The Midwives of Seventeenth-Century London

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This book is a comprehensive and detailed study of early modern midwives in seventeenth-century London. Until quite recently, midwives, as a group, have been dismissed by historians as being inadequately educated and trained for the task of child delivery. The Midwives of Seventeenth-Century London rejects these claims by exploring the midwives' training and their licensing in an unofficial apprenticeship by the Church. Dr Evenden also offers an accurate depiction of the midwives in their socioeconomic context by examining a wide range of seventeenth-century sources. This expansive study not only recovers the names of almost one thousand women who worked as midwives in the twelve London parishes, but also brings to light details about their spouses, their families and their associates.