This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book explores the arrival of the accoucheurs in the early 17th century, their qualifications to practise midwifery and their maternal and infant outcomes are explored. It follows the history of English midwives across six centuries. In addition to the author’s research on Tudor parish registers and examines other materials include 17th-, 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century texts, literature and archive documents, including midwives’ written material dating from the 17th century. It reviews 20th-century domiciliary midwives’ birth registers and pupil casebooks, church documents and registrar’s birth, death and marriage records and oral evidence and ephemera was gathered from 20th-century and present-day midwives and mothers. The book frameworks the legislation and key moments in the history of English midwives.