The Surgeon's Mate (1639)
Lower Library K.26.3
John Woodall was an English military surgeon and chief supplier of medical chests to the East India Company from 1612-1643. On taking up his post with the Company he realised the need for a handbook to guide the medical officers. This was the first instruction manual for medical treatment aboard ship. Originally published in 1617 it started out as notes on drugs, instruments and appliances which the author considered necessary components of the ship's surgeon's chest.
In 1628 the Viaticum or Pathway to the Surgeon's Chest was published, containing the general principles in the treatment of wounds. Our version appears in 1639, being an amalgamation and revision of the original notes, the guidance on treatment of wounds, and a volume on military and domestic surgery. The cost of publication was borne by the East India Company.