Lind, James, 1716-1794
A treatise on the scurvy: in three parts. Containing an inquiry into the nature, causes, and cure, of that disease. Together with a critical and chronological view of what has been published on the subject.
London : Printed for A. Millar ..., 1757.
2nd edition, corrected, with additions and improvements.
James Lind served as a Surgeon's Mate in the West Indies and as a Naval Surgeon with the Channel Fleet. He made his name with this treatise on scurvy which was first published in 1753 while he was studying for the university medical qualifications he needed to achieve appointment to a higher rank in the Navy. The book was dedicated to Lord Anson, an appropriate choice given his voyage around the world had a disastrous record of deaths from scurvy. It was also a shrewd bid by Lind for support from Anson. This support was forthcoming and Lind became Physician-in-Chief to the Royal Naval Hospital at Haslar, near Portsmouth and effectively medical advisor to the Navy. His works on diseases in the tropics and on the general health of seamen provided much needed evidence which transformed British naval policy and laid the foundations for the dominance of the Royal Navy in the Napoleonic Wars.
The treatise on scurvy reviews the known measures for the prevention and treatment of scurvy, but its original feature is a clinical trial where the traditional remedies are subjected to a comparative trial under conditions at sea. Another novel feature is the chronological approach to the existing literature on the topic.