Katherine (fl. 13th c.)

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Katherine (fl. 13th c.)

English physician. Flourished in the 13th century in London.

Katherine represents the many medieval women who broke through clerical stereotypes yet about whom we have little information. Katherine was a highly skilled physician who lived and worked in London. She specialized in surgery and gained widespread respect for her healing abilities. Her father was also a surgeon of London; Katherine probably studied under him before taking on her own patients. Although women as a rule were expected to act as healers, medieval ideology disapproved of the numerous women like Katherine who healed those outside their immediate families, and who performed surgery and other hands-on medical procedures.


LaBarge, Margaret. A Small Sound of the Trumpet: Women in Medieval Life. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1986.

Laura York , Riverside, California

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