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Simon FormanImage copyrightWellcome Collection
Image caption Simon Forman courted public attention with his mix of medicine, magic and astrology

What would you do if you thought your children had turned into “rats and mice”? Or if you had the “French disease”? Or had trouble with witches?

In 16th Century England, you might have visited two celebrity “doctors”, Simon Forman and Richard Napier.

After 10 years of research, Cambridge historians are digitising some of their patient records, showing how they prescribed magic as well as medicine.

The records also show patients being told to wear dead pigeons as slippers.

There are 80,000 separate case notes, from the 1590s to the 1630s, in what is described as one of the biggest such historical medical collections in existence.

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