Introduction, page xlviii. lines 21–30, Note.
It is just possible that, notwithstanding the many rights and immunities claimed
by the citizens, the prelacy, who are known to have possessed the privilege of
issuing licences to "sage women" at a later date, may have exercised it in
London so early as the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Such however was the
general unpopularity of the secular clergy, that the citizens would hardly have
brooked any control or surveillance on their part as to the conduct of the practitioners of the obstetric art.