Hospital Care and the British Standing Army, 1660–1714

1st Edition

Eric Gruber von Arni

Published October 9, 2017
Reference - 266 Pages
ISBN 9781138263062 - CAT# Y314239
Series: The History of Medicine in Context

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At the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, amongst the first acts of Charles II's government was the abolition of the New Model Army and the sweeping away of the legislation and institutions that had supported it, including most of the medical provisions provided by the republican regime. Nevertheless, a small rump of the Commonwealth forces was retained to form a royal standing army, which rapidly expanded over the next sixty years to become a formidable fighting force. Inevitably, as this force grew, the new government was compelled to provide medical care for its soldiers and ex-servicemen. Taking a broadly chronological approach, this book explores the nature and the quality of medical, nursing and welfare facilities provided in hospitals for soldiers during the formative years of the British standing army between 1660 and 1714. It shows how, over the course of latter part of the seventeenth century, the British army adapted and developed its facilities in line with new advances in science, medicine and military theory. Increased involvement in continental wars and contact with European armies provided inspiration for the founding of the well-known Royal Hospitals at Chelsea and Kilmainham, based on Louis XIV's Hôtel des Invalides. The work also provides an in-depth examination of the work of the hitherto sparsely documented field hospitals that provided acute casualty care to troops during the reigns of James II, William III and Queen Anne. Following on from his ground-breaking study of medical care during the English Civil Wars (Justice to the Maimed Soldier), Eric Gruber von Arni in this study shows how the British army of the Restoration period struggled to develop systems and institutions that could cope with the increasing scale of contemporary warfare. Through extensive archival research and a thorough understanding of military medical requirements, a lucid account is provided that will be of interest not only to military and medical historians, but also anyone interested in the development of early modern institutions and organisations.


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