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Mrs Stone & Dr SmellieEighteenth-Century Midwives and their Patients$
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Robert Woods and Chris Galley

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381410

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781381410.001.0001

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date: 24 May 2019

Sarah Stone, Somerset midwife

Sarah Stone, Somerset midwife

(p.67) 3 Sarah Stone, Somerset midwife
Mrs Stone & Dr Smellie

Robert Woods

Chris Galley

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the life and work of the Somerset midwife Sarah Stone based on her book A Complete Practice of Midwifery. Although the facts of her life are not clear, it seems likely that Stone was born in about 1680, married and began to practice as a midwife around 1700, and moved to London in 1736. The publication of A Complete Practice of Midwifery in early 1737 may have marked her retirement from the profession; it is the only book of case notes published by a female midwife in eighteenth-century England. It is an account of child delivery among the common people of provincial England. This chapter first describes the demographic background of Somerset in the early eighteenth century before discussing the local experience of pregnancy, childbirth, death, and survival in the population from which Stone drew her patients.

Keywords:   midwifery, Sarah Stone, A Complete Practice of Midwifery, England, child delivery, Somerset, pregnancy, childbirth, death, patients

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