Illustration by Edward Mayhew the teeth of a three year old horse

Open wide

In a paper read before members of the Veterinary Medical Association (probably in 1849) Thomas Gowing said “I have …experienced great difficulties in many required operations on the teeth [of the horse] from the want of proper dental instruments.” His solution?  To invent a set of instruments which “I flatter myself, will be found useful… […]

Close up of head

Edward Snape’s muscular preparation

The library is currently having a makeover which has meant emptying shelves and cupboards.  One thing that has come out of its cupboard is a print titled ‘A muscular preparation of a horse with references.’ The inscription reads: “To His most Excellent MAJESTY GEORGE III. King of Great Britain &c &c. This Plate is most […]

John Henry Steel

One of the professions youngest and brightest ornaments

Recently there has been another of those coincidences that those of us who work in libraries love.  Two quite separate enquiries which end up having something – or in this case someone – in common. The first enquiry was from a researcher who wanted to look at The quarterly journal of veterinary science in India and […]

Never mount a strange horse in a crowded place

The artistic Mr Mayhew

I have recently had the opportunity to look more closely at the almost 400 watercolours by Edward Mayhew that we acquired in 1990. Edward Mayhew (1808-1868) was the brother of Henry Mayhew, founding editor of Punch.  It is thought he spent his early years in the theatre before enrolling at the London Veterinary College in […]

Site of plaque commemorating William Moorcroft

Oxford Street’s pioneering veterinary surgeon

London, like most towns or cities, has lots of plaques commemorating people or events attached to its buildings.  Most of these plaques are above eye level and often go unnoticed by people passing by. One such plaque is sited on the left-hand side of Oxford Street, when walking down from Marble Arch, on the block […]

Plate 7 Cheviot Ram

A Welsh veterinary adviser

In honour of St David’s Day, the feast day of the patron saint of Wales, I have decided to look at one of the two Welsh language items  that we have in our collection Meddyg y fferm arweinydd i drin a gochel clefydau mewn anifeiliad by James Law which was published in 1881. I am […]

Model to accompany A new exposition of the horses hoof

A model hoof

During the recent reordering of the RCVS headquarters a 6 inch square box was found containing a cardboard model and a folded piece of paper.  Further investigation revealed it was something rather exciting – the pasteboard model of a horse’s hoof which accompanies Bracy Clark’s two page pamphlet A new exposition of the horses’ hoof. […]

Smith's sketch of the new hospital

South African War Diaries

In  1900, Frederick Smith was serving as a veterinary officer in the South African War.  The entries in his official war diary for August of that year show that the focus of his attention at that time was on finding a new site for the veterinary hospital which he had responsibility for. The hospital was […]

Terai hat and Norfolk jacket, The Horsewoman by Mrs. Hayes (1892)

A Sporting Nation – Great British Horsemanship

Love them or loathe them the Olympic Games have arrived.  Britain’s oldest royal park, Greenwich Park, will host the Equestrian(and modern Pentathlon) events.   The picturesque venue dates back to 1433 and is the former hunting ground of the rich and athletic.  King Henry VIII introduced deer to the park in 1515, and considering himself an accomplished […]

Title page of Youatt The Horse

Brunel on the power of the horse

Search the library catalogue for Isambard Kingdom Brunel, born on this day in 1806, and you will find one entry – for William Youatt’s book The Horse: its history, breeds, and management to which is appended, a treatise on draught first published in 1831. The link to Brunel?  The inclusion of his ‘treatise on draught’ – […]