Cullen

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

 

[ID:331] From: Dr William Cullen (Professor Cullen) / To: Mr Arthur Gair / Regarding: Miss Forster (Foster) (Patient), Miss Susan Forster (Foster) (Patient), Miss (Miss Foster's maid, Miss Forster's maid) (Patient) / 14 September 1775 / (Outgoing)

Reply 'For Miss Foster & Susan Ditto. & her maid'

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Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 331
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/1/6/31
Main Language English
Document Direction Outgoing
Date14 September 1775
Annotation None
TypeScribal copy ( includes Casebook Entry)
Enclosure(s) No enclosure(s)
Autopsy No
Recipe Yes
Regimen No
Letter of Introduction No
Case Note No
Summary Reply 'For Miss Foster & Susan Ditto. & her maid'
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting No

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:527]
Case of Miss Forster who consults Cullen in person over various gouty and digestive complaints.
2
[Case ID:528]
Case of Miss Susan Forster who is to take a diaphoretic if she does not benefit from travel.
1
[Case ID:529]
Case of Miss Forster's maid who is costive.
1


People linked to this document

Person IDRole in documentPerson
[PERS ID:1]AuthorDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:1460]AddresseeMr Arthur Gair
[PERS ID:1539]PatientMiss Susan Forster (Foster)
[PERS ID:1540]PatientMiss (Miss Foster's maid, Miss Forster's maid)
[PERS ID:1461]PatientMiss Forster (Foster)
[PERS ID:1]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:1460]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryMr Arthur Gair
[PERS ID:1461]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendMiss Forster (Foster)
[PERS ID:1539]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendMiss Susan Forster (Foster)

Places linked to this document

Role in document Specific Place Settlements / Areas Region Country Global Region Confidence
Place of Writing Cullen's House / Mint Close Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe certain
Destination of Letter Alnwick North-East England Europe inferred

Normalized Text

[Page 1]
For Miss Foster & Susan Ditto: & her maid
Sir


I was favoured with yours, but my business did not allow me
to answer you by the same hand. I have very attentively considered
the whole of her complaints and think it proper to address my adivice
to you as the execution of it will require your attention and conduct –– Miss
Foster's constitution appears to me to be greatly disordered, but I can hardly
think that this has been owing to the repelling of an Itch and I would
rather impute it to a Goutty disposition which does not take its proper
course, and this I know can produce a great variety of ailment ––––


When I suppose such a cause, you will readily apprehend that the case
must be of difficult cure, but we must endeavour it as well as
we can, and to me the most urgent symptom is the hardness of the
Epigastrium. Tho' the tension is no more general I can still percieve
a particular hardness in one place and there I suspect a schirrhosity
formed. For this I would have you employ the Cicuta. There
is no better form of it than the Powder, if that powder is of the
plant taken at a proper time and properly dried and particularly
so dried as to preserve both its colour and smell
. If you are not
provided of (↑with↑) it in that condition, let me know and I shall send it
from hence, if you at the same time let me know what will
be the proper conveyance. Of such a powder you may at first



[Page 2]

give two grains for a dose, but this dose must be gradually increased till it
has some sensible effect, that is, till it occasions some giddiness, tremor or
uneasiness at stomach or across the breast. If some of these symptoms do not
come on before she has taken twenty grains, you may depend upon it that
your medium is not good, and if you attend to that test you may give
either Powder or Extract as you please –– Besides the Cicuta I would
wish to employ any remedy that would produce a regular men¬
struation; but that in such a constitution is not easily done. I should
like your medicine of the Pil. Gumosæ and Rubigo Chalybis but I
apprehend that the Gums may move the belly too much, and
therefore like your first composition better, as I do not think that
either the bark or steel can do any harm; however use it moderate¬
ly and never above a week or two at one time. As Miss Foster is frequently
troubled with palpitations, numbness and other nervous complaints, I
think it would be proper for her to employ some antispasmodics,
such as our compound [tinctura castor?], and when the bowels are dis¬
posed to griping and looseness I would employ an opiate at bed time.
With these medicines I would have Miss Foster to take what exercise
on horseback or in a carriage she can easily bear. Let her thighs &
legs be rubbed well every morning with flannel or rather with the flesh
brush
. As her appetite is very bad, I would not be nice in limiting
her diet further than forbidding very heavy things, and at the same time
as she is not troubled with flatulency or other symptoms of indigestion
I would not restrain her from any vegetables she has a liking to. With
all this let her give particular attention to keeping her feet warm
both night & day, and when any symptoms of menstruation appear
it will be proper to employ a Pediluvium at bed time ––––


I was also consulted for Miss Susan Foster, and I hope all her
complaints will be more easily removed. I believe it will be most
effectually done by her taking a Journey and travelling constantly
for two or three weeks, but if either this is delayed or that



[Page 3]

after she returns, she is not perfectly recovered let her employ the following medicine

Take 4 ounces of Rosewater, 3 ounces of plain Cinnamon, an ounce of Clove Syrup and 2 grains of Tartar Emetic. Mix. Label: Diaphoretic mixture a table spoonful or two to be taken every night at bed time ––


This is intended to raise a slight
nausea only, if it does either more or less the dose is to be diminish'd
or increased.


I was likewise desired to advise for Miss Foster's maid, and
I give you the trouble of the whole. I observe that her ailments are
very much aggravated by her costiveness, and she must in the
first place give a constant attention to obviate this, and if necessary
to take a laxative every second day at least. I would recommend to
her either the Pilulæ Aloeticæ of our last Dispensatory to be taken by
one, two or three at bed time, or the oleum ricini to be taken with
a little Rum, a table spoonful for the dose every morning. When
her fits come on let her take the following medicine.

Take an ounce of the Proprietary Elixir and 2 drachms of Thebaic Tincture. Mix. Label: Stomach drops fifty to be taken on a bit of sugar once or twice a day.


This medicine would be
greatly improved if you had the Elix. propriet. vitriolicum of our
last Dispensatory
. I have now said, I hope all that is necessary
but, if you have any questions to put or further information to
offer, I shall be ready to write again. Please offer my respectful
compliments to the Miss Fosters, and believe me to be with
great regard Dear sir ––––

14 September 1775

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]
For Miss Foster & Susan Ditto: & her maid
Sir


I was favoured with yours, but my business did not allow me
to answer you by the same hand. I have very attentively considered
the whole of her complaints and think it proper to address my adivice
to you as the execution of it will require your attention and conduct –– Miss
Foster's constitution appears to me to be greatly disordered, but I can hardly
think that this has been owing to the repelling of an Itch and I would
rather impute it to a Goutty disposition which does not take its proper
course, and this I know can produce a great variety of ailment ––––


When I suppose such a cause, you will readily apprehend that the case
must be of difficult cure, but we must endeavour it as well as
we can, and to me the most urgent symptom is the hardness of the
Epigastrium. Tho' the tension is no more genl. I can still percieve
a particular hardness in one place and there I suspect a schirrhosity
formed. For this I would have you employ the Cicuta. There
is no better form of it than the Powder, if that powder is of the
plant taken at a proper time and properly dried and particularly
so dried as to preserve both its colour and smell
. If you are not
provided of (↑with↑) it in that condition, let me know and I shall send it
from hence, if you at the same time let me know what will
be the proper conveyance. Of such a powder you may at first



[Page 2]

give two grains for a dose, but this dose must be gradually increased till it
has some sensible effect, that is, till it occasions some giddiness, tremor or
uneasiness at stomach or across the breast. If some of these sympts. do not
come on before she has taken twenty grains, you may depend upon it that
your medium is not good, and if you attend to that test you may give
either Powder or Extract as you please –– Besides the Cicuta I would
wish to employ any remedy that would produce a regular men¬
struation; but that in such a constitution is not easily done. I should
like your medicine of the Pil. Gumosæ and Rubigo Chalybis but I
apprehend that the Gums may move the belly too much, and
therefore like your first composition better, as I do not think that
either the bark or steel can do any harm; however use it moderate¬
ly and never above a week or two at one time. As Miss Foster is freqly.
troubled with palpitations, numbness and other nervous complaints, I
think it would be proper for her to employ some antispasmodics,
such as our compound [tinctura castor?], and when the bowels are dis¬
posed to griping and looseness I would employ an opiate at bed time.
With these medicines I would have Miss Foster to take what exercise
on horseback or in a carriage she can easily bear. Let her thighs &
legs be rubbed well every morning with flannel or rather with the flesh
brush
. As her appetite is very bad, I would not be nice in limiting
her diet further than forbidding very heavy things, and at the same time
as she is not troubled with flatulency or other sympts. of indigestion
I would not restrain her from any vegetables she has a liking to. With
all this let her give particular attention to keeping her feet warm
both night & day, and when any sympts. of menstruation appear
it will be proper to employ a Pediluvium at bed time ––––


I was also consulted for Miss Susan Foster, and I hope all her
complaints will be more easily removed. I believe it will be most
effectually done by her taking a Journey and travelling constantly
for two or three weeks, but if either this is delayed or that



[Page 3]

after she returns, she is not perfectly recovered let her employ the following medicine


Aq. Rosar. ℥IV Cinnamom. simpl. ℥iij Syr. Caryoph. ℥j Tart. Emet.
g.r ij ℳ. Sig. Diaphoretic mixture a table spoonful or two to be taken
every night at bed time ––


This is intended to raise a slight
nausea only, if it does either more or less the dose is to be diminish'd
or increased.


I was likewise desired to advise for Miss Foster's maid, and
I give you the trouble of the whole. I observe that her ailments are
very much aggravated by her costiveness, and she must in the
first place give a constant attention to obviate this, and if necessary
to take a laxative every second day at least. I would recommend to
her either the Pilulæ Aloeticæ of our last Dispensatory to be taken by
one, two or three at bed time, or the oleum ricini to be taken with
a little Rum, a table spoonful for the dose every morning. When
her fits come on let her take the following medicine.

Elix pro¬
priet.
℥j Tinct. Thebaic ʒij ℳ Sig. Stomach drops fifty to be taken
on a bit of sugar once or twice a day.


This medicine would be
greatly improved if you had the Elix. propriet. vitriolicum of our
last Dispensatory
. I have now said, I hope all that is necessary
but, if you have any questions to put or further information to
offer, I shall be ready to write again. Please offer my respectful
compliments to the Miss Fosters, and believe me to be with
great regd Dear sir ––––

14 Septr. 1775

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