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Medicine at Sea


Pirate Medicine: Pestilence and Pain During the Golden Age of Piracy, includes the bibliography of printed sources and further readings.
Medicine at Sea by Cindy Vallar, with plenty of links to other sources.
Surgeons at Sea: Royal Navy Medical Officer’s journals - full text database, 1793-1880.
William Loney RN – Victorian naval surgeon - much more than a biography; a rich database of the Victorian RN in general.
The Naval Surgeon - official instructions, databases of names, hierarchical structure of ranks, etc.
The Barber-Surgeon’s work onboard the Mary Rose from 1510 to 1545.
Naval medicine in the ages of Elizabeth and James by E. Ashworth Underwood
Naval Medicine in the Early Nineteenth Century
Naval Medicine in 1812 by Robert Mayer
From the Orlop Deck – The Naval Surgeon [Nelson’s Navy]
Victorian Naval Medicine
The Heritage of Naval Surgery by Noel Tait
The Pirate Surgeon’s Journals
Introducción histórica sobre la problemática de salud y la asistencia sanitaria de los marinos – HTML, pdf
Spanish Armada – hygiene, diseases (in Spanish)
La Vie à bord d’un vaisseau de 74 cannons à la fin du XVIIIe siècle Interactive presentation. Choose English, French or Spanish, and click the tab ‘Health/La santé/Salud’.
La Sanidad naval, la alimentación y el servicio religioso su desempeño durante la Guerra de la Independencia, 1810-1820 by Julio Luigi Lagleyze


The navy surgeon’s chest: surgical instruments of the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic War by Jonathan Charles Goddard.
Surgical set owned by U.S. Navy Civil War Federal Surgeon in 1863
Illustrated use of [1863] Surgical Instruments During the Civil War
Ship Surgeon’s Chest [on the Mayflower]
U.S.S. Scorpion Artifact Vignette: Surgical Scissors [1812]
Surgeon’s Instrument Case, ca. 1880


Collection of archival documents (dated from 1585 to 1917) and scientific reports on hygiene on ships, scurvy and other subjects, in English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, and French.
Collection of articles about naval medicine on thedearsurprise.com
Ship’s Surgeons of the Dutch East India Company by Iris Bruija (click PDF icon to get the full text)
Design for a medical service: Peter the Great’s Admiralty Regulations (1722) by Basil Haigh
Sickbay of the San Domingo, 1812 by grace_poppy
List of U.S. Navy Medical Officer Exam Applicants 1863 Transcripted questions and answers of surgeons taking the exam, and their self-presentations.
Sailors’ scurvy before and after James Lind – a reasessment by Jeremy Hugh Baron
Ports and disease – quarantine, ports as diseases’ gateways, etc.
The Dreadnought Seamen’s hospital
От цинги бегом по палубе... (food, hygiene and scurvy in the XIX age Russian Navy)

(order by date)

The surgions mate, or, A treatise discouering faithfully and plainely the due contents of the surgions chest by John Woodall, 1617
Essai sur les moyens les plus propres a conserver la santé des gens de mer by James Lind et Antoine Boudet, 1758
An essay on the most effectual means of preserving the health of seamen, in the Royal Navy by James Lind, 1762
Ludovici Rouppe medicinae doctoris De morbis navigantium, liber unus, 1764
Observations on the diseases in long voyages to hot countries by John Clark, 1773
A short account of the most effectual means of preserving the health of seamen by Gilbert Blane, 1780
An account of a method of preserving water, at sea, from putrefaction… by Thomas Henry, 1781
Dissertatio medica, inauguralis, De vita marina… by William Henderson, 1784
Observations on the diseases incident to seamen by Gilbert Blane, 1785 (alternative link)
An address to Parliament, on the situation of the navy surgeons… by William Renwick, 1785
A second address to Parliament… by William Renwick, 1786
A maritime state considered, as to the health of seamen… by Charles Fletcher, 1786
Medical advice to seamen: with directions for a medicine chest by Samuel H.P. Lee, 1795
An account of the experiment made … on board the Union hospital ship, to determine the effect of the nitrous acid in destroying contagion… by James Carmichael Smyth, 1796
Medical discipline … on board the honorable East India Company’s ships by Alexander Stewart, 1798
Observations on the diseases of seamen by Gilbert Blane, editions: 1789 , 1799, 1803
A short practical narrative of diseases … among the American seamen by William Baldwin et.al., 1805
The naval, military and private practitioners’ amanuensis, medicus et chirurgicus by Ralph Cuming, 1806
Propositions sur les préceptes d’hygiène navale… by Marc-Julien Droguet, 1806
The planter’s and mariner’s medical companion by James Ewell and John Bioren, 1807
A letter, respectfully addressed to the commissioners for transport, sick and wounded seamen… by Alex. Copland Hutchinson, 1811
Surgeons’ journals on convict ships to Australia, 1816-1856
Directions for medicine chests, 1817
Mémoire sur les causes des maladies des marins by P.F. Kéraudren, 1817
Des maladies qui attaquent les européens dans les pays chauds et dans les longues navigations by Nicola Fontana, 1818
Sailor’s physician by Usher Parsons, editions 1820, 1824
Medicine chests carefully prepared for all climates by Gregg & Hollis, 1826
Seaman’s medical guide by Danforth Phipps Wight, 1834
The seaman’s medical companion by P.J. Murphy, 1836
A polemical remonstrance against the project of creating the new office of Surgeon-General in the Navy of the United States by William P.C. Barton, 1838
The Naval Surgeon by William Johnstoun N. Neale, 1841
Physician for ships by Usher Parsons, editions 1842, 1851
Medical statistics of the United States frigate Potomac, 1843
The seamen’s medical guide by Henry W. Balch, 1851
Chirurgie navale by Louis-J. Saurel, 1853
Diseases and injuries of seamen by G.R.B. Horner, 1854
Traité d’hygiène navale by J.B. Fonssagrives, 1856
Observations on naval hygiene and scurvy by Alexander Armstrong, 1858
U.S. Navy Medical Officer Exam Applicant George H. Snow, 1863
Instructions to surgeons superintendents of government emigrant ships, 1866
Mariner’s Medical Guide by James Folsom, 1884


Ship’s doctor, Wiki article
Surgeon-superintendent, Wiki article
Surgeon’s mate, Wiki article
Loblolly boy, Wiki article

Memoirs and biographies – collective
Buccaneering doctors by G.M. Longfield-Jones
Whales and whaling: contributions by the medical profession by I.A. Bouchier
Two British naval surgeons [James Ker, Thomas Downey] of the French Wars by William N. Boog Watson

Memoirs and biographies – individual (alphabetical order by surgeon’s names)
George Bass, Wiki article
William Beatty, Wiki article
James Marr Brydone, Wiki article
El Dr. Bernard Campbell: un medico destacado abordo de la incipiente flota de las Provincias Unidas del Rio de la Plata by Eduardo C. Gerding
Thomas Dover, Wiki article.
Thomas Dover and the South Sea Company by Kenneth Dewhurst and Rex Doublet
Alexandre Exquemelin, Wiki article
Pierre François Keraudren, Wiki article
James Lind, Wiki article
William Loney RN – Victorian naval surgeon - much more than a biography; a rich database of the Victorian RN in general.
James Ramsay
Robert Robertson, Wiki article
Lionel Wafer, Wiki article
Pieter van Woensel, Wiki article
John Woodall, Wiki article
New Light on John Woodall, surgeon and adventurer by J.H. Appleby


Great Cabin

The Black Pearl's Hold

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