CHAIRE, Catherine

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

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Catherine CHAIRE


Name Catherine CHAIRE
Gender Female
Primary occupation non-medical (Alewife)
Period of medical practice 1588-1608
Address without Smithfield 1598
Other notes Trouble 1598. ?Wife/widow of William Chayr BSC 1610?
Medical specialities Pregnancy-divining (by washing clothes!) (+GP)

Known London address

without Smithfield
Parish St Sepulchre without Newgate
Ward Faringdon Without
Date 1588

Censorial hearings

4 Aug 1598
Entry C, an alewife in the Smithfield Bars, was charged by Mrs Bridgman with giving 2 purging medicines for 26s. 8d. and two tancees for £5 and £3. Mrs B also gave C 3 pieces of linen cloth to burn, and she charged 2s. 6d. to burn each of them 'because she did lyttle know what great paines she shoold take in the burning of them'. Mrs B also bought 2 glasses of 'water' from C for 50s. and 30s.
Initiator of the complaint spouse of the patient
Attitude of the accused absent
Action taken [C summoned to next meeting.] See next.
Number of crimes 2
19 Aug 1598
Entry C was examined and confessed that Mr Bridgman gave her £5 for a Tansy, and a purge of Sene - 1 oz R. Had also given 2 tansies and 2 purges. Overall takings were £13. Confessed to Dr Pavey that she'd practised med. ever since Mrs Saunders was hanged. Claimed to diagnose pregnancy by washing clothes with Red Rose water and soap. Had treated Mrs Cutts, butcher's wife, with med. & by burning clothes.
Initiator of the complaint patient
Attitude of the accused confessed
Action taken Ordered to desist & give back fees. Moundeford to investigate.
Verdict guilty
Sentence To desist and repay patients' fees
Number of crimes 3