Cullen

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

 

[ID:2827] From: Dr John Gilchrist (of Speddoch) / To: Dr William Cullen (Professor Cullen) / Regarding: Mr Macmurdo (McMurdo) (Patient), Reverend William Burnside (of Dumfries) (Patient) / 5 June 1786 / (Incoming)

Letter from John Gilchrist, concerning the case of Rev. William Burnside, who is better than he was but still suffers from sweating of the head, headaches and a throat ailment. Gilchrist writes: 'it will be best not to mention what I said about his full living. In his present circumstances it would not answer to speak to him so freely on that subject as it may do afterwards.' The letter also refers back to their treatment of McMurdo of Drumnlanrig's son (see case 1732).

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Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 2827
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/2/1864
Main Language English
Document Direction Incoming
Date5 June 1786
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 John Gilchrist, concerning the case of Rev. William Burnside, who is better than he was but still suffers from sweating of the head, headaches and a throat ailment. Gilchrist writes: 'it will be best not to mention what I said about his full living. In his present circumstances it would not answer to speak to him so freely on that subject as it may do afterwards.' The letter also refers back to their treatment of McMurdo of Drumnlanrig's son (see case 1732).
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting Yes

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:965]
Case of the Reverend Burnside who is left weak from a history of headaches and attacks of sweating.
6
[Case ID:1732]
Case of young Mr McMurdo of Drumlanrig who has a fever.
4


People linked to this document

Person IDRole in documentPerson
[PERS ID:115]AuthorDr John Gilchrist (of Speddoch)
[PERS ID:1]AddresseeDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:3786]PatientMr Macmurdo (McMurdo)
[PERS ID:4348]PatientReverend William Burnside (of Dumfries)
[PERS ID:115]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr John Gilchrist (of Speddoch)
[PERS ID:566]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryMr Alexander Copland (Coupland; of King's Grange)
[PERS ID:1]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:4353]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendMr
[PERS ID:3412]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendMr John McMurdoch (McMurdo)
[PERS ID:4352]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendMrs Ann Burnside

Places linked to this document

Role in document Specific Place Settlements / Areas Region Country Global Region Confidence
Place of Writing Dumfries Borders Scotland Europe certain
Destination of Letter Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe certain
Mentioned / Other Drumlanrig (Drumlanrig Castle) Borders Scotland Europe certain
Place of Handstamp Dumfries Borders Scotland Europe certain

Normalized Text

[Page 1]
Dumfries 5th. June 1786.
Dear Sir


I received, in due course, yours concerning Mr.
Burnside, who, tho' he is certainly better than when I
writ you last, is still complaining very much at
times and is so weak at the same time that it is
with difficulty he can sit ↑up↑ for a quarter and half an
hour. – The heat of the weather, at present, makes
him feel himself much worse I believe than perhaps
he might otherwise do. – His headach and sweatings,
tho' certainly far from being so bad as they were
two or three weeks ago, yet return to a ↑de↑gree, and
with a frequency, that are very hard upon him, and
his nights are exceedingly bad; – yet his pulse, tho'
rather weak, continues moderately quick & regular
,
being commonly between 90 & 100. –– tho' just now
(eight o'clock in the evening), I have reckoned it 86. ––
His belly is kept easily open by Clysters principally,
and once or twice, by a moderate quantity of
Cream of Tartar whey
, which Mrs Burnside had given



[Page 2]

him as a drink. –– The Mixture with Gum Guaiacum,
we have not yet tried, as Clysters have answered
so well
, and he preferred them. – The other parts of your
advice he strictly adheres to. –– Tho' his throat was
so much mended that we thought it quite well, in
a manner, when I writ last, yet we had a good deal
of trouble with it for about a week since, but since
he tried a Gargarism with Borax, which I thought
of trying from the throat's having much of an aphthous
appearance; it has been kept very clean & easy. –– Can
we do any thing to moderate or check these sweatings
in
the head –– & headachs? –– I am afraid, as the dis¬
position to them has existed so long, – (i.e. for a year)
a change will not be suddenly made; but we will
hope that a regimen steadily persued may do much.
We are admitting more air, in a cautious manner, into
his chamber; but have not ventured on what you hint
at; –– any stronger or more immediate application of
cold, –– tho' I remember a case of high fever, or rather
quickness of pulse – Mr McMurdo of Drumlanrigs son,


[Page 3]

where you advised me to venture on it; – but in that
case the water was applied to the whole body
– I write this in Mr Burnside's house, as he has
just now expressed his desire that I would again
let you know what he is doing, by tomorrows post,
which, at any rate I would have done in a post or
two. ––

I am always Dear Sir most faithfully yours
John Gilchrist


We have observed no regularity whatever in the
recurrence of the attacks of headach
, nor have we
been sensible of any exciting causes. – There has
never been any observable flushing of the face,
nor redness of the eyes, –– nor any particular
pulsation of
the temporal arteries. –– Frequently
when at the worst he complained much of a ringing in the ears. –––– I will beg leave to hint that in any thing
you are so good as to write me, (as I will now probably shew
or read the whole of what you say, to himself) – it will be best
not to mention what I said about his full living. In his pre¬
sent circumstances it would not answer to speak to him so freely on
that subject as it may do afterwards –– I was not only satisfied myself
of the necessity of saying what I did – but Mr Copland, who is his sur¬
geon, and another person, his particular friend, who took a copy of what I
writ you, to be hereafter shewn him; were entirely of the same mind.




[Page 4]


To Doctor Cullen
Physician
Edinburgh


Dr Gilchrist
Concerning Mr Burnside
May 1786
V. XVIII p. 169

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]
Dumfries 5th. June 1786.
Dear Sir


I received, in due course, yours concerning Mr.
Burnside, who, tho' he is certainly better than when I
writ you last, is still complaining very much at
times and is so weak at the same time that it is
with difficulty he can sit ↑up↑ for a quarter and half an
hour. – The heat of the weather, at present, makes
him feel himself much worse I believe than perhaps
he might otherwise do. – His headach and sweatings,
tho' certainly far from being so bad as they were
two or three weeks ago, yet return to a ↑de↑gree, and
with a frequency, that are very hard upon him, and
his nights are exceedingly bad; – yet his pulse, tho'
rather weak, continues moderately quick & regular
,
being commonly between 90 & 100. –– tho' just now
(eight o'clock in the evening), I have reckoned it 86. ––
His belly is kept easily open by Clysters principally,
and once or twice, by a moderate quantity of
Cream of Tartar whey
, which Mrs Burnside had given



[Page 2]

him as a drink. –– The Mixture with Gum Guaiacum,
we have not yet tried, as Clysters have answered
so well
, and he preferred them. – The other parts of your
advice he strictly adheres to. –– Tho' his throat was
so much mended that we thought it quite well, in
a manner, when I writ last, yet we had a good deal
of trouble with it for about a week since, but since
he tried a Gargarism with Borax, which I thought
of trying from the throat's having much of an aphthous
appearance; it has been kept very clean & easy. –– Can
we do any thing to moderate or check these sweatings
in
the head –– & headachs? –– I am afraid, as the dis¬
position to them has existed so long, – (i.e. for a year)
a change will not be suddenly made; but we will
hope that a regimen steadily persued may do much.
We are admitting more air, in a cautious manner, into
his chamber; but have not ventured on what you hint
at; –– any stronger or more immediate application of
cold, –– tho' I remember a case of high fever, or rather
quickness of pulse – Mr McMurdo of Drumlanrigs son,


[Page 3]

where you advised me to venture on it; – but in that
case the water was applied to the whole body
– I write this in Mr Burnside's house, as he has
just now expressed his desire that I would again
let you know what he is doing, by tomorrows post,
which, at any rate I would have done in a post or
two. ––

I am always Dr Sir most faithfully yours
John Gilchrist


We have observed no regularity whatever in the
recurrence of the attacks of headach
, nor have we
been sensible of any exciting causes. – There has
never been any observable flushing of the face,
nor redness of the eyes, –– nor any particular
pulsation of
the temporal arteries. –– Frequently
when at the worst he complained much of a tinnitus
aurium. –––– I will beg leave to hint that in any thing
you are so good as to write me, (as I will now probably shew
or read the whole of what you say, to himself) – it will be best
not to mention what I said about his full living. In his pre¬
sent circumstances it would not answer to speak to him so freely on
that subject as it may do afterwards –– I was not only satisfied myself
of the necessity of saying what I did – but Mr Copland, who is his sur¬
geon, and another person, his particular friend, who took a copy of what I
writ you, to be hereafter shewn him; were entirely of the same mind.




[Page 4]


To Doctor Cullen
Physician
Edinburgh


Dr Gilchrist
C Mr Burnside
May 1786
V. XVIII p. 169

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