Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Black hearted

In December 1535 Catherine of Aragon wrote to her husband Henry VIII and included her last will and testament.

 (Public domain image sourced from wikipedia).

Although she recognised herself as the his first wife, Henry himself did not do so, styling her only as the Dowager Duchess of York, a title she held when married to his older brother Arthur.  Their marriage had been declared invalid based on the idea that a man should not marry his brother's wife, some three years prior.  This had paved the way for Henry to marry his long term mistress, Anne Boelyn.  It had also disinherited Catherine's daughter, Mary, a fact which caused her great distress and one she refused to recognise. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Ladies Man

In 1809 a young man named James Barry began his medical studies at the University of Edinburgh.  He graduated in 1812 and went on to train at the combined hospitals of St Thomas and Guy's, going on to pass his exams and recieve admittance to the Royal College of Surgeons.  Following this he joined the Army, qualifying as a regimental assistant.

Barry was described as irascible and prickly.  Standing only five foot tall, with a high pitched voice, he responded angrily to the frequent taunting that was a part of Army life.  In fact he fought at least two duels over insults - shooting an opponent in one and being injured in the other.  He was also quite eccentric, travelling with his Jamaican manservant, John, his dog and a goat for milk.  He also was always dressed in full regimentals, including cavalry sword and was noted for wearing 3 inch lifts in his shoes. 

John Barry, his servant John and his dog, circa 1850
(public domain image sourced from Wikipedia)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Another wife easily found: Jane Seymour

Today we continue this blog's obsession with the Tudor period with a discussion about King Henry VIII's third wife, Jane Seymour.

In January 1536 Henry's second wife, Anne Boelyn, miscarried a son at four months gestation.  This followed two other miscarriages of male infants after the birth of a healthy daughter, Elizabeth.  This proved to be the final straw for Henry, who placed Anne on trial for witchcraft and had her beheaded soon after on the 19th May 1536.

In between the miscarriage and the beheading, Henry moved his mistress, Jane Seymour, into the palace.  The two were formally engaged on the 20th May, 1536, the day after Anne's execution, and married ten days later on the 30th May at Whitehall.  However Jane was never crowned as Queen as court remained away from London to avoid an outbreak of plague. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

All about Eve

2013 marks the 30th anniversary of the discovery of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus that causes Aquired Immune Deficiency syndrome or AIDS. 

AIDS was first described in 1981.  A cluster of odd infections were noted particularly in intra venous drug users and gay men in the United States.  Soon the number of affected individuals was increasing almost exponentially. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Best Australian Blog

Dear Readers.

I apologise for my absence, getting married and all that jazz.

This blog should resume normal functioning soon.

In the meantime.....

Medical history is on page 3 I think, under medical history :D. 

I'm aware I have no chance against the bigger blogs - but vote for me anyway.  This is the only Australian blog that syphilis and impotence as of part of its regular content.  What's not to love?

Dr. Turkey

Friday, February 22, 2013


My apologies, dear readers, I didn't forget this blog, there's just been a lot of stuff going on in Turkeyland.  Moving house, recieving my fellowship, sitting exams and a wedding in six weeks.

So when I stumbled across some information on barbiturates I decided it was an appropriate subject for a post because I feel like I really need some....

Leaders have been experimenting with pharmaceuticals to improve the condition of their army troops for as long as armies have existed.  We've already discussed the German's and their use of amphetamines during WWII.  The Allies, too, tried distributing medications to their troops to try and make them perform better.