J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Malachy Field: horse doctor

On 26 August 1765, this advertisement appeared in the Boston Gazette, offering a glimpse of the large-animal veterinary practice in late colonial America:

Malachy Field takes this Opportunity of acquainting the Publick, that he undertakes to cure all Disorders incident to Horses, if curable, viz., Strains of all Kinds, the Mange or Scab Fistula, and Gangrain Wounds of all kinds, Melanders and Selanders, Colds, Coughs, Worms of all kinds, Consumptions, the Anticor, Sickheart, sick Spleen, the Yellows, evil Habit of the Body, Strangles; he likewise undertakes the breaking and managing of young Cattle, for the Bitt and Snaffle, nicking and setting their Tails to the greatest Advantage.

Said Field has made this Branch his Study upwards of 20 Years, in foreign Countries; and is so confident of his Abilities and Knowledge in the internal and external Diseases of Horses, that he intended to make no Demands for his Attendance or Trouble, except [i.e., unless] he performs such Cures as he undertakes.

Said Field designs to lodge the first and third Week of each Month at Mr. Coleman’s, at the Sign of General Wolfe near the Market House; the second and last at Mr. Charles Connor’s, at the Queen’s Head Roxbury.

He likewise will undertake the preparing and ordering Horses for Races, by physicking, sweating and giving such Pills as will effectually strengthen the Animal and preserve his Wind.
On 22 Feb 1768, Field advertised again in the Gazette, saying he was living “at Capt. Conner’s near the Mill-Bridge,” then the border of Boston’s North End. I suspect he usually stayed at inns with stables, where he could meet the most clients and treat the most patients.

2 comments:

chgala1-on-Ancestry said...

A Malaky Field arrived in Boston from Cork, Ireland on the brig 'Freemason', on Dec 27, 1764. Data from the passenger list for this ship posted on the Olive Branch website, contributed by Faye Moran.

J. L. Bell said...

Thanks for adding that information.