Chamberlen (the Elder), Peter

SUBJECT AREA: Medical technology
[br]
b. c. 1601 London, England
d. 22 December 1683 Woodham Mortimer, Essex, England
[br]
English obstetrician who was a member of a family of obstetricians of the same name who made use of a secret design of obstetric forceps (probably designed by him).
[br]
Of Huguenot stock, his ancestor William having probably come to England in 1569, he was admitted to Cambridge University in 1615 at the age of 14. He graduated Doctor of Medicine in Padua in 1619, having also spent some time at Heidelberg. In 1628 he was elected a Fellow of the College of Physicians, though with some reservations on account of his dress and conduct; these appear to have had some foundation for he was dismissed from the fellowship for repeated contumacy in 1659. Nonetheless, he was appointed Physician in Ordinary to Charles I in 1660. There are grounds for suspecting that in later years he developed some signs of insanity.
Chamberlen was engaged extensively in the practice of midwifery, and his reputation and that of the other members of the family, several of whom were also called Peter, was enhanced by their possession of their own pattern of obstetric forceps, hitherto unknown and kept carefully guarded as a family secret. The original instruments were discovered hidden at the family home in Essex in 1815 and have been preserved by the Royal Society of Medicine. Chamberlen appears to have threatened the physicians' obstetric monopoly by attempting to organize mid-wives into a corporate company, to be headed by himself, a move which was successfully opposed by the College of Physicians.
[br]
Principal Honours and Distinctions
Physician in Ordinary to King Charles I, King Charles II, King James II, Queen Mary and Queen Anne.
Bibliography
1662, The Accomplished Midwife. The Sober Mans Vindication, discovering the true cause and manner how Dr. Chamberlen came to be reported mad, London.
Further Reading
Mariceau, 1668, Des Malades des femmes grosses et accouchées, Paris. J.H.Aveling, 1883, The Chamberlens and the Midwifery Forceps, London.
MG

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chamberlen, Hugh, The Elder — ▪ British midwife born 1630, London died c. 1720       British male midwife, prominent member of a family of medical men remembered for the parts they played in the introduction of the obstetrical forceps. Hugh was the grandnephew of Peter… …   Universalium

  • Chamberlen, Peter, The Elder — ▪ French surgeon born 1560, Paris died 1631, London       surgeon, a French Huguenot whose father, William, emigrated with his family to England in 1569. A celebrated accoucheur (“obstetrician”), he aided the wives of James I and Charles I in… …   Universalium

  • Peter Chamberlen — was the name of two brothers, the sons of William Chamberlen (about 1540 1596), a Huguenot surgeon who fled from Paris to England in 1576. They are famous as they discovered the modern use of obstetrical forceps. It remained a family secret for… …   Wikipedia

  • Chamberlen, Hugh — born 1630, London, Eng. died с 1720, London British midwife. He was grandnephew of Peter Chamberlen the Elder (1560–1631), who invented the obstetrical forceps. A midwife to Catherine, queen of Charles II of England, Hugh Chamberlen used his… …   Universalium

  • History of Medicine —     History of Medicine     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► History of Medicine     The history of medical science, considered as a part of the general history of civilization, should logically begin in Mesopotamia, where tradition and philological… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • History of insurance — refers to the development of a modern laws and market in insurance against risks. In some sense we can say that insurance appears simultaneously with the appearance of human society. We know of two types of economies in human societies: money… …   Wikipedia

  • Medical technology — See also: INDEX BY SUBJECT AREA [br] Abel, John Jacob Arsonval, Jacques Arsène d Auenbrugger, Leopold Elder von Berger, Hans Bovie, William Brunschwig, Hieronymus Bunch, Cordia C …   Biographical history of technology

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.