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Doctor Willis. Medal in tin

Willis, Francis

Publication Date: 1789
From Jeremy Norman's historyofscience (Novato, CA, U.S.A.)

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Willis, Francis (1717-1807). Doctor Willis. Medal in tin showing Willis in three-quarter profile on the obverse, with the reverse reading "Britons rejoice your king's restored 1789." Signed "C. I." on the obverse, followed by a serpent (?). N.p., 1789. Minor discoloration, tiny nick in edge, but very good. A medal commissioned by Willis to commemorate his successful treatment of George III, who had suffered his first attack of madness in the summer of 1788. Willis was called in to treat the ailing monarch shortly afterwards and over the next few months he subjected the king to several of the standard 18th-century treatments for insanity, including forcible restraint, blistering, coercion and the application of leeches to the temples; he also prescribed a regime of fresh air and physical exercise. The king recovered his sanity in 1789, which prompted a frenzy of national rejoicing and made Willis's reputation. "Official medals were struck to commemorate the recovery of the king, and Dr. Willis had some struck of his own-for advertising purposes. On one side was depicted Willis, and on the other, 'Britons Rejoice Your King's Restored 1789'" (Arnold, Bedlam: London and its Mad, p. 152). The medals were issued in silver, copper, bronzed lead and tin; we are offering one of the tin examples. Storer, Medicina in Nummis, no. 3790. Bookseller Inventory # 43384

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Doctor Willis. Medal in tin

Publication Date: 1789

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

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