Cullen

The Consultation Letters of Dr William Cullen (1710-1790) at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

 

[Case ID:655]: Case of Mr John Davidson of Ravelrigg, who is given a very substantial regimen in order to manage his gout.

The main document for this case is a very substantial set of 'Directions' for Mr Davidson of Ravelrig, on how he is to manage his gout in which Cullen goes to unusual lengths to explain the nature of the condition and how it is to be addressed through diet and other changes in lifestyle. Next to consumption and various types of fever, gout was one of the most common ailments reported to Cullen. It is now understood as being caused by abnormally high levels of uric acid in the blood provoking deposits of sodium urate in the joints causing painful inflammation. Cullen's advice was always aimed at ensuring that the gout was driven outwards to the extremities, rather then inwards where traditionally it was thought to prove fatal. This document is a retained draft that Cullen has carefully marked-up for polishing and revision. Davidson was the brother-in-law of the Scottish novelist Henry Mackenzie. For a definitive and entertaining account of the gout as a fashionable, high-status disease in the Georgian era see:

Roy Porter and G. S. Rousseau, Gout: The Patrician Malady (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1998)

Documents in this case

2 document(s) found in this case.

DOC IDSummaryDate
[DOC ID:1330] 
Reply 'For Mr Davidson of Ravelrigg'. Substantial working draft of guidance on how to manage his gout in Cullen's hand with his detailed editorial marks indicating revisions to the paragraphing. 1776?
 
[DOC ID:1363]  Linked to other Cases  
Covering letter from John Davidson of Ravelrigg to arrange a meeting with Cullen, regarding the case of his brother-in-law Robert Sanderson, and mentioning his own symptoms of 'an irregular Gout' and anxiety. He is staying at Mr Graham's house in Milne's Square. 8? February 1777
 

People involved in this case

4 found.

PERS IDFull Name
[PERS ID: 1] Dr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID: 1313] Mr John Davidson (of Ravelrigg)
[PERS ID: 1561] Mr Graham (of Ravelrigg)
[PERS ID: 1550] Mr Robert Sanderson (of Ravelrigg)

Unique Places linked to this Case

3 found.

TypeSpecific Place Village/Town/City (aka) Region Country Continent Confidence
Place Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe inferred
SpecificMylne's Court Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe inferred
Place Ravelrigg Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe inferred

Places and role of place

4 found.

TypeRoleSpecific Place Village/Town/City (aka) Region Country Continent Confidence
PlacePlace of Writing Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe inferred
SpecificPlace of WritingMylne's Court Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe inferred
PlaceDestination of Letter Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe inferred
PlaceDestination of Letter Ravelrigg Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe inferred