Cullen

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

 

[ID:2129] From: Dr Alexander Findlay / To: Dr William Cullen (Professor Cullen) / Regarding: Mr Lewis Gordon (of Techmuiry, of Techmury) (Patient) / 12 January 1782 / (Incoming)

Letter from Alexander Findlay, concerning the case of Lewis Gordon of Techmury, aged about 50. Memorial, outlining his various ailments: goutish, nervous, feverish and digestive. Findlay notes: 'I have often known people have an intermitting Pulse in health, but never such an unaccountable Variety.' he also outlines some of his treatments, including the flesh-brush and poulticing the feet.

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Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 2129
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/2/1204
Main Language English
Document Direction Incoming
Date12 January 1782
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 Findlay, concerning the case of Lewis Gordon of Techmury, aged about 50. Memorial, outlining his various ailments: goutish, nervous, feverish and digestive. Findlay notes: 'I have often known people have an intermitting Pulse in health, but never such an unaccountable Variety.' he also outlines some of his treatments, including the flesh-brush and poulticing the feet.
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting No

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:1491]
Case of Lewis Gordon of Techmury whose 'threatening' pains and other symptoms are attributed to the gout.
2


People linked to this document

Person IDRole in documentPerson
[PERS ID:783]AuthorDr Alexander Findlay
[PERS ID:1]AddresseeDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:219]PatientMr Lewis Gordon (of Techmuiry, of Techmury)
[PERS ID:783]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr Alexander Findlay
[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 Fraserburgh East Highlands Scotland Europe certain
Destination of Letter Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe inferred

Normalized Text

[Page 1]

Memorial for Lewis Gordon Esq
To Doctor William Cullen Physician Edinburgh.


Lewis Gordon of Techmury about 50 years of Age
about whose Make & Complexion I need say nothing
as he is personally known to you, enjoyed Health &
a sound Constitution till about 1st August 1777 when
he was seized with pains in the Abdomen which had
more the appearance of Spasm than Inflammation
attended with obstinate costiveness which for several
days resisted repeated Injections, all the various gentle
& drastic Cathartics
that could be thought off, exhib¬
ited with & without Opiates, Annodyn Liniments, Fric¬
tion
&c until being putt into a Semicupium breast high
he fainted, & in that state made a most copious Discharge
which relieved his pains, & gentle laxatives readily pro¬
duced their natural effects afterwards, but a Species of
low
nervous fever immediately supervened which held
him in a very uncertain state above a month, & I have
not thought his health so uniformly stable since. ––


In January 1778 or 9 after many wandering Pains &
threatenings he had a regular fitt of the Gout alternately
in both feet –– has had many threatenings since
from such wandering pains sometimes in his breast
under the Sternum strikeing thro' to the Spinal Vertebræ,
in his thighs & Arms & sometimes for a moment in his
feet
as if suddenly punctured with a sharp Instrument
but no regular paroxysm. ––


This past Summer & Autumn Company & Business led
him into greater irregularitys in point of Regimen than
usual, which, I presume, brought on a slow, remitting,
irregular fever
attended with his old complaint of obsti¬
nate costiveness
about the 20th October –– The Costiveness
after resisting Injections, various Cathartics & Tobacco-¬
smoke
thrown up the Anus yeilded to a Solution of 3 ounces
Glauber's Salts taken as fast as his Stomach could bear &
the fever subsided almost instantly after, so that in a
few days he was able to be removed to his own House
distant about 20 Miles in a Chaise but has never yet re¬
covered any tolerable degree of health: –– he has been
generally distressed with such Erratic pains as above
mentioned sometimes affecting his head, frequently



[Page 2]

confined to his Thighs, a hand-breadth above the lower
ends of both Ossa femorum & to both Arms a like Dis¬
tance from the lower ends of the radius & Ulna; at pre¬
sent removed from both thighs & chiefly affecting both
Arms
from the Shoulder –– but the Seat of such pains
while external I presume of of little consequence ––


What chiefly deserves notice in his present State
are an universal Debility & relaxation of the whole
Nervous & muscular Systems, Languor, Lassitude
inaptitude to motion, such weakness & tremor of his
hands that he can with difficulty carry a Spoon or
glass to his Mouth & tho' he can clench his fist, can¬
not extend his fingers, in the ends of which he some¬
times complains of a little numbdness – his Appetite,
tho' less than in health
is as much as I wish him to
have for his present Exercise, his drink 'till lately
good small Beer & Punch, not choosing Red Port
which he has now used for some days ––


Mr Gordon, since I knew him (above 30 years)
has lived as sober & regular when alone at home,
& as Social & convivially when abroad or exposed to
Company as any man of my acquaintance ––
Some days he will have Sallys of his usual fun &
good humour, others his Spirits low & depressed, says
he cannot venture on horseback for his Head, the cold
& weakness, & goes but too rarely out in his Carriage.


In his illness 1777 I was startled at a singularity in
his Pulse exceeding anything I had ever felt in Ano¬
ther
–– in the space of two minutes often in One
it has beat at the rate of 60 & full, 150 small & tre¬
mulous, above numbering undulating & creeping, & all¬
ways intermitting, the more rapid the oftener
––


I have felt his Pulse often in his best health since
& found the same irregularity in a less degree – at
present it is sometimes better but often as above:
I have often known people have an intermitting Pulse
in health, but never such an unaccountable Variety.


Exercise, particularly on Horseback when possible,
the flesh brush ¼ hour every morning & night ––
Mustard Seed swallowed daily, a teaspoonfull or
two of Vinum Antimoniale, & a glass of warm Aro¬
matic
Bitter Wine are what has been prescribed



[Page 3]

(I cannot say very constantly executed): His feet have
been putt in warm water at night wrap'd up in Wool &
Stimulating Poultices applied to the soles of the feet & he was
sometime in use to take a small glass of a strong Tinct¬
ure of Gum Guajiac:
in Rum, all with fruitless hope
of bringing the Gout to his feet –– The Idea of
Gout
deterred me from adviseing the Cold Bath &
Bark two of the best Tonics I know, & he wishes in
particular to have you Opinion concerning them,
his Diet & other Regimen –– He now drinks no tea
has a little thin pottage & Ale for Breakfast or Milk
what comes to Table that he likes for Dinner &
his Pottage or a bitt of bread & Wine or Punch at
Night. – I can think of nothing further necessary
to give you a pretty distinct view of his Situation ––
Whatever you may advise shall be duly attended
to by

Alexr Findlay.

Fraserburgh
12th January 1782.



[Page 4]


Memorial
To Doctor Wm Cullen
12 January 1782.


Lewis Gordon Esqr.
January 1782.
V. XIII. p. 265.

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]

Memorial for Lewis Gordon Esq
To Doctor William Cullen Physician Edinbg.


Lewis Gordon of Techmury about 50 years of Age
about whose Make & Complexion I need say nothing
as he is personally known to you, enjoyed Health &
a sound Constitution till about 1st Augt 1777 when
he was seized with pains in the Abdomen which had
more the appearance of Spasm than Inflammation
attended with obstinate costiveness which for several
days resisted repeated Injections, all the various gentle
& drastic Cathartics
that could be thought off, exhib¬
ited with & without Opiates, Annodyn Liniments, Fric¬
tion
&c until being putt into a Semicupium breast high
he fainted, & in that state made a most copious Discharge
which relieved his pains, & gentle laxatives readily pro¬
duced their natural effects afterwards, but a Species of
low
nervous fever immediately supervened which held
him in a very uncertain state above a month, & I have
not thought his health so uniformly stable since. ––


In January 1778 or 9 after many wandering Pains &
threatenings he had a regular fitt of the Gout alternately
in both feet –– has had many threatenings since
from such wandering pains sometimes in his breast
under the Sternum strikeing thro' to the Spinal Vertebræ,
in his thighs & Arms & sometimes for a moment in his
feet
as if suddenly punctured with a sharp Instrument
but no regular paroxysm. ––


This past Summer & Autumn Company & Business led
him into greater irregularitys in point of Regimen than
usual, which, I presume, brought on a slow, remitting,
irregular fever
attended with his old complaint of obsti¬
nate costiveness
about the 20th Octr –– The Costiveness
after resisting Injections, various Cathartics & Tobacco-¬
smoke
thrown up the Anus yeilded to a Solution of ℥3
Sal Glauber: taken as fast as his Stomach could bear &
the fever subsided almost instantly after, so that in a
few days he was able to be removed to his own House
distant about 20 Miles in a Chaise but has never yet re¬
covered any tolerable degree of health: –– he has been
generally distressed with such Erratic pains as above
mentioned sometimes affecting his head, frequently



[Page 2]

confined to his Thighs, a hand-breadth above the lower
ends of both Ossa femorum & to both Arms a like Dis¬
tance from the lower ends of the radius & Ulna; at pre¬
sent removed from both thighs & chiefly affecting both
Arms
from the Shoulder –– but the Seat of such pains
while external I presume of of little consequence ––


What chiefly deserves notice in his present State
are an universal Debility & relaxation of the whole
Nervous & muscular Systems, Languor, Lassitude
inaptitude to motion, such weakness & tremor of his
hands that he can with difficulty carry a Spoon or
glass to his Mouth & tho' he can clench his fist, can¬
not extend his fingers, in the ends of which he some¬
times complains of a little numbdness – his Appetite,
tho' less than in health
is as much as I wish him to
have for his present Exercise, his drink 'till lately
good small Beer & Punch, not choosing Red Port
which he has now used for some days ––


Mr Gordon, since I knew him (above 30 years)
has lived as sober & regular when alone at home,
& as Social & convivially when abroad or exposed to
Company as any man of my acquaintance ––
Some days he will have Sallys of his usual fun &
good humour, others his Spirits low & depressed, says
he cannot venture on horseback for his Head, the cold
& weakness, & goes but too rarely out in his Carriage.


In his illness 1777 I was startled at a singularity in
his Pulse exceeding anything I had ever felt in Ano¬
ther
–– in the space of two minutes often in One
it has beat at the rate of 60 & full, 150 small & tre¬
mulous, above numbering undulating & creeping, & all¬
ways intermitting, the more rapid the oftener
––


I have felt his Pulse often in his best health since
& found the same irregularity in a less degree – at
present it is sometimes better but often as above:
I have often known people have an intermitting Pulse
in health, but never such an unaccountable Variety.


Exercise, particularly on Horseback when possible,
the flesh brush ¼ hour every morning & night ––
Mustard Seed swallowed daily, a teaspoonfull or
two of Vinum Antimoniale, & a glass of warm Aro¬
matic
Bitter Wine are what has been prescribed



[Page 3]

(I cannot say very constantly executed): His feet have
been putt in warm water at night wrap'd up in Wool &
Stimulating Poultices applied ↑ad↑ plantas pedum & he was
sometime in use to take a small glass of a strong Tinct¬
ure of Gum Guajiac:
in Rum, all with fruitless hope
of bringing the Gout to his feet –– The Idea of
Gout
deterred me from adviseing the Cold Bath &
Bark two of the best Tonics I know, & he wishes in
particular to have you Opinion concerning them,
his Diet & other Regimen –– He now drinks no tea
has a little thin pottage & Ale for Breakfast or Milk
what comes to Table that he likes for Dinner &
his Pottage or a bitt of bread & Wine or Punch at
Night. – I can think of nothing further necessary
to give you a pretty distinct view of his Situation ––
Whatever you may advise shall be duly attended
to by

Alexr Findlay.

Fraserburgh
12th Janry 1782.



[Page 4]


Memorial
To Doctor Wm Cullen
12 Janry 1782.


Lewis Gordon Esqr.
Janry. 1782.
V. XIII. p. 265.

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