CHURCH, BENJAMIN.  1734-1778?

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Lot 3044
CHURCH, BENJAMIN. 1734-1778?

Sold for US$ 2,031 inc. premium
CHURCH, BENJAMIN. 1734-1778?
Autograph Manuscript Signed (“Benj. Church”) three times, in English and Latin, approx. 70 ll, most written on rectos and versos, 4to, London, 1758 to 1763, being Church’s medical school notebook, also used as an accounts ledger during the early years of his practice, signed twice on the pastedown and once integrally in the text, pages heavily toned with soiling and spotting throughout, a few leaves with excised portions, thumbing throughout, new endpapers, full sheepskin, rebacked with staining and wear to upper and lower covers and edges.

In the years leading up to the Revolutionary War, Benjamin Church was a promising young physician and Whig, the author of an important oration on the rights of colonists (see next lot). By 1774, however, he was suspected of being a Loyalist, and in 1775 was arrested and court-martialed for “holding criminal correspondence with the enemy.” Church admitted to having sent a letter to the commander of a British vessel at Newport, but argued that he had acted in the colonies’ interest by purposely exaggerating the numbers of the Continental Army to frighten the British. He was found guilty, briefly imprisoned, and eventually allowed to depart from the West Indies, during which voyage his ship was lost.
This manuscript dates from the period after his 1754 graduation from Harvard when he studied medicine in London. It contains lecture notes, including “Memoranda of Dr. Orme’s Lecture on Midwifery” and “Lecture on the Pharmacopaia Material Medica and Elements of Chemistry,” plus recipes and instructions for use of spirits, tinctures, elixirs, wines, syrups, oxymels, powders, electuaries, salts, pills, oils, balsams, unguents, and emplasters, with additional pages of accounting from 1761-1763.
See illustration.
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