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Nial O'Glacan (c.1590 - 1655):
Physician


Nial O'Glacan was born in County Donegal, though few details of his early life remain. He was a physician, and it is possible he left Ireland when he was young because of his support for Hugh O'Donnell who died in 1602 in Spain. He spent many years practising in Salamanca and Valencia, using the latinised version of his name, Mellanus Galacanus, for professional purposes. By the 1620s he was treating cases of the plague in Claremont and Toulouse. In 1629 he published his famous Tractatus de Peste, which was printed by the university printers; it includes personal observations such as the fact that the plague doctors wore long leather gowns, gauntlets, leather masks with glass protection for the eyes and a long beak filled with fumigants for the nose. The University of Toulouse appointed him to its Chair of Medicine, and he was physician to the King of France. In 1646 he moved to Bologne and visited Rome. He edited a collection of poems with the Bishop of Ferns and Sir Nicholas Plunkett: Regni Hiberniae ad Sanctissimus Innocenti Pont. Max Pyramides Encomiasticae. In 1655 he published Cursus Medicus (2 vols), based on the writings of Galen.

Born: c.1590
Died: 1655
Kate Newmann