This book is about medical beliefs and practices for animals in early modern England. Although there are numerous texts on human health, this is the first to focus exclusively on animals during this period. For most academics, the foundation of the London Veterinary College in 1791 marks the beginning of ‘modern’ veterinary medicine, with the period before unworthy of serious study. In fact, there is ample evidence of how the importance of animals resulted in a highly complex system of both preventative and remedial care.
This book is divided into sections which start by ‘setting the scene’ with an overview of animals in early modern England and the contemporary principles behind health and illness. It moves onto an examination of the medical marketplace and printed literature on animal health care, followed by an in-depth look at preventative and remedial methods. It ends by addressing the question of what impact, if any, new colleges had on veterinary beliefs and practices.