BHO

BUTLER, George

Physicians and Irregular Medical Practitioners in London 1550-1640 Database. Originally published by Centre for Metropolitan History, London, 2004.

This free content was born digital. All rights reserved.

Citation:

Table of contents

George BUTLER

Biography

Name George BUTLER
Gender Male
Primary occupation medical empiric (Quack & ?prophet 1604. King's servant 1631.)
Period of medical practice 1604-1643
Other notes King's servant - royal protection. Multiply in trouble 1617-33. Had Archbishop of Canterbury's licence. Raach p.199 - some confusion. His ex-servant Mrs. Lander (872) is in trouble in 1640.

Censorial hearings

4 July 1617
Entry B was summoned but excused himself as he was the king's servant, and was needed to attend him.
Attitude of the accused absent
Pressure applied by College yes
Action taken ?None.
Verdict case not completed
13 June 1623
Entry College resolved to fine B £10 and imprison him.
Action taken B fined £10 and imprisoned.
Verdict guilty
Sentence Fined £10 and imprisoned
2 June 1624
Entry The President complained of B.
Initiator of the complaint college member
Action taken ?
Verdict case not completed
Number of crimes 1
m Palm Sun 1625
Entry Dr Clement complained that B gave a purge to a child of Mr Needham.
Initiator of the complaint college member
Action taken ?
Verdict case not completed
Number of crimes 1
1 Sep 1626
Entry B was accused by Richard Holland, Amie his wife, Anthony Browne of Bernard's Inn. There was a counsellor's warrant deferred by the Lord Treasurer for B's treatment of Browne. Dr Raven was appointed to draw a certificate against B to be sent to 'ye Lordes'.
Initiator of the complaint person unconnected with the patient or the case
Second initiator of the complaint person unconnected with the patient or the case
Third initiator of the complaint person unconnected with the patient or the case
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken Evidence against B to be sent to `ye Lordes'.
Verdict guilty
Sentence Evidence against B to be sent to `ye Lordes'.
Number of crimes 1
Michaelmas 1626
Entry Then the President made a speech denouncing the quacks, namely Butler, Blanke, and Thomson: he resolutely bound all by the oath.
Initiator of the complaint college member
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken ?
m S Thomas 1626
Entry The President asked us to report quacks: he named Blanke, DuVal, Butler, Aire and Bugg and the charge against them.
Initiator of the complaint college member
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken ?
16 Feb 1627
Entry Mr. SHEPHEARDE confessed that he had been exhorted by DAY to agree to join the others and oppose the College and that with BUTLER.
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken ?None, to B.
16 March 1627
Entry Browne, the College's attorney, said that B had stupefied Mrs Hutcheman with narcotic pills, then puffed a powder up her nose to revive her - she had died within the hour. B had allegedly done the same to Mrs Knight of Southwark and to a boy, a bookseller's servant of St Paul's Churchyard.
Initiator of the complaint person unconnected with the patient or the case
Action taken B to be prosecuted at law (see next).
Verdict guilty
Sentence To be prosecuted at law
Number of crimes 3
19 March 1627
Entry B sought leave to reply to the College's action. This was granted provided that he appointed guarantors in case he lost. B had then brought an action against Dr GILBOURNE 321 (LRCP).
Action taken ?
4 May 1627
Entry Apothecaries THOMAS 731, HINSON 399 and the successor of WHETLYE 799 were accused of supplying B.
Action taken ?
5/6 May 1620
Entry B was investigated by the President, Dr Paddy and the Censors. B confessed to giving medicine, but only preparatory to surgery, and said that he had a licence for this from the Abp of Cant. Admitted giving 3 pills & a purge to Mrs Style of Bennet Hill (her husband testified that she had died). Style's lawyers were Mr Dide & Mr Pridokes of Temple. Style left his patent at the College.
Initiator of the complaint college member
Second initiator of the complaint spouse of the patient
Pressure applied by College yes
Action taken See next.
Number of crimes 1
16 Oct 1628
Entry At this Comitia it was arranged since the day approached on which the case of the College against [blank] Butler the mountebank was to be dealt with in the court at Westminster before the judges, that a certain number of Fellows should be chosen to be present there. Dr. Harvey, Dr. Goulston, Dr. Baskerville, Dr. Crooke, Dr. Meverall and Dr. Ridgley were chosen.
Action taken Law-suit to go ahead.
3 June 1629
Entry It was stated that choice had been made of those who were to wait upon the advocates of the College in the case against Butler. Those elected were Dr. Harvey, the Treasurer and the four Censors.
Action taken Six Fellows to consult with College lawyers about lawsuit against B
5 Feb 1630
Entry Henry DICKMAN 225, accused by Frederick Porter, said that the plaintiff had gone with him to Bulter: and that the use of the [turbinth mineral] pills was approved by Bulter but dissuaded him from the use of [Dickman's] dietetic potion, which the patient had taken for four days.
Initiator of the complaint patient
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken ?None to B.
5 March 1630
Entry The apothecary Henry DICKMAN 225 (q.v.) had been accused (5 Feb 1630) of giving Frederick Porter dangerous mineral pills, which ulcerated his mouth. D had said that B had approved the pills. He now produced a written statement from B undertaking Porter's treatment. Mr Seman (friend) said B examined P's urine. (Before B was called, Porter had been taking medicines from Dr. Meverall for a month, but with little improvement.) B prescribed a potion for S's maid, which DICKMAN supplied. It was not French pox (?).
Initiator of the complaint other medical practitioner
Action taken See next.
Number of crimes 1
15 March 1630
Entry Dr Clement, Dr Baskerville and Dr Crooke were asked by the President to meet Dr Lister and together with him to wait upon the Lord Chamberlain and obtain leave from him for the College to pursue its law suit against George Bulter.
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken College to get Lord Chamberlain's per to pursue lawsuit against B.
22 March 1630
Entry B was now Surgeon Extraordinary to the Queen. College wished to proceed against him. The Lord Chamberlain gave his permission.
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken B to be prosecuted. See also next.
Verdict guilty
Sentence B to be prosecuted at law
9 April 1630
Entry HINSON 399 (apothecary) complained of B.
Initiator of the complaint patient
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken HINSON was ordered to find better evidence.
Number of crimes 1
4 June 1630
Entry Mr Browne, the College's attorney, advised on the case against B.
Initiator of the complaint college member
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken [Case to go ahead, presumably.]
5 Nov 1630
Entry Dr Grent reported that B had given a purge to Browne, grocer, of Friday Street, for a swelling in his armpit, and that Browne had died. To be investigated more fully. There was a story that the preacher of St Dunstan's in the West had died under B's care. The Beadle was to investigate this report.
Initiator of the complaint college member
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken Further investigations to be made.
Number of crimes 2
26 Nov 1630
Entry Barbara Harbottle said that when she was servant to Mr Wise B had given Wise 14 purging pills &c., and sleeping draughts, which had killed him.
Initiator of the complaint friend/neighbour/acquaintance of the patient
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken Evidence collected. See next.
Number of crimes 1
12 May 1620
Entry George Thorowgood, draper, of St Paul's Churchyard, had been cured of a great inflammation by B, by purging and surgery. George Gilbert, proctor, of Knightrider Street, had been cured by the same means.
Action taken ?See next.
Number of crimes 2
3 Dec 1630
Entry Margaret Wise, wife of Richard Wise, and Amy Wise, RW's sister, accused B of treating RW with purges and sleeping draughts, so that he died.
Initiator of the complaint spouse of the patient
Second initiator of the complaint relative of the patient
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken Evidence collected. See next.
Number of crimes 1
10 Dec 1630
Entry Letter was received by the President from B.
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken B's appeal / arguments rejected. See next.
7 Jan 1631
Entry Dalsfield and Mrs Wise accused B of giving medicine to Wise, who died. Dalsfield had called in Dr Baskerville. Temperance Ellis, who lived with B, said that 3 were under cure at B's house, and that a minister, Mr Eaton, was still there. A woman had come 20 miles to B and had died 3 weeks afterwards, the body being secretly carried away by water.
Initiator of the complaint person unconnected with the patient or the case
Second initiator of the complaint spouse of the patient
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken Evidence collected.
Number of crimes 2
28 Jan 1631
Entry Dr Saunders charged B with giving mercury pills to the wife of Capt. Paparelli of Redriff, causing severe salivation. Dr Goulston knew about the case.
Initiator of the complaint college member
Second initiator of the complaint college member
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken Evidence collected.
Number of crimes 1
4 Feb 1631
Entry The President complained to Dr Smith that he had allowed Mr THOMAS 731 (B's apothecary) to attend his anatomy dissection.
Initiator of the complaint college member
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken ?See next.
11 Feb 1631
Entry (1) Temperance Ellis presented a petition claiming that B had imprisoned her. College decided to send her to the Lord Chief Justice for a decision. (2) B was included in a list of illegal practitioners who gained immunity as the King's servants. This list was sent with a petition to the Lord Chamberlain. (Others on it were TRIGG 746, BUGGS 130, HILL 395, BLAYDEN 93, BLANKE 92, DUNCOMBE 240.)
Initiator of the complaint friend/neighbour/acquaintance of the patient
Second initiator of the complaint college member
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken Petition sent. Reply said that Coll. could prosecute these people.
Number of crimes 2
4 March 1631
Entry Dr Crooke said that B had given a pill and apozeme to Mr Dagges.
Initiator of the complaint college member
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken Evidence collected.
Number of crimes 1
15 April 1631
Entry Mr Gipson, the College's attorney, was to be asked if he would solicit Mr Moyle (senior) against B.
Initiator of the complaint college member
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken B to be sued in the Court of the Exchequer.
Number of crimes 1
3 June 1631
Entry William TRIGGE, accused of giving physic to Mr Goodridge, said that 'first by enquyrye hee found that Mr. Butler had given him pills to purge and a pill to rest'. Also, Mr. Thomas was 'accused to bee Butlers Apothecarye and assistante'; he 'excused him selfe slightlye', but was defiant when threatened with the College's interdiction.
Initiator of the complaint other medical practitioner
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken ?None to B.
25 June 1631
Entry Mr Whistler's sister had died in B's house. Dr Chamberlen was to investigate.
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken Dr Chamberlen to collect evidence.
Number of crimes 1
2 June 1620
Entry Dr Paddy said that B had handed over his letters patent from the Archbishop of Canterbury, from the Lord Chancellor and from the Master of the Rolls, 'to be cancelled'.
Action taken ?College cancelled his permissions to practice.
23 Sep 1631
Entry Dr Saunders said that B had given 8 - 10 mineral pills to Mr Askue of Bridwell dock.
Initiator of the complaint college member
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken Evidence collected.
Number of crimes 1
30 Sep 1631
Entry Dr Oxenbridge accused B of bad practice in the case of one Carter.
Initiator of the complaint college member
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken Evidence collected. See next.
Number of crimes 1
2 Nov 1631
Entry 'Consideration to be had about collecting good proofes against George Butler, John Buggs and William Trigge'.
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken Evidence to be collected.
26 March 1632
Entry It was reported that B had given medicine to Mrs Hyre at Southwark mart.
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken Evidence collected.
Number of crimes 1
30 May 1632
Entry B had sent a letter to Dr Winston, but Dr Winston did not present it.
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken Letter not accepted.
8 June 1632
Entry A petition from B was presented to the President, in which he asked for a licence to practise. The President refused to accept anything of the kind from such a man as B and deferred it to the College.
Action taken Deferred till 2 pm next Monday.
3 July 1632
Entry B had sent a letter to the President.
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken B/the matter was put off.
1 Oct 1632
Entry Other suits against B were to be suspended if he paid the fine.
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken Lawsuits to be suspended if B paid fine.
5 April 1633
Entry B was mentioned in Jeames Ashman's complaint against Lawrence COTTON 193 (q.v.). Before going to COTTON, A had been to B, presumably with no result.
Initiator of the complaint patient
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken Evidence collected. See next.
Number of crimes 1
15 April 1633
Entry Plans were made to print the College's case against B [presumably now complete].
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken ?Lawsuit presumably went ahead now? See next.
1 Sep 1620
Entry B claimed not to know that his licence had been cancelled and denied Dr Clement's charge of treating Thomas Carr, feltmaker. He also denied that he had a retailer for his medicines (as the President had alleged). He said that his only medicine was for a sore leg, and he would stop using that.
Initiator of the complaint college member
Action taken Prohibited from practice.
Verdict guilty
Sentence Prohibited from practice
Number of crimes 1
3 July 1633
Entry Lord Heath, the Lord Chief Justice, wrote (at X's request) hoping that B's promise of £36 wd be sufficient for the College [to release him from prison?].
Action taken ?Accepted, presumably. Had promised to pay £36 of fine.
5 July 1633
Entry B's fine of £36 was brought. (He had been fined £66 at the King's Bench at Easter, and by Heathe's request was to pay £36 now and the last £30 on the 20th November.)
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken B to be released at Lord Chief Justice's request. He paid £36 fine
17 Nov 1634
Entry 'Dr. Alston enformeth that the elder Dr. Boett gave phisicke in Finche lane, Mr. Butler made the phisicke whoe is to enforme further therof.'
Initiator of the complaint college member
Action taken B to inform the College further.
Verdict case not completed
17 Sep 1622
Entry B was accused by Marget Shover of agreeing to cure her pox for 20s. and of giving her 4 or 5 purges and an unction, which effected no improvement.
Initiator of the complaint patient
Action taken ?
Verdict case not completed
Number of crimes 1
7 May 1623
Entry B was mentioned and discussed.
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken [B must have been summoned.] See next.
9 May 1623
Entry B appeared and denied practice. He was no graduate, yet knew Latin, and resented the President's harshness. Said that Dr Palmer 'bad him come here no more'. He practised as a surgeon, in diseases if they were ulcerate. Wd not name his medicines. Dr Clement accused him of having medicines made by apothecaries John THOMAS 731 (Wood Street) and by Mr WHETLYE 799 for c.£100 p.a. - B admitted this.
Initiator of the complaint college member
Action taken Censors reported to Judges (*) on some of B's cases & his ignorance
16 May 1623
Entry Margaret Shover said that B gave her 25 pills and 4 purges - she had pawned her petticoat [to pay him]. B had promised her help in 7 days, or £100. B had also anointed the body and throat of another woman, who 'continued in great weakness'.
Initiator of the complaint patient
Action taken See next.
Number of crimes 2