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"Spadacrene Anglica" was published by Dr. Edmund Deane, an eminent
physician of York, in the year 1626, and passed through three editions
after his death. All these editions are very scarce, and although there
are copies of the four editions in the British Museum, there are only
two other copies known to exist. I was indeed fortunate, therefore, when
some seventeen years ago I picked up a copy in a well-known second-hand
book shop in Harrogate. Now I am reprinting it, not so much for its
interest to my professional brethren as a quaint and learned
contribution to medical literature in the seventeenth century, but
because it is the earliest and most indispensable source of the history
of the waters of Harrogate.
A careful study of it will correct a number of remarkable errors, which
now pass current as historical facts in connection with the rise into
fame of Harrogate as our premier Spa. These errors would never have
arisen had there been a more free access to this very scarce book. Most
writers appear to have depended for their knowledge of its contents
upon the summary of it contained in Dr. Thomas Short's "History of
Mineral Waters," published about a century after the publication of
"Spadacrene Anglica." In commenting on this and other works abridged in
his History, the learned author states:
"Some of them are very scarce and rare. Therefore, such as have them
not, have here their whole _substance_, and need not trouble themselves
for the treatises." Unfortunately, they did not have their "whole
substance," and hence these errors.
"Spadacrene Anglica" deals mainly with the Tuewhit Well or the English
Spa. It is not my intention to discuss here either the history of its
distinguished author or the early history of the English Spa. This task
has been kindly undertaken for me by my friend and colleague, Dr.
Alexander Butler, to whom I take this opportunity to express my grateful
thanks for his very suggestive contribution.
Suffice it for the purpose of this short introduction to state that the
medicinal qualities of the Tuewhit Well were discovered about fifty-five
years prior to the publication of "Spadacrene Anglica," the credit of
the discovery being due to a certain Mr. William Slingsby, not to his
nephew, Sir William Slingsby as has been persistently but erroneously
stated. The Tuewhit Well was first designated "The English Spa" in or
about the year 1596 by Timothy Bright, M.D., sometime rector of both
Methley and Barwick in Elmet, near Leeds, which goes far to support the
well established belief that the waters of the Tuewhit Well were the
first to be used internally for medicinal purposes in England. To-day
the word Spa is, of course, a general term for a health resort
possessing mineral waters, but in the days of Dr. Timothy Bright no such
meaning attached to it; Spa was the celebrated German health resort, and
one can readily conceive with what patriotic enthusiasm Dr. Timothy
Bright would proclaim the Tuewhit Well as "The English Spa" when the
medicinal properties of this Well were found to resemble those of the
two famous medicinal springs of Sauveniere and Pouhon at Spa.
"Spadacrene Anglica" (as already mentioned) was published in 1626. Later
in the same year appeared another work on Harrogate, entitled "News out
of Yorkshire," by Michael Stanhope, Esq. Further, the time of Mr.
William Slingsby's birth has been traced back to between the years 1525
and 1527. The year 1926 is therefore the tercentenary of the publication
of Deane's "Spadacrene Anglica," and Stanhope's "News out of Yorkshire,"
and may also be regarded as the quatercentenary of the birth of Mr.
William Slingsby. What a triple event for commemoration!
In this edition of "Spadacrene Anglica" the original title-page and
initial letters have been artistically reproduced by the publishers;
the text has not been modernized except in the case of the old vowel
forms I and U for the consonants J and V. Otherwise, the original
spelling and the use of capitals and italics have been retained. The
long S has not been retained. With these slight changes one cannot but
admire the forceful English in which it is written, and the clearness of
the style of the author.
I am indebted to my daughter Dorothy for the sketch of the Tuewhit Well.
12, York Road,
_Biographical Notes_ OF _Edmund Deane, M.D. and others in relation to
the Tuewhit Well, The English Spa_.
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