Charles Williams
1896 The Lancet  
THE Court Rolls of the city of Norwich from about 1600 to 1690 afford conclusive evidence that in the Middle Ages stone in the bladder was by no means an unknown, or even .an uncommon, disorder in that city. The complaint appears to have been as prevalent at that time as it has been since then, although its frequency has been much lessened of late years and is likely to be much more so in the future. In the fifteenth century no general hospitals were in existence in the provinces-except one at
more » ... nces-except one at Canterbury and another at York-into which those who suffered from stone or any other ' , disorder could be admitted, operated upon, and cared for until either a cure or death resulted. So far as Norwich is concerned there is abundant proof to show that those who were so afflicted were not allowed to die without surgical celief being found for them, and it is my purpose to point out how that was carried out by giving from the Rolls such extracts as bear on the subject. A certain routine was necessary to secure the services of an operator and to ensure his being paid for the operation and subsequent attendance. We may be perfectly certain that the poor in those times were quite unable to pay the expenses incidental to a large operation such as that must have been for stone in the bladder. The princinal mode of procedure was for the parent of the afflicted child, or the patient himself if he were old enough, to appear at the Guildhall before the mayor and court of aldermen and state the circumstances of the case before them. It was then ordered that the clergyman of the parish in which the sufferer lived should be directed to obtain the assent of the Lord Bishop to his preaching a sermon and making a collection on behalf of the case. This collection was to be handed to the mayor and aldermen by the swordbearer, or more generally by the aldermen of the ward in which the parish existed, and in whose hands the matter had been placed. A resolution was then passed directing how the sum of money so collected was to be dealt with. The
doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(01)76047-3 fatcat:laxusheyh5arhguxjzc36igga4