Cullen

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

 

[ID:1136] From: Dr John Gilchrist (of Speddoch) / To: Dr William Cullen (Professor Cullen) / Regarding: Miss Jeanie McMurdo (Macmurdo) (Patient), Mr Cruickshank (Patient), Miss Spalding (Patient), Miss Murray (Patient), Mr B Bell (Patient) / 27 April 1775 / (Incoming)

Letter from John Gilchrist regarding Mr Cruickshank, a patient who has also been seen by Mr Clapperton at Lochmaben, and giving an additional note on Miss McMurdo, and asides on several other shared patients.

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Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 1136
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/2/237
Main Language English
Document Direction Incoming
Date27 April 1775
Annotation None
TypeAuthorial original
Enclosure(s) Enclosure(s) present
Autopsy No
Recipe No
Regimen No
Letter of Introduction No
Case Note No
Summary Letter from John Gilchrist regarding Mr Cruickshank, a patient who has also been seen by Mr Clapperton at Lochmaben, and giving an additional note on Miss McMurdo, and asides on several other shared patients.
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting No

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:543]
Case of Mr Cruickshank who has been seen abroad in the cold despite being placed on a mercurial course to cure 'eruptions' on his hands and throat.
1
[Case ID:684]
Case of Miss Jean ["Jeanie"] McMurdo [MacMurdo] who in 1775 has a fever, in 1778 has a bad chest condition with feverish symptoms, and then develops severe bouts of colic.
9
[Case ID:2139]
Case of Miss Spalding whose condition has remained largely unchanged for two years.
1
[Case ID:2140]
Case of Miss Murray, who is recovering from an unspecified disorder.
1
[Case ID:2141]
Case of Mr B. Bell, whose illness seems to have ended fatally.
1


People linked to this document

Person IDRole in documentPerson
[PERS ID:115]AuthorDr John Gilchrist (of Speddoch)
[PERS ID:1]AddresseeDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:1404]PatientMr Cruickshank
[PERS ID:1409]PatientMiss Spalding
[PERS ID:1410]PatientMiss Murray
[PERS ID:3497]PatientMr B Bell
[PERS ID:1403]PatientMiss Jeanie McMurdo (Macmurdo)
[PERS ID:1]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:115]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr John Gilchrist (of Speddoch)
[PERS ID:1407]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendDr Robert Clapperton
[PERS ID:687]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendMrs Sarah Blacklock

Places linked to this document

Role in document Specific Place Settlements / Areas Region Country Global Region Confidence
Place of Writing Dumfries Borders Scotland Europe certain
Destination of Letter Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe inferred
Mentioned / Other Madeira Spain Europe certain

Normalized Text

[Page 1]
Dumfries April 27. 1775.
Dear Sir


I did not think it necessary before this time
to acknowledge the favour of yours by Mr Cruickshank
and to return you my best thanks for having re¬
commended him to me as a patient. He entered
directly according to your opinion and in the man¬
ner you directed, upon the mercurial course, with
regard to the management of which I furnished
him with the most particular advices, not forget¬
ting to insist in the strongest manner, upon
absolute confinement. _ Tho I find this has not
been submitted to, -(for I catched him abroad
one evening, a cold one too, -)- yet he now thinks
himself considerably better. _Mr Clapperton at
Lochmaben has seen him frequently, and I have
received weekly accounts of their proceedings.
We have proceeded in a mild, tho' steady & equal
manner, the Mercury having soon been brought
to affect his mouth; and having continued to
do so, without any accident or interruption



[Page 2]

till this time. When I saw him last, which was
about the end of the third week of the course; his
chief symptoms were much mentioned mended. -
The eruption on his hands and arms was almost
gone; but what was of more consequence, the tu¬
morss
on his neck were greatly diminished;
and I hope by the time the course is ended they
will be nearly discussed. 1 I own they at first ap¬
peared to me to be of such a kind that I by
no means expected so much benefit from the
mercurial course as it has already produced.
Mr Cruishank's pectoral complaints are so far from
having been increased by what has been
done, that he says that they are almost
quite gone. _I have desired him at the end
of the month to send me precise account
of the state of every particular, in order that
we may determine what is farther to be done.
If any circumstances should then make it ne¬
cessary to write you, I will do it; -or, if any
thing occurs to you, you can drop me a line
if you think proper.




[Page 3]


I have just now received a card from Mrs Blacklock
mentioning that you wished me to write you in regard
to Miss McMcMurdo. This was what I fully in¬
tended to do, for, within these ten or twelve days
there has been a considerable & very unexpected
change in her situation. The difficulty of swallow¬
ing
, and other alarming symptoms affecting her
breast, are now quite gone; and she still keeps
entirely free from cough, and other ordinary
pulmonary complaints. She now takes a little
food tolerably well; and is beginning to sleep
a good deal better, even without opium. _In
short she has now no complaint that we
can make any thing of except a very uneasy
pains about the sides and back of her neck,
for which I have tried all the different line¬
ments & oils commonly used; but as it is
still very troublesome, I believe we may be
obliged to have recourse to blistering, or
something more effectual. _However this com¬
plaint is not so troublesome as it was. ___
You would judge from the account of the case
that it was a singular ↑one↑; & no circumstance



[Page 4]

was more so than almost total absence of fever.
It is now equally singular that though the circus¬
tances of amendment are such as I have men¬
tioned, yet she has now for the most part more
or less fever, her pulse for ten days or a fort¬
night↑past↑ having been generally above 100
& never
when I felt it, less. _To be sure she is now taking
in much more nourishment than formerly, &
sometimes a little wine_Claret_but I see we
must be cautious; and give her nourishment like
one that had been near starving. She will not allow
however that she eats with any appetite. _But I do not
know but somethings may have been misunderstood or
magnified; for the Miss Macmurdoes are young ladies of
remarkable delicacy in themselves and & tenderness in their be¬
haviour to one another; _this I conceive might have made
things appear worse for I have ↑attributed↑ some share of the present
amendment to one of their relations who is come to stay
with them, & has exerted a little authority in several things
which they would never have done of themselves. _Along
with food and a little wine I caused her use when she was
growing better & before her pulse quickened, some mustar[d?]
seed
, which the numbness in one hand, as well as the need
that her stomach & her system in general, seemed to have
of some stimulus, made me think of. I had almost forgot
to tell you that the Dovers powder three or four times that
it was given, acted immediately as an Emetic, even when t[he?]
dose was diminished to fifteen grains. _A Blister had been
applied too without any advantage.

I am ever Dear &
with the sincerest regard Yours
John Gilchrist



[Page 5]


I should have added to what I said within of
Miss McMurdo that I saw the writing concerning
her was not from you. There was really very
little of it, and that but little determinate.
This however entre nous. _I believe you
judged, as I'm sure I almost entirely did,
that the case was a desperate
one {illeg} we cannot tell what it is
to be {illeg} ___Might not the effects of
the Dovers powder as an emetic have
been of some service? ______We have reports that
Miss Murray is better, & got to Madeira. ______
Miss Spalding, whom you have had a good deal
to do with is just now here, & just in the same
condition in several respects as for two years
past ___I was truly grieved for what you writ
me of poor B. Bell tho indeed it was no more
than we had reason to expect ______


I can easily conceive what you speak of _your
hurry business, as I have seen a good deal of it, & there¬
fore think it now way strange tho you should not answer
some of my letters punctually _or at all;_but I can



[Page 6]

not keep telling you that half a dozen lines, without
any regard to the form of an epistle, will be at all
times most acceptable to

yours
John Gilchrist


To Dr Cullen Gilchrist. Dumfries
April ______75.

Notes:

1: In this context meaning "dispersed" and "destroyed".

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]
Dumfries Apr 27. 1775.
Dear Sir


I did not think it necessary before this time
to acknowledge the favour of yours by Mr Cruickshank
and to return you my best thanks for having re¬
commended him to me as a patient. He entered
directly according to your opinion and in the man¬
ner you directed, upon the mercurial course, with
regard to the management of which I furnished
him with the most particular advices, not forget¬
ting to insist in the strongest manner, upon
absolute confinement. _ Tho I find this has not
been submitted to, -(for I catched him abroad
one evening, a cold one too, -)- yet he now thinks
himself considerably better. _Mr Clapperton at
Lochmaben has seen him frequently, and I have
received weekly accounts of their proceedings.
We have proceeded in a mild, tho' steady & equal
manner, the Mercury having soon been brought
to affect his mouth; and having continued to
do so, without any accident or interruption



[Page 2]

till this time. When I saw him last, which was
about the end of the third week of the course; his
chief symptoms were much mentioned mended. -
The eruption on his hands and arms was almost
gone; but what was of more consequence, the tu¬
morss
on his neck were greatly diminished;
and I hope by the time the course is ended they
will be nearly discussed. 1 I own they at first ap¬
peared to me to be of such a kind that I by
no means expected so much benefit from the
mercurial course as it has already produced.
Mr Cs pectoral complaints are so far from
having been increased by what has been
done, that he says that they are almost
quite gone. _I have desired him at the end
of the month to send me precise account
of the state of every particular, in order that
we may determine what is farther to be done.
If any circumstances should then make it ne¬
cessary to write you, I will do it; -or, if any
thing occurs to you, you can drop me a line
if you think proper.




[Page 3]


I have just now received a card from Mrs Blacklock
mentioning that you wished me to write you in regard
to Miss McMcMurdo. This was what I fully in¬
tended to do, for, within these ten or twelve days
there has been a considerable & very unexpected
change in her situation. The difficulty of swallow¬
ing
, and other alarming symptoms affecting her
breast, are now quite gone; and she still keeps
entirely free from cough, and other ordinary
pulmonary complaints. She now takes a little
food tolerably well; and is beginning to sleep
a good deal better, even without opium. _In
short she has now no complaint that we
can make any thing of except a very uneasy
pains about the sides and back of her neck,
for which I have tried all the different line¬
ments & oils commonly used; but as it is
still very troublesome, I believe we may be
obliged to have recourse to blistering, or
something more effectual. _However this com¬
plaint is not so troublesome as it was. ___
You would judge from the account of the case
that it was a singular ↑one↑; & no circumstance



[Page 4]

was more so than almost total absence of fever.
It is now equally singular that though the circus¬
tances of amendment are such as I have men¬
tioned, yet she has now for the most part more
or less fever, her pulse for ten days or a fort¬
night↑past↑ having been generally above 100
& never
when I felt it, less. _To be sure she is now taking
in much more nourishment than formerly, &
sometimes a little wine_Claret_but I see we
must be cautious; and give her nourishment like
one that had been near starving. She will not allow
however that she eats with any appetite. _But I do not
know but somethings may have been misunderstood or
magnified; for the Miss Macmurdoes are young ladies of
remarkable delicacy in themselves and & tenderness in their be¬
haviour to one another; _this I conceive might have made
things appear worse for I have ↑attributed↑ some share of the present
amendment to one of their relations who is come to stay
with them, & has exerted a little authority in several things
wh they would never have done of themselves. _Along
with food and a little wine I caused her use when she was
growing better & before her pulse quickened, some mustar[d?]
seed
, which the numbness in one hand, as well as the need
that her stomach & her system in general, seemed to have
of some stimulus, made me think of. I had almost forgot
to tell you that the Dovers powder three or four times that
it was given, acted immediately as an Emetic, even when t[he?]
dose was diminished to fifteen grains. _A Blister had been
applied too without any advantage.

I am ever Dear &
with the sincerest regard Yours
John Gilchrist



[Page 5]


I should have added to what I said within of
Miss McMurdo that I saw the writing concerning
her was not from you. There was really very
little of it, and that but little determinate.
This however entre nous. _I believe you
judged, as I'm sure I almost entirely did,
that the case was a desperate
one {illeg} we cannot tell what it is
to be {illeg} ___Might not the effects of
the Dovers powder as an emetic have
been of some service? ______We have reports that
Miss Murray is better, & got to Madeira. ______
Miss Spalding, whom you have had a good deal
to do with is just now here, & just in the same
condition in several respects as for two years
past ___I was truly grieved for what you writ
me of poor B. Bell tho indeed it was no more
than we had reason to expect ______


I can easily conceive what you speak of _your
hurry business, as I have seen a good deal of it, & there¬
fore think it now way strange tho you should not answer
some of my letters punctually _or at all;_but I can



[Page 6]

not keep telling you that half a dozen lines, without
any regard to the form of an epistle, will be at all
times most acceptable to

yours
JG


To Dr Cullen Gilchrist. Dumfries
April ______75.

Notes:

1: In this context meaning "dispersed" and "destroyed".

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