rabbits and open veins

Hmm, coming across nice little peeks into Early Modern life today:

This inclosed for your lordship was sent me euen now by sir mychell hickes, with a message that it requyrd hast and withall came thes 4 rabitts which I send by this bearer a footman, not being willing to truble a messenger vnless I had knowne the busines to be of importance, I truble your lordship with noe other matter nowe bycause I wryght with the hand whose arme hath had a vayne opened but an howre since /

Ruttland howse 4 Sept 1607

Your lordships most bonden servant

Tho wilson

(Thomas Wilson to the Earl of Salisbury, CP 193/147)

More offerings of dead animals, this time for eating. But it’s the reference to blood-letting which is more interesting here. Wilson suffered from malaria (and possible other recurring illnesses). I remain amazed at the Early Modern propensity for drawing blood – surely at least someone noticed that patients lost rather than gained strength when leeched? (Thus I reveal my ignorance of Early Modern medicine. I’m sure my colleagues down the corridor could enlighten me – but this is digression enough.)

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