Nathaniel Hodges (1629-1688): Plague doctor

Nathaniel Hodges was the son of Thomas Hodges (1605–1672), an influential Anglican preacher and reformer with strong connections in the political life of Carolingian London. Educated at Westminster School, Trinity College Cambridge and Christ Church College, Oxford, Nathaniel established himself as a physician in Walbrook Ward in the City of London. Prominent as one of a handful of medical men who remained in London during the time of the Great Plague of 1665, he wrote the definitive work on the outbreak. His daily precautions against contracting the disease included fortifying himself with Théodore de Mayerne’s antipestilential electuary and the liberal consumption of Sack. Hodges’ approach to the treatment of plague victims was empathetic and based on the traditional Galenic method rather than Paracelsianism although he was pragmatic in the rejection of formulae and simples which he judged from experience to be ineffective. Besieged by financial problems in later life, his practice began to fail in the 1680s and he eventually died in a debtor’s prison.
Source: Journal of Medical Biography - Category: History of Medicine Authors: Tags: Original Articles Source Type: research

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