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Auction #57 begins on
02 Mar 2017 16:30 GMT

Edward BALFOUR. - John Tricker CONQUEST (1789–1866).

Conquest's Outlines of Midwifery ... translated from English into Hindostani, by Edward Balfour

Very rare: one other copy recorded. 21 lithographed plates, printed in English and 'Hindustani' in Madras

Published: Fort St. George Gazette Press, Madras, 1852

Reserve: $1,200


Estimate: $2000-3000

Bidding opens: 2 Mar 16:30 GMT

Bidding closes: 9 Mar 16:30 GMT

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Conquest's Outlines of Midwifery, developing its principles and practice; translated from English into Hindostani, by Edward Balfour.

Madras: [printed at the Fort St. George Gazette Press], 1852. Octavo. 15pp., 415pp, 44pp, 16pp. Parallel title, text etc. in English and 'Hindustani'. 21 lithographed plates, one signed 'A. Ignatro Lith.'  (Some spotting, toning, but overall pretty good condition, only obvious faults otherwise: pp.18/[19] tear to lower blank margin; pp. [21]/22 small section of lower outer corner torn away with loss of 2 characters. ).

Rebound in leather backed cloth-covered boards (sections from original spine laid down, some light soiling or scuffing).

Provenance: G.H. Downing (inscription, dated 1875, giving the book to 'old friend Jones').

Very rare: none sold or for sale: only the Yale copy is listed on OCLC (in the Yale, Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library). Note that Yale description has  no mention of any plates, or 16pp of text accompanying the 12 numbered plates. However, the Yale copy has been digitised and is available online through the Wellcome Library and an examination of this online version confirms that the present copy is a match: the plates, etc. are present).

"Edward Green Balfour (6 September 1813 Angus, Montrose - 8 December 1889, Gloucester Terrace, London) was a Scottish surgeon, orientalist and pioneering environmentalist in India. He founded museums at Madras and Bangalore, a zoological garden in Madras and was instrumental in raising awareness on forest conservation and public health in India. He published a Cyclopaedia of India, several editions of which were published after 1857, translated works on health into Indian languages and wrote on a variety of subjects.Balfour was the second son of Captain George Balfour of the East India Company marine service and Susan Hume (a sister of the radical MP Joseph Hume). His elder brother was Sir George Balfour (1809–1894) who was later a liberal MP for Kincardineshire. He was educated at Montrose Academy then he studied surgery at Edinburgh University and joined the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1833. A family friend arranged his commission as an assistant surgeon in the Madras medical service in India and he set sail for India in 1834. On the way he visited Mauritius where he witnessed ecological destruction about which he had read in the works of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre and Jean-Baptiste Boussingault. This created a lifelong interest in climate change and environmental problems.On arrival in India in 1836 he was attached to a European regiment as an assistant surgeon. He was in medical charge of European and native artillery, native cavalry, Madras and Bombay infantry divisions until 1862. He served as a staff-surgeon at Ahmednagar and at Bellary, and in 1850 he acted as government agent at Chepauk and was a paymaster dealing with Carnatic stipends. His ability with languages particularly Hindi and later Persian helped his transfer into a sepoy regiment. This led him to be posted to smaller areas and he spent the next ten years travelling around southern India. He was often sought by the government as a translator of Hindustani and Persian.In 1848 Balfour returned to Madras and he was given medical charge of the governor's bodyguard. This gave him more time to writing and other interests and he also took up additional appointments as agent to the court of the nawab of the Carnatic. From 1858 to 1861 he served on a commission to look into the debts of the nawab. In 1850, he also served as assistant assay master at the Madras mint.In 1852 he became a full surgeon and on 24 May he married Marion Matilda Agnes Gilchrist, daughter of a fellow surgeon at Madras. He served as deputy Surgeon-General in Burma and the Straits Settlements, the Andamans and the Mysore division. From 1871 to 1876 he was Surgeon-General and headed the Madras Medical Department.  Balfour's wife, Marion, would help in the proof-reading of Balfour's encyclopaedia. ...

Recognising the importance of women in matters of public health, he personally translated Dr. T. Conquest's Outlines of Midwifery into Hindi and arranged for translations into Kannada, Tamil and Telugu.  He also attempted to influence the government to introduce medical education in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam languages but failed. He worked towards encouraging European women to enter the medical service in India since he believed that women could move more freely within certain sections of Indian society. This move succeeded and in 1875, Mary Scharlieb was admitted to the Madras Medical College as its first woman applicant.

Balfour was keen on collections and education. He founded the Government Central Museum at Madras in 1850. He became the first officer in charge of the museum at Madras. By 1879 the museum was attracting 180,000 people each year and in 1886 as much as 230,000. Women visitors were encouraged on special days.  He not only kept records of the visitors but also studied the response of visitors to exhibits. ...  In 1866 he started the Bangalore Museum in the state of Mysore. He was a secretary to the Madras Central Committee for the Great Exhibition of 1851, the Paris Exhibitions of 1855 and 1868, the International Exhibition of London (1862) and the Vienna Exhibition (1872).Balfour took a special interest in languages and spent a lot of time learning local languages. In 1850 he published Gul-Dastah or The Bunch of Roses, a lithographed series of works by Persian and Hindustani poets. He also set up a Mohammedan Public Library in Madras and translated many works from Persian to English as well as English works (such as on astronomy) into Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. ...Balfour's collations on a variety of aspects of life in India led to the publication of the The Encyclopaedia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia, Commercial, Industrial, and Scientific, first published in 1857 with subsequent editions titled as the Cyclopaedia of India. The original work was derived from notes that he had made for the Great Exhibition of 1851. Subsequent editions incorporated research by others including Sir Dietrich Brandis and it grew into a five volume work in 1871-83. The work also was used by William Theobald in his major revision of Mason's Burmah.... Balfour continued to write about India after retiring to England in 1876. He openly held anti-colonialist sentiments which Richard Grove suggests as being linked to the radical ideas of his uncle Joseph Hume, opinions that were also expressed by his cousin Allan Octavian Hume. His elder brother George Balfour also argued against salt taxes in India and suggested that they hampered growth and antagonized the population of India.Balfour left India in 1876 after 42 years there, and at his farewell was felicitated in Madras by the Hindu, Muslim and European communities with a portrait of him placed in the Government Central Museum. For his distinguished services he was given an additional annual good-service pension of £100. In 1891 the Madras University established a Balfour memorial gold medal to encourage women in medicine." (wikipedia)

Conquest "man-midwife, was born in 1789. He graduated M.D. at Edinburgh in 1813, and became a licentiate of the College of Physicians of London in December 1819. In 1820 he published 'Outlines of Midwifery,' of which a second edition appeared in 1821. He used to give four courses of lectures on midwifery in each year at his own house, 4 Aldemanbury Postern, London, and charged three guineas to each student attending. The lectures included remarks on the diseases of children and on forensic medicine. In a few years he moved into Finsbury Square, became lecturer on midwifery in the medical school of St. Bartholomew's Hospital (1825), and attained considerable practice. In 1830 he published an address to the Hunterian Society on puerperal inflammation (16 pp. 8vo), and in 1848 'Letters to a Mother on the Management of herself and her children in Health and Disease.' This work reached a fourth edition in 1852, but is written in a sickly style, and has no scientific or practical merit. A physician who remembered the men-midwives of Conquest's period of practice used to relate that they were divided into two classes by their conversation: one section quoted texts whenever they spoke, the other section poured forth stories which were more indecent than the drama of the Restoration. Never was midwifery, as a special branch of practice, less worthily represented. Conquest did not rise above the level of his fellows, but it must at least be admitted that his 'Letters to a Mother,' if tainted with cant, are free from indecency. He retired from practice, and after several years of a melancholy decay died at Shooter's Hill on 24 Oct. 1866" (DNB)

  • Binding Condition: Acceptable
  • Overall Condition: Acceptable
  • Size: 9 x 6in; 230 x 150mm

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