Peter Lowe, A Skillful Surgeon

Peter Lowe. A discourse of the whole art of chyrurgerie. The third edition; corrected, and much amended. London: Printed by Thomas Purfoot, 1634.

Peter Lowe (1550-1610) was a Scottish surgeon. The lack of medical training available in his native land sent him to France, where he became a student of surgery at the church of Cosmos and Damien in Paris. After taking his examinations, he remained in France and eventually became surgeon in ordinary to King Henry IV. He returned to Glasgow in 1598, where he became the town’s surgeon. His distress over the state of Scottish medical education spurred him to petition King James VI, who granted him a Charter to found what is now known as the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.

The first edition of Lowe’s surgical text was published in 1597, and it went through several subsequent editions. While most of his work focuses on surgical techniques, it also includes recipes for therapeutic ointments.

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