CHAIRE, Catherine


Institute of Historical Research



Margaret Pelling, Frances White

Year published


Citation Show another format:

'CHAIRE, Catherine', Physicians and Irregular Medical Practitioners in London 1550-1640: Database (2004). URL: Date accessed: 27 November 2014.


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Catherine CHAIRE


NameCatherine CHAIRE
Primary occupationnon-medical (Alewife)
Period of medical practice1588-1608
Addresswithout Smithfield 1598
Other notesTrouble 1598. ?Wife/widow of William Chayr BSC 1610?
Medical specialitiesPregnancy-divining (by washing clothes!) (+GP)

Known London address

without Smithfield
ParishSt Sepulchre without Newgate
WardFaringdon Without

Censorial hearings

4 Aug 1598
EntryC, an alewife in the Smithfield Bars, was charged by Mrs Bridgman with giving 2 purging medicines for 26s. 8d. and two tancees for £5 and £3. Mrs B also gave C 3 pieces of linen cloth to burn, and she charged 2s. 6d. to burn each of them 'because she did lyttle know what great paines she shoold take in the burning of them'. Mrs B also bought 2 glasses of 'water' from C for 50s. and 30s.
Initiator of the complaintspouse of the patient
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action taken[C summoned to next meeting.] See next.
Number of crimes2
19 Aug 1598
EntryC was examined and confessed that Mr Bridgman gave her £5 for a Tansy, and a purge of Sene - 1 oz R. Had also given 2 tansies and 2 purges. Overall takings were £13. Confessed to Dr Pavey that she'd practised med. ever since Mrs Saunders was hanged. Claimed to diagnose pregnancy by washing clothes with Red Rose water and soap. Had treated Mrs Cutts, butcher's wife, with med. & by burning clothes.
Initiator of the complaintpatient
Attitude of the accusedconfessed
Action takenOrdered to desist & give back fees. Moundeford to investigate.
SentenceTo desist and repay patients' fees
Number of crimes3