Cullen

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

 

[ID:1577] From: Reverend Archibald Davidson (Davieson; of Inchinnan) / To: Dr William Cullen (Professor Cullen) / Regarding: Peter Davidson (Patient) / 31 October 1778 / (Incoming)

Letter from Archibald Davidson regarding his son Peter. The child 'gave no symptoms of Idiotry or want of Understanding' until the age of two, but since then has lost the language he developed and 'runs about without noticing any thing'. Davidson asks Cullen's opinion on a similar case treated by 'the Famous Mr Braidwood'.

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Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 1577
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/2/667
Main Language English
Document Direction Incoming
Date31 October 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 Archibald Davidson regarding his son Peter. The child 'gave no symptoms of Idiotry or want of Understanding' until the age of two, but since then has lost the language he developed and 'runs about without noticing any thing'. Davidson asks Cullen's opinion on a similar case treated by 'the Famous Mr Braidwood'.
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting No

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:1047]
Case of Peter Davidson, the child of Archibald Davidson who 'gave no symptoms of Idiotry or want of Understanding' until the age of two, but has since lost the language he developed and 'runs about without noticing any thing'.
1


People linked to this document

Person IDRole in documentPerson
[PERS ID:1055]AuthorReverend Archibald Davidson (Davieson; of Inchinnan)
[PERS ID:1]AddresseeDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:1056]Patient Peter Davidson
[PERS ID:1]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:1057]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryProfessor Thomas Hamilton
[PERS ID:1058]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendMr John Davidson
[PERS ID:1055]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendReverend Archibald Davidson (Davieson; of Inchinnan)
[PERS ID:1058]OtherMr John Davidson
[PERS ID:1059]OtherMiss Davidson
[PERS ID:743]OtherMrs Anna Cullen
[PERS ID:1060]OtherMrs Dunlop
[PERS ID:1061]OtherMr Alexander Millar
[PERS ID:1062]OtherMr Thomas Braidwood

Places linked to this document

Role in document Specific Place Settlements / Areas Region Country Global Region Confidence
Place of Writing Kilpatrick Glasgow and West Scotland Europe certain
Destination of Letter Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe inferred
Mentioned / Other Glasgow Glasgow and West Scotland Europe certain
Mentioned / Other Inchinnan Glasgow and West Scotland Europe certain

Normalized Text

[Page 1]
Kilpatrick 31 October 1778
Dear Sir


Mr Alexander Millar Advocate
informed me lately of a great extraordinary instance
of the Famous Mr Braidwoods success in [intreat¬
ing?] a Young Girl seemngly destitute of every
Power of the Mind. The Girl was dumb, totally
unattentive, tho she heard, tore her Cloaths; in a word
gave every mark of Idiotry. Mr Braidwood by command¬
ing her attention forcibly at first, tho gradually has
succeeded in making her read & write & behave like
a person who has the use of Reason. This Mr Millar
told me he had [from?] One Mr Webster Surgeon to a Regi¬
met, who had some Charge of the Girl - I suspect that
the Affair is magnified, or some Circumstances mis¬
taken; but am persuaded that a thing so uncommon
& important, in the medical world, must be known
to you if it really happened at Edinburgh. You will
easily descerne the strong resemblance of this Girls
case to the case of my Little Son Peter whom you
were so good as to look at here at Kilpatrick when
we had the pleasure of seeing you last in the west Country


There is no expense within the reach



[Page 2]

of my Ability which I would not chearfully lay out for
my unfortunate Boy if you thought that Mr Braidwood
could be of any real use to him; and I have seen
so much of your Goodness & Friendship that I
give you the trouble of this letter begging that you
would be so good as to let me know your Opinion,
after informing yourself of the Circumstances of
this extraordinary & seemingly marvillous affair,
I am with the highest pleasure


My Dear Sir
your most humble &
most Obedient servant
Arch: Davidson


P S My Brother John Miss Davidson Mrs Dunlop
& all Friends here Join with me in offering our
most respectful Compliments to you Mrs Cullen
& to all your Family. I subjoin Little Peters
case shortly as in the hurry & multiplicity of
Business you have probably forgot it


Peter Davidson untill He was two years of age,
gave no symptoms of Idiotry or want of Understanding
that we could discover. He spoke some few little words
& when his Father came home in Boots, run sometimes
to the Kitchen for the Boot Jack & gave other marks



[Page 3]

of attention & understanding. Since about that time
He has shown a total want of Attention, runs about
without noticing any thing & even sometimes bites
at his Cloathes or hand (tho He never brings the
blood or hurts Himself) does not speak a single
articulate syllable
tho He hears very well, and
if a hand bill or a handkerchief be thrown down
on the ground within his View, He lifts it and
brings it to The Person who desires Him with a
Voice of Authority sufficient to command His at¬
tention: & He always pulls up His petticoats
when He wants to make water or go to stool. He
sometimes distorts His Eyes a little and has a good
deal of The Idiot look, but at other times has a
good composed look & seemingly a good deal of
meaning in his face. We know of no external
Injury that ever his head suffered. Professor
Hamilton at Glasgow could discover no symptoms
of Injury on his head There was a Cord kept
in his
Neck 12 months by the Professors advice
but without any good Effect The Boy is now Eight
years & a half old.


Please to direct for me
at Inchinnan by Glasgow




[Page 4]


Archd. Davidson
Query
His Son
October 1778

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]
Kilpatrick 31 Octr 1778
Dear Sir


Mr Alexander Millar Advocate
informed me lately of a great extraordinary instance
of the Famous Mr Braidwoods success in [intreat¬
ing?] a Young Girl seemngly destitute of every
Power of the Mind. The Girl was dumb, totally
unattentive, tho she heard, tore her Cloaths; in a word
gave every mark of Idiotry. Mr Braidwood by command¬
ing her attention forcibly at first, tho gradually has
succeeded in making her read & write & behave like
a person who has the use of Reason. This Mr Millar
told me he had [from?] One Mr Webster Surgeon to a Regi¬
met, who had some Charge of the Girl - I suspect that
the Affair is magnified, or some Circumstances mis¬
taken; but am persuaded that a thing so uncommon
& important, in the medical world, must be known
to you if it really happened at Edinburgh. You will
easily descerne the strong resemblance of this Girls
case to the case of my Little Son Peter whom you
were so good as to look at here at Kilpatrick when
we had the pleasure of seeing you last in the west Country


There is no expense within the reach



[Page 2]

of my Ability which I would not chearfully lay out for
my unfortunate Boy if you thought that Mr Braidwood
could be of any real use to him; and I have seen
so much of your Goodness & Friendship that I
give you the trouble of this letter begging that you
would be so good as to let me know your Opinion,
after informing yourself of the Circumstances of
this extraordinary & seemingly marvillous affair,
I am with the highest pleasure


My Dear Sir
your most humble &
most Obedient servant
Arch: Davidson


P S My Brother John Miss Davidson Mrs Dunlop
& all Friends here Join with me in offering our
most respectful Compliments to you Mrs Cullen
& to all your Family. I subjoin Little Peters
case shortly as in the hurry & multiplicity of
Business you have probably forgot it


Peter Davidson untill He was two years of age,
gave no symptoms of Idiotry or want of Understanding
that we could discover. He spoke some few little words
& when his Father came home in Boots, run sometimes
to the Kitchen for the Boot Jack & gave other marks



[Page 3]

of attention & understanding. Since about that time
He has shown a total want of Attention, runs about
without noticing any thing & even sometimes bites
at his Cloathes or hand (tho He never brings the
blood or hurts Himself) does not speak a single
articulate syllable
tho He hears very well, and
if a hand bill or a handkerchief be thrown down
on the ground within his View, He lifts it and
brings it to The Person who desires Him with a
Voice of Authority sufficient to command His at¬
tention: & He always pulls up His petticoats
when He wants to make water or go to stool. He
sometimes distorts His Eyes a little and has a good
deal of The Idiot look, but at other times has a
good composed look & seemingly a good deal of
meaning in his face. We know of no external
Injury that ever his head suffered. Professor
Hamilton at Glasgow could discover no symptoms
of Injury on his head There was a Cord kept
in his
Neck 12 months by the Professors advice
but without any good Effect The Boy is now Eight
years & a half old.


Please to direct for me
at Inchinnan by Glasgow




[Page 4]


Archd. Davidson
Q
His Son
Octr 1778

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