Cullen

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

 

[ID:1270] From: Dr James Kenneth Saunders / To: Dr William Cullen (Professor Cullen) / Regarding: Anonymous (Patient), Mr Devon (Patient) / 7 April 1776 / (Incoming)

Letter from James Saunders concerning the case of an eight-year-old girl, the niece of General Abercrombie. The child has involuntary movements and weakness in her face and left side and Saunders diagnoses her condition as Chorea as described by the seventeenth-century English physician Thomas Sydenham. Saunders mentions another patient, a Mr Devon who 'goes to the Country to drink Goat Whey'. The letter is to be delivered 'by General Abercrombie and his Lady'.

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Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 1270
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/2/367
Main Language English
Document Direction Incoming
Date7 April 1776
Annotation None
TypeAuthorial original
Enclosure(s) No enclosure(s)
Autopsy No
Recipe No
Regimen No
Letter of Introduction No
Case Note No
Summary Letter from James Saunders concerning the case of an eight-year-old girl, the niece of General Abercrombie. The child has involuntary movements and weakness in her face and left side and Saunders diagnoses her condition as Chorea as described by the seventeenth-century English physician Thomas Sydenham. Saunders mentions another patient, a Mr Devon who 'goes to the Country to drink Goat Whey'. The letter is to be delivered 'by General Abercrombie and his Lady'.
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting No

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:661]
Case of the eight-year-old niece of General Abercrombie who has involuntary movements and weakness in her face and left side diagnosed as Chorea.
4
[Case ID:1905]
Case of Mr Devon who is to take goat whey, as briefly mentioned by Dr James Saunders of Banff.
1


People linked to this document

Person IDRole in documentPerson
[PERS ID:596]AuthorDr James Kenneth Saunders
[PERS ID:1]AddresseeDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:1370]PatientMr Devon
[PERS ID:597]Patient
[PERS ID:1]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:596]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr James Kenneth Saunders
[PERS ID:598]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendGeneral Abercrombie (Abercromby)
[PERS ID:1522]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendLady Abercrombie (Abercromby)

Places linked to this document

Role in document Specific Place Settlements / Areas Region Country Global Region Confidence
Place of Writing Banff (Bamf) East Highlands Scotland Europe inferred
Destination of Letter Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe certain

Normalized Text

[Page 1]
Dear Sir


I give you the trouble of the following Case of a young
Lady a Patient of mine whose parents are no less anxious than I
am to have your advice –– She is aged eight years tall for her
age remarkably lively & agile at all exercises peculiar to
her time of Life – She has been formerly very healthy & got
over the Small Pox & other infantile Diseases – About four
Weeks ago she was seised with a Headach & some slight fever¬
ish Disorder
which was carried off by a Vomitee –– She had a
return of this in ten Days therafter, removd in the same manner ––
In a few Days thereafter she was seisd with a Megrim in her
left Ear, which was raging at that time pretty universaly ––
A suppuration came on & a Discharge of Matter from the
inside of the Ear – Two weeks ago there was observed
a restless ↑involuntary↑ motion in the Leg & Arm of the left side & at
times in the Muscles of the Face & Tongue. The Fingers of
that hand generaly clenchd on the Thumb –– She had a Diffi¬
culty in articulating
& altho she could lift up that arm
could not guide her hand to her mouth so as to feed her
self & when assisted eat in an awkward slovenly manner –
The use of her Leg was as imperfect as her arm so that she
could not walk & these involuntary motions at times
affected both sides, tho {illeg} not in so great a Degree as



[Page 2]

the Left arm & Leg seemd flaccid & left much colder than
the other –– Upon the whole she looked ill & was
wasted
–– Her appetite not quite so good as formerly
her Belly Costive – I might have savd this long description
by referring you to Sydenhams very accurate account of
the Chorea sanctii Vitii. 1


Suspecting there might be
worms she was purged twice or thrice with Calomel &
Pulv Rhei – For Costiveness got Glysters with Oile & Honey
& some of the antispasmodics such as assafetida joind with
them – No appearance of Worms from these nor was
she in the least releived – A Blister applied to her
neck while it gave her paine lessend the involuntary
motions
of the face – Another applied to the arm had
the same success there, ↑but of no continuance↑ – About a Week ↑ago↑, I begun her
with the Cold Bath & gave her twice a Day small
Doses of the Mar preparatus – At night she gets
two Tea spoonfuls of the Sem Sinapi not bruisd partly
with a view to regulate her Belly – It has had that
effect & these involuntary motions are less frequent
she has got her appetite, her strength is somewhat better
she walks & speaks better at times & we think her
better tho far from well – The left side is now as warm as
the other



[Page 3]

she goes out in a Chaise every Day – Used no [Tea?]
dines generaly on white flesh & gets a litle Wine –
I shall beg to hear from you as soon as you can –


I wrote you about a Week ago I then mentioned
Mr Devon who is no better _ He goes to the Country
to drink Goat Whey in the Season – I cant help continuing
to think of his Case as formerly.


with my best wishes
to all your Family I am with all possible esteem
DDear Sir
your most affectionate &
[most obligd humble?] Servant
James Saunders


P. S. I think I have omitted nothing
but that ↑long↑ previous to this illne[ss?]
a Rash has appeared on her {illeg} nor could
I by any observation conn{illeg} {illeg} her complaints she rests
well in the night times


Banff 7th Aprile
this Letter will be de[livered?] by General Abercromby &
his Lady – The young Lady is a niece of the
Generals –




[Page 4]


To
[Doctor?] Cullen
Physician
Edinburgh


Sanders about
Abercrombie's Niece
April 7. 1776
Vol. V. p. 16

Notes:

1: See The Whole Works of that excellent practical physician, Dr. Thomas Sydenham... (London: 1697), p. 530. Cullen admired Sydenham, who pioneered the importance of studying accumulated reported cases. In the early 1750s Cullen had planned to publish his own translation of Sydenham's writings but the project never materialised.

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]
Dear Sir


I give you the trouble of the following Case of a young
Lady a Patient of mine whose parents are no less anxious than I
am to have your advice –– She is aged eight years tall for her
age remarkably lively & agile at all exercises peculiar to
her time of Life – She has been formerly very healthy & got
over the Small Pox & other infantile Diseases – About four
Weeks ago she was seised with a Headach & some slight fever¬
ish Disorder
qch was carried off by a Vomitee –– She had a
return of this in ten Days therafter, removd in ye same manner ––
In a few Days thereafter she was seisd with a Megrim in her
left Ear, qch was raging at that time pretty universaly ––
A suppuration came on & a Discharge of Matter from the
inside of the Ear – Two weeks ago there was observed
a restless ↑involuntary↑ motion in the Leg & Arm of the left side & at
times in the Muscles of the Face & Tongue. The Fingers of
that hand generaly clenchd on the Thumb –– She had a Diffi¬
culty in articulating
& altho she could lift up that arm
could not guide her hand to her mouth so as to feed her
self & when assisted eat in an awkward slovenly manner –
The use of her Leg was as imperfect as her arm so that she
could not walk & these involuntary motions at times
affected both sides, tho {illeg} not in so great a Degree as



[Page 2]

the Left arm & Leg seemd flaccid & left much colder than
the other –– Upon the whole she looked ill & was
wasted
–– Her appetite not quite so good as formerly
her Belly Costive – I might have savd this long description
by referring you to Sydenhams very accurate account of
the Chorea sanctii Vitii. 1


Suspecting there might be
worms she was purged twice or thrice with Calomel &
Pulv Rhei – For Costiveness got Glysters with Oile & Honey
& some of the antispasmodics such as assafetida joind with
them – No appearance of Worms from these nor was
she in the least releived – A Blister applied to her
neck while it gave her paine lessend the involuntary
motions
of the face – Another applied to the arm had
the same success there, ↑but of no continuance↑ – About a Week ↑ago↑, I begun her
with the Cold Bath & gave her twice a Day small
Doses of the Mar preparatus – At night she gets
two Tea spoonfuls of the Sem Sinapi not bruisd partly
with a view to regulate her Belly – It has had that
effect & these involuntary motions are less frequent
she has got her appetite, her strength is somewhat better
she walks & speaks better at times & we think her
better tho far from well – The left side is now as warm as
the other



[Page 3]

she goes out in a Chaise every Day – Used no [Tea?]
dines generaly on white flesh & gets a litle Wine –
I shall beg to hear from you as soon as you can –


I wrote you about a Week ago I then mentioned
Mr Devon who is no better _ He goes to the Country
to drink Goat Whey in ye Season – I cant help continuing
to think of his Case as formerly.


with my best wishes
to all your Family I am with all possible esteem
DDear Sir
your most affect &
[most obligd huble?] Servt
Jas Saunders


P. S. I think I have omitted nothing
but that ↑long↑ previous to this illne[ss?]
a Rash has appeared on her {illeg} nor could
I by any observation conn{illeg} {illeg} her complaints she rests
well in ye night times


Banff 7th Aprile
this Letter will be de[livered?] by General Abercromby &
his Lady – The young Lady is a niece of the
Generals –




[Page 4]


To
[Doctor?] Cullen
Physician
Edinr


Sanders about
Abercrombie's Niece
April 7. 1776
Vol. V. p. 16

Notes:

1: See The Whole Works of that excellent practical physician, Dr. Thomas Sydenham... (London: 1697), p. 530. Cullen admired Sydenham, who pioneered the importance of studying accumulated reported cases. In the early 1750s Cullen had planned to publish his own translation of Sydenham's writings but the project never materialised.

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