Cullen

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

 

[ID:2753] Case Note / Regarding: Mr Charles Murray (Patient), Miss Clara Murray (Patient), Mr Gideon Murray (Patient), Mrs (Patient) / January 1786 / (Incoming)

Case note describing the cases of Charles (1781-82), Clara (1785-86) and Gideon (1783-84), children of Alexander Murray, 7th Lord Elibank, who all died in infancy died between 1782 and 1786. Charles and Clara had been inoculated against smallpox, and Charles's first wet-nurse had a herpetic rash on her breasts. Includes reports of Charles and Clara's post-mortems. Contextual evidence affirms that this report was drawn up by the Peebles surgeon James Reid, and was probably written shortly after the death of Clara in mid-January 1786.

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Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 2753
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/2/1792
Main Language English
Document Direction Incoming
DateJanuary 1786
Annotation None
TypeAuthorial original
Enclosure(s) No enclosure(s)
Autopsy Yes
Recipe No
Regimen No
Letter of Introduction No
Case Note No
Summary Case note describing the cases of Charles (1781-82), Clara (1785-86) and Gideon (1783-84), children of Alexander Murray, 7th Lord Elibank, who all died in infancy died between 1782 and 1786. Charles and Clara had been inoculated against smallpox, and Charles's first wet-nurse had a herpetic rash on her breasts. Includes reports of Charles and Clara's post-mortems. Contextual evidence affirms that this report was drawn up by the Peebles surgeon James Reid, and was probably written shortly after the death of Clara in mid-January 1786.
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting No

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:1977]
Case of Charles, Clara and Gideon, the deceased children of Alexander Murray, 7th Lord Elibank, who all died in infancy and concerning his fears about hereditary weakness and how to prevent premature death.
2


People linked to this document

Person IDRole in documentPerson
[PERS ID:2803]AuthorMr James Reid
[PERS ID:1]AddresseeDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:4403]PatientMr Gideon Murray
[PERS ID:4404]PatientMrs
[PERS ID:4401]PatientMr Charles Murray
[PERS ID:4402]PatientMiss Clara Murray
[PERS ID:1]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:2803]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryMr James Reid
[PERS ID:1455]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendBaron Alexander Murray (of Darnhall or Blackbarony; of Elibank; Lord Elibank; 7th Baron Elibank)
[PERS ID:4404]OtherMrs

Places linked to this document

Role in document Specific Place Settlements / Areas Region Country Global Region Confidence
Place of Writing Peebles Borders Scotland Europe inferred
Destination of Letter Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe inferred

Normalized Text

[Page 1]


Charles born 30th. May 1781, a healthy Child
inoculated 2d. October recovered well, except a few scabby erup¬
tions on his lips, from the Nurses breasts growing all
over sore with herpetic pimples, –– had a new Nurse
soon healed and continued well. The 7th. March following
he was attacked slightly with vomiting and some loose
yellow stools, looked oppressed with sunk pale visage
& lips rather livid, showed pain internally by moaning
& not sleeping, had no feverish heat, the pulse small
thready & not frequent
, made no urine for some time
but, when sounded had little in the bladder of a yellow
tinge, the pulse soon sunk more and he died the 9th.
without any convulsive appearances.


On opening the body, the moisture among the bowels
was found very yellow, there was a mortification in the
Duodenum
near the Pylorus half round the gut, with
the external coat of it entire, like thin silk, and the
internal substance gone, no thick edges nor disten¬
ded
blood vessels round the part. The stomach and
other guts empty, and rather unusually white al¬
most pellucid: Gall bladder coats thickened as if
boiled: all the other Viscera sound, the heart large
Auricle and Veins distended as usual.


Clara –––– born 26th. February 1785 a healthy
and very lively Child, had a very good Nurse, was
inoculated
September, had a good many Small pox, no
bad symptoms, and recovered well – On the 2d. January



[Page 2]

the day very cold, but calm and bright sunshine; she was
carried out and afterwards had a little whizzing when she
breathed
, but no cough, nor any seeming uneasiness, only
unusually pale
faced. On the 11th. when new from the
breast
, she vomited a good deal of deep orange coloured
stuff
, looked very pale, and lips a little livid, alongst with
repeated Clysters she discharged by steel a great quantity
of the same dark yellow coloured fæces
. The pulse not
quickened but small and weak
, seemingly no pain
but slept lightly –– The 13th. did not suck for
half the day
, but begun again in the evening, grew
worse in the night and seemed pained as she cried
and did not sleep; next forenoon died without a
Convulsive struggle
. When the body was opened, the
stomach
and guts, quite empty, appeard as they lay
pretty sound, a few spots on the guts excepted of a yellow
tinge the size of pease, the outer coat entire, but
the inner substance gone. The back part of the
stomach
from the Pancreas to the fundus & towards
the pylorus, the breadth of two by three fingers entirely
sphacelated
, & upon the least touch it separated.


No thick edges round the dead part, but the
whole freer of blood vessels than usual, and no
adhæsion of any part to another as if inflammation
had taken place.


The serum around the guts very yellow
the gall bladder the same as Charles's and with
little contents. Every other viscera sound



[Page 3]

& having the usual appearance


After death both in Charles & Clara the body
became presently livid


The first Gideon was attacked quite in the
same way, as Charles, by slight vomitings, yellow
liquid stools, oppressed look & the 2d. day died, with
the same appearance of the Corpse –– the body was
not opened.


N.B. Gideon scarce ever had the breast, but
was brought up by the hand till 9Months that he
died: the other two Charles & Clara had plenty of
breast milk all along & after 4 or 5 Months were
gradually accustomed to panada, or pottage once
or twice a day ––

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]


Charles born 30th. May 1781, a healthy Child
inoculated 2d. Octr. recovered well, except a few scabby erup¬
tions on his lips, from the Nurses breasts growing all
over sore with herpetic pimples, –– had a new Nurse
soon healed and continued well. The 7th. March following
he was attacked slightly with vomiting and some loose
yellow stools, looked oppressed with sunk pale visage
& lips rather livid, showed pain internally by moaning
& not sleeping, had no feverish heat, the pulse small
thready & not frequent
, made no urine for some time
but, when sounded had little in the bladder of a yellow
tinge, the pulse soon sunk more and he died the 9th.
without any convulsive appearances.


On opening the body, the moisture among the bowels
was found very yellow, there was a mortification in the
Duodenum
near the Pylorus half round the gut, with
the external coat of it entire, like thin silk, and the
internal substance gone, no thick edges nor disten¬
ded
blood vessels round the part. The stomach and
other guts empty, and rather unusually white al¬
most pellucid: Gall bladder coats thickened as if
boiled: all the other Viscera sound, the heart large
Auricle and Veins distended as usual.


Clara –––– born 26th. Feby. 1785 a healthy
and very lively Child, had a very good Nurse, was
inoculated
Septr., had a good many Small pox, no
bad symptoms, and recovered well – On the 2d. Jany.



[Page 2]

the day very cold, but calm and bright sunshine; she was
carried out and afterwards had a little whizzing when she
breathed
, but no cough, nor any seeming uneasiness, only
unusually pale
faced. On the 11th. when new from the
breast
, she vomited a good deal of deep orange coloured
stuff
, looked very pale, and lips a little livid, alongst with
repeated Clysters she discharged by steel a great quantity
of the same dark yellow coloured fæces
. The pulse not
quickened but small and weak
, seemingly no pain
but slept lightly –– The 13th. did not suck for
half the day
, but begun again in the evening, grew
worse in the night and seemed pained as she cried
and did not sleep; next forenoon died without a
Convulsive struggle
. When the body was opened, the
stomach
and guts, quite empty, appeard as they lay
pretty sound, a few spots on the guts excepted of a yellow
tinge the size of pease, the outer coat entire, but
the inner substance gone. The back part of the
stomach
from the Pancreas to the fundus & towards
the pylorus, the breadth of two by three fingers entirely
sphacelated
, & upon the least touch it separated.


No thick edges round the dead part, but the
whole freer of blood vessels than usual, and no
adhæsion of any part to another as if inflamn.
had taken place.


The serum around the guts very yellow
the gall bladder the same as Charles's and with
little contents. Every other viscera sound



[Page 3]

& having the usual appearance


After death both in Charles & Clara the body
became presently livid


The first Gideon was attacked quite in the
same way, as Charles, by slight vomitings, yellow
liquid stools, oppressed look & the 2d. day died, with
the same appearance of the Corpse –– the body was
not opened.


N.B. Gideon scarce ever had the breast, but
was brought up by the hand till 9MS. that he
died: the other two Charles & Clara had plenty of
breast milk all along & after 4 or 5 MS. were
gradually accustomed to panada, or pottage once
or twice a day ––

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