Cullen

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

 

[ID:1492] From: Dr Alexander Taylor (Sanders) / To: Dr William Cullen (Professor Cullen) / Regarding: Mr James Orr (Patient) / 19 February 1778 / (Incoming)

Letter from Alexander Taylor, responding to Letter ID:4217, concerning the case of Mr (James) Orr, who has been treated with mercury for genital and throat ulcers which Taylor is sure are venereal in origin.

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Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 1492
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/2/586
Main Language English
Document Direction Incoming
Date19 February 1778
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 Alexander Taylor, responding to Letter ID:4217, concerning the case of Mr (James) Orr, who has been treated with mercury for genital and throat ulcers which Taylor is sure are venereal in origin.
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting Yes

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:553]
Case of James Orr who has a venereal infection in 1778, but by 1782 has abdominal complaints and various bodily pains which Cullen eventually attributes to a disordered liver.
13


People linked to this document

Person IDRole in documentPerson
[PERS ID:207]AuthorDr Alexander Taylor (Sanders)
[PERS ID:1]AddresseeDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:210]PatientMr James Orr
[PERS ID:207]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr Alexander Taylor (Sanders)
[PERS ID:1]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)

Places linked to this document

Role in document Specific Place Settlements / Areas Region Country Global Region Confidence
Place of Writing Paisley Glasgow and West Scotland Europe certain
Destination of Letter Cullen's House / Mint Close Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe certain
Place of Handstamp Paisley Glasgow and West Scotland Europe certain

Normalized Text

[Page 1]
Paisley 19 February 1778
Sir


I have read over your
directions respecting Mr. Orr but my
inaccuracy in relating his Case has,
I am afraid, led you into an im¬
proper View of it ––


The long Continuance of the ulcer,
which first appeared upon the pre¬
putium
, tho' regularly bathed and
kept very clean – and likewise the
large ulcers,
with whitish edges, of
the Tonsils must I imagine leave
little doubt with you that the Disease
did proceed from a Venereal Cause
; the
Virus of which has at least continued
till within these six weeks for it is no
longer since the Ulcer upon the Velum,



[Page 2]

a symptom I see you consider as a
sure mark, disappeared –


I greatly suspect this Virus
does still exist for tho this last return
did not reach the height of producing
ulcers upon the Tonsils or Velum, yet,
Mercury being taken for these six days
by-past, the inflammation of the fauces
and Velum has accordingly abated and
the Pain in swallowing and of the Thy¬
roid Cartilage
is entirely removed ––
I have seen ulcers upon the inside of
the Cheeks, tongue, gums
and lips oc¬
casioned by mercury; but then these instead
of being cured by a continuation of the
mercury
were always increased –– Whereas
all our symptoms have ever yielded to
this medicine and in an exact proportion
to the quantity and the time of it's admi¬
nistration and again made their appear¬
ance a little after it's remission and
when it's effects were going or gone off –



[Page 3]

which is quite opposite to the usual
Course of Cause and Effect ––


The present ulcer is not situated as former¬
ly at the Connection with the Penis but
near to the lower edge of the prepuce, a
place where I have never seen excoriations
produced – the ulcer itself is in breadth
equal to a herring scale and surrounded by
an inflammation of a deep red cherry colour
– its particular appearance or look is not
easily described but I am persuaded were
you to see it you would at once from its appearance de¬
termine it to be venereal
–– Today this
ulcer ↑too↑ appears a good deal better ––


Thus sir I have been as distinct a[s]
has been possible for me in giving my reasons
for considering Mr. Orr's Complaints as still pro¬
ceeding from a Venereal Cause
– I wish I could
be more so but I hope I have said enough to
alter your opinion and to point out, after so
many dissappointments, the necessity of con¬
tinuing the use of mercury
–– I hope this be¬
cause I am myself strongly convinced of it – but
if you remain of your former opinion we will
forthwith proceed to follow your advice ––


I am Sir
with great respect
your most humble servant
Alexr. Taylor



[Page 4]


To
Dr. Wm. Cullen
professor of Medicine
Edinburgh


Case of Mr Orr
of Paisley.
February 1778
8 p. 67

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]
Paisley 19 Feb: 1778
Sir


I have read over your
directions respecting Mr. Orr but my
inaccuracy in relating his Case has,
I am afraid, led you into an im¬
proper View of it ––


The long Continuance of the ulcer,
which first appeared upon the pre¬
putium
, tho' regularly bathed and
kept very clean – and likewise the
large ulcers,
with whitish edges, of
the Tonsils must I imagine leave
little doubt with you that the Disease
did proceed from a Venereal Cause
; the
Virus of which has at least continued
till within these six weeks for it is no
longer since the Ulcer upon the Velum,



[Page 2]

a symptom I see you consider as a
sure mark, disappeared –


I greatly suspect this Virus
does still exist for tho this last return
did not reach the height of producing
ulcers upon the Tonsils or Velum, yet,
Mercury being taken for these six days
by-past, the inflammation of the fauces
and Velum has accordingly abated and
the Pain in swallowing and of the Thy¬
roid Cartilage
is entirely removed ––
I have seen ulcers upon the inside of
the Cheeks, tongue, gums
and lips oc¬
casioned by mercury; but then these instead
of being cured by a continuation of the
mercury
were always increased –– Whereas
all our symptoms have ever yielded to
this medicine and in an exact proportion
to the quantity and the time of it's admi¬
nistration and again made their appear¬
ance a little after it's remission and
when it's effects were going or gone off –



[Page 3]

which is quite opposite to the usual
Course of Cause and Effect ––


The present ulcer is not situated as former¬
ly at the Connection with the Penis but
near to the lower edge of the prepuce, a
place where I have never seen excoriations
produced – the ulcer itself is in breadth
equal to a herring scale and surrounded by
an inflammation of a deep red cherry colour
– its particular appearance or look is not
easily described but I am persuaded were
you to see it you would at once ex facie de¬
termine it to be venereal
–– Today this
ulcer ↑too↑ appears a good deal better ––


Thus sir I have been as distinct a[s]
has been possible for me in giving my reasons
for considering Mr. Orr's Complaints as still pro¬
ceeding from a Venereal Cause
– I wish I could
be more so but I hope I have said enough to
alter your opinion and to point out, after so
many dissappointments, the necessity of con¬
tinuing the use of mercury
–– I hope this be¬
cause I am myself strongly convinced of it – but
if you remain of your former opinion we will
forthwith proceed to follow your advice ––


I am Sir
with great respect
your most humble servt.
Alexr. Taylor



[Page 4]


To
Dr. Wm. Cullen
professor of Medicine
Edinr.


Case of Mr Orr
of Paisley.
Feb. 1778
8 p. 67

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