Cullen

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

 

[ID:1397] From: Dr William Cullen (Professor Cullen) / To: Captain Patrick Sinclair (of Lybster) / Regarding: Mr Alexander Sinclair (of Harpsdale) (Patient) / 19 April 1777 / (Incoming)

Letter, or rather an enclosure headed 'Information for Captain Sinclair of Lybster, concerning Harpsdale's son', young boy with tumours on his arms and legs.

Facsimile

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[Page 1]


 

[Page 2]


 
 

Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 1397
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/2/493
Main Language English
Document Direction Incoming
Date19 April 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, or rather an enclosure headed 'Information for Captain Sinclair of Lybster, concerning Harpsdale's son', young boy with tumours on his arms and legs.
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting No

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:851]
Case of 'Harpsdale's son', Alexander Sinclair, a young boy who is troubled with spreading tumours on his leg and arms.
6


People linked to this document

Person IDRole in documentPerson
[PERS ID:1]AuthorDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:1894]AddresseeCaptain Patrick Sinclair (of Lybster)
[PERS ID:1893]PatientMr Alexander Sinclair (of Harpsdale)
[PERS ID:588]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryMr Alexander Wood
[PERS ID:1]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:339]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryMr Andrew Liddell (Liddle)
[PERS ID:1894]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendCaptain Patrick Sinclair (of Lybster)
[PERS ID:354]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendMr James Sinclair (of Harpsdale)

Places linked to this document

Role in document Specific Place Settlements / Areas Region Country Global Region Confidence
Place of Writing Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe inferred
Destination of Letter North Highlands Scotland Europe inferred

Normalized Text

[Page 1]

1777
aprle 19th.

Information to Captain Sinclair of Lybster Concerning Harpdale's son


In March 1776 there was discovered on the back of his
Right leg
a little above the Ancle a red tumour which was
thought little off at first; but by gradual increasing and swelling
the Complaint or Inflammation reached half way up his leg.
Afterwards removed to the outside of his leg ↑and became somewhat alarming↑. A surgeon was called
for, who attended him for several months. -- Paultices were applied
to bring it to a head -- But the part affected continuing hard, and
the matter so deeply Rooted that the surgeon thought it expedient
to apply a Caustic and kept it open by means of a Tent for some
time -- Soon after the inside of the same leg was affected in the
same way, immediately above the Ancle when applying a Paultice
as above thought it necessary to make an incision to extract the
matter -- In Each of which wounds he kept a Tent for some
weeks -- After which healing ointment was applied & dressed with
Linnen Bandages -- The Bark Powder, & Norton's Drops were
prescribed Alternately -- also Mercurial Peels tho seldom. ---
During the Summer months was bathed in Salt-water which
seemed to have a very good effect -- In this way he was treated
till about the beginning of August when the Surgeon left the
Country. --- The Medicines gave a favourable turn, tho' not to¬
tally removed the Complaint. --


Soon after the Complaint in the leg commenced there
was a swelling discovered in his righ arm immediately above the
Elbow which also increased downwards but confined itself chiefly to
the arm-pit above the joint. -- This was treated much in the same
way with the Leg except an Incision being made instead of the Caustic
And by means of the Salt Bath particularly, the swelling was
greatly abated tho not totally removed as it took a seat in the
arm during the winter. ----


With respect to the Leg by frequently washing it with
milk and water & Saltwater alternately & applying Bandage
as above during the Course of winter 76-77. The Complaint was
totally removed and in appearance as whole as the other a little
Itchiness excepted which is guarded against by Rubing the part
affected with grease & applying bandages. ------




[Page 2]


About February 77. The Tumour in his arm began to increase
again in the place formerly affected & is come to a great
height, but is always more swelled at Night than in the
Morning -- has not the least appearance of breaking tho
it juts out much in the form of a Boil -- And has disabled
him to that degree that he could not for weeks past once
move his Arm, from the Elbow to the hand, any way, &
pains him at times prodigiously --- It is kept in a
scarf or sling all day to prevent motion, & is always washed
Morning and Evening with saltwater & a flannel kept
around it; yet notwithstanding these Precautions the
swelling seems to be moving towards his Shacklebone &
fingers when it creates him excruciating pain. ---


In the beginning of March 77 a Tumour
appeared on the left side, of the Broad of his left foot, and is
making advances in the same way as the other Leg formerly de¬
scribed. --- The young man in now about 10 years old -- rather
of a delicate constitution -- but excepting these Complaints
enjoys good health and Spirits --- has his Appetite in
Reasonable way & never was confined to his Room during
the above Period except for a few weeks when the Right
Leg
was at the worst. --


As to his Diet it was as much of the Vegetable kind as possible
and very little Animal food except Fowl and Chicken --


Summer 76 the Surgeon prescribed Goat milk and
whey for him which seemingly proved of no desired effect. --
The Surgeon who first attended him, believed the complaint
was of the Scorbutick sort. But Mr. Liddle surgeon
who has seen him lately, calls it of the Schropula
kind -------


Harpsdale's Son
April. 17th. 1777.
Vol. VII. p. 18.th.

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]

1777
aprle 19th.

Information to Captn Sinclair of Lybster Concerning Harpdale's son


In March 1776 there was discovered on the back of his
Right leg
a little above the Ancle a red tumour which was
thought little off at first; but by gradual increasing and swelling
the Complaint or Inflammation reached half way up his leg.
Afterwards removed to the outside of his leg ↑and became somewhat alarming↑. A surgeon was called
for, who attended him for several months. -- Paultices were applied
to bring it to a head -- But the part affected continuing hard, and
the matter so deeply Rooted that the surgeon thought it expedient
to apply a Caustic and kept it open by means of a Tent for some
time -- Soon after the inside of the same leg was affected in the
same way, immediately above the Ancle when applying a Paultice
as above thought it necessary to make an incision to extract the
matter -- In Each of which wounds he kept a Tent for some
weeks -- After which healing ointment was applied & dressed wt.
Linnen Bandages -- The Bark Powder, & Norton's Drops were
prescribed Alternately -- also Mercurial Peels tho seldom. ---
During the Summer months was bathed in Salt-water which
seemed to have a very good effect -- In this way he was treated
till about the beginning of August when the Surgeon left the
Country. --- The Medicines gave a favourable turn, tho' not to¬
tally removed the Complaint. --


Soon after the Complaint in the leg commenced there
was a swelling discovered in his righ arm immediately above the
Elbow which also increased downwards but confined itself chiefly to
the arm-pit above the joint. -- This was treated much in the same
way with the Leg except an Incision being made instead of the Caustic
And by means of the Salt Bath particularly, the swelling was
greatly abated tho not totally removed as it took a seat in the
arm during the winter. ----


With respect to the Leg by frequently washing it wt.
milk and water & Saltwater alternately & applying Bandage
as above during the Course of winter 76-77. The Complaint was
totally removed and in appearance as whole as the other a little
Itchiness excepted which is guarded against by Rubing the part
affected with grease & applying bandages. ------




[Page 2]


About Feby. 77. The Tumour in his arm began to increase
again in the place formerly affected & is come to a great
height, but is always more swelled at Night than in the
Morning -- has not the least appearance of breaking tho
it juts out much in the form of a Boil -- And has disabled
him to that degree that he could not for weeks past once
move his Arm, from the Elbow to the hand, any way, &
pains him at times prodigiously --- It is kept in a
scarf or sling all day to prevent motion, & is always washed
Morning and Evening with saltwater & a flannel kept
around it; yet notwithstanding these Precautions the
swelling seems to be moving towards his Shacklebone &
fingers when it creates him excruciating pain. ---


In the beginning of March 77 a Tumour
appeared on the left side, of the Broad of his left foot, and is
making advances in the same way as the other Leg formerly de¬
scribed. --- The young man in now about 10 years old -- rather
of a delicate constitution -- but excepting these Complaints
enjoys good health and Spirits --- has his Appetite in
Reasonable way & never was confined to his Room during
the above Period except for a few weeks when the Right
Leg
was at the worst. --


As to his Diet it was as much of the Vegetable kind as possible
and very little Animal food except Fowl and Chicken --


Summer 76 the Surgeon prescribed Goat milk and
whey for him which seemingly proved of no desired effect. --
The Surgeon who first attended him, believed the complaint
was of the Scorbutick sort. But Mr. Liddle surgeon
who has seen him lately, calls it of the Schropula
kind -------


Harpsdale's Son
April. 17th. 1777.
Vol. VII. p. 18.th.

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