Cullen

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

 

[ID:2211] From: Dr Alexander Taylor (Sanders) / To: Dr William Cullen (Professor Cullen) / Regarding: Mr James Orr (Patient), Mr William Orr ((later) of Ingliston, then Ralston) (Patient), Reverend Colin Gillies (of Paisley) (Patient) / 21 May 1782 / (Incoming)

Letter from Alexander Taylor, concerning the case of Mr Gillies, a minister, who 'was a quarter of a year ago suddenly seized with a severe faint which lasted for more than ten minutes', and then with a second attack when in Port Glasgow for a preaching engagement. He was treated there by Alexander Mollison. He has also been subject to cold-related eruptions on the nose, ear and mouth. Taylor also reports on the progress of the Orr brothers and mentions reading Archibald Cullen's medical dissertation De Frigore, Ejusque Vi Et Effectibus in Corpus Humanum (see Doc ID 526).

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Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 2211
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/2/1283
Main Language English
Document Direction Incoming
Date21 May 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 Taylor, concerning the case of Mr Gillies, a minister, who 'was a quarter of a year ago suddenly seized with a severe faint which lasted for more than ten minutes', and then with a second attack when in Port Glasgow for a preaching engagement. He was treated there by Alexander Mollison. He has also been subject to cold-related eruptions on the nose, ear and mouth. Taylor also reports on the progress of the Orr brothers and mentions reading Archibald Cullen's medical dissertation De Frigore, Ejusque Vi Et Effectibus in Corpus Humanum (see Doc ID 526).
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting No

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
[Case ID:554]
Case of William Orr who has an eye condition.
13
[Case ID:1286]
Case of the Rev. Colin Gillies who has suffered several fainting fits almost like epileptic seizures.
7


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:211]PatientMr William Orr ((later) of Ingliston, then Ralston)
[PERS ID:1465]PatientReverend Colin Gillies (of Paisley)
[PERS ID:1]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:121]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryMr Alexander Mollison (Molison, Molyson)
[PERS ID:207]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr Alexander Taylor (Sanders)
[PERS ID:211]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendMr William Orr ((later) of Ingliston, then Ralston)
[PERS ID:1424]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendMrs Isabella Gillies
[PERS ID:210]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendMr James Orr
[PERS ID:545]OtherDr Archibald Cullen (Ar or Arch)

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 Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe certain
Mentioned / Other Port Glasgow Glasgow and West Scotland Europe certain

Normalized Text

[Page 1]
Sir


This gentleman,
(Mr. Gillies one of our ministers,) who
now consults you, was a quarter of a
year ago suddenly seized with a severe
faint
which lasted for more than ten
minutes, his neck as Mrs. Gillies observed
being at the time swelled and his face
flushed and red and his head writhed
round to one side; but there were no
violent motions of his hands nor (↑or↑) legs, nor
moisture from the mouth – that after¬
noon he had felt an unusual heaviness ↑about him↑
and Confusion in his head being unable
to think upon or recollect things distinctly
;
but it was not till after after supper when
he had taken two or 3 glass of punch not exceed¬
ing half a [Dozen?] that this happened –– I saw



[Page 2]

him presently after his recovering from the
faint
; he had vomited freely having drunk
some warm water and he was talking
confusedly
and his pulse was quick and
smart
. Blooding was then proposed but
he would not submit to it till next morn¬
ing when he was blooded freelly and got
a Dose of Salts –––– The his relations were
more alarmed with it than himself; but
from Mrs. Gillies' account I did not think the
ailment was to be disregarded and recom¬
mended a low Regimen to him and moderate
exercise; I likewise proposed to have a
blister applied to
his head and a seton placed
in
his neck; but he declined both and would
only allow of a Pea which was accordingly
placed in
his Arm – from this time till
near three weeks ago he I believe kept prety
close to his Regimen when he began to com¬
plain of a heaviness and Confu and sometimes
of a Confusion
resembling what he had formerly
felt before the faintat first these Complaints


[Page 3]

led me to think of taking blood but I found
↑his skin↑ had a Cold feel and his pulse was remark¬
ably slow (64) and weak
and his face ra¬
there appeared pale – on the Contrary I
encouraged him to take something of a better
diet and a glass or two of strong ale for
he had hitherto taken nothing stronger than
small beer –– but in this I believe I was
wrong for in a few days after at New
Port-Glasgow, whither he had gone to preach,
he was attacked a second time with a
faint
as I am well informed resembling the
former very much –– but to have a full
view of his Case it is necessary to go farther
back – for these last eight years almost
every winter he has had an inflammatory
eruption upon his nose the matter exuding
matter of white
forming ↑itself into↑ scabs and this he says
was occasioned by being exposed for a long con¬
siderable time
to severe Cold; but even before
this such eruptions used to come out round his
mouth
in Cold weather and his lips to be swelled
and for some time before the last faint such an


[Page 4]

eruption made its appearance on
his
face
and in particular upon one of his
ears
; and this had in a great measure
gone off before the last Attack –– This
leads me to suspect acrimony owing per¬
haps to a deficiency of Perspiration and
besides the Course management formerly
proposed I intended to ↑have↑ given some
mercurial and antimonial ↑medicines↑ in small
quantities; but I think this Complaint
of such consequence
tho' I wish and
hope that Mr. Gillies shall have no
more returns; yet this is at least uncer¬
tain and I think it is of consequence to
have your opinion before any thing
farther be done –– I got a line from
Mr. Mollison, Surgeon in Port-Glasgow
recommending small and frequent repeated
bloodings
to prevent Plethora; but this
management I believe would be the surest
means to defeat the intention ––




[Page 5]


Mr. Orr the writer remains in health –
I have pointed out to him such parts of the
Dissertation de frigore 1 (which I have read
with information and pleasure,) as I
think relate to him –– his brother's eyes
remain as before ––

I am sir
Your most humble servant
Alexr. Taylor
Paisley 21 May 1782



[Page 6]


Dr. William Cullen
Professor of Physic
Edinburgh


Mr Taylor
Concerning the revd Mr C. Gillies
May 1782.
V XIV p 65

Notes:

1: Archibald Cullen's medical dissertation, De Frigore, Ejusque Vi Et Effectibus in Corpus Humanum (Edinburgh: 1780). For William Cullen suggesting this be read see the previous Document ID 526 associated with this case.

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]
Sir


This gentleman,
(Mr. Gillies one of our ministers,) who
now consults you, was a quarter of a
year ago suddenly seized with a severe
faint
which lasted for more than ten
minutes, his neck as Mrs. Gillies observed
being at the time swelled and his face
flushed and red and his head writhed
round to one side; but there were no
violent motions of his hands nor (↑or↑) legs, nor
moisture from the mouth – that after¬
noon he had felt an unusual heaviness ↑about him↑
and Confusion in his head being unable
to think upon or recollect things distinctly
;
but it was not till after after supper when
he had taken two or 3 glass of punch not exceed¬
ing half a [Dozen?] that this happened –– I saw



[Page 2]

him presently after his recovering from the
faint
; he had vomited freely having drunk
some warm water and he was talking
confusedly
and his pulse was quick and
smart
. Blooding was then proposed but
he would not submit to it till next morn¬
ing when he was blooded freelly and got
a Dose of Salts –––– The his relations were
more alarmed with it than himself; but
from Mrs. Gillies' acct. I did not think the
ailment was to be disregarded and recom¬
mended a low Regimen to him and moderate
exercise; I likewise proposed to have a
blister applied to
his head and a seton placed
in
his neck; but he declined both and would
only allow of a Pea which was accordingly
placed in
his Arm – from this time till
near three weeks ago he I believe kept prety
close to his Regimen when he began to com¬
plain of a heaviness and Confu and sometimes
of a Confusion
resembling what he had formerly
felt before the faintat first these Complaints


[Page 3]

led me to think of taking blood but I found
↑his skin↑ had a Cold feel and his pulse was remark¬
ably slow (64) and weak
and his face ra¬
there appeared pale – on the Contrary I
encouraged him to take something of a better
diet and a glass or two of strong ale for
he had hitherto taken nothing stronger than
small beer –– but in this I believe I was
wrong for in a few days after at New
Port-Glasgow, whither he had gone to preach,
he was attacked a second time with a
faint
as I am well informed resembling the
former very much –– but to have a full
view of his Case it is necessary to go farther
back – for these last eight years almost
every winter he has had an inflammatory
eruption upon his nose the matter exuding
matter of white
forming ↑itself into↑ scabs and this he says
was occasioned by being exposed for a long con¬
siderable time
to severe Cold; but even before
this such eruptions used to come out round his
mouth
in Cold weather and his lips to be swelled
and for some time before the last faint such an


[Page 4]

eruption made its appearance on
his
face
and in particular upon one of his
ears
; and this had in a great measure
gone off before the last Attack –– This
leads me to suspect acrimony owing per¬
haps to a deficiency of Perspiration and
besides the Course management formerly
proposed I intended to ↑have↑ given some
mercurial and antimonial ↑medicines↑ in small
quantities; but I think this Complaint
of such consequence
tho' I wish and
hope that Mr. Gillies shall have no
more returns; yet this is at least uncer¬
tain and I think it is of consequence to
have your opinion before any thing
farther be done –– I got a line from
Mr. Mollison, Surgeon in Port-Glasgow
recommending small and frequent repeated
bloodings
to prevent Plethora; but this
management I believe would be the surest
means to defeat the intention ––




[Page 5]


Mr. Orr the writer remains in health –
I have pointed out to him such parts of the
Dissertation de frigore 1 (which I have read
with information and pleasure,) as I
think relate to him –– his brother's eyes
remain as before ––

I am sir
Your most humble servt.
Alexr. Taylor
Paisley 21 May 1782



[Page 6]


Dr. William Cullen
Professor of Physic
Edinr.


Mr Taylor
C the revd Mr C. Gillies
May 1782.
V XIV p 65

Notes:

1: Archibald Cullen's medical dissertation, De Frigore, Ejusque Vi Et Effectibus in Corpus Humanum (Edinburgh: 1780). For William Cullen suggesting this be read see the previous Document ID 526 associated with this case.

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