Cullen

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

 

[ID:2937] From: Colin Baxter / To: Mr Alexander MacDuff (of Bonhard) / Regarding: Miss Janet MacDuff (McDuff) (Patient) / 29 November 1786 / (Incoming)

Letter from Colin Baxter to Alexander MacDuff, concerning the case of Janet Macduff, Baxter's sister-law and MacDuff's sister. The first two pages, also written by Baxter, contain a report of Janet MacDuff's condition to be passed on to Cullen. Baxter asks MacDuff to get advice from Cullen in writing, as he does not trust Dr W(ood) to faithfully follow Cullen's prescriptions in the depth of Winter. The annotated date added on final page (6 Nov 1786) seems to be incorrect as Baxter dates his letter 29 Nov 1786.

Facsimile

There are 4 images for this document.

[Page 1]


 

[Page 2]


 

[Page 3]


 

[Page 4]


 
 

Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 2937
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/2/1970
Main Language English
Document Direction Incoming
Date29 November 1786
Annotation None
TypeAuthorial original
Enclosure(s) Enclosure(s) present
Autopsy No
Recipe No
Regimen No
Letter of Introduction No
Case Note No
Summary Letter from Colin Baxter to Alexander MacDuff, concerning the case of Janet Macduff, Baxter's sister-law and MacDuff's sister. The first two pages, also written by Baxter, contain a report of Janet MacDuff's condition to be passed on to Cullen. Baxter asks MacDuff to get advice from Cullen in writing, as he does not trust Dr W(ood) to faithfully follow Cullen's prescriptions in the depth of Winter. The annotated date added on final page (6 Nov 1786) seems to be incorrect as Baxter dates his letter 29 Nov 1786.
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting No

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:1156]
Case of Miss MacDuff: complex set of letters relating to the Macduff family.
6


People linked to this document

Person IDRole in documentPerson
[PERS ID:3269]Author Colin Baxter
[PERS ID:3264]AddresseeMr Alexander MacDuff (of Bonhard)
[PERS ID:3262]PatientMiss Janet MacDuff (McDuff)
[PERS ID:588]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryMr Alexander Wood
[PERS ID:1]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:101]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr Robert Wood
[PERS ID:3263]Patient's Relative / Spouse / Friend Jacobina Baxter (Jackey; McDuff)
[PERS ID:3264]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendMr Alexander MacDuff (of Bonhard)
[PERS ID:3269]Patient's Relative / Spouse / Friend Colin Baxter
[PERS ID:3282]OtherMr William MacDonald

Places linked to this document

Role in document Specific Place Settlements / Areas Region Country Global Region Confidence
Place of Writing Monzievaird (Monivaird) Mid Scotland Scotland Europe certain
Destination of Letter William McDonald's (solicitor) office, New Town Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe certain
Mentioned / Other Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe certain

Normalized Text

[Page 1]


When a Girl of fourteen at the Boarding school in Edinburgh, she
caught a Cold in returning home when extremely warm from a Ball in
winter, which was followed by consumptive symptoms, a violent cough,
spit and sweatings - Summer after, she went to the Goatwhey, when to
all appearance in the last stage of a consumption - By change of air, riding
and attention to a proper regimen, she recovered surprizingly, tho' she was
never entirely free of the cough and spit - She was obstructed for a
twelve month after she fell ill.


Winter after her return from the Goatwhey, she was distressed with a
swelling in one of her arms which gave her great pain - It began above
her elbow, and fell down by degrees to the back of her hand, when she
was advised by a Gentleman of the Faculty, who called it rheumatism,
to foment it with camomile flowers - The fomentation brought it to
a head on the back most joint of her forefinger, and it discharged a
little thin watery matter - It soon however dried up, but still continues
inflamed about the joint, and at times a little swelled.


From this time forward she enjoyed tolerable health, and was
able to take a good deal of exercise on foot & horseback, tho' never
entirely free of the cough and spit, and in winter occasionally
distressed with the Asthma - She used often to say that she believed
her gullet differently formed from that of any other person's, for that
her meat and drink seemed to descend into her side and not into
her stomach, and the frothy spittle, which sometimes came up, felt
as if it proceeded from thence also.


For about three or four years after her complaints began, she lived
chiefly on a milk diet - During the last three years, she lived more
freely and took tea, broths, meat or any thing that came in the way -


Before she went first to the Goatwhey she got an issue in her back
which was kept open till about two years ago, when she allowed it to dry
up, and got a pea in her arm, as she thought the issue in her



[Page 2]

back did not draw sufficiently - The Pea still remains, but draws little -


Dr Alexander Wood who attended her in Edinburgh thought her complaints of a
nervous kind - Dr Wood in Perth who attended her after she came to
the Country, said they were of a consumptive nature, and thought she
could not live any time - The Goat whey and riding a horseback were
what he chiefly prescribed - Stomachic bitters & the Peruvian bark
the medicines he ordered for her - These medicines she used for serveral
years, but gave them up almost entirely about two years ago.


Towards the end of April last, being then about 21 years of
age, she grew weaker and more languid - felt frequently as if cold water
were trickling thro' her body
- was easily fluttered - complained of decay of
memory
, want of rest, motes in her eyes - grew restless, would not settle to work
or read - took strange fancies - imagined she was to break out and mortify -
that she should die a beggar - & that she had no clothes tho' extremely well
provided.


About the beginning of August last, she was sent a visiting among
her friends, in hopes that change of air and variety of company might be
beneficial; but she was not two days among them when she grew worse -
[and?] (She) attempted to destroy herself, but seemed to want courage for it


August 4th became very high - wanted to destroy herself - was
bound - Dr Wood sent for, who bled her in the arm, and blistered her
head - The blister however she tore off before it had its full effect - Soon
after, grew calmer, but continued to speak at times irrationally - was
extremely desirous to get abroad and wander alone.


About three weeks afterwards, blistered on the head a second time,
but no better for it.


Obstructed from April last till about three weeks ago, when she
altered; but the alteration was so small as to be hardly discernible.


Her cough and spit have left her in a great measure since August last -
No change upon her these two months - eats her victuals well - speaks at times
pretty rationally at other times very incoherently - when in her high fits, she feels a strong
propensity to cry out for people to set her at liberty - is very restless in the night while
the high fits continue -


No medecines have been prescribed; nor any thing tried but bleeding & blistering
as mentioned above.




[Page 3]
Monivaird November 29th 1786
Dear Sir


On the two preceding pages you have a short
state of J's case - If you remember any thing that has not
occurred to me, you may write it anew and throw in your
remarks in their proper place.


Whatever Dr C's advice may be I think you
should get it from himself in writing, and note trust entirely
to his corresponding with Dr Wood who, tho' he may be willing,
yet may not find it convenient in the depth of winter to
see his presciptions faithfully followed out - If
we knew C's advice, I could take a ride down now
and then, and see it punctually {illeg} (observed) with

Jackey joins me in best wishes to you; & I
remain
Dear Sir
Your's &c
Colin Baxter

When you write let us know your address




[Page 4]


Alexr. Macduff of Bonhard Esqr.
at Mr. William McDonald Writer to the
Signet's office New Town
Edinr.


6 Novr. 1786
Mr. Baxter

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]


When a Girl of fourteen at the Boarding school in Edinr, she
caught a Cold in returning home when extremely warm from a Ball in
winter, which was followed by consumptive symptoms, a violent cough,
spit and sweatings - Summer after, she went to the Goatwhey, when to
all appearance in the last stage of a consumption - By change of air, riding
and attention to a proper regimen, she recovered surprizingly, tho' she was
never entirely free of the cough and spit - She was obstructed for a
twelve month after she fell ill.


Winter after her return from the Goatwhey, she was distressed with a
swelling in one of her arms which gave her great pain - It began above
her elbow, and fell down by degrees to the back of her hand, when she
was advised by a Gentleman of the Faculty, who called it rheumatism,
to foment it with camomile flowers - The fomentation brought it to
a head on the back most joint of her forefinger, and it discharged a
little thin watery matter - It soon however dried up, but still continues
inflamed about the joint, and at times a little swelled.


From this time forward she enjoyed tolerable health, and was
able to take a good deal of exercise on foot & horseback, tho' never
entirely free of the cough and spit, and in winter occasionally
distressed with the Asthma - She used often to say that she believed
her gullet differently formed from that of any other person's, for that
her meat and drink seemed to descend into her side and not into
her stomach, and the frothy spittle, which sometimes came up, felt
as if it proceeded from thence also.


For about three or four years after her complaints began, she lived
chiefly on a milk diet - During the last three years, she lived more
freely and took tea, broths, meat or any thing that came in the way -


Before she went first to the Goatwhey she got an issue in her back
which was kept open till about two years ago, when she allowed it to dry
up, and got a pea in her arm, as she thought the issue in her



[Page 2]

back did not draw sufficiently - The Pea still remains, but draws little -


Dr Alexr Wood who attended her in Edinr. thought her complaints of a
nervous kind - Dr Wood in Perth who attended her after she came to
the Country, said they were of a consumptive nature, and thought she
could not live any time - The Goat whey and riding a horseback were
what he chiefly prescribed - Stomachic bitters & the Peruvian bark
the medicines he ordered for her - These medicines she used for serveral
years, but gave them up almost entirely about two years ago.


Towards the end of April last, being then about 21 years of
age, she grew weaker and more languid - felt frequently as if cold water
were trickling thro' her body
- was easily fluttered - complained of decay of
memory
, want of rest, motes in her eyes - grew restless, would not settle to work
or read - took strange fancies - imagined she was to break out and mortify -
that she should die a beggar - & that she had no clothes tho' extremely well
provided.


About the beginning of Augt. last, she was sent a visiting among
her friends, in hopes that change of air and variety of company might be
beneficial; but she was not two days among them when she grew worse -
[and?] (She) attempted to destroy herself, but seemed to want courage for it


Augt. 4th became very high - wanted to destroy herself - was
bound - Dr Wood sent for, who bled her in the arm, and blistered her
head - The blister however she tore off before it had its full effect - Soon
after, grew calmer, but continued to speak at times irrationally - was
extremely desirous to get abroad and wander alone.


About three weeks afterwards, blistered on the head a second time,
but no better for it.


Obstructed from April last till about three weeks ago, when she
altered; but the alteration was so small as to be hardly discernible.


Her cough and spit have left her in a great measure since Augt. last -
No change upon her these two months - eats her victuals well - speaks at times
pretty rationally at other times very incoherently - when in her high fits, she feels a strong
propensity to cry out for people to set her at liberty - is very restless in the night while
the high fits continue -


No medecines have been prescribed; nor any thing tried but bleeding & blistering
as mentioned above.




[Page 3]
Monivaird Novr. 29th 1786
Dear Sir


On the two preceding pages you have a short
state of J's case - If you remember any thing that has not
occurred to me, you may write it anew and throw in your
remarks in their proper place.


Whatever Dr C's advice may be I think you
should get it from himself in writing, and note trust entirely
to his corresponding with Dr Wood who, tho' he may be willing,
yet may not find it convenient in the depth of winter to
see his presciptions faithfully followed out - If
we knew C's advice, I could take a ride down now
and then, and see it punctually {illeg} (observed) with

Jackey joins me in best wishes to you; & I
remain
Dear Sir
Your's &c
Colin Baxter

When you write let us know your address




[Page 4]


Alexr. Macduff of Bonhard Esqr.
at Mr. William McDonald Writer to the
Signet's office New Town
Edinr.


6 Novr. 1786
Mr. Baxter

XML

XML file not yet available.

Feedback

Send us specfic feeback about this document [DOC ID:2937]

Type
Comments
 

Please note that the Cullen Project team have now disbanded but your comments will be logged in our system and we will look at them one day...