SWAINE, Robert


Institute of Historical Research



Margaret Pelling, Frances White

Year published


Citation Show another format:

'SWAINE, Robert', Physicians and Irregular Medical Practitioners in London 1550-1640: Database (2004). URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=17842 Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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Primary occupationmedical surgeon (Surgeon. BSC 1600-9.)
Period of medical practice1584-1619
Place of birthEngland (Stowmarket, Suffolk)
AddressHorsey Downe 1604. Southwark 1609
Other notesAccused 1599, 1604-9. Warned, fined, imprisoned. Archbishop of Canterbury's L for surgery, 1584.

Known London address

Tower Street
WardTower (Street)
Horsey Downe
WardBridge Without

Censorial hearings

2 Nov 1599
EntryThomas Jackson, baker, of Tower Street, filed a complaint against S for treating an ulcer on his leg (unsuccessfully) and charging 22s.
Initiator of the complaintpatient
Action taken?
Verdictcase not completed
Number of crimes1
22 Dec 1604
EntryS, of Horsey Downe, confessed to practising with Whitehead of Cumberland - his patient Tilsden had died in 4 days after many purges, e.g. Diaphenicon and similar. S had undertaken to cure T for £10 and had taken £5 in advance. But because of his 'extreme poverty and indigence' he was not punished. He informed on BLUNT (94, qv) as a well-known practitioner.
Action takenForbidden to practise but not punished.
SentenceForbidden to practise but not punished
Number of crimes1
4 Dec 1606
EntryDr Dove sent a letter saying that S had given Mary Walker a medicine which caused abortion on the following day. This was confirmed by Dale and the Widow Pinshurst of Bishops Gate. S was absent.
Initiator of the complaintother medical practitioner
Second initiator of the complaintperson unconnected with the patient or the case
Third initiator of the complaintperson unconnected with the patient or the case
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action takenFined £5 and to be arrested and imprisoned.
SentenceFined £5 and to be imprisoned
Number of crimes1
22 Dec 1606
EntryS appeared, but his case was deferred till the next meeting.
Action takenDeferred. See next.
Number of crimes1
9 Jan 1607
EntryS, a 'shameless imposter', was imprisoned.
Action takenImprisoned.
Number of crimes1
7 Aug 1607
EntryS was accused of practice on a boy in his house who had died. The College had decided to fine him £5 and to imprison him, but S claimed that the boy had died of plague.
Attitude of the accuseddenied
Action takenPunishment (£5 fine and prison) deferred.
Number of crimes1
4 Dec 1607
EntryS repeated his excuse.
Attitude of the accuseddenied
Action takenTo reappear at next meeting.
Number of crimes1
8 Jan 1608
EntryThe College found that S had not abstained from practice. He was imprisoned and fined £5. He paid 40s. and was released, complaining of harsh treatment, for a law suit in the Exchequer pending against him. This had been brought by Browne and Rouse, informers, and concerned money S had (allegedly) received from a Scot.
Action takenImprisoned, fined £5. 40s. paid, released for law suit.
SentenceImprisoned and fined £5. Paid 40s. Released for law suit
Number of crimes2

SURFLET, Richard