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A Famous and Flourishing SocietyThe History of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, 1505-2005$
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Helen Dingwall

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780748615674

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748615674.001.0001

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Consolidation and organisation, 1581–1726

Consolidation and organisation, 1581–1726

(p.29) 3 Consolidation and organisation, 1581–1726
A Famous and Flourishing Society

Helen M. Dingwall

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter deals with a turbulent century in the history of Scotland, one that was significant in terms of the consolidation and development of the Incorporation and its organisation and functions. For the first two centuries of its existence – or at least the period from 1581, when the written records commence – the Incorporation was shaped and influenced by a number of interacting and, at times, conflicting factors. The period saw the final secularisation of medical training and the emergence of an organised medical orthodoxy. This was a lowland, urban phenomenon, centred on claims made by emergent groups of trained practitioners for ‘custody’ of medical and surgical knowledge, which was then defined as the orthodoxy. After 1680, the Incorporation would be much more heavily involved in dealing with external disputes and influences. By 1726 the early crises of numbers were over, though not entirely so, and the Incorporation participated more fully in outside matters. Quarrels about jurisdiction and demarcation were certainly not over, but by that time it was a strong force in Edinburgh society.

Keywords:   Incorporation, Scotland, Edinburgh, jurisdiction, demarcation

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