Denyer Family of Godalming
!Mary Toft (née Denyer; c. 17011763), also spelled Tofts, was an English woman from Godalming, Surrey, who in 1726 became the subject of considerable controversy when she tricked doctors into believing that she had given birth to rabbits.
Toft became pregnant in 1726, but later miscarried. Apparently fascinated by a rabbit she had seen while working, she claimed to have given birth to parts of animals. Local surgeon John Howard was called to investigate, and upon delivering several animal parts he notified other prominent physicians. The matter came to the attention of Nathaniel St. André, surgeon to the Royal Household of King George I of Great Britain. St. André investigated and concluded that Toft was telling the truth. The king also sent surgeon Cyriacus Ahlers to see Toft, but Ahlers remained sceptical. By now quite famous, Toft was brought to London and was studied at length. Under intense scrutiny, and producing no more rabbits, she eventually confessed to the hoax and was subsequently imprisoned as a fraud.
The public mockery which followed created panic within the medical profession. Several prominent surgeons' careers were ruined, and many satirical works were produced, each scathingly critical of the affair. The pictorial satirist and social critic William Hogarth was notably critical of the gullibility of the medical profession. Toft was eventually released without charge and returned to her home.
The story first came to the attention of the public in late October 1726, when reports began to reach London. It was mentioned in the Weekly Journal, on 19 November 1726:
From Guildford comes a strange but well-attested Piece of News. That a poor Woman who lives at Godalmin [sic], near that Town, was about a Month past delivered by Mr John Howard, an Eminent Surgeon and Man-Midwife, of a creature resembling a Rabbit but whose Heart and Lungs grew without [outside] its Belly, about 14 Days since she was delivered by the same Person, of a perfect Rabbit: and in a few Days after of 4 more; and on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, the 4th, 5th, and 6th instant, of one in each day: in all nine, they died all in bringing into the World. The woman hath made Oath, that two Months ago, being working in a Field with other Women, they put up a Rabbit, who running from them, they pursued it, but to no Purpose: This created in her such a Longing to it, that she (being with Child) was taken ill and miscarried, and from that Time she hath not been able to avoid thinking of Rabbits. People after all, differ much in their Opinion about this Matter, some looking upon them as great Curiosities, fit to be presented to the Royal Society, etc. others are angry at the Account, and say, that if it be a Fact, a Veil should be drawn over it, as an Imperfection in human Nature.
Weekly Journal, 19 November 1726
The woman mentioned, Mary Toft, twenty-four or twenty-five years old, was married to Joshua Toft, a journeyman clothier. She was baptised Mary Denyer on 21 February 1703, the daughter of John and Jane Denyer. She married Joshua about 1720, and they had three children, Mary, Anne, and James. In 1726 she had become pregnant again, but as a peasant in 18th-century England she had no choice but to continue working in the fields. Toft complained of painful complications early in the pregnancy. Early in August, she egested several pieces of flesh, one "as big as my arm". This may have been the result of an abnormality of the developing placenta, which caused the embryo to stop developing and blood clots and flesh to be ejected. Several weeks later, on 27 September, she went into labour. Her neighbour was called, and watched as Toft produced several animal parts. She showed the pieces to her mother, and to her mother-in-law Ann Toft, who, by chance, was a midwife. Ann Toft sent the pieces to John Howard, a man-midwife of thirty years experience, who lived in Guildford.
A three quarters portrait of a middle-aged man in 18th-century dress, standing upright with a tricorn hat held between his right elbow and waist, looking to the right, his hands slightly raised
A coloured engraving of Nathaniel St. André
Initially Howard dismissed the notion out-of-hand, but despite his reservations, the next day he went to see Toft. Ann Toft showed him further pieces of the previous night's exertions, but when he examined Mary, he found nothing. She then began to go into labour, and appeared to give birth to several more animal parts. Howard returned the next day, and continued his investigations. According to a contemporary account of 9 November, over the next few days he delivered "three legs of a Cat of a Tabby Colour, and one leg of a Rabbet: the guts were as a Cat's and in them were three pieces of the Back-Bone of an Eel ... The cat's feet supposed were formed in her imagination from a cat she was fond of that slept on the bed at night." Later Toft seemingly became ill again, and during the next few days delivered more pieces of rabbit.
As the story became more widely known, on 4 November Henry Davenant, a member of the court of King George I, went to Guildford to see what was happening for himself. He examined the samples that Howard had collected, and returned to London, ostensibly a believer. Howard had Toft moved to Guildford, where he offered to deliver rabbits in front of anyone who doubted the veracity of the story. He wrote several letters notifying Davenant of any progress in the case. Some of these came to the attention of Nathaniel St. André, since 1723 a Swiss surgeon to the Royal Household. St. André detailed the contents of one of these letters in his pamphlet, A short narrative of an extraordinary delivery of rabbets (1727) (published several weeks after the event):
Since I wrote to you, I have taken or deliver'd the poor Woman of three more Rabbets, all three half grown, one of them a dunn Rabbet; the last leap'd twenty three Hours in the Uterus before it dy'd. As soon as the eleventh Rabbet was taken away, up leap'd the twelfth Rabbet, which is now leaping. If you have any curious Person that is pleased to come Post, may see another leap in her Uterus, and shall take it from her if he pleases; which will be a great Satisfaction to the Curious: If she had been with Child, she has but ten Days more to go, so I do not know how many Rabbets may be behind; I have brought the Woman to Guildford for better Convenience.
I am, SIR, Your humble Servant,
A three quarter portrait of a man, seated, hands rested on the arms of the chair, wearing expensive clothing and a wig. Behind him to his right, is a crown, its cross and arches prominent.
King George I was fascinated by the story of Toft.
By the middle of November, the British Royal Family were so interested in the story that they sent St. André and Samuel Molyneux (secretary to the Prince of Wales) to investigate. The two were, apparently, not disappointed; arriving on 15 November they met Howard, who took them to see Toft, who within hours delivered the torso of a rabbit. St. André's account details his examination. To check if the rabbit had breathed air, he placed a piece of its lung in water to see if it would floatwhich it did. St. André then performed a medical examination on Toft, and concluded that the rabbits were bred in her Fallopian tubes. In the doctors' absence, Toft reportedly delivered the torso of another rabbit later that day, which the two also examined. They again returned that evening to find Toft again displaying violent contractions. A further medical examination followed, and St. André delivered the skin of one of the rabbits, followed a few minutes later by the head. Both men inspected the rabbit parts, and noted that some resembled the body parts of a cat.
Fascinated, in the same month the king sent another surgeon, Cyriacus Ahlers, to see Toft. Ahlers arrived in Guildford on 20 November to find Toft exhibiting no signs of pregnancy. Ahlers may have already suspected the affair was a hoax, and observed that Toft seemed to press her knees and thighs together, as if to prevent something from "dropping down". Howard's behaviour was similarly suspicious, as he refused to allow Ahlers to aid in the delivery of the rabbits (although Ahlers was not a man-midwife, and in an earlier attempt he apparently put Toft through considerable pain). Convinced the affair was a hoax he lied, telling those involved that he believed Toft's story. He made his excuses and returned to London, taking with him specimens of the rabbits. Upon closer study, he reportedly found evidence of them having been cut with a man-made instrument, and he also found bits of straw and grain in their droppings.
On 21 November Ahlers reported his findings to the King and later to "several Persons of Note and Distinction". The next day, Howard wrote to Ahlers, asking for the return of the specimens he had taken with him. Ahlers' suspicions began to worry both Howard and St. André, and apparently the King, because two days later St. André and a colleague were ordered back to Guildford. Upon their arrival they met Howard, who told St. André that Toft had given birth to two additional rabbits. She delivered several of what the men presumed to be portions of a placenta; the two men found her to be quite ill, with a constant pain in the right side of her abdomen. In a pre-emptive move against Ahlers, St. André collected several affidavits from people who had witnessed Ahlers' behaviour. These affidavits in effect cast doubt on Ahlers' honesty, and on 26 November St. André gave an anatomical demonstration before the king, supporting Toft's story. According to his pamphlet, neither St. André nor Molyneux suspected any fraudulent activity.
Several days later Howard again wrote to St. André, who then travelled to Guildford (ordered by the king to return to London with Toft, so that further investigations could be carried out). He was accompanied by Richard Manningham, a well-known obstetrician who had been knighted in 1721, and who was the second son of Thomas Manningham, the Bishop of Chichester. He examined Toft and found the right side of her abdomen to be slightly enlarged. While there, Manningham delivered what he thought was a hog's bladder (although St. André and Howard did not agree with his identification). Manningham became suspicious as the bladder smelled of urine, but those involved agreed to say nothing in public, and on their return to London on 29 November lodged Toft in Lacey's Bagnio, in Leicester Fields.
A woman apparently in labour lies on a tester bed, her legs dangling over the edge. Rabbits are on the floor beneath her, some in parts. A nurse is seated to the left, and to the extreme left a man stands, partially hidden by a curtain. A man wearing a wig has his right arm beneath the woman's skirts, to the right one man says "A Sooterkin", another says "A great birth". Near a door on the right of the image, a man says "It's too big" to another man stood in the doorway, holding a rabbit. Rows of text at the bottom describe the people in the image.
Hogarth's Cunicularii, or The Wise Men of Godliman in Consultation (1726). St. André described Toft (F) as possessing a "healthy strong constitution, of a small size, and fair complexion; of a very stupid and sullen temper: she can neither write nor read", and her husband (E) as "a poor Journey-man Clothier at Godlyman, by whom she has had three children".
Printed in the early days of newspapers, the story became a national sensation, although some publications were sceptical; the Norwich Gazette viewed the story simply as female gossip. Rabbit stew and jugged hare disappeared from the dinner table. As unlikely as the story sounded, many physicians felt compelled to see for themselves. The political writer John Hervey later told his friend Henry Fox that:
Every creature in town, both men and women, have been to see and feel her: the perpetual emotions, noises and rumblings in her Belly are something prodigious; all the eminent physicians, surgeons and man-midwives in London are there Day and Night to watch her next production.
John Hervey, 2nd Baron Hervey , 
Under the strict control of St. André, Toft was studied by a number of eminent physicians and surgeons. John Maubray was one such visitor. In The Female Physician he had proposed that it was possible for women to give birth to a creature he named a Sooterkin. Maubray was a proponent of maternal impression, a widely held belief that conception and pregnancy could be influenced by what the mother dreamt, or saw. Maubray also warned pregnant women that over-familiarity with household pets could cause their children to resemble those pets. He was reportedly happy to attend Toft, pleased that her case appeared to vindicate his theories. Man-midwife James Douglas however, like Manningham, presumed that the affair was a hoax and kept his distance despite regular invitations to attend from St. André. Douglas was one of the most respected anatomists in the country, and a well-known man-midwife, whereas St. André was often considered to be a member of the court only because of his ability to speak German (the King could not speak English). St. André therefore desperately wanted the two to attend Toft; after George I's accession to the throne the Whigs had become the dominant political faction, and Manningham and Douglas' Whig affiliations and medical knowledge would elevate his status as both doctor, and philosopher. Despite his early scepticism (Douglas thought that a woman giving birth to rabbits was as likely as a rabbit giving birth to a human child), Douglas went to see Toft. Manningham informed him of the suspected hog's bladder, and, after examining Toft, he refused to engage St. André on the matter:
To be able to determine, to the Satisfaction and Conviction of all sorts of Persons, other Arguments were necessary, than Anatomy, or any other Branch of Physick [sic], could furnish. Of these the greatest Number are not Judges. It was therefore undoubtedly very natural for me to desire that People would suspend any farther Judgement for a little Time, till such Proofs could be brought of the Imposture as they requir'd.
Under constant supervision, Toft went into labour several times, but nothing was delivered.
The hoax was uncovered on 4 December. Thomas Onslow had begun an investigation of his own and discovered that for the past month Joshua Toft had been buying young rabbits. Convinced he had enough evidence against Toft, in a letter to physician Hans Sloane he wrote that the affair had "almost alarmed England", and that he would soon publish his findings. On the same day, Thomas Howard, a porter at the bagnio, confessed to Sir Thomas Clarges (a Justice of the Peace) that he had been bribed to sneak a rabbit into Toft's chamber by Toft's sister-in-law, Margaret. Mary was arrested and questioned; she denied the accusation but Margaret claimed under questioning by James Douglas that she had obtained the rabbit for eating only.
I told my sister of my having sent for a rabbit and I desire[d] her to give it to the porter to be carryed [sic] away which my sister did saying she would not have it known for 1000 p[oun]d[s].
Manningham examined her and thought there was still something in the cavity of the uterus. He successfully persuaded Clarges to allow Toft to remain at the bagnio. Douglas, who was by now visiting Toft, questioned her on three or four occasions, each time for several hours. After several days of this Manningham threatened to perform a painful operation on her, and on 7 December, in the presence of Manningham, Douglas, John Montagu and Frederick Calvert, Toft finally confessed. Following her miscarriage, and while her cervix permitted access, an accomplice had inserted the claws and body of a cat, along with the head of a rabbit, into her womb. They had also invented a story in which Toft claimed that during her pregnancy she had been startled by a rabbit while working in a field, and had since become obsessed with rabbits. For later parturitions, animal parts had been inserted into her vagina.
Pressured again by Manningham and Douglas (it was Douglas that took down her confession), she made a further confession on 8 December, and another on 9 December before being sent to Tothill Fields Bridewell, charged on a statute of Edward III as a "vile cheat and imposter". In her earlier, unpublished confessions, she blamed the entire affair on a range of other participants, from her mother-in-law to John Howard. She also claimed that a travelling woman told her how to insert the rabbits into her body, and how such a scheme would ensure that she would "never want as long as I liv'd". The British Journal reported that on 7 January 1727 she had appeared at the Courts of Quarter Sessions at Westminster, charged "for being an abominable cheat and imposter in pretending to be delivered of several monstrous births". Margaret Toft however had remained staunch, and refused to comment further. Mist's Weekly Journal of 24 December 1726 reported "the nurse has been examined as to the person's concerned with her, but either was kept in the dark as to the imposition, or is not willing to disclose what she knows; for nothing can be got from her; so that her resolution shocks others."
A chapel full of people, one of whom is lying on the floor rabbits leaping from under her skirts. A preacher stands in the pulpit, preaching to his congregation.
Hogarth's Credulity, Superstition, and Fanaticism, published in 1762, ridiculed secular and religious credulity.
In the aftermath of the hoax, the medical profession suffered a great deal of public mockery for its gullibility. William Hogarth published Cunicularii, or The Wise Men of Godliman in Consultation (1726), which portrays Toft in the throes of labour, surrounded by the chief participants of the tale. Figure "F" is Toft, "E" is her husband. "A" is St. André, and "D" is Howard. In Three Characters in Hogarth's Cunicularii and Some Implications (1982) by Dennis Todd, the author concludes that figure "G" is Mary Toft's sister-in-law, Margaret Toft. In her confession of 7 December, Mary Toft was insistent that her sister-in-law had no part in the hoax, but Manningham's An Exact Diary of what was observ'd during a Close Attendance upon Mary Toft, the pretended Rabbet-Breeder of Godalming in Surrey (1726) offers eyewitness testimony of Margaret's complicity. Hogarth's print was not the only image that ridiculed the affairGeorge Vertue published The Surrey-Wonder, and The Doctors in Labour, or a New Wim-Wam in Guildford (12 plates) (1727), a broadsheet of twelve scenes satirising St. André as a jester, was also popular at the time.
The timing of Toft's confession proved awkward for St. André, who, on 3 December, had published his forty-page pamphlet: A Short Narrative of an Extraordinary Delivery of Rabbets. St. André had staked his reputation on his publication, and although it offers a more empirical account of the Toft case than earlier more fanciful publications about reproduction in general, ultimately it became the source of much derision. Ahlers, his scepticism now justified, published Some observations concerning the woman of Godlyman in Surrey (1726), which details his account of events and his suspicion of the complicity of both St. André and Howard.
A sequence of 12 images that satirise the story. Several people in 18th-century dress are visible, as well as one in a Harlequin's costume.
A contemporary popular broadsheet satirised St. André, showing him dressed as a court jester.
St. André never recovered from the affair. He recanted his views on 9 December 1726, and in 1729, following the death of Samuel Molyneux from poisoning, he married his widow Elizabetha situation which did little to impress his peers. Samuel Molyneux's cousin accused him of the poisoning, a charge that St. André defended by suing for defamation, but the careers of St. André and his wife were permanently damaged by the scandal. Elizabeth lost her attendance on Queen Caroline, and St. André was publicly humiliated at court. Living on Elizabeth's considerable wealth, they retired to the country, where St. André died in 1776, aged 96. Manningham, desperate to exculpate himself, published a diary of his observations of Mary Toft, together with an account of her confession of the fraud, on 12 December. In it he suggested that Douglas had been fooled by Toft, and concerned with his image Douglas replied by publishing his own account. Using the pseudonym 'Lover of Truth and Learning', in 1727 Douglas also published The Sooterkin Dissected. A letter to Maubray, Douglas was scathingly critical of his Sooterkin theory, calling it "a mere fiction of your [Maubray's] brain". The damage done to the medical profession was such that several doctors not connected with the tale felt compelled to print statements that they had not believed Toft's story. John Howard appeared before the bench on 7 January 1727 (along with Toft) and was fined £800 (£91.6 thousand today). He returned to Surrey and continued to practise. He died in 1755.
A doctor being visited by a French surgeon, with drawings of the doctor's earlier life on the walls behind
A satirical drawing of St. André receiving a French visitor. Following the scandal, St. André apparently never ate rabbit again.
Crowds reportedly mobbed Tothill Fields Bridewell for months, hoping to catch a glimpse of the now infamous woman who had by this time become quite ill. While incarcerated she had her portrait drawn by John Laguerre, while holding a rabbit on her lap. She was ultimately discharged on 8 April 1727, as it was unclear as to what charge should have been made. The Toft family made no profit from the affair, and Mary Toft returned to Surrey. She had a daughter in February 1727, and reappeared briefly in 1740 when she was imprisoned for receiving stolen goods, but was later reported to have died in 1763.
The case was cited by opponents of Robert Walpole as symbolising the age, which they perceived as greedy, corrupt, and deceitful. One author, writing to the Prince of Wales' mistress, suggested the story was a political portent of the approaching death of the prince's father. On 7 January 1727 Mist's Weekly Journal satirised the matter, making several allusions to political change, and compared the affair to the events in 1641, when Parliament began its revolution against King Charles I of England. The scandal provided the writers of Grub Street with enough material to produce pamphlets, squibs, broadsides, and ballads, for several months. With publications such as St. André's Miscarriage (1727) and The anatomist dissected: or the man-midwife finely brought to bed (1727) satirists scorned the objectivity of men-midwives, and critics of Toft's attendants questioned their integrity, undermining their profession by introducing sexual puns and allusions. The case raised questions about England's status as an "enlightened" nationVoltaire used the case in his brief essay Singularités de la nature to describe how the Protestant English were still influenced by an ignorant Church.
Toft did not escape the ire of the satirists, who concentrated mainly on sexual innuendo. Some took advantage of a common 18th-century word for a rabbit trackprickand others were scatological in nature. Much Ado about Nothing; or, A Plain Refutation of All that Has Been Written or Said Concerning the Rabbit-Woman of Godalming (1727) was however one of the more cutting satires written about Toft. The document supposes to be the confession of 'Merry Tuft', "... in her own Stile and Spelling". Poking fun at her illiteracy, it makes a number of obscene suggestions hinting at her promiscuity"I wos a Wuman as had grate nattural parts, and a large Capassiti, and kapible of being kunserned in depe Kuntrivansis." The document also ridicules several of the physicians involved in the affair, and reflects the general view portrayed by the satirists that Toft was a weak woman, and the least complicit of "the offenders" (regardless of her guilt). This notion contrasts with that expressed of her before the hoax was revealed, and may indicate an overall strategy to disempower Toft completely. This is reflected in one of the most notable satires of the affair, Alexander Pope and William Pulteney's anonymous satirical ballad The Discovery; or, The Squire Turn'd Ferret. Published in 1726 and aimed at Samuel Molyneux, it rhymes "hare" with "hair", and "coney" with "cunny". The ballad opens with the following verse:
Most true it is, I dare to say,
E'er since the Days of Eve,
The weakest Woman sometimes may
The wisest Man deceive.
1. ^ a b c Todd 1982, p. 27
2. ^ Haslam 1996, pp. 3031
3. ^ a b c d Uglow 1997, pp. 118119, 121
4. ^ Wilson, Philip K. (2004), Toft , Mary (bap. 1703, d. 1763), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/27494, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/27494, retrieved 2009-07-27
5. ^ Cody 2005, p. 124
6. ^ a b c Todd 1995, p. 6
7. ^ a b c Three confessions of Mary Toft, Hunterian Collection of the Library of the University of Glasgow, Bundle 20, Blackburn Cabinet, shelf listings R.1.d., R.1.f., R.1.g.
8. ^ a b Haslam 1996, p. 30
9. ^ Cody 2005, p. 125
10. ^ Seligman 1961, p. 350
11. ^ a b Haslam 1996, p. 31
12. ^ Todd 1995, p. 9
13. ^ St. André & Howard 1727, pp. 56
14. ^ St. André & Howard 1727, pp. 712
15. ^ St. André & Howard 1727, pp. 1214
16. ^ a b c d Seligman 1961, p. 352
17. ^ a b Todd 1995, pp. 1819
18. ^ Todd 1995, p. 19
19. ^ a b c Todd 1982, p. 28
20. ^ St. André & Howard 1727, pp. 2830
21. ^ St. André & Howard 1727, pp. 2021
22. ^ St. André & Howard 1727, p. 32
23. ^ Seligman 1961, p. 354
24. ^ a b Cody 2005, p. 126
25. ^ a b Paulson 1993, p. 168
26. ^ St. André & Howard 1727, p. 23
27. ^ Cody 2005, p. 135
28. ^ Cody 2005, pp. 127128
29. ^ Toor, Kiran, Offspring of his Genius: Coleridge's Pregnant Metaphors and Metamorphic Pregnancies, published in Romanticism, eupjournals.com, p. 257270, doi:10.3366/rom.2007.13.3.257, http://www.eupjournals.com/doi/abs/10.3366/rom.2007.13.3.257?cookieSet=1&journalCode=rom
30. ^ Bondeson 1997, pp. 129131
31. ^ Todd 1995, p. 26
32. ^ Bondeson 1997, p. 132
33. ^ Todd 1995, pp. 2728
34. ^ a b Todd 1982, p. 29
35. ^ Caulfield & Collection 1819, pp. 199200
36. ^ a b Seligman 1961, p. 355
37. ^ a b Seligman 1961, p. 356
38. ^ Todd 1995, p. 7
39. ^ Haslam 1996, p. 34
40. ^ a b Brock 1974, p. 168
41. ^ a b Report on Margaret Toft, British Journal, 1727-01-14
42. ^ Report on Margaret Toft, Mist's Weekly Journal, 1726-12-24
43. ^ Cody 2005, p. 142
44. ^ a b c Haslam 1996, p. 43
45. ^ Haslam 1996, pp. 2829
46. ^ a b c Todd 1982, p. 30
47. ^ Todd 1982, p. 32
48. ^ Haslam 1996, p. 45
49. ^ Cody 2005, pp. 126127
50. ^ Ahlers 1726, pp. 123
51. ^ Daily Journal, Daily Journal, 1726-12-09
52. ^ a b Cody 2005, p. 132
53. ^ Bondeson 1997, pp. 142143
54. ^ Todd 1995, p. 11
55. ^ Rhodes, Philip (2004-09), Manningham, Sir Richard (bap. 1685, d. 1759) (Online ed.), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/17982, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/17982, retrieved 2009-06-28
56. ^ Lover of Truth and Learning 1726, p. 13
57. ^ UK CPI inflation numbers based on data available from Measuring Worth: UK CPI.
58. ^ Bondeson 1997, p. 143
59. ^ Cody 2005, p. 130
60. ^ Bondeson 1997, p. 141
61. ^ Cody 2005, pp. 131132
62. ^ Cody 2005, p. 131
63. ^ Bondeson 1997, p. 134
64. ^ Cody 2005, pp. 132134
65. ^ Voltaire 1785, p. 428
66. ^ Lynch 2008, pp. 3334
67. ^ Tuft 1727, pp. 1217
68. ^ Todd 1995, pp. 6972
69. ^ Cox 2004, p. 195
70. ^ Pope & Butt 1966, p. 478
* Ahlers, Cyriacus (1726-11-20) (PDF), Some observations concerning the woman of Godlyman in Surrey, J. Jackson and J. Roberts, http://catalogue.wellcome.ac.uk/record=b1662670
* Bondeson, Jan (1997), A Cabinet of Medical Curiosities, I. B. Tauris, ISBN 1860642284, http://books.google.com/books?id=DPM8z2yDt2cC
* Brock, H. (1974), James Douglas of the Pouch, pubmedcentral.nih.gov, http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1081542, retrieved 2009-06-30
* Caulfield, James; Collection, Thordarson (1819), Portraits, memoirs, and characters, of remarkable persons, from the revolution in 1688 to the end of the reign of George II., 2 (Illustrated ed.), New York Public Library: T. H. Whitely, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=1kgDAAAAYAAJ
* Cody, Lisa Forman (2005), Birthing the nation: sex, science, and the conception of eighteenth-century Britons (Illustrated, reprint ed.), Oxford University Press, ISBN 0199268649, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Pm-rAexjKXgC
* Cox, Michael (2004), Michael Cox, ed., The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0198606346
* Haslam, Fiona (1996), From Hogarth to Rowlandson: medicine in art in eighteenth-century Britain, Liverpool University Press, ISBN 0853236305, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ANxYeGowrfsC
* Lover of Truth and Learning (1726), James Douglas, ed. (PDF), The Sooterkin Dissected, http://catalogue.wellcome.ac.uk/record=b1662679
* Lynch, Jack (2008), Deception and detection in eighteenth-century Britain, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd, ISBN 0754665283, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=z20b8Kc9l2YC
* Paulson, Ronald (1993), Hogarth: Art and Politics 17501764 (Illustrated ed.), James Clarke & Co., ISBN 0718828755, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=2c7L7UvYYgoC
* Pope, Alexander; Butt, John (1966), The Poems of Alexander Pope (Reprint ed.), Routledge, ISBN 0415040000
* Seligman, S. A. (1961) (PDF), Mary Toft The Rabbit Breeder, http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=1034653&blobtype=pdf, retrieved 2009-07-02
* St. André, Nathaniel; Howard, John (1727), A short narrative of an extraordinary delivery of rabbets, : perform'd by Mr John Howard, Surgeon at Guilford, London, Printed for John Clarke, http://www.archive.org/details/shortnarrativeof00sain
* Todd, Dennis (1982), Three Characters in Hogarth's Cunicularii and Some Implications, The Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 2646, http://www.jstor.org/stable/2737999, retrieved 2009-06-29
* Todd, Dennis (1995), Imagining monsters: miscreations of the self in eighteenth-century England (Illustrated ed.), University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0226805557, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=N1Bw-lUtKC0C
* Tuft, Merry (1727), Much ado about nothing: or, a plain refutation of all that has been written or said concerning the rabbit-woman of Godalming, Printed for A. Moore, near St. Paul's, http://catalogue.wellcome.ac.uk/record=b1662667
* Voltaire (1785), Singularités de la nature, Paris
* Uglow, Jennifer S. (1997), Hogarth: A Life and a World, Faber & Faber, ISBN 978-0-571-19376-9
 Further reading
* Boyer (1726), The Political state of Great Britain, N/A, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=cjsIAAAAQAAJ
* Braithwaite, Thomas (1726) (PDF), Remarks on A Short Narrative of an Extraordinary Delivery of Rabbets, http://catalogue.wellcome.ac.uk/record=b1070098
* Caulfield, James (1819), "Mary Toft, the pretended rabbit-breeder", Portraits, Memoirs, and Characters of Remarkable Persons from the Revolution in 1688 to the end of the Reign of George II., 2, London: H.R. Young & T. H. Whiteley, pp. 196203, http://books.google.com.au/books?id=O7wQAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA197, retrieved 2008-08-04
* Cliff, Pickover, The Girl Who Gave Birth to Rabbits, Prometheus Books
* Costen, Edward (1727) (PDF), The several depositions of Edward Costen, Richard Stedman, John Sweetapple, Mary Peytoe, Elizabeth Mason, and Mary Costen, http://catalogue.wellcome.ac.uk/record=b1509860
* Douglas, James (1727) (PDF), An advertisement occasioned by some Passages in Sir R. Manninghams Diary, http://catalogue.wellcome.ac.uk/record=b1662672
* Gulliver, Lemuel (pseudonym) (1727) (PDF), The anatomist dissected: or the man-midwife finely brought to bed, http://catalogue.wellcome.ac.uk/record=b1457991
* Manningham, Sir Richard (1726) (PDF), An exact diary of what was observ'd during a close attendance upon Mary Toft, the pretended rabbet-breeder of Godalming in Surrey, J. Roberts, http://catalogue.wellcome.ac.uk/record=b1293397
* Nihell, Elizabeth (1760), The Famous Imposition of the Rabbet-woman of Godalmin
* Pope, Alexander (1727), The discovery: or, The Squire turn'd Ferret, A. Campbell, http://catalogue.wellcome.ac.uk/record=b1663325
* A Letter from a Male Physician, 1726, http://catalogue.wellcome.ac.uk/record=b1662673
* St. Andrés Miscarriage, 1727
* The Wonder of Wonders, Ipswich, 1726