BLANKE, William

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Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Margaret Pelling, Frances White

Year published

2004

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'BLANKE, William', Physicians and Irregular Medical Practitioners in London 1550-1640: Database (2004). URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=17245 Date accessed: 22 August 2014.


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William BLANKE

Biography

NameWilliam BLANKE (BLANCKE)
GenderMale
Primary occupationmedical barber-surgeon (Chandler 1616. ?Pewterer 1631. King's servant 1631. Surgeon. BS 1658.)
Period of medical practice1606-1658
Place of birthAmsterdam
Date of deathApr 1658
AddressBartholomew Lane nr Wood Street, 1622. Gleane Alley, St Margaret Lothbury, 1637.
Other notesOften in trouble 1616-37. Puritan & religious fanatic.

Known London address

Bartholomew Lane nr Wood Street
Date1622
Gleane Alley, Coleman Street ward, St Mgt Lothbury
ParishSt Margaret Lothbury
WardColeman Street
Date1637

Censorial hearings

3 May 1616
Entry'William Blanke, chandler, confessed to practising medicine, "yet saith, he hath no Latine, and yet thinkes he hath learning for it." He was warned not to do so in the future: for if he were to do so he would be imprisoned and fined.'
Action takenWarned.
Verdictguilty
SentenceWarned
15 June 1619
EntryPetition arrived from wife and small sons of B, asking that Coll remit the fine, release B and permit him to practise surgery. B promised to give up medical practice and finally signed to that effect at the President's house.
Attitude of the accusedsubmitted to the College
Action takenFine reduced to £5.
m Palm Sun 1622
EntryTo be summoned.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action takenTo be summoned.
17 Sep 1622
EntryB, of Bartholomew Lane, near Wood Street, gave elaterium as a vomit to Watkins.
Action takenFined £5 and bound for £20 to abstain.
Verdictguilty
SentenceFined £5 and bound for £20 to abstain
Number of crimes1
29 Nov 1622
Entry'Mr. Eston apothecarie charged as Whetlye as a mainteyner of Blanke and Newton: sayes he hath forbid Blank's bills; but is persuaded yt he practiseth; and since he hath of him simples and compounds, he is ergo held accessarie: yet holdes he hath donne nothing but ye lawe of ye lande allowes: but to vnlicensed he may not vende.'
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action taken?None to B.
15 Dec 1623
EntryLetter from Lord Keeper of the Seal on B's behalf was read. Letter of reply was also given.
Attitude of the accusedasked for College membership
Pressure applied by Collegeyes
Action takenHerring, Harvey, Clement, Fox, Collins & Winston to be sent to him.
m S Thomas 1623
EntryDr Crooke charged B with giving Mrs Harris a suffumigation for a quinsy, which almost choked her.
Initiator of the complaintcollege member
Number of crimes1
15 Jan 1624
EntryLord Keeper said that he had only favoured B on Lady Edwina Sandes' recommendation. He now climbed down.
Action takenSee next.
23 Jan 1624
EntryB appeared and refused to answer questions on diseases unless 'before his friends'.
Attitude of the accuseddefiant
Action taken?
Verdictcase not completed
2 June 1624
EntryThe President complained of B.
Initiator of the complaintcollege member
Action taken?
Verdictcase not completed
Number of crimes1
5 Nov 1624
EntryMr James, apothecary, accused B of giving a powder (recipe given) to Mrs Lake of Aldermanbury. The powder was caustic and had been made up by an apothecary. B had also given clysters. B appeared and showed Lord Keeper's letter allowing him to practise in Westminster. He confessed to the powders, though he disputed the recipe. He did not deny the clysters. He ranted on about Christ, as usual.
Initiator of the complaintother medical practitioner
Pressure applied by Collegeyes
Action taken?
Verdictcase not completed
Number of crimes1
5 Dec 1617
Entry'William Blanke chandler, brother of Amsterdam, says he is a chirugian; by Mr Frederique within yis quarter accused and confest, he gave a drinke to Mr. Alsop and had vijs. for it, syrupe and an opening drinke to Mr. Dorrington who (he saith) had a convulsion of ye stomach, with infection of ye liver and raised his lungs into his throte, which he brought down by applying a tench to his back. He cured Mr. Grigs man Griffin Powell of whom eight physitians failed. He looks on waters, gives syrup rosarum cum agar, electuarium e succo rosarum, diaphenicon, etc. and sayes he may, must, and will purge with these, as others doo, namely Mr. Fenton, Smith, Harris chirurgian. For such ill and unlawfull practise he by ye Censors is committed to ye Counter, with a mulct of forty shillings which he payed ere by Mr. President and then he was released within iij dayes.'
Attitude of the accusedconfessed
Action takenFined 40s. and imprisoned. Released within 3 days.
Verdictguilty
SentenceFined 40s. and imprisoned, but released within 3 days
Number of crimes3
Michaelmas 1626
EntryThen the President made a speech denouncing the quacks, namely Butler, Blanke, and Thomson: he resolutely bound all by the oath.
Initiator of the complaintcollege member
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action taken?
4 Nov 1626
EntryThere was considerable discussion but no action taken regarding Martin Browne and William Blanke surgeons. No-one appeared.
Initiator of the complaintcollege member
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action takenNone.
m S Thomas 1626
EntryThe President asked us to report quacks: he named Blanke, DuVal, Butler, Aire and Bugg and the charge against them.
Initiator of the complaintcollege member
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action taken?
Verdictcase not completed
2 April 1627
EntryDr Crooke undertook to tell the College where B practised. Dr Clarke said that B had even practised in the Seneschal Poole's house.
Initiator of the complaintcollege member
Second initiator of the complaintcollege member
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action takenSee next.
Number of crimes1
6 April 1627
EntryB appeared and produced 'ye grant of some connisance from Dr Mondford upon ye request of ye Lord Treasurer signed by Sir Edward Sandys and Sir Arthur Ingeram: and a second grant from Dr. Hering, Fox, Fludd and Baskerville signed Edward Powell. Dr Herrynge denies it. He is proceeded against: an action is entered: Sir Edward Sandys and Sir Edward Powell promise baile.'
Attitude of the accusedmade an excuse
Pressure applied by Collegeyes
Action taken?Decided to prosecute B at law?
Verdictguilty
SentenceB to be prosecuted at law (?)
5 Oct 1627
EntryIt was reported that B treated Mr Collins, an attorney of Broad Street, and Margaret Lovett his servant.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action taken?
Verdictcase not completed
Number of crimes2
11 Feb 1631
Entry'One Blank a pewterer' was included in a list of illegal practitioners who gained immunity as the King's servants. This list was sent with a petition to the Lord Chamberlain. (Others on it were BUTLER 135, TRIGG 746, BUGGS 130, HILL 395?, BLAYDEN 93, DUNCOMBE 240, GLOVER friend of BUTLER.)
Initiator of the complaintcollege member
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action takenPetition sent. Reply said that Coll. could prosecute these people.
Verdictguilty
SentenceTo be prosecuted at law (?)
30 Sep 1631
EntryDr Oxenbridge said that B had blooded Mrs Croxen.
Initiator of the complaintcollege member
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action taken?
Verdictcase not completed
Number of crimes1
14 Nov 1637
EntryThomas Beedham, an apothecary, said that B had ordered pills from him for Mr Bonner of Shacklewell. Bonner had died.
Initiator of the complaintother medical practitioner
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action takenSee next.
Number of crimes1
17 Nov 1637
EntryB appeared to answer Beedham's charge (see above). Confessed 13 years' practice, but said he had had the Archbishop of Canterbury's licence.
Action takenFined £20 for Bonner case. Imprisoned in Newgate till he paid.
Verdictguilty
SentenceFined £20 and imprisoned until he paid
Number of crimes1
6 Feb 1618
Entry'It was decided that William Blanke the Puritan impostor should be summoned again.'
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action takenSee below.
21 Nov 1637
EntryB presented his letters patent from the Archbishop of Canterbury, confirmed by the king. William Fitzwilliams, M.A., testified to his bad practice in the Bonner case.
Attitude of the accusedmade an excuse
Action takenImprisoned. Hartley, B's apothecary, to reappear with B's book.
Number of crimes1
25 Nov 1637
EntryJohn [sic] Fitzwilliams M.A. presented an account of the death of Mr Bonner.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action taken?See next.
Number of crimes1
28 Nov 1637
EntryThe President said that the cause of B's imprisonment, which B had contested at the King's Bench, should be registered. Mr Emmery, scrivener of Old Jewry, paid B's fine of £20.
Action takenB released on payment of fine.
22 Dec 1637
Entry'William Blank vpon summons appeared, where he was admonished vpon payne of the severest punishment by the lawes to be inflicted vpon such delinquents as he was that he should not medle any more with practising of Physique a bysinesse which he so little vnderstood.' Sir John Merrick's letter in B's support was read out, and B was told he was lucky not to be sued for 7 years' admitted practice.
Pressure applied by Collegeyes
Action takenWarned not to practise [or he would be prosecuted].
19 Jan 1638
EntrySuit against B.
Action taken?B to be prosecuted at law?
Verdictguilty
SentenceB to be prosecuted at law
8 May 1618
Entry'William Blanke again convented saith he practiseth but in trifles, as fevers: and charged yt he pointed physique from ye apothecaries for Mr. Freemans sonne, he saith, John Shepard ye apothecarie is a maddman if he says he gave a vomit. To Mr. Grise in ye olde Jewrie his prescript recipe of cordialls purgatives and soporiforons, all togither, April 29 1618 was produced ... <recipe given>. Againe charged yt he gave one Berle in Cherver yarde a vomit; he saith, all accusations against him are as ye witnesses against Christ, yt in three days he coould destroy ye temple and build it againe, and to answeare before vs more but as to Herod and ye rest yt would harden their hartes. For erectinge of figures he confesseth he vseth it but for his recreation: ye is he vtterly illiterate and ignoraunt of Latine. As for chirurgerie, askt if he had his letters of his admittance, had bene examined, or were of ye lecture bill, he knew not what it meant: onely for his monye he had bene translated from ye Chandlers to ye Barberchirurgians: and all his skill he had learnt of one Dr. Scull in Amsterdam, where he was sometyme a brother. On account therefore of this ill and illicit practice
Initiator of the complaintother medical practitioner
Action takenFined £5 and imprisoned.
Verdictguilty
SentenceFined £5 and imprisoned
Number of crimes2
12 Feb 1619
Entry'"William Blanke of a chandler and brother of Amsterdam, now barber chirurgeon, acknowledgeth he practiseth namely to Mr. Harris, vintener, at Mr. Freemans in Cornehill, Mr. Evans childe; and on Mr. Lowdon. Two very vnlearned bills of his Mr. President presented, whereon he examined could answeare nothing but with ignorance and insolence, not knowing what, or whome, or to what vse ye Diascordium was for which he wrote, but sayd we would vse him as they did Christ, taking yt for ye temple which he meant his body, and such like." Then the Censors passed a unanimous judgement that he should be fined ten pounds and imprisoned and so in accordance with custom and the Statute they committed him to the prison called "ye Counter in Woodstreet". But Viscount Hearne immediately took him into his own house and kept him there.'
Attitude of the accusedconfessed
Action takenFined £10 and imprisoned in the Counter in Wood Street.
Verdictguilty
SentenceFined £10 and imprisoned in the Counter in Wood Street
Number of crimes4
25 Feb 1619
EntryAppeared with a number of his fellow-citizens to defend him. Made the usual ref. to JC. Accused by Mr Corbet of having hair cut to cure back pain, saying that it was caused by vaporous feeling from the head. Admitted giving pills of hermodactyls, wch Coll called 'absurd', but said he cd show absurder prescriptions of theirs. Didn't know the use & ingredients of diagridium, or causes of dropsy & ague.
Action takenSent back to prison with previous fine.
Number of crimes2
22 March 1619
EntryColl discussed what to do about B, who was kept at Viscount Hearne's house.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action takenSee below.
9 April 1619
EntryAppeared, charged with new practice, e.g. on a glazier in Old Jewry. Would use mugwort as a diuretic. Declined to answer more questions on diseases.
Attitude of the accuseddefiant
Action takenFine increased by £5. Imprisoned under a new warrant.
Number of crimes1
9 June 1619
EntryB petitioned the President and Censors. Brought from prison, he said that a friend had advised him to write his petition. Asked if the President had met him going on practice with a sergeant. Denied it and said the Master of the prison was a liar. Then he denied saying THAT!
Action takenSent back to prison because recalcitrant.
Number of crimes1


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