Cullen

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

 

[ID:2233] From: Dr Alexander Taylor (Sanders) / To: Dr William Cullen (Professor Cullen) / Regarding: Reverend Colin Gillies (of Paisley) (Patient), Miss (Patient) / 12 June 1782 / (Incoming)

Letter from Alexander Taylor, briefly noting that Mr Gillies is taking his medicines, and giving an account of the death and autopsy (post mortem) examination of a 22-year-old woman, a 'strong-made girl and of a chearful temper', whose disease 'had all the marks of the Angina Pectoris'. She had suffered from chest pains and faintness. He attributes her collapse to having been startled by a firework display, probably staged to celebrate Admiral Rodney's victory in the Battle of the Saintes, but her post mortem (by Taylor, Fulton and White) revealed carditis.

Facsimile

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Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 2233
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/2/1302
Main Language English
Document Direction Incoming
Date12 June 1782
Annotation None
TypeAuthorial original
Enclosure(s) No enclosure(s)
Autopsy Yes
Recipe No
Regimen No
Letter of Introduction No
Case Note No
Summary Letter from Alexander Taylor, briefly noting that Mr Gillies is taking his medicines, and giving an account of the death and autopsy (post mortem) examination of a 22-year-old woman, a 'strong-made girl and of a chearful temper', whose disease 'had all the marks of the Angina Pectoris'. She had suffered from chest pains and faintness. He attributes her collapse to having been startled by a firework display, probably staged to celebrate Admiral Rodney's victory in the Battle of the Saintes, but her post mortem (by Taylor, Fulton and White) revealed carditis.
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting Yes

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:1286]
Case of the Rev. Colin Gillies who has suffered several fainting fits almost like epileptic seizures.
7
[Case ID:2136]
Case of an unnamed twenty-two year old woman who dies after being startled at a firework display.
1


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:1465]PatientReverend Colin Gillies (of Paisley)
[PERS ID:1902]PatientMiss
[PERS ID:207]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr Alexander Taylor (Sanders)
[PERS ID:2999]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryMr Fulton
[PERS ID:3000]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryMr John White (Whytt)
[PERS ID:1]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:2656]OtherAdmiral George Brydges Rodney (Admiral Rodney, 1st Baron Rodney)

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
Place of Handstamp Paisley Glasgow and West Scotland Europe certain

Normalized Text

[Page 1]
Paisley 12 June 1782
Sir


You were to write me
concerning Mr. Gillies and he
begs leave to remind you of it.
He is at present taking the Medi¬
cines you have prescribed for
him –– A young woman ↑of 22 years of age↑
died here a few days ago of a disease
which had all the marks of the
Angina Pectoris
– this case I believe
is on account of the age and sex very
singular; and in the hopes that it will
not be unacceptable I send you a
short account of it –––– for two
months before her death she complained



[Page 2]

of a pain in her breast which extended
to her shoulders and was always
greatly increased and brought on a
Faintness
whenever she walked faster
than usual or when she went up a
stair; otherwise she appeared to be
in perfect health; she was a big
strong-made girl and of a chearful tem¬
per; she had no cough and her appetite
was good; and her pulse was at any
time that I felt it calm and regular


Upon Thursday was eight days after
having walked thro the town & in seeing
Rodney's illuminations 1 and being startled
with the squibs upon her return home
she was seized with a faint from which
she recovered so far as to be able to speak
which she did ↑distinctly↑ as long as she lived complaining



[Page 3]

of an inexpressible pain in her breast &
in about half an hour after she was
first seized she died –– In Com[p]any with
two other Surgeons Messrs Fulton and White I
afterwards opened her and we [found]
about half a mutchkin of black {illeg}
or serum in each side of the Thorax {illeg}
right Ventricle there was some thi{illeg}
blood, but the left one was empty {illeg}
its inside much inflamed the grea[ter]
part of it being of a dark red co[lour]
the left Venous Sinus and beginning of
the Aorta were likewise inflamed ––
I do not find this disease taken notice
of in your Synopsis 2 excepting under the
general term Carditis; but there is no
reference to the London observations 3

I am sir
your most humble & obedient servant
Alexr. Taylor



[Page 4]


Dr. William Cullen
Professor of Medicine
Edinburgh


Mr Taylor
C Mr Gillies and a
Case of Angina Pectoris
June 1782. ––

Notes:

1: The rest of the letter indicates that this was some sort of firework display. The most likely context is a celebration of Admiral George Rodney's recent victory in the Battle of the Saintes (though it is to be noted that Lord Paisley was created Baron Rodney in 1782).

2: See William Cullen, Synopsis nosologiæ methodicæ (Edinburgh: 1769), p. 261.

3: Evidently a reference to some medical observations made or appearing at London, but precise source untraced.

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]
Paisley 12 June 1782
Sir


You were to write me
concerning Mr. Gillies and he
begs leave to remind you of it.
He is at present taking the Medi¬
cines you have prescribed for
him –– A young woman ↑of 22 years of age↑
died here a few days ago of a disease
which had all the marks of the
Angina Pectoris
– this case I believe
is on account of the age and sex very
singular; and in the hopes that it will
not be unacceptable I send you a
short account of it –––– for two
months before her death she complained



[Page 2]

of a pain in her breast which extended
to her shoulders and was always
greatly increased and brought on a
Faintness
whenever she walked faster
than usual or when she went up a
stair; otherwise she appeared to be
in perfect health; she was a big
strong-made girl and of a chearful tem¬
per; she had no cough and her appetite
was good; and her pulse was at any
time that I felt it calm and regular


Upon Thursday was eight days after
having walked thro the town & in seeing
Rodney's illuminations 1 and being startled
with the squibs upon her return home
she was seized with a faint from which
she recovered so far as to be able to speak
which she did ↑distinctly↑ as long as she lived complaining



[Page 3]

of an inexpressible pain in her breast &
in about half an hour after she was
first seized she died –– In Com[p]any wt.
two other Surgeons Messrs Fulton and White I
afterwards opened her and we [found]
about half a mutchkin of black {illeg}
or serum in each side of the Thorax {illeg}
right Ventricle there was some thi{illeg}
blood, but the left one was empty {illeg}
its inside much inflamed the grea[ter]
part of it being of a dark red co[lour]
the left Venous Sinus and beginning of
the Aorta were likewise inflamed ––
I do not find this disease taken notice
of in your Synopsis 2 excepting under the
general term Carditis; but there is no
reference to the London observations 3

I am sir
your most humble & obt.servt.
Alexr. Taylor



[Page 4]


Dr. William Cullen
Professor of Medicine
Edinr.


Mr Taylor
C Mr Gillies and a
Case of Angina Pectoris
June 1782. ––

Notes:

1: The rest of the letter indicates that this was some sort of firework display. The most likely context is a celebration of Admiral George Rodney's recent victory in the Battle of the Saintes (though it is to be noted that Lord Paisley was created Baron Rodney in 1782).

2: See William Cullen, Synopsis nosologiæ methodicæ (Edinburgh: 1769), p. 261.

3: Evidently a reference to some medical observations made or appearing at London, but precise source untraced.

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