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Tudor illnesses: A poor man's medicine

Medicine for the poor in Tudor times

John Little tells us his story and how he comes to be poaching with his father on the King's land...

John's mother has been struck down with illness and each day seems to be getting worse.

The doctor has been and examined her urine; he has also 'purged' her and 'bled' her with leeches...but all to no avail.

John's father decides to involve the local 'cunning man' called Bartlett - someone who will be able to determine if John's mother has been bewitched. Bartlett also studies Mrs Little's urine and decides the course of action they must take to ensure her recovery.

Bartlett demands payment in good meat but the Littles are too poor to pay. So John and his father must attempt to poach a deer - a crime punishable by death.

At the end we are with John and his father again as they kill a deer. They are about to butcher the deer when they are discovered by the local hunt and must run for their lives. We learn of their fate in the next episode - Privy to the King.

Tudor illnesses - supporting resources:

  1. A poor man's medicine - Teacher's notes

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