An Interactive Annotated World Bibliography of Printed and Digital Works in the History of Medicine and the Life Sciences from Circa 2000 BCE to 2022 by Fielding H. Garrison (1870-1935), Leslie T. Morton (1907-2004), and Jeremy M. Norman (1945- ) Traditionally Known as “Garrison-Morton”

15957 entries, 13939 authors and 1935 subjects. Updated: February 16, 2024

JORDEN, Edward

1 entries
  • 13553

A brief discourse of a disease called the suffocation of the mother. Written uppon occasion which hath beene of late taken thereby, to suspect possession of an evill spirit, or some such like supernaturall power. Wherin is declared that divers strange actions and passions of the body of man, which the common opinion, are imputed to the Divell, have their true naturall causes, and do accompanie this disease.

London: John Windet, 1603.

Jorden was the first English physician who viewed women accused of witchcraft as unfortunate persons suffering from some medical condition. "Asserting that there were natural causes for their afflictions, Jorden often served as expert witness at trials of women accused of witchery. His arguments did not always persuade the judges, however. One Elizabeth Jackson, accused of causing the fits suffered by Mary Glover, was convicted in spite of Jorden's defense. Jorden (1603) called the disorder manifested in Jackson (and in the majority of supposed witches) by two terms: hysterical, and strangulatus uteri, or "suffocation of the mother" (mother here being an old-fashioned term for the uterus), since a choking in the throat was a common accompaniment. Jorden was impressed by the panoply and ever-shifting quality of symptoms associated with this condition: now shortness of breath, now palpitations, now paralysis, and so on. He was also aware that the hysterical "fits" might occur with varying regularity: yearly, monthly, or even weekly." (Wikipedia article on Edward Jorden, accessed 9-2021).

Digital facsimile of a photocopy from Google Books at this link.

Subjects: PSYCHIATRY › Hysteria