Cullen

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

 

[ID:1607] From: Anonymous / To: Anonymous / Regarding: Anonymous (Patient), Mrs Arnot (of Cunnoquhie) (Patient), Mrs Paterson (Patient) / 1778? / (Incoming)

Letter from an unnamed correspondent to an unspecified (female) recipient, mentioning the health of Mrs Arnot and Mrs Paterson, and giving details of the correspondent's own case. The writer suffers form a gradual feebleness and tremors, accompanied by a skin condition. Letter is attached by repair to another document, a list of answers to Cullen's queries about an unnamed female patient, probably the same woman, as the symptoms are identical.

Facsimile

There are 4 images for this document.

[Page 1]


 

[Page 2]


 

[Page 3]


 

[Page 4]


 
 

Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 1607
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/2/698
Main Language English
Document Direction Incoming
Date1778?
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 an unnamed correspondent to an unspecified (female) recipient, mentioning the health of Mrs Arnot and Mrs Paterson, and giving details of the correspondent's own case. The writer suffers form a gradual feebleness and tremors, accompanied by a skin condition. Letter is attached by repair to another document, a list of answers to Cullen's queries about an unnamed female patient, probably the same woman, as the symptoms are identical.
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting No

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:422]
Case of Mrs Arnot of Conuchy, who is aged 80 and has a sudden illness.
3
[Case ID:1127]
Case of Mrs Paterson whose shortness of breath, swollen legs and thirst are all taken as signs of dropsy. She later develops a 'nervous stomach'.
5
[Case ID:2476]
Case of an unnamed female patient who has suffered a gradual 'feebleness' over her whole body, with tremors and accompanied by a skin condition.
1


People linked to this document

Person IDRole in documentPerson
[PERS ID:2168]Author
[PERS ID:2169]Addressee
[PERS ID:2762]PatientMrs Paterson
[PERS ID:2168]Patient
[PERS ID:2170]PatientMrs Arnot (of Cunnoquhie)
[PERS ID:2173]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr Alexander Henry Halliday (Halyday, Halleday)
[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 Kilmarnock Glasgow and West Scotland Europe inferred
Destination of Letter Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe inferred

Normalized Text

[Page 1]

Dear Madam


I received your very friendly letter of
dated the 9th of this month, I was extremely Sorry
to hear of Mrs Arnot's Severe alarming illness,
and of Mrs Paterson's want of health -- but
it gave me great Satisfaction and pleasure to hear
of their both being to much better --- I am exced¬
ingly obliged to you, for the anxcious Concern you
express for my health, and the very kind proposal
that you make to better it, if it was possible, but
I have one heavy complaint that is generally thought
by every one to be remediless, it is an excessive feebl¬
ness or rather a powerlessness
over my whole Body -
many one that has been Seized Suddenly in that way
has Greatly recover'd it -- but my Case is very different,
for it has come on in the most gradual manner that
can be imagined -- at the very beginning of this disord¬
er which is Six years ago, I aplied to the best physici¬
an in this part of the Kingdom, he was the one we
always called when distress was amongst us, and
we had often experienced Great comfort and relief
to attend the means that he prescribed -- but in this



[Page 2]

Case they had not the lest effect in Stoping the
progress of the disorder from gradually increasing,
it began with a little tremor in one of my hands
Scarcely perceivable at first, but as the tremor
became universal, my strength left me to a Surprising
degree -- and I have been in a constant restless un¬
easy state these three years last past, every thing
that troubles and vexes my mind Greatly increases
the agitation of my Body -- I can do nothing for
my own amusement, to Shorten the time from
being very tedious, I can only move with difficulty
from one Seat too another with help -- these two
weeks past I have had an aditional distress, of
a scurvy over my whole head and neck, it is greatly
inflamed and feels as if it had been burnt, I am
very much afraid of its Spreading farther -- for the
winter before last I was atacked in the Same manner,
and it came too a much greater height nor it is at
present, I am using the same means that carried
it off last time, but what effect they will have God
knows -- I would not have troubled you with Such
a long description of ↑my↑ complaints, had you not
in the most friendly manner desired it -- but it is




[Page 3]

Answers to Doctor Cullens Queres.


1st. The eruptionthat appeard on her head in
winter 1776 & spring 1777 spread down her
neck and under her arms to her sides which
greatly increasd. the tremor and weakness
The eruption was quite removed in the space
of about four months from the commencement
by drinking a strong decoction of (bog bean)
or winter trefoil in the winter and the Juice
of it in spring and anointing the parts affected
with
tar ointment -- During the most part
of which time she was much troubled with an
excessive heat in her skin - was thereby under
the necessity of getting out of bed several times
in a night even in the coldest season and
that without feeling or catching the least cold
when the eruption desappeard her health
and rest measureably returnd to her but
not her strength the tremor still continues


2nd no complaints in her head, it not being in
the least troubled from the beginning (nor
at present) with the tremor - nor has it made
any alteration in her breast belly or stomach
having her appetite as well as formerly and
her habit of body in a moderate state


3d no issue, nor any thing of like nature
emplored


4thThe following prescription of Doctor Halledays
of Belfast was closely complied with for several
months viz "Infuse 2 ℥ of mustd seed bruised
" 2 ℥ horse radish root seraped in two quarts of
" madeira or Lisbon 4 ℥ of filings of steel
" suspended in a bag therin
--- two wine
" glasses to be taken every day and a cup full
" of pretty strong infusion of valerian root
" the arms to be well rubbed night & morning,
" with a
flesh brush or coarse cloth, refrain



[Page 4]

" from tea, using wheat or rye coffee or miserable 1
" for breakfast - eat no cabbage peas beans or
" potatoes & but little butter exercise moderately
" on horseback -- after declining the use of
the above she took large Quantities of
the bark all which had no manner of effect


5th Her constitution originally was rather
strong & healthy than otherwise was
little subject to any complaint save
the rose in herfacewhich attackd her
several times heretofore but not since
either tremor or eruption appeared
Having thus far answered the Queries
it may be necessary ↑to↑ say a few words
concerning her present situation ---


About the latter end of October last
the eruption appeared again, sometimes
more, at other times less ever since and
at present seems to be on the decline
it is accompanied with great uneasiness
and restlessness insomuch that she will
many times in the day change from sitting
to standing & the tremor (except in
the head which is free therefrom) and the great
weakness in the body & members still
continues The appetite & Habit at body
pretty tolerable

Notes:

1: Colloquial term for 'very weak tea'. Considerably predates the earliest usage cited in OED, which is in a novel of 1842.

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]

Dear Madam


I received your very friendly letter of
dated the 9th of this month, I was extremely Sorry
to hear of Mrs Arnot's Severe alarming illness,
and of Mrs Paterson's want of health -- but
it gave me great Satisfaction and pleasure to hear
of their both being to much better --- I am exced¬
ingly obliged to you, for the anxcious Concern you
express for my health, and the very kind proposal
that you make to better it, if it was possible, but
I have one heavy complaint that is generally thought
by every one to be remediless, it is an excessive feebl¬
ness or rather a powerlessness
over my whole Body -
many one that has been Seized Suddenly in that way
has Greatly recover'd it -- but my Case is very different,
for it has come on in the most gradual manner that
can be imagined -- at the very beginning of this disord¬
er which is Six years ago, I aplied to the best physici¬
an in this part of the Kingdom, he was the one we
always called when distress was amongst us, and
we had often experienced Great comfort and relief
to attend the means that he prescribed -- but in this



[Page 2]

Case they had not the lest effect in Stoping the
progress of the disorder from gradually increasing,
it began with a little tremor in one of my hands
Scarcely perceivable at first, but as the tremor
became universal, my strength left me to a Surprising
degree -- and I have been in a constant restless un¬
easy state these three years last past, every thing
that troubles and vexes my mind Greatly increases
the agitation of my Body -- I can do nothing for
my own amusement, to Shorten the time from
being very tedious, I can only move with difficulty
from one Seat too another with help -- these two
weeks past I have had an aditional distress, of
a scurvy over my whole head and neck, it is greatly
inflamed and feels as if it had been burnt, I am
very much afraid of its Spreading farther -- for the
winter before last I was atacked in the Same manner,
and it came too a much greater height nor it is at
present, I am using the same means that carried
it off last time, but what effect they will have God
knows -- I would not have troubled you with Such
a long description of ↑my↑ complaints, had you not
in the most friendly manner desired it -- but it is




[Page 3]

Answers to Doctor Cullens Queres.


1st. The eruptionthat appeard on her head in
winter 1776 & spring 1777 spread down her
neck and under her arms to her sides which
greatly increasd. the tremor and weakness
The eruption was quite removed in the space
of about four months from the commencement
by drinking a strong decoction of (bog bean)
or winter trefoil in the winter and the Juice
of it in spring and anointing the parts affected
with
tar ointment -- During the most part
of which time she was much troubled with an
excessive heat in her skin - was thereby under
the necessity of getting out of bed several times
in a night even in the coldest season and
that without feeling or catching the least cold
when the eruption desappeard her health
and rest measureably returnd to her but
not her strength the tremor still continues


2nd no complaints in her head, it not being in
the least troubled from the beginning (nor
at present) with the tremor - nor has it made
any alteration in her breast belly or stomach
having her appetite as well as formerly and
her habit of body in a moderate state


3d no issue, nor any thing of like nature
emplored


4thThe following prescription of Doctor Halledays
of Belfast was closely complied with for several
months viz "Infuse 2 ℥ of mustd seed bruised
" 2 ℥ horse radish root seraped in two quarts of
" madeira or Lisbon 4 ℥ of filings of steel
" suspended in a bag therin
--- two wine
" glasses to be taken every day and a cup full
" of pretty strong infusion of valerian root
" the arms to be well rubd. night & morning,
" with a
flesh brush or coarse cloth, refrain



[Page 4]

" from tea, using wheat or rye coffee or miserable 1
" for breakfast - eat no cabbage peas beans or
" potatoes & but little butter exercise moderately
" on horseback -- after declining the use of
the above she took large Quantities of
the bark all which had no manner of effect


5th Her constitution originally was rather
strong & healthy than otherwise was
little subject to any complaint save
the rose in herfacewhich attackd her
several times heretofore but not since
either tremor or eruption appeared
Having thus far answered the Queries
it may be necessary ↑to↑ say a few words
concerning her present situation ---


About the latter end of October last
the eruption appeared again, sometimes
more, at other times less ever since and
at present seems to be on the decline
it is accompanied with great uneasiness
and restlessness insomuch that she will
many times in the day change from sitting
to standing & the tremor (except in
the head which is free therefrom) and the great
weakness in the body & members still
continues The appetite & Habit at body
pretty tolerable

Notes:

1: Colloquial term for 'very weak tea'. Considerably predates the earliest usage cited in OED, which is in a novel of 1842.

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