The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2347 Monday, 18 December 2000
From: Judy Lewis <
Date: Thursday, 14 Dec 2000 22:53:30 +1300
Subject: 11.2306 Re: Henry VIII
Comment: Re: SHK 11.2306 Re: Henry VIII
>Judy, does your source indicate how long it took the disease -- like the
>Renaissance -- to spread to England? I have the unresearched impression
>that it arrived, or rather was noted to have arrived, only in the 2nd
>half of the 16th C. and that the sexual revulsion common in Jacobean
>literature may at least partly be related to its presence.
I quoted verbatim - that's all they said.
>And, by the way, America will have to decline the honour of infecting
>Europe. Columbus's crew would have caught theirs in the W. Indies.
Further research has uncovered the following, from Antonia Fraser's Six
Sir Arthur Salusbury MacNalty in Henry VIII. A Difficult Patient, "The
Diagnosis of King Henry's 'Sore Legge'", points out that a syphilitic
ulcer would have been recognised by Tudor surgeons and treated with
mercury, but mercury was not prescribed for the King.
It has been suggested that the problem was scurvy, but this was common
at the time; Henry's problem was his "Sorre Legge" and its side effects.