Chapter 3: 'The Microcosm'.

Many eighteenth-century physicians made their first step into London's intellectual society through the doors of the Royal Society before then entering the Royal College of Physicians, and prominent natural philosophers who had already followed such a path included Sir Hans Sloane, who in 1719 became the College's new President. Since 1518 the College had held the right to restrict the number of those practising medicine in London to its own Fellows, but this monopoly had been lost in a court case in 1656, and a charter which would have restored this right had been blocked by the Society of Apothecaries in 1664. The College's authority in restricting medical practice in London to its own members had been dealt a further blow in 1704, when the House of Lords had permitted apothecaries the right to administer drugs. So it was that by the early 1720s defiance to the College's authority over metropolitan medical practice was widespread, and it is in this context that we witness Stukeley's election to a Fellowship.[1] As he had been practising medicine in the capital since his arrival in 1717 without holding a Fellowship, encouraging him to join (itself a relatively expensive procedure that also involved examination) may be seen as an attempt to promote its reputation and influence, probably on the part of its new President. But Stukeley was a reluctant recruit, writing that 'my fr[ien]ds forc'd me into the College, to help to strengthen it.'[2] In order to become a Fellow he had to take his doctorate, and he travelled up to Cambridge for this purpose early in July 1719, disputing his degree in the schools on the 6th, and being created MD on the 7th.[3] He was then admitted as a candidate of the College in September and was elected a Fellow the following year. Stukeley's chief complaint against the Royal College was the money-grabbing practices of its members. Sloane and John Radcliffe (1652-1714), the great benefactor to Oxford University who walked the streets with a gold-topped cane, were only two physicians who had made substantial fortunes tending the wealthy, fashionable sick. Stukeley recorded how 'I withstood all the sollicitations of my fr[ien]ds who were desirous of assisting me effectually, in the profession of Physick … I saw my brethren of the College inriching themselves, with the spoils of the living. I coveted only those of the dead [i.e. antiquities].' He 'despised their gaudy life, & sumptuous entertainments' and by the end of the decade 'we had buryed wel[l] nigh the whole College. & not one, that made any commendable family'.[4]

As well as the administrative problems the Royal College was facing, all was not well in the study of medicine itself, even though traditional medicine and anatomy as espoused by the three major ancient writers -- Hippocrates, Aristotle and Galen -- had undergone profound change during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. One important influence in its progress was the development of anatomical studies during the Renaissance, but another was the new medical methodology promoted by the Swiss physician and alchemist Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, better known as Paracelsus (1493-1541). He had based his medicine on chemical principles, believing that disease was caused by the various operation of salts, sulphurs and mercury in the body. Although this sounds like a relatively modern conception of disease, he also believed in the correspondence between the macrocosm and the microcosm, a powerful analogy whose influence may be seen at work in Stukeley's writings. Paracelsus's new approach to medicine did not spread widely until after his death, but from the 1570s Paracelsianism in varying forms was disseminated throughout northern Europe. The term 'iatrochemist' started to be used to describe those adhering to these new chemical principles in medicine, and by the late seventeenth-century 'iatrochemistry' had largely superseded the ancient authority of Galenism as the foundation of modern medical studies. In the same way that Cartesianism used analogy from the operation of clockwork and machines, the iatrochemists used analogies from chemistry, such as distillation and fermentation. Another important change in approaches to medical studies in this period was William Harvey's discovery of the circulation of the blood, which he published in 1628 in De Motu Cordis.[5] Whilst the movement of blood through the heart had already been recognized, it was Harvey's calculations and demonstrations of its circulation, via the lungs, around the body and back to the heart in a repetitive cycle, that was literally revolutionary. According to the Galenic system, blood travelled to where it was required and was then replaced by new blood produced in the liver. Harvey recognized that too much blood passed through the heart for this to be possible. His discovery led to keen interest in the physiological role of blood, and for a brief period the Royal Society witnessed experiments with blood transfusions between animals, and even between humans and animals.

But in spite of this new methodology and radical discovery in anatomy, it remained of some concern to many of Stukeley's medical friends and other contemporaries that the new science had not brought advances in physic similar to those in other sciences. Most diseases were still frustratingly difficult to cure, and medical practices such as blood-letting, despite physicians' strong beliefs to the contrary, had no efficacy. And whilst discoveries in the New World did bring valuable new medicines such as Peruvian bark (quinine), it also brought increasing encounters with fatal afflictions such as yellow fever and amoebic dysentery. In 1704 Mead wondered in print why 'notwithstanding the considerable advances made in the study of nature by the moderns … this useful art has not received those benefits, which might reasonably be expected from a surer method of reasoning'. He even went so far as to fret 'medicine still deals so much in conjecture, that it hardly deserves the name of a science.'[6] These might appear surprising remarks, but they were repeated by other physicians. As Sir Richard Blackmore, another Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, wrote in 1725:

It is wonderful, as well as much to be lamented, that this useful and important Art should be improved so little in so many Centuries; and that its State should still continue so uncertain and imperfect. We have hitherto discovered few Remedies of a peculiar specifical Virtue, for the Cure of any Diseases.[7]

This feeling of uncertainty is largely uncharacteristic of early modern scientific practice, and the question of whether medical studies progressed or largely stood still in England in the early eighteenth century remains contentious. But if an answer could be found in the new science for the difficulties facing medical practice, Mead and other physicians believed it would lye in the Newtonian philosophy. But what relevance could the laws of motion and gravity have upon human health? Mead's remarks above are taken from his Treatise Concerning the Influence of the Sun and the Moon Upon Human Bodies (1704, English translation 1748), and this is where the relationship between the macrocosm and the microcosm enters our account. For as Stukeley observed, 'the Animal Æeconomy' consisted 'of two parts, solid & fluid, just as the vast Globe of the Earth', and as both were the work of God's 'Omnipotent hand' they were both 'subject to much the same laws.'[8]

Mead had studied physic in Leyden under the Scottish physician Archibald Pitcairne (1652-1713), who had been an early proponent of the application of Newtonian theory to the practice of medicine. This application rested on two statements. One was taken from Newton's essay 'De Natura Acidorum', published in John Harris's Lexicon Technicum in 1710, which discussed the proposed action of short-range forces in salts and acids analogous to gravity. The other came from Query 31 of the new Latin edition of the Opticks, where Newton observed that whilst the attractions of gravity, magnetism, and electricity 'reach to very sensible distances, and so have been observed by vulgar Eyes … there may be others which reach to so small distances as hitherto escape Observation'. Together, these statements helped to establish 'a plausible rival to standard mechanical chemistry.'[9] It is not surprising therefore that Mead turned to 'the study of geometry' and 'Newton's philosophy' as a way of establishing the surer practice of physic; he even warned the potential reader of his Treatise that 'a previous acquaintance with the Mathematical principles of natural philosophy' was 'requisite for comprehending this subject in its full extent'.[10] The same scientific approach was taken by another of Mead's young protégés, Nicholas Robinson (?1697-1775), author of A New Theory of Physick and Diseases, Founded on the Principles of the Newtonian Philosophy (1725). In his preface to this book Robinson asked, 'Is not the Mechanism of the Body conducted by the same laws that support the motions of the greater Orbs of the Universe? and are not all the Changes and Variations it suffers in Diseases, to be resolv'd from an Alteration of Matter and Motion?'[11] These books are only two examples of the application of Newtonian physics to medicine. But they illustrate the way Newtonian physics impacted on medical practice in the early eighteenth century, and help place Stukeley's interests and concerns within that context, for he had certainly read the medical treatises of Mead and Pitcairne.[12] However, the pursuit of Newtonianism in medicine was seen by some critics as merely an affectation, an attempt by some doctors to win patronage among London's elite circles. In 1711, for example, the physician Bernard Mandeville complained of 'Those Braggadocio's, who … only make use of the Name of Mathematicks to impose upon the World for Lucre.'[13] But in many cases this must have been an exaggeration. Physicians the like of Pitcairne, Mead, and Stukeley held a sincere interest in the application of Newtonian principles to their profession, and planetary bodies continued to seen as influencing human health. A century later it could still be observed by one physician that 'a sol-lunar influence' in the cause of fevers and dysenteries 'cannot be denied by any experienced practitioner.'[14]

Yet despite this allegiance with the new science, the authority of the old was in no way forgotten or totally superseded. In his address 'To the Reader' of Of the Spleen, Stukeley noted that the portrait at the front of his book was that of 'the famous Marcus Modius, Physician in the court of Augustus.' He explained that he had included this print 'to show my high esteem for the wisdom of the ancients.'[15] In Of the Spleen, as in all his other works, Stukeley used numerous sources, ranging from Aristotle, Democritus, Pliny and Galen to Drelincourt, Mead, the Philosophical Transactions and material from 'the royal academy at Paris.'[16] But this use of what might at first appear to be an eclectic range of ancient and modern sources was not uncommon practice. In his 1723 Harveian oration at the Royal College of Physicians Mead defended the classical physicians, arguing that they were well respected, drawing support for this from classical writings as well as representations on ancient coins and medals.[17] His oration sparked a minor controversy, and might seem at odds from what we would expect of a man who, as we have seen, applied the mathematical philosophy to his medical practice. But Robinson likewise remarked in his New Theory of Physick that 'In the ensuing Discourse I have neither confined myself to the Authority of the Ancients, nor Discoveries of the Moderns; but have equally used either, as they seem'd best to answer the real Service of Physick.'[18] Another Newtonian physician, James Keill, explained in the preface to his Account of Animal Secretion (1708) that the highly mechanistic explanations in his 1703 work on menstruation, Emmeonologia, were all 'both known and practised by the Ancients' and argued that if the design of nature was constant, 'this Attraction of the small Particles of Matter is no Innovation in Philosophy', but a fact which had been long known in ancient times, and subsequently lost.[19] Stukeley, who had known Keill at Cambridge, shared this belief, and Keill's remarks illustrate the complex relationship between ancient and modern learning, particularly in medicine. Ancient knowledge and theory was not dismissed as a matter of course, but only progressively rejected or confirmed in the face of experimentation, observation and autopsy. Even new inventions such as the microscope were used in a manner that in many ways validated the tenets of classical science. Although it helped the anatomist to inspect the body's organs in ever greater detail, even this, as one mathematically inclined doctor wrote in 1727, had revealed 'a more beautiful Harmony thro' the whole Fabric than was ever before imagined.'[20] So despite physicians' reputation for atheism, medicine was easily aligned with the argument from design. As the natural world reflected the grandeur of God's creation, more so did the human body, for it was the vessel of God's greatest Creation, the human soul. Indeed, three of Bentley's Boyle Lectures were collectively titled A Confutation of Atheism from the Structure and Origin of Humane Bodies. Anatomy proved divine engineering. Newtonianism and religion would be the two principal themes expressed in Stukeley's own medical works of this period.

The Anatomist

Stukeley presented his first paper on an anatomical subject to the Royal Society on 18 February 1720, reading 'on the dichotomy of a woman'.[21] This was an anatomical report of a 'vertical section' he had made of a female cadaver. Human corpses remained difficult to acquire and so an autopsy such as this was of some scientific interest. Although the MS of the paper does not appear to have survived, as it occupied the business of an entire meeting there remains a fairly extensive abridgment of the paper in the Royal Society's minute book. According to this record,

Dr Stukely laid before the Society a large Draught of an Anatomy of a Womans body being the representation of a section of ye head and Trunk separating the Right side from the Left by a perpendicular plane Dividing the Scull from the Top of the head and passing down through the sternum of the Breast the spine of the back and the middle between the Ossa pubis.

He likewise Delivered a Discourse explaining the several parts of the Body exhibited in the said Draught by References of Letter and Containing withall a Brief Account of the uses of the parts in some acco[u]n[t]s necessary to life such as Digestion, Concoction, the Circulation of the Blood and also in Impregnation for continuing the Species all w[hi]ch was read.

Most interestingly, as well as this concern with the principal life functions of the body, Stukeley made the allusion between physical anatomy and the recording of architectural draughts. As the minutes record, in his discourse Stukeley

first Recommends this Method of Dissecting bodies vertically as a usefull way in Anatomy for the same reason as such sort of sections are found to be useful in Architecture. That is because by this means we can obtain a more compleat and perfect Idea of the scituation of the parts which ly behind one another than can be done in the ordinary way of Dissection where those parts being hid must be taken out of their proper places and examined separately.[22]

Though Leonardo da Vinci made drawings of dissected bodies in this fashion in the Renaissance, it would be interesting to establish whether Stukeley was the first English anatomist to use such a method, for it would have been an important innovation in anatomical technique. Given that there are no remarks recorded to contrary, it would appear it was a novel method to all those present at the Royal Society when the paper was read. Stukeley then went on to discuss the processes of digestion, the circulation of the blood 'according to the usual system', and then proceeded 'to the explication of the Business of Impregnation.' He then moved on to 'the upper cavity of the Brains of which he Declines giving any particular account thro the difficulty of the subject further than this, That it is with reason held to be the great Repositor of Animal Spirits'.[23]

Digestion, circulation, reproduction and 'animal spirits': these were the subjects which most interested Stukeley as a physician. But what exactly was meant by 'animal spirits'? The philosopher George Berkeley (1685-1753), with whom Stukeley had a brief correspondence on the medicinal subject of tar water, defined them as 'the instrumental or physical cause both of sense and motion.'[24] Though Stukeley declined to elaborate upon animal spirits in his Royal Society lecture, his theories were developed in an extensive manuscript on the subject of the Creation. It is useful to make an extensive examination of this neglected document, as it reveals Stukeley's anatomical interests, and again presents him as a 'modern' using Newtonian principles to explain the source of animal and vegetable life. His interests continued to stem from his Cambridge studies, and at the same time his old friend Stephen Hales, who had left Cambridge to become rector of Teddington in Surrey, was studying animal and plant anatomy, and making important advances on Harvey's work on circulation. Stukeley's theory is essentially a development of Newton's 'Query 31' of Opticks, and the shortcomings in anatomical knowledge that Newton observed at the conclusion of the 'General Scholium' of the Principia. There Newton had reflected upon the mystery of animal spirits, and what it was that gave bodies life:

And now we might add something concerning a certain most subtle Spirit, which pervades and lies hid in all gross bodies; by the force and action of which Spirit, the particles of bodies mutually attract one another at near distances, and cohere, if contiguous; and electric bodies operate to greater distances, as well as repelling as attracting the neighbouring corpuscles; and light is emitted, reflected, refracted, inflected, and heats bodies; and all sensation is excited, and the members of animal bodies move at the command of the will, namely, by the vibrations of this Spirit, mutually propagated along the solid filaments of the nerves, from the outward organs of sense to the brain, and from the brain into the muscles. But these are things that cannot be explain'd in few words, nor are we furnish'd with that sufficiency of experiments which is required to an accurate determination and demonstration of the laws by which this electric and elastic spirit operates.[25]

It was on this hesitant note that the 1713 edition of the Principia ended, in effect a call to physicians to explore and experiment further. And it was this challenge that Stukeley took up in his manuscript on 'Creation', an extensive treatise which he began in 1718 and continued writing over this period to at least c. 1734, and in which he expounded his ideas on the possible reconciliation between natural science and the Scriptures were expounded.

The Sun, Stukeley explained at the start of his argument on the origin of life, was 'a solid Fountain of fire' which sent out its 'Genial Warmth' and 'sets all things into action.' It awakes the plants and the whole 'drowsy tribe of animals' after winter, and in spring inspires them and humans to sexual activity.[26] It is heat that imparts motion to otherwise inert matter for 'Matter simply regarded is entirely passiv', and it is gravity that keeps the planets in revolution round the life-giving Sun. Even if we assumed 'the absurdity' of the universe being eternal as some philosophies suggested, 'we must still be at a loss to imagin it should ever hav be[e]n any thing but a dead unactiv lump'. But the Creator 'purposly impressd upon it' the twofold action of gravitation and attraction whence all the multifarious modification & variety of motion in the Univers proceeds.'[27] By effecting gravity, the Creator had put the Universe in motion. This was a Newtonian principle, and one which had led Leibnitz to his remark that according to this Newtonian system, 'God Almighty wants to wind up his watch from time to time: otherwise it would cease to move.'[28] But whilst it was accepted that the Sun was the origin of life, and that heat gave motion, 'What the Cause of this heat in Living Creature is much disputed among Naturalists'. This was the question Stukeley wished to answer, and as he observed it was a controversial one. What exactly was the source of the heat that indicates life in an animate body, and whose absence is so obvious in the cold flesh of an inert corpse? From his own chemical experiments Stukeley was aware that fire and heat would arise 'from many mixtures of disagreeable bodys & liquors[,] yet that appearance is but momentary'. These reactions could not account for the heat generated by a human 'that lives forescore or a hundred years.'[29] Nor was the simple circular motion of the blood a valid explanation for heating the body by friction. Although he accepted that heat was an effect of motion, it was not applicable in the case of blood circulation, '& I believ Water shut up in a Vessel & put into what Motion you pleas will never grow hot any more than the waves of Rivers dashing against the Shores'.

Harvey had written that the body's warmth came from the blood, but he also believed that in fulfilling this function the blood became 'refrigerated' and 'barren' and it returned to the heart in order to recover its 'perfection' and 'naturall heat'. Harvey had thus described the heart in De Motu Cordis as 'the beginning of life, the Sun of the Microcosm'.[30] Although Descartes resisted Harvey's ultimate attribution of the pulsative faculty to the soul, he too believed that the blood's heat came from the innate heat of the heart, and that quickly-moving particles originating there from the blood became the animal spirits that flowed to the brain, the nerves and the muscles, and carried life through the body.[31] But the Oxford physician Richard Lower (1631-1691) had shown that blood leaving the lungs was bright red in colour and that the living heart was not particularly warm, suggesting that Descartes's theory was wrong. Another Oxford-educated physician, John Mayow (1645-1679), suggested that the heat of living organisms resulted from a process of fermentation or combustion produced by the mixing of nitro-aerial and saline-sulphurous particles in the blood. Stukeley, however, sought an alternative source for the origin of the blood's warmth, as well as for animal spirits, and in his notes he entered into a lengthy examination of the ancients' understanding of the relationship between heat, fire and animal life. He reached the conclusion that fire/heat was an aspect of the soul. His sources were diverse. He quoted from Bacon's Advancement of Learning that the 'Sensitive Soul' was ''a corporeal substance attenuated by heat & made invisibl … a thin gentle gale of Wind''. These 'winds' were ''nourished partly by an oily partly by a watery substance spread over the body residing (in perfect creatures) chiefly in the head running thro' the Nerves refreshd & repaird by the Spiritous part of the blood of the Arterys.'' From this Stukeley was satisfied 'of the existence of what we call Animal Spirits', and believed ancient texts revealed at least some knowledge of this: the Greek physician Hippocrates, for example, 'Says Man & all other animals consist of two parts vizt. fire & water, that is, the vital flame & the blood'.[32] By animal spirits 'We mean no more than the Spirit of the blood distilld in Natures alembic [a retort used in distillation] the Brain, the volatile salt Sulphur & Spirit of the blood united.' The lungs were erroneously believed to cool the blood, whereas in fact they

should be accounted the bellows that keep up the focus by inspiring it with new flame from the Air whence it flows more … lively into the left Auricle of the heart & so distributed to the whole body whence it returns again by the veins to the right Auricle & the lungs of a blacker color having imparted its heat to all the parts & wants afresh to be inspirited.

The lungs, the diaphragm and the thorasic muscles in this system were akin to the bellows in 'seignior Vigani's Chymical Furnaces', further heating the animal spirits already present in the blood and sending it round the body.[33]

Previous commentators, he noted, had identified the heart as the seat of the soul, but whilst the heart 'seems to be chief & first Agent' of animal life when it is born, it is the brain which 'Separates the Spirits which move the heart.' Like Galen, Stukeley saw the brain as the body's principal organ, as opposed to Aristotle and Harvey who both considered it to be the heart. This consideration of these two organs led him to the difficult question of sexual reproduction. In mechanical terms, he was not certain of the principal origin of life, for

the Question that Occurs is, which is the First Mover that answers to the Spring of a Watch causing & continuing the regular working of the wheels … truly in this case, I can think no otherwise than that it is the Vital Flame or heat communicated to it from the mother, as one Candle lights another. It seems in this Energetic Process to be the Spark of that Divine Fire which kindles the growing Mass of humors, that by just degrees pervade & stretch themselves out, into all the Members of the Body; as it were a Ray of the Parents Genial Fire, which begins the curious Work & setts the recent Machine agoing.[34]

It was because of this pre-eminent function of the brain that, although it is created at the same time as the heart, 'Nature gives it that extraordinary Magnitude in Embryos'. This would appear to reject that reproductive hypothesis which proposed each sperm carried a fully-formed homunculus that then grew in the womb: as explained by one seventeenth-century physician, once the sperm was situated in the womb the mother 'contributes little else to it, than the earth to the Seed, that's shed or sown in her'.[35] In this theory (known as emboîtement) the life force effectively came directly from the man. By contrast, the ovist theory favoured by Harvey and Marcello Malpighi presented the egg as the preformed embryo. Stukeley, however, does not appear to have quite agreed with these alternative preformation theories. He saw life as being conveyed to an inert foetus from the blood of the mother. But this new theory was not without its problems, and Stukeley was puzzled by which embryonic organ started functioning first, the heart or the brain. He decided that they began functioning almost simultaneously, although 'the little brain must first of all separate Spirits from the mothers blood & the little heart move blood not its own till those two become accommodated to each other'.

The Platonists understood all of these matters 'so well', he explained, 'that they always reck[o]ned the head the seat of the soul, wherein is containd the Brain the principle of the animal virtue & motion.' Stukeley believed that the historically recorded phenomena of men (especially those 'of a Superior Genius') appearing to produce light from their bodies could be explained by this theory: 'Thus we are told the head of Alexander the Great sparkled in the heat of the Indian Engagement.'[36] Similarly, certain animals could produce light -- glow worms and other insects, 'fishes both dead & alive' -- whilst 'Many Creatures eyes will shine in the Dark as catts particularly' or when their coats are rubbed in frosty weather. This he took as evidence of the life-giving fire. He noted a couple of experiments performed at the Royal Society on combustion (16 November and 23 November 1721), and on friction by John Desaguliers (31 March 1720) and Stephen Gray ('about 1719'). In these experiments various inanimate substances vigorously rubbed had become 'strongly electrical' and 'in the dark will discover sparks of fire'. This, though, was different from the fire in animate objects, and Stukeley mused that 'these appearances seem to confirm that there is in the Air such an elastic fluid as Sr Isaac Newton asserts, of immense subtilty & activity passing & repassing thro all kind of substance but making no resistance wherewith the whole Atmosphere is fully saturated & impregnated & perhaps tis nothing but the Rays of the Sun continually pourd into it & lodgd there'.[37] He also speculated that it was this 'fire' which living beings acquired by consuming food.

In Stukeley's system of human animation 'animal spirits' played an important part in explaining the operation of the nerves and muscular motion, a belief common to the Newtonian physicians. How the muscles worked exactly, and how the brain controlled them, was still sketchy at this date. Stukeley considered it 'highly probable' that Descartes was 'in the right when he affirms that every extremity of a nerve has its proper duct in an uninterrupted course reaching up to the Brain'.[38] The nerves had two distinct but related functions: of feeling, when sensation runs 'from the Extremitys to the Center by a vibrating motion', and of muscular action when 'I suppose there must be a Motion in the Nerves from the Center or brain to the extremitys'. He did not doubt that the nerves could fulfill both these functions, nor did he believe that the first action required any matter to physically travel up the nerves, 'bare contact … being sufficient to cause sensation[.] but in the second there must be a fluid & swift matter that like Lightening runs thro' the nerves excited & directed only by an act of the Mind.'[39] This 'fluid' or 'swift matter' was animal spirits. On the objection that these spirits could not be observed when a ligature was applied -- as in Harvey's famous demonstration to prove the circulation of blood -- Stukeley explained that it was 'unjust to make the same inference from the appearances of gross fluids & the most subtle in the World.' Trying to capture animal spirits was like blocking one end of a pipe through which the sun shone: 'you would never find any swelling producd therefrom … yet whoever will deny the rays of the Sun to be material bodys must deny Sr. Isaac Newtons whole Book of Light & Colors & may as well deny that the Sun shines in the clearest day.'[40] He suggested that these physical particles of animal spirits, which were even finer than rays of light, were made up of 'saline & oyly or sulpherous particles drawn from the blood' by the brain and 'volatilisd into an Ardent Spirit'. This process was similar to fermentation, whereby water 'is converted … into an inflammable Spirit.'[41] Stukeley's interesting theory of vibrations in the nerves anticipated the Newtonian arguments developed much more fully nearly three decades later by another of Stukeley's many ingenious friends, the physician David Hartley (1705-1757), author of Observations on Man, His Frame, His Duty, His Expectations (1749), who worked out in his vibrationist neurophysiology 'a full-blown account of the physical basis of mind.'[42]

Experiments with vacuum pumps had shown the importance of air in sustaining life, and Stukeley believed some aspect of this life-giving animal spirit must be derived directly from the air, and had something to do with Newton's 'elastic fluid' or ether. Indeed, Newton believed that the ether might be similar to, or the same as, animal spirits in the nerves. Whether it was 'the Nitro-aerial substance so learnedly & copiously discussd by Mayow, or the elastic fluid of Sr Isaac Newton' and what its precise 'composition & qualitys' were, Stukeley could not answer. But this 'Animal fire' within us, he was certain, was one with the 'famd Anima or Material Soul' or 'that Divine Spirit within Us' which was derived directly from God. He turned once more to Newton, and the famous passage in Opticks, where Newton wrote of the 'Sensorium'. Stukeley translated this passage thus:

'In Infinite Space as it were in his Sensory sees the things themselves intimately & th[o]roughly percieves them & comprehends them wholly by their immediate presence to himself: Of which things the Images only carryd thro' the Organs of Sense into our little Sensoriums, are there seen & beheld by that which in us perceiv[e]s & thinks.' To deny the existence of the Animal Spirits is to exclude the whole Nervous System & Brain their chief importance.[43]

Stukeley appears to be suggesting that as we live and breath within God's 'Sensorium', through it we are imparted with the very life-giving spirit of the divine, which is taken by the blood from air inhaled into the lungs. A similar argument had already been posited in 1553 by Michael Servetus in his heretical book Christiansimi Restitutio ('The Restitution of Christianity'). Servetus -- who was burnt at the stake in Geneva in the year of the book's publication -- had been interested in how the divine spirit entered man.[44] Genesis suggested that God had breathed the soul into man, and Servetus used his anatomical knowledge to argue that this occurred in the lungs, blood being carried their through the pulmonary artery. Although Servetus' theories had no influence on Harvey, and he is not named by Stukeley, his theory was published in 1694 by William Wootton. Berkeley drew a similar notion to Stukeley from his reading of Newton, and likewise suggested that animal spirits were the result of an 'inferior instrumental cause' which 'is pure æther, fire, or the substance of light which is applied and determined by an infinite mind in the macrocosm or universe, with unlimited power, and according to stated rules'.[45] In Stukeley's theorem, animal spirits were a 'Dry fiery homogenous Fluid or Steam' which travelled freely up and down the nervous system, where their 'prodigious quality of attraction' caused the muscles -- which were kept moist by the flow of blood -- to contract into less space and their length hence to shorten. This, he claimed, was proved by anatomical experiment, where if the artery is tied and warm water injected into a muscle it causes it to contract. Stukeley returned again to Newton and his proposal that small particles, like large bodies, also have an attractive quality, and that animal spirits possess such a quality akin to the attractions of gravity, magnetism and electricity. Stukeley's conclusion to all these speculations was that 'igneous Particles & the Principle of Attraction solves all Motion & alteration of bodys in the Macrocosm & no less in the Microcosm. In common Life therefore The Brain like the Sun disperses the Rays or Animal Spirits in an equable & benign Emanation thro'out the whole Machine.'[46]

Having reached this conclusion, Stukeley observed that if his theory of animal spirits was to be practicable (and provable) it must be 'referable to some particular diseases which may give a light to their Pathology & Method of Cure'. He proposed that one class of ailment which affected muscular motion were diseases of the mind or brain. These included 'Melancholy Madness' and 'Epilepsys', cases in which 'One thing is particularly remarkable', the strength of the muscles of such sufferers, which 'is beyond all Imagination.'[47] Unfortunately, however, Stukeley's manuscript trails off at this point, and we are not provided with his speculations on muscular action and mental disease, but the implications are, at least, clear. For earlier in the manuscript he had noted that as well as running the animal machine, heat was also part of its repair mechanism, 'for we see in wounds Nature is forcd to raise a flame to solder as it were the disunited parts'. This was 'what we call pain & seldom is done without a fever … & generally in any illness nature makes use of this fiery remedy to restore its self as in gout[,] rheumatism &c'. Palsys, epilepsys '& other nervous disorders are critically solvd by a natural or artificial fever which melts down & dislodges the disagreable matter.'[48] Mental disease would, presumably, be a failure or an excess of this curative heat, and an excess of animal spirits. What would Stukeley's remedy for such madness have been? Could there have been a Newtonian cure for insanity? It is a shame that he leaves us no answer.

Of the Spleen and the Gout

Stukeley presented the results of his anatomical researches to the Royal College of Physicians as well as the Royal Society. On 14, 15 and 16 March 1722 he read the Gulstonian Lectures on the theme of the human spleen at the Royal College's theatre.[49] This theoretically annual set of lectures had been founded by the will of Theodore Goulston (c.1575-1632), and were given by one of the College's four youngest Fellows. Goulston's endowment for the lecture provided £12 a year, with a cadaver to be obtained if possible, though due to scarcity of the latter by the 1680s the lecture had been combined with the unpaid college dissection. This lecture, together with the Lumleian lectures on surgery, have been described as the 'main link between the College and the progress of medical science.'[50] Though we know little of the eighteenth-century audiences, attendance at the Lectures was intended to be compulsory, and they offered an opportunity for a Fellow both to show off his knowledge and to advertise his discoveries. But the lack of corpses meant the Gulstonian Lectures were not kept up with the same regularity as the lectures in surgery: between 1704 and 1750 inclusive there were only twenty-three courses. Indeed, Stukeley began his discourse by apologizing for the absence of a cadaver, attributing this 'to the great difficulties we lye under of getting a sufficient number of bodies, seeing the sanction of acts of parliament in our favor is so notoriously eluded by the insolence of the mob at our executions'.[51] He explained that he had instead relied on 'some preparations of spleens … and of the abdominal vessels injected with wax'. In spite of these limitations, the Lecturer was expected to publish his work, but Stukeley was reluctant to do this without first being able to re-examine his opinions 'by the fountain of truth' -- that is, by proper dissection. However, he explained in his preface that he had been 'defeated in these expectations' and had been obliged to publish by senior members of the College, apparently including Sloane, to whom the work is dedicated. They had 'suggested to me, that a lecture ought not to be look'd upon as a regular and finish'd work, and that if I thought fit, I might afterwards at my leisure improve it, and then it might properly be put into the learned language [i.e. Latin], and become a new book.'[52] His work was thus published in 1722 as Of the Spleen, its Description and History, Uses and Diseases, Particularly the Vapors, with their Remedy. It was his first major publication, and his only one in anatomy.

It is significant given the theological direction of his science which we have already encountered, that Stukeley should give his lectures on this subject. James Keill had observed bluntly in his popular treatise the Anatomy of the Humane Body Abridg'd (2nd edition, 1703) that 'The true Use of the Spleen is yet unknown.'[53] Even today, our understanding of the spleen's precise function in the human body is ambiguous: like the appendix, it can be removed without apparent ill effect. Yet such an apparently useless organ posed a particular problem for a society that believed in the perfection of the human frame. It was anathema to the notion of a flawless God that anything in the body, indeed in the whole universe, could exist without having some God-given purpose. John Ray had expounded upon this at length in his Wisdom of God, observing that 'The Body of Man may … be proved to be the effect of Wisdom, because there is nothing in it deficient, nothing superfluous, nothing but has its End and Use'. Ray explained that even some purpose could be found for 'the Paps in Men', credulously offering a story he had heard of an Italian man who had weaned his infant child himself when his wife had died. Ray warned his reader that from this example of a practical purpose for men's nipples 'it follows not that they or any other parts of the Body are useless, because we are ignorant.'[54] Some attempts to explain the purpose of the spleen bordered on the self-fulfilling, with one seventeenth-century text arguing that the organ was there 'to fill up that empty space' which would exist if the spleen wasn't there.[55] Stukeley argued that although previous physicians had not been able to understand the function of the spleen, this did not mean that it should not be attempted:

No one certainly that has but just dip'd into the anatomy of an animal body, and seen the amazing appearance of inimitable beauty, design and contrivance, thro' every minutest piece and member thereof, would imagine the spleen, boasting of a preheminence of structure, at least that it is inferior to none in the curiosity thereof, should be as it were a casual stroke and fortuitous job of almighty workmanship; but that it has its great uses equal in dignity and necessity with any other. And yet how many good Anatomists, after much pains and useless toil in its consideration, have as in a passion, at last concluded, it had no use or intention at all, and might as well have been omitted in the animal frame.[56]

To discourse of the spleen was, accordingly, a religious exercise, a physician's defence of God's absolute wisdom.

Beginning with the observation that 'The substance of the spleen is different from any thing in the animal machine', Stukeley proceeded to develop his theory that the organ aided digestion.[57] The spleen, he argued, provided extra blood to the stomach 'to procure the required heat' necessary for breaking down food.[58] He then provided a proof for this theory, giving the example of a dissection of a live dog made by Mead before a group of students. It was, apparently, 'a necessary piece of diversion among young Anatomists in the universities' to remove the spleen from live dogs and then to sew them back up again. Mead had dissected a dog for this purpose and discovered that its spleen had already been removed in an earlier operation. He found its stomach to be 'prodigiously full of indigested and stinking food' -- clear evidence for Stukeley of the purpose of the lost organ.[59] He suggested that this need for additional blood to aid digestion was analogous to pregnant women, who require extra blood to support a child 'and consequently, when not impregnated [this blood] must be thrown out by the uterine vessels,' thus explaining menstruation.[60] Similarly, the operation of the spleen was analogous to the penis, which becomes erect when filled with blood and thus has 'exactly the same manner of fabric' as the spleen. This, he explained, was contrary to the 'vulgarly received opinion of … muscles doing the feat, by hindering the return of blood, I much suspect it.'[61]

Having established the purpose of the spleen as an organ assisting digestion, Stukeley proceeded to an examination of the causes and cure of 'the Vapors', a melancholy distemper that was associated with the spleen and which 'scholars and ingenious people are more addicted to than others'.[62] The ancients had believed the spleen to be the seat of the emotions, and the word could also be used in eighteenth-century English to mean 'gloominess' or 'moroseness' as well as referring to the gland itself. Since the spleen is attached to the diaphragm, Stukeley suggested that laughter 'certainly is assisted by the spleen … whence mirth at meals must be very useful to a good digestion'.[63] It was this sense of 'spleen' as 'melancholy madness or lunacy' that Nicholas Robinson (whom we met earlier as a Newtonian physician) examined in his book A New System of the Spleen, Vapours, and Hypochondriak Meloncholy (1729). Unlike Stukeley, Robinson believed that 'the Ancients suppos'd, very erroneously, that Hypochondriak Melancholy arose in Men, from an Indisposition of the Spleen [i.e. the gland itself]'.[64] As the success of the Newtonian physician George Cheyne's best-sellers Essay on Health and Long Life (1724) and The English Malady (1733) illustrate, this was a period much concerned with the medical treatment of depressive disorders such as 'the spleen'. In his preface to the latter book Cheyne, a Scot, explained that its title came from

a Reproach universally thrown on this Island by Foreigners, and all our Neighbours on the Continent, by whom nervous Distempers, Spleen, Vapours, and Lowness of Spirits, are in Derision, called the ENGLISH MALADY. And I wish there were not so good Grounds for this Reflection. The Moisture of our Air, the Variableness of our Weather (from our Situation amidst the Ocean), the Rankness and Fertility of our Soil, the Richness and Heaviness of our Food, the Wealth and Abundance of the Inhabitants (from their universal Trade), the Inactivity and sedentary Occupations of the better Sort (among whom this Evil mostly rages) and the Humour of living in great, populous and consequently unhealthy Towns, have brought forth a Class and Set of Distempers, with atrocious and frightful Symptoms, scarce known to our Ancestors, and never rising to such fatal Heights, nor afflicting such Numbers in any other known Nation. These nervous Disorders being computed to make almost one third of the Complaints of the People of Condition in England.[65]

Cheyne, who had himself enjoyed -- and suffered -- mightily from over-indulgence in food and wine whilst living in London, was not alone it attributing the cause of these distempers to the weather, rich urban living and lethargy. In Of the Spleen Stukeley likewise criticized the luxurious modern English lifestyle. This was the seat of his countrymen's ills: 'Our leaving the country for cities and great towns, coffeehouses and domestic track of business, our sedate life and excesses together, have prepar'd a plentiful harvest for these disorders. The remedy therefore is obvious; and without the concurrence of chearfulness, exercise, open air and conversation, all medicine is impotent'.[66] Strenuous exercise such as horse riding and country air were the medical cure Stukeley proposed for lowness of spirits, for as he added, 'most men that live a sedentary studious life are obnoxious.' In his later writings on the gout, however, he would observe that the strict vegetarian diet advocated by Cheyne resulted in 'a life scarce vital, a languishing, insipid, & unsocial state, to those that have been brought up, in the ordinary method of living.'[67] By 'ordinary' Stukeley no doubt meant good beef and good wine: he enjoyed his food when a young man, though by 1733 was advising that 'health and long life are generally the mark of a good deal of prudence. Practice makes good customs easy.'[68] But exercise was the key, for as James Keill had written, 'The Animal Body is now known to be a pure Machine',[69] and like a machine, wrote Stukeley, without exercise 'The wheels of life grow rusty, and death is no other than a cessation of motion'. Exercise was 'the principal weight of our machine, that conserves the motion of its numerous wheels and pullies … Thus the spring of a watch by a constant nisus and reasonable use retains its tone, but if thrown by for some time, it grows rusty, brittle and useless'.[70] He certainly practised what he prescribed when it came to regular exercise, and Stukeley rode and took long walks up to the end of his life.

Unfortunately, we know very little about the reception of Stukeley's work on the spleen. In 1725 an unknown gentleman told Thomas Hearne that the book was 'much commended … as having very nice and exact Cuts.' However Hearne was a Jacobite and had already taken a dislike to Stukeley, a latitudinarian Whig, who, he wrote in his diary in 1722, was 'a very fancifull man … He is looked upon as a man of no great authority, and his reputation dwindles every day, as I have learned from very good hands'. When they actually met in Oxford in September 1724 Hearne would describe Stukeley as 'a mighty conceited man'.[71] Thus with respect to Of the Spleen, Hearne got his informant to admit that though Stukeley 'had some skill … he was far from a topping or eminent Physician.'[72] Unfortunately, it is hard to draw any real conclusions from Hearne's remark: he was notoriously acerbic in his judgement of those to whom he took a sometimes near irrational dislike.[73] Stukeley himself had no doubts about the worth of his anatomical work. After apparently discovering a cure for the gout in the 1730s, he would write (not unconceitedly) that 'I judg that I made no mean discovery in what I published upon the Spleen; which, together with my account of the gout upon a new foundation, makes me deserve somewhat of the world in the medicinal Art.'[74] Like the spleen, gout was another symptom of the modern Englishman's luxurious way of life, with Stukeley suffering his first attack in 1709. Whilst he lived in London, and having read 'all the authors I could meet with', he wrote an entire history of the ailment, which he described as the 'formidable Goliath of our Art'. Ever the historian, he even found evidence for its antiquity in the pages of the Old Testament.[75] But in spite of describing himself as 'much sollicited' by friends and 'fellow-sufferers' to publish it, he had felt that this was pointless in the absence of a cure, and his 'history' is now lost. But a 'cure' was to come when he moved to Stamford. There he discovered a remedy for his suffering in the apothecary John Rogers' 'Oleum Arthriticum, a specific of externally applied oils which proved incredibly effective. But if its results were insufficient Stukeley advised a dose of opium to be taken before bed: 'they that refuse the use of poppy juice in pain,' he reflected, 'reject one of the greatest gifts of Providence'.[76] In 1733 he wrote to Sloane describing this new cure, and the letter was read out at the Royal Society and then published as a short pamphlet. In fact, Stukeley was so impressed by the oils that he arranged for them to be sold in London at the hatter's shop run by Rogers' son. (Lest anyone might doubt the efficacy of the oils, a Dublin reprint of the pamphlet included a testimonial from a satisfied customer. 'As for Doctor Stukeley,' it observed, 'every body allows him to be of the first class of physicians in England'.[77]) Stukeley's successful promotion of Rogers' oils netted the apothecary something in the region of £300 a year, a very respectable income, as well as an MD from the University of Aberdeen.[78] When Dr Rogers died in 1739 Stukeley went into business producing the oils with Rogers' daughter, and they sold their remedy as far afield as the East and West Indies. Stukeley also personally recommended the oils to both Robert Walpole and William Pitt, though whether they followed his advice is unknown.[79] But it is possible that the oils made him wealthy, and he may have used the money to help finance publication of his long-awaited volumes on Stonehenge and Avebury in the early 1740s. If so, it is an appropriate irony given the fact that Stukeley's original journeys into the countryside were spurred by his desire to ride-off his own attacks of the gout.

The Anatomy of the Elephant

We can conclude our discussion of Stukeley's anatomical and medical interests with the brief work which was appended to Of the Spleen, his 'Essay Towards the Anatomy of the Elephant, from one Dissected at Fort St. George Oct. 1715, and another at London Oct. 1720'. This paper had first been presented at a meeting of the Royal Society on 20 October 1720, and gave a detailed account of a dissection undertaken with Sloane of an elephant, brought from the East India Company's factory at Bencoolen in Sumatra. The elephant had been publicly exhibited in London, but its ultimate demise had been 'heightened by the great quantity of ale the spectators continually gave it.'[80] In this work Stukeley had the precedent of Edward Tyson, the Corpus Christi alumnus who had also studied animal anatomy. Tyson, also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, had been the man first in England to have published a number of elaborate monographs of individual animals, including ones on the porpoise in 1680, the opossum in 1698 and an 'orang-outang' (in fact a chimpanzee) in 1699.[81] Perhaps Sloane was thinking of Tyson's work when he requested Stukeley's assistance in dissecting the elephant in his garden, or perhaps it was a collaboration based simply on friendship. Either way, as President of the College of Physicians Sloane would have had a number of experienced anatomists at his disposal, and it casts favourable light on Stukeley's reputation as an anatomist that he chose him. In his paper, Stukeley justified the use of such a 'comparative anatomy' from the fact that we may 'expect improvement in our art, by searching into the entrails of so prodigious a creature as the elephant, the hugest of all that tread the ground, a mountain of animated matter … So vast a machine requiring a more extraordinary workmanship in its composition, than other minute', a study which would allow them to better observe 'the springs of wheels of life.'[82] This study was again loosely related to Newton's speculations in Query 31 of Opticks, that small particles of bodies were also capable of working at a distance:

For if there be a certain terminus in the atoms or first particles of substance, as we may gather from Sir Isaac Newton's optics, so that its powers have an extent beyond which they cannot well go; then is it reasonably to be suppos'd, that their combinations and effects have somewhat different turns, as to the action and composition of animalcules, in respect of the larger loco-motive productions of the creation.[83]

Even in his dissection of animals, then, Stukeley used Newtonian philosophy and analogy as sources for understanding and explaining the natural world, hoping at the same time to contribute to the improvement of that philosophy. It incidentally also reflects his particular fascination with the difference between the anatomy of very large and very small animals. He had noted in his 'Creation' manuscript Leuwenhook's examination of the nerve fibres of a whale, and his 'very surprizing' conclusion 'that the last degree of fibrils he might possibly discover were really finer & more slender than those in a Moth.' Stukeley explained this by the fact that 'these Great Creatures have [such] a prodigious Power of Gravitation' constantly to overcome, that 'their moving Engines require more curiosity of Workmanship.' In comparison to elephants, spiders and flys were so little affected by gravity as to have 'legs 10 times longer that their whole body which they manage with Admirable agility'.[84]

The elephant also allowed him to further explore his interest in the problem of reproduction. From his dissection of the female's genitalia, and from what he had read of the dissection of male specimens, Stukeley drew the conclusion that elephants must mate with the female lying on her back, 'more humano', for 'it is certain and demonstrable from the known situation of the female parts, that the coitus can never be performed more brutorum'.[85] Perhaps not unsurprisingly, when the paper was read at the Royal Society in 1720 one fellow protested at this claim. The anatomist Paul Buissiere 'objected matter of fact' and declared that he had had an account 'from those who have seen it and he says the way of this Creature is like that of the Horse and the Mare.'[86] Clearly, though, when it came to publication Stukeley was not sufficiently convinced by Buissiere's 'matter of fact' objection to change his own opinion based on anatomical study. Stukeley's claim illustrates the limitations of anatomy without physical study of the live specimens -- which also, no doubt, would have revealed the difficulty an elephant would have of lying on its back! Surprisingly, however, this is not the last of Stukeley's proposal. It was taken seriously by no less a man than Samuel Johnson, who noted in his English Dictionary entry for the elephant, 'In copulation the female receives the male lying upon her back'.

[1] See Cook (1986) p. 259 and pp. 210-11; Holmes (1982) p. 171. The College was also simultaneously in conflict with the Royal Society, apparently losing some face to the newer institution, in which physicians formed the largest single professional group. In 1696, for example, the College's officers had reprimanded Sloane for placing the Royal Society's imprimatur before theirs in his catalogue of Jamaican plants; Cook (1989) p. 265.

[2] Stukeley Bod. MS Eng.misc. e. 121 ff. 29-30.

[3] Stukeley Bod. MS Eng.misc. e. 667/a f. 11.

[4] Stukeley Bod. MS Eng.misc. e. 121 ff. 29-30. In the year Stukeley was admitted to the College there were forty-nine Fellows, three Honourary Fellows, six Candidates and twenty-seven Licentiates.

[5] See Conrad et al (1995) pp. 325-40.

[6] Mead (1748) pp. v--vi. This work was first published in Latin in 1704, as De imperio Solis ac Lunae in Corpora Humana et Morbis inde oriundis, and first appeared in English in Halley's Miscellanea Curiosa in 1708.

[7] Blackmore, (1725), p. xii.

[8] FM MS 1130 Stu (1) f. 127.

[9] Newton (1721) p. 353. Guerrini (1985) pp. 250-3.

[10] Mead (1748) p. iv. Whilst a similar such warning in a twentieth-century book might scare off the lay reader, the mathematical demands of Mead's book are in fact limited and undemanding. But his caution illustrates the novelty of such material in an early eighteenth-century work of physic.

[11] Robinson (1725) p. ix.

[12] See British Library MS 4432 f. 306.

[13] Bernard Mandeville, A Treatise of the Hypochondriak and Hysterick Diseases (2nd edn, London 1730) p. 182 (first published in 1711).

[14] James Annesley, Researches into the Causes, Nature, and Treatment of the More Prevalent Diseases of India, and of Warm Climates Generally (London, 1828), Vol. 2, p. 247. The belief that the planets affected health long preceded Newtonian medicine.

[15] Stukeley (1722) Preface 'To the Reader' (unpaginated).

[16] Ibid. pp. 3-6.

[17] DNB.

[18] Robinson (1725) p. 4.

[19] James Keill An Account of Animal Secretion, the Quantity of Blood in the Humane Body, and Muscular Motion (London 1708) Preface pp. ix, xxvii; quoted in Guerrini (1996) p. 300.

[20] Edward Barry, A Treatise on a Consumption of the Lungs (London, 1727), preface, p. xix.

[21] Stukeley Bod. MS Eng. misc. e. 667/1 f. 11r.

[22] Royal Society JBC Vol. XI ff. 447-8.

[23] Ibid. ff. 449-50. Locke had similarly written that 'these speculations' on the science of the brain, 'however curious and entertaining I shall decline'. Quoted in Smith (1897) p. 125.

[24] Berkeley (1744), p. 70.

[25] Newton (1729), Vol. 2, p. 393.

[26] Stukeley FM MS 1130 Stu (1) f. 131.

[27] Ibid. f. 133.

[28] 'Mr Leibnitz's First Paper', quoted in Alexander (1956) p. 11.

[29] Stukeley FM MS 1130 Stu (1) f. 138.

[30] William Harvey, De Motu Cordis (1653 edn), quoted in Conrad et al (1995) p. 336.

[31] Conrad et al (1995) p. 339 and pp. 345-6. According to Descartes, the pineal gland in the brain was where the mind controlled the animal spirits, and thus the actions of the body.

[32] Stukeley FM MS 1130 Stu (1) ff. 145-6, quoting from The Advancement of Learning III.3, and De Diaeta L.i.

[33] Ibid. f. 148. Stukeley's interest in the lungs and respiration reflects an increasing concern with the atmosphere as a cause of disease. See particulalry John Arbuthnot's posthumously published Essay Concerning the Effects of Air on Human Bodies (London, 1751), and Stephen Hales's important work on air-pumps and ventilators for ships and prisons.

[34] Ibid. ff. 148-9. Pitcairne had concluded in his 1693 'Dissertation upon the Circulation of the Blod in Born Animals and Embryons' that the inital force of the heart in embryoes must, like gravity, be directly endowed by God; see Guerrini (1996) p. 299.

[35] Gideon Harvey (1666) p. 15.

[36] Stukeley FM MS 1130 Stu (1) f. 153.

[37] Ibid. f. 157.

[38] Ibid. f. 174.

[39] Ibid. f. 176.

[40] Ibid. ff. 177-8.

[41] Ibid. f. 178.

[42] Smith (1987) p.124. See Chapter 6 for Hartley's correspondence with Stukeley on Newtonian religion.

[43] Stukeley FM MS 1130 Stu (1) f. 179.

[44] See Conrad et al (1995) p. 329.

[45] Berkeley (1744) pp. 71, 85: Berkeley also drew biblical analogies, noting that there were many passages in the bible 'that would make one think, the supreme being was in a peculiar manner present and manifest in the element of fire.'

[46] Stukeley FM MS 1130 Stu (1) f. 184. He would later write (in 1755) that 'muscular motion' was 'causd by electricity. the nerves are the conveyances of the electric fire, wh[ich] is subjected to the will … for the electric fire is the union betw[een] matte[r] & sp[iri]t.' Bod. MS Eng. misc. e. 667/3 f. 25.

[47] Stukeley FM MS 1130 Stu (1) f. 187.

[48] Ibid. f. 141.

[49] Stukeley (1722) p. 1.

[50] Clark (1966) p. 525.

[51] Stukeley (1722) Preface 'To the Reader' (unpaginated).

[52] Ibid. The practice of publishing medical treatises in Latin was becoming increasingly outmoded: see Blackmore (1725), preface.

[53] Keill (1703) p. 66. Keill's book had reached its fifteenth edition by 1771. However Keill observed in the preface to his Animal Oeconomy (2nd edition, 1717) p. v, that 'The use of the spleen and Vena Porta is now no longer a mystery'. Apparently Keill had reached the opinion that the spleen 'served a function much like that of the portal vein in the production of bile', see Guerrini (1985) p. 257.

[54] Ray (1704) pp. 262-3.

[55] Gideon Harvey (1666), p. 17.

[56] Stukeley (1722) p. 25.

[57] Ibid. p. 10.

[58] Ibid. p. 33.

[59] Ibid. pp. 45-6.

[60] Ibid. p. 51.

[61] Ibid p. 53. The recorder of Stukeley's account of his dissection of the elephant given at the Royal Society in 1720 noted how the clitoris of the elephant 'is endued with two Muscles like the Erectores in Men.' Roy. Soc. JCB Vol. XII f. 46.

[62] Stukeley (1722) p. 66.

[63] Ibid. pp. 72-3.

[64] Robinson (1729) p. 297.

[65] Cheyne (1733) preface, pp. i--ii.

[66] Stukeley (1722) p. 73. See Porter (1993) 58-81.

[67] Quoted in Fraser (1992) p. 178, from a 1741 MS of Stukeley's in the Burbank-Fraser Collection, Texas Medical Center Library, Houston.

[68] Stukeley (1735) p. 14. Robinson also attempted to account for the melancholy association with the spleen, and its cure, through mechanical philosophy. The subtitle to his book stating 'Wherein all the Decays of the Nerves, and Lowness of the Spirits, are Mechanically Accounted for'.

[69] Keill (1717) p. iii.

[70] Stukeley (1722) pp. 73-5.

[71] Hearne 9 October 1722 and 10 September 1724, quoted in SS 1, pp. 169-70.

[72] Hearne, vol. 9, p. 99.

[73] Hearne's is one of the very few judgements of Stukeley's work as a physician we have from this period, and it is unfortunate that we cannot rely on his remarks. See chapter 9 for an assessment of Hearne's criticisms of Stukeley's antiquarianism.

[74] Stukeley (1980) p. 94.

[75] Stukeley (1735) p. 20. On Stukeley's gout see Fraser (1992); for a recent social and medical history of the gout, see Porter and Rousseau (1998).

[76] Stukeley (1735) p. 58.

[77] Ibid. p. 75.

[78] Fraser (1992) p. 175.

[79] Bod. MS Eng.misc. d. 719/4 f. 13v and Bod. MS Eng. misc. e. 138 ff. 19-20.

[80] Royal Society JCB Vol. XII ff. 45-7.

[81] Phocaena, Or, The Anatomy of a Porposs Dissected at Gresham College; With a Preliminary Discourse Concerning Anatomy, And a Natural History of Animals (1680); Carigueya, seu Marsupiale Americanum; Or, The Anatomy of an Opossum Dissected at Gresham College (1698); Orang-Outang, Sive Homo Sylvestris: Or, The Anatomy of a Pygmie Compared with that of a Monkey, an Ape and a Man (1699). The ancient Greek physician Galen (AD 131-201) in De Usu Partium described the anatomy of the elephant and drew upon Aristotle's description of the animal, but it does not appear that Stukeley had read Galen's work on the subject.

[82] Stukeley (1722) pp. 89-90.

[83] Ibid. p. 90.

[84] Stukeley FM MS 1130 Stu (1) f. 170.

[85] Stukeley (1722) p. 106.

[86] Royal Society JBC XII f. 47.

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Professor Rob Iliffe
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