Printing in Southwark and early medical publications
After a little bit of digging around. I discovered some very interesting facts about printing in Southwark.
Dawn Kemp, the new Director of the Old Operating Theatre Museum alerted me to Peter Treveris, the Southwark based printer of the first illustrated Herbal in England, (Peter Treveris’ Grete herball ). I had not heard of this herbal before, and wondered if it had anything to do with the printing of the first Bible in English by Miles Coverdale in the grounds of St Thomas Hospital, Southwark in 1537.
|Title Page of Grete Herball|
A little bit of research established that Treveris was established as a printer at the 'sygne of the wodows' in 1516. (The Stationers' Company and the Printers of London, 1501–1557 By Peter W. M. Blayney; ). Was this the 'Sign of the Widows'?
Treveris was an alien, possibly from Trier, and was a publisher/translator.
However, what was a great discovering was that Treveris also published the 'Handywork of Surgery' by Hieronymous of Brunswick - this contains the first anatomical text in English, printed in 1525. And these two books makes Southwark really important in the printing of early medical texts. Whether the location in Southwark has any medical significance or association with St Thomas Hospital is, as yet, unknown but surely, not a coincidence with the location of the Hospital?
'The noble experyence of the vertuous handy warke of surgeri, : practysyd [&] compyled by the moost experte mayster Iherome of Bruynswyke, borne in Straesborowe in Almayne [...] Item there after he hath authorysed and done it to vnderstande thrugh the trewe sentences of the olde doctours and maysters very experte in the scyence of surgery, as Galienus, Ipocras, Auicenna, Gwydo, Haly abbas, Lancfrancus of mylen, Iamericus, Rogerius, Albucasis, Place[n]tinus, Brunus, Gwilhelmus de saliceto, [and] by many other maysters whose names be wryten in this same boke. [...] Item yf ye fynde ony names of herbes or of other thynges wherof ye haue no knowlege, yt shall ye knowe playnly by the potecarys. Item here shall you fynde also for to make salues, plasters, powders, oyles, and drynkes for woundes. Item who so desyreth of this science ye playne knowlege let hym oftentymes rede this boke, and than he shall gette perfyte vnderstandynge of the noble surgery.'
|Author:||Hieronymus Brunschwig; Peter Treveris|
|Publisher:||[Imprynted at London : In Southwarke by Petrus Treueris, In the yere of our lorde god. M.D.xxv.  and the. xxvi. day of Marche]|
This translation includes the first anatomical text to be printed in English. (Worldcat)
|Treveris continues in Southwark to 1532 (I think). James Nicholson begins printing in Southwark in 1526, and in 1537 moves into St Thomas Hospital and prints Miles Coverdale's Bible, the first bible printed in England in English (there was an earlier print run of the Bible printed on the continent). It was printed by Royal License. Coverdale was protected by Thomas Cromwell, and closely associated with William Tyndale. Among Coverdale's jobs was as Rector of St Magnus, across the river from the Hospital at some point, and was interred there after St Batholemew's at the Exchange was knocked down.|
More information on printers of Southwark can be found here. Typographical antiquities: an historical account of printing in England, with some memoirs of our antient printers, and a register of the books printed by them, from 1471 to 1600, with an appendix concerning printing in Scotland and Ireland. Considerably augmented by W. Herbert. for Southwark see pages 144-155