Medical treatment for the poor: The Dispensary

The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were, for medicine, notable for their great plurality.  There were all kinds of treatments on offer – healers, quacks, wise women, and itinerant sellers of all manner of cures.  Orthodox medicine, however – practiced by trained and qualified physicians - was largely reserved for the elite.  As hospitals were rare, and often more focused on spiritual wellbeing than medical treatments, wealthy folk were usually treated in their homes – either by a visiting physician, or via correspondence.