Cullen

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

 

[ID:1343] From: Dr John Ravenscroft / To: Dr William Cullen (Professor Cullen) / Regarding: Mr (Patient) / 11 January 1777 / (Incoming)

Letter from John Ravenscroft in Liverpool, concerning a 21 year old unnamed male patient who 'lost his health in Jamaica' and has been suffering from a muscular weakness of his lower limbs which rendered him unable to walk. When he returned to Liverpool in August 1776, Ravenscroft cared for him as a houseguest, before the young man returned to Scotland.

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Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 1343
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/2/441
Main Language English
Document Direction Incoming
Date11 January 1777
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 John Ravenscroft in Liverpool, concerning a 21 year old unnamed male patient who 'lost his health in Jamaica' and has been suffering from a muscular weakness of his lower limbs which rendered him unable to walk. When he returned to Liverpool in August 1776, Ravenscroft cared for him as a houseguest, before the young man returned to Scotland.
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting No

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:573]
Case of an unnamed male patient who lost his health after becoming ill in Jamaica.
2


People linked to this document

Person IDRole in documentPerson
[PERS ID:1657]AuthorDr John Ravenscroft
[PERS ID:1]AddresseeDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:1658]PatientMr
[PERS ID:1657]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr John Ravenscroft
[PERS ID:1653]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / Apothecary

Places linked to this document

Role in document Specific Place Settlements / Areas Region Country Global Region Confidence
Destination of Letter Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe inferred
Mentioned / Other Jamaica West Indies certain
Mentioned / Other Scotland Europe certain
Mentioned / Other Liverpool North-West England Europe certain

Normalized Text

[Page 1]
January 11 th 1777
Sir


This troubles you with the case of a
young Gentleman who lost his health, in
Jamaica. In that country he had undergone all¬
most all the disease incident, to such a climate
& about six months before his departure thence
he began to feel a weakness in his knees in so
much that he sometimes received falls, he then
got the aid of crutches which with the increasing
weakness of legs & ancles proved useless & was
forced to betake himself to a chair & be moved by
assistance of which time a Contraction of the
Sinues of the hams came on, -- during all the above
time was suffering, the complaints arising from
excessive relaxation, & from Bilious complaints



[Page 2]

cannot say the complaints in his legs was in con¬
sequence of any of the particular Disorders he
had in the Island -- He arrived at Liverpool
in August 1776 & came here soon after where
I saw him, he was pale much emaciated, his
legs, or rather knees contracted so that his legs
could not be extended farther then Eight angles from
them but could draw them towards him at pleasure
his ancles were freely moveable but he was him¬
self utterly unable to move them -- his apetite was very puny tho no particular complaint
in his stomach or bowels, belly regular in general
Tho' sometimes ↑irregularly↑ affected with a chilliness
attended with a cough spitting of tough phlegm
and succeeded by a transient, warm fit when the


[Page 3]

cough generally ceased -- he was ordered the foll¬
owing, his legs hams & ancles were to be rubbed with flannell
half an hour two or three times a day, in the
evening his legs to be put into the tepid bath,
for a few minutes, a volatile stimulating, lini¬
ment
was applied to the Os. Sacrum & his belly,
when requisite to be opened with a small dose
of Rhubarb -- & his diet to be light & nourishing,
& two or three Glasses of wine allowed thro the day,


Of the above directions the bath & liniment, were
not complied with, -- the others were continued
for a good many weeks with very little benefit,
A Physician then gave a set of prescriptions
which were punctually complied with, & which
are enclosed 1 but after being continued a due time
were discontinued - he being very adverse to the



[Page 4]

draught & complained much of the purging it
occasioned --- He was then sent to stay at my own
house where I found his feverish paroxysm come
generally on towards evening attended by the
cough & spitting considerable quantities of viscid
phlegm
both which lasted untill towards
morning, slept ill, when he cooled without
sweating, but sometimes a gentle moisture &
has a little Sleep after which in the morning
his pulse natural which continued so thro the
forenoon & pretty free from cough untill to¬
wards evening a chillyfit & cough returned, which
last the cough wa generally appeased by a natural
vomiting of ↑thick↑ Phlegm & some very acid fluid
-- &
return of fever & so on, pulse when feverish,


[Page 5]

about 95. no headach, belly regular in general
tho' more inclined to costiveness then heretofore


He keeps his bed generally untill the afternoon
when he rises & sets up untill sickness and
coughing makes him return to it, & pretty often
gets a little sleep in the forenoons -- no pains
in his breast or sides or Abdomen -- He was
then put on a course of the Columbo ↑in large doses↑ which
was continued for upwards of six weeks but,
without any material change or alleviation of
symptoms. About ten days ago his Medecines
were changed to the Bark with Sal. Amon.
Crud. a formula of Squills & Saponis & an
emetic, this last was given in the formula of
[Specachuan?] wine but without proper effect,
yesterday, upon the approach of his Evening



[Page 6]

sickness fifteen grains of Ipechuna Pouder
was given but with the effect of only producing
a slight Nausea & no great degree of vomiting
then he usually has -- the Phlegm he expecto¬
rates has lately appeared greenish, - in other
respects his last ordered Medicines have pro¬
duced no alteration in the Symptoms, related
page 4th tho' the Family seen to think his
feverishness not so violent as before -- it must
be observed the contraction of the knees have
relaxed by this time so far as he can extend
his feet at least half a yard more then he
could at first & has recovered in a very small
degree the exercise of voluntary motion over
his ancle --- It was omitted to have


[Page 7]

mentioned within these last three weeks, the
phlegm in his throat has almost caused a noise
in breathing answerable to an Idea from the
word Gurring -- The Gentleman whose
case is related is about 21 years of age was
of a ruddy complexion & full habit of body


Since his Arival in Scotland he has regular¬
ly taken ↑in the morning↑ about half an English pint of milk
as New from the cow as possible mixed with
about three or four teaspoonfulls of honey and a
Two Tea spoonfulls of Rum,


I am Sir
your obedient Servant
John Ravenscroft


P.S. The Set of medicines mentioned within
prescriabed by a Physician page 3d 2 were



[Page 8]

Draughts composed of Columbo Rhubarb
& saline mixture as a vehicle and a Stomachic
Plaster
applied to the umbelical region with
directions for the hams to be rubbed with
Eggs beat up with Water -- the prescription
itself would have been sent but is at an Apo¬
thecaries at some Distance.


Dr Ravenscrofts
friend.
January 1777 -------
V. VI. p.85.

Notes:

1: See below.

2: He means "as mentioned above on page three of this letter".

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]
Janry 11 th 1777
Sir


This troubles you with the case of a
young Gentleman who lost his health, in
Jamaica. In that country he had undergone all¬
most all the disease incident, to such a climate
& about six months before his departure thence
he began to feel a weakness in his knees in so
much that he sometimes received falls, he then
got the aid of crutches which with the increasing
weakness of legs & ancles proved useless & was
forced to betake himself to a chair & be moved by
assistance of which time a Contraction of the
Sinues of the hams came on, -- during all the above
time was suffering, the complaints arising from
excessive relaxation, & from Bilious complaints



[Page 2]

cannot say the complaints in his legs was in con¬
sequence of any of the particular Disorders he
had in the Island -- He arrived at Liverpool
in August 1776 & came here soon after where
I saw him, he was pale much emaciated, his
legs, or rather knees contracted so that his legs
could not be extended farther then Eight angles from
them but could draw them towards him at pleasure
his ancles were freely moveable but he was him¬
self utterly unable to move them -- his apetite was very puny tho no particular complaint
in his stomach or bowels, belly regular in general
Tho' sometimes ↑irregularly↑ affected with a chilliness
attended with a cough spitting of tough phlegm
and succeeded by a transient, warm fit when the


[Page 3]

cough generally ceased -- he was ordered the foll¬
owing, his legs hams & ancles were to be rubbed with flannell
half an hour two or three times a day, in the
evening his legs to be put into the tepid bath,
for a few minutes, a volatile stimulating, lini¬
ment
was applied to the Os. Sacrum & his belly,
when requisite to be opened with a small dose
of Rhubarb -- & his diet to be light & nourishing,
& two or three Glasses of wine allowed thro the day,


Of the above directions the bath & liniment, were
not complied with, -- the others were continued
for a good many weeks with very little benefit,
A Physician then gave a set of prescriptions
which were punctually complied with, & which
are enclosed 1 but after being continued a due time
were discontinued - he being very adverse to the



[Page 4]

draught & complained much of the purging it
occasioned --- He was then sent to stay at my own
house where I found his feverish paroxysm come
generally on towards evening attended by the
cough & spitting considerable quantities of viscid
phlegm
both which lasted untill towards
morning, slept ill, when he cooled without
sweating, but sometimes a gentle moisture &
has a little Sleep after which in the morning
his pulse natural which continued so thro the
forenoon & pretty free from cough untill to¬
wards evening a chillyfit & cough returned, which
last the cough wa generally appeased by a natural
vomiting of ↑thick↑ Phlegm & some very acid fluid
-- &
return of fever & so on, pulse when feverish,


[Page 5]

about 95. no headach, belly regular in general
tho' more inclined to costiveness then heretofore


He keeps his bed generally untill the afternoon
when he rises & sets up untill sickness and
coughing makes him return to it, & pretty often
gets a little sleep in the forenoons -- no pains
in his breast or sides or Abdomen -- He was
then put on a course of the Columbo ↑in large doses↑ which
was continued for upwards of six weeks but,
without any material change or alleviation of
symptoms. About ten days ago his Medecines
were changed to the Bark with Sal. Amon.
Crud. a formul. of Squills & Sapo. & an
emetic, this last was given in the form. of
[Specachuan?] wine but without proper effect,
yesterday, upon the approach of his Evening



[Page 6]

sickness fifteen grains of Ipechuna Pouder
was given but with the effect of only producing
a slight Nausea & no great degree of vomiting
then he usually has -- the Phlegm he expecto¬
rates has lately appeared greenish, - in other
respects his last ordered Medicines have pro¬
duced no alteration in the Symptoms, related
page 4th tho' the Family seen to think his
feverishness not so violent as before -- it must
be observed the contraction of the knees have
relaxed by this time so far as he can extend
his feet at least half a yard more then he
could at first & has recovered in a very small
degree the exercise of voluntary motion over
his ancle --- It was omitted to have


[Page 7]

mentioned within these last three weeks, the
phlegm in his throat has almost caused a noise
in breathing answerable to an Idea from the
word Gurring -- The Gentleman whose
case is related is about 21 years of age was
of a ruddy complexion & full habit of body


Since his Arival in Scotland he has regular¬
ly taken ↑in the morning↑ about half an English pint of milk
as New from the cow as possible mixed with
about three or four teaspoonfulls of honey and a
Two Tea spoonfulls of Rum,


I am Sir
your obedient Servant
John Ravenscroft


P.S. The Set of medicines mentioned within
prescriabed by a Physician page 3d 2 were



[Page 8]

Draughts composed of Columbo Rhubarb
& saline mixture as a vehicle and a Stomachic
Plaster
applied to the umbelical region with
directions for the hams to be rubbed with
Eggs beat up with Water -- the prescription
itself would have been sent but is at an Apo¬
thecaries at some Distance.


Dr Ravenscrofts
friend.
Jan. 1777 -------
V. VI. p.85.

Notes:

1: See below.

2: He means "as mentioned above on page three of this letter".

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