor's own touching of his female patients. The set of verses by the doctor, apparently published as 'The Stroker Stroked', do not seem to have survived.
Greatrakes' Brief Account reveals a sincere man who had successes with scrofula and with diseases that were anyway intermittent ('agues' and 'falling sickness'). He gradually became more and more inclined to perform minor surgery on his many clients. Lloyd regarded him as a threat because he was hugely followed by ordinary people as he trespassed into the medical profession's proper area - with the fear that he may next trespass into the proper territory of the divine, and start telling his followers what they should believe.
Greatrakes collected many testimonials and defenders in his own defence (Henry Stubbe did the same). This 'Rub upon Rub' pamphlet is another, separate work by one of his supporters. I will try to write something on my blog, 'Early Modern Whale' about Greatrakes, who interests me for the proximity in his thinking about illness and its treatment to exorcism. Lloyd was prepared to impute diabolism to his unconventional and sensational cures.
Always interesting to trace the activities of and responses to Valentine Greatrakes. The pamphlet reflects a divide between two approaches to healing.
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This content was approved by AnnaBattigelli on Saturday the 11 of Feb, 2012