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Smellie Treatise
Smellie Collection
John Maubray, The Female Physician

One of the early London teachers of midwives, Scotsman John Maubray died in 1732, eight years after his book The Female Physician was published. Maubray and a group of other London man-midwives followed the ideas of a surgeon from the Netherlands, Hendrik van Deventer (1651-1724). Deventer's wife was a midwife, and he promoted methods to adjust the presentation of the fetus or increase the size of the birth canal, rather than use forceps in difficult deliveries.
Quote on page 169


Questions to ask these pages:

1. According to Maubray, who were the best birth assistants?

2. What knowledge, according to Maubray, led to the perfection of the art of birth assistance?

Questions to ask the book:

1. What practice associated with man-midwives did Maubray discourage?
Find out in the Archive

2. How did Maubray characterize ordinary midwives, as opposed to extraordinary ones?
Find out in the Archive

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    Title Page page 169  


in Germany. For in these Countrys their Women of all Ranks (the most Precise and Virtuous) have accustom'd themselves (upon this Occasion) to lay aside all childish Bashfulness and imaginary Modesty, in order to secure their Own and their Childrens Safety, by inviting the Assistance of both SEXES. And indeed MEN (whom I may justly call the truest and best Boethogynists) being better versed in Anatomy, better acquainted with Physical Helps, and commonly endued with greater Presence of Mind, have been always found readier or discreeter, to devise something more new, and to give quicker Relief in Cases of difficult or preternatural BIRTHS, than common MIDWIVES generally understand; By which means it comes to pass, that this ART is now brought to its greatest Perfection in these Countries: Insomuch that, if I might be allowed to adopt a new Term into our Language, instead of MAN-MIDWIFE, which seems to be a Contradiction in Terms, I would call him the ANDRO-BOETHOGYNIST, or Man-Helper of Woman, for his excellent Skill in MIDWIFERY.

M O R E O V E R, the Authors of these Countries have not been remiss, in communicating their Experience and Methods taken to prevent and remedy the many various Difficulties which have occurred in this nice Affair. No, Senertus, Rod. Castro, Viardel, Mauriceau, Portal, Daventer, Bartine, Garofanzzo, Pfizerus, &c. have promerited our immortal Praises as well as Thanks, for such famous and generous Instances as they have given of their great Beneficence to MANKIND.

T H E Four latter have made vast Improvements of this ART: but particularly, the most Learned, Ingenious, and exellent PHYSICIANS, and Men-Midwives, (as vulgarly called) Sig, Garofanzzo and Pfizerus (my most honoured Instructors in this ART) have absolutely perfected the WORK begun by others; for their Rules are firmly founded on sound anatomy, and their Doctrines are more extensive, particular, plain, and infallible, than all their PREDECESSORS Discoveries.


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