Cullen

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

 

[ID:5290] From: Dr William Cullen (Professor Cullen) / To: Mr James McNab / Regarding: Mr Henry Ivie-Nicolson (Ivie) (Nicolson of Glenbervie) (Patient) / 27? June 1786 / (Outgoing)

Reply for 'Nicolson of Glenbervie, probably to James McNab, and apparently in response to Lady Nicolson's letter, which seems to have been delivered by a Mr Greig. He is advised to have a 'bathing machine' *shower-bath), fitted up in his Irish home, in imitation of those in use in Scotland. The day of writing is unclear, but inferred from position in casebook. Presumably this letter was to be taken back to Ireland by Mr Greig.

Facsimile

There are 3 images for this document.

[Page 1]


 

[Page 2]


 

[Page 3]


 
 

Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 5290
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/1/19/101
Main Language English
Document Direction Outgoing
Date27? June 1786
Annotation None
TypeMachine copy
Enclosure(s) No enclosure(s)
Autopsy No
Recipe No
Regimen No
Letter of Introduction No
Case Note No
Summary Reply for 'Nicolson of Glenbervie, probably to James McNab, and apparently in response to Lady Nicolson's letter, which seems to have been delivered by a Mr Greig. He is advised to have a 'bathing machine' *shower-bath), fitted up in his Irish home, in imitation of those in use in Scotland. The day of writing is unclear, but inferred from position in casebook. Presumably this letter was to be taken back to Ireland by Mr Greig.
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting No

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:2555]
Case of Henry Ivie-Nicolson of Glenbervie (attended by physicians in Waterford), who has a suspected paralytic complaint and 'dimness of sight' all of which Cullen considers 'nervous' and for which the patient undertakes electrical treatment.
7


People linked to this document

Person IDRole in documentPerson
[PERS ID:1]AuthorDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:2807]AddresseeMr James McNab
[PERS ID:5787]PatientMr Henry Ivie-Nicolson (Nicolson of Glenbervie)
[PERS ID:1]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:2807]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryMr James McNab
[PERS ID:5899]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendLady Helen Nicolson
[PERS ID:2863]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendMrs Helen Nicolson

Places linked to this document

Role in document Specific Place Settlements / Areas Region Country Global Region Confidence
Place of Writing Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe certain
Destination of Letter Waterford South Ireland Ireland Europe inferred
Mentioned / Other Scotland Europe certain
Mentioned / Other Glenbervie (AKA Ardit, Airdit) Kirkcaldy Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe certain

Normalized Text

[Page 1]
Nicolson of Glenbervie
Dear Sir


I am heartily concerned to hear of the obstinacy
of Mr. Nicolsons complaints, and I should be very happy
to advise any thing for his relief, but I am at a loss
to advise further. I have no distinct account from a
person of the profession of the precise state of his
Symptoms, nor of the remedies that have or have
not been employed, or of their affects. By the accounts
you have received I should suppose that the remedies
which I last advised had been diligently employed
but from other circumstances I have reason to doubt
of this, and particularly if the Waterford Doctors
think that the Summer Season has ↑is to↑ proved a certain
remedy to him I suspect they may be negligent
in employing other means. I am still of opinion
that Electricity diligently employed in the means
I proposed in my last, would be the most effective
means of his relief, but as it appears that no[ne?]



[Page 2]

is yet obtained I doubt if the remedy has been faithfully
employed. In the mean time in answer to the question
you propose I cannot advise his bathing in the Sea
but Cold bathing may be tried in this manner, by
beginning with a tempered water, as by taking one
part of boiling water to four parts of Spring water
and every two days afterwards keeping back an eight
part of the boiling water, he may come in the
course of a fortnight to take it quite cold and by its
being thus brought on by degrees, it may be perceived
whether it agrees, or disagrees with him, and that
accordingly they may proceed or not. Let it be
observed ↑that↑ the Cold water be always taken from
the same Spring, or deep pit well, but never
from a Brook or river, and I must conclude
with observing that the best and easiest method
of employing Cold bathing would be by employing
a Shower Bath
, Such as we now consistently employ
in Scotland, and it would be easy for [any Person?]
who has Seen the Machine of this Country to


[Page 3]

fit up one in Mr. Nicolsons house. 1


I am clearly of opinion that Mr. Nicolson would
be the better for going upon a Journey to the length of
200 Miles or thereby, but must observe that if the
weather continues warm, it will be necessary for him
to confine his Travelling to the mornings and Evenings


I dont know of any Mineral waters that are
likely to be of Service to him.


This much in answer to your questions but
cannot conclude without repeating that my chief
dependence would be upon Electricity employed
diligently
in the manner I proposed in my last.


If I am to give my opinion to Lady Nicolson in a
sincere manner I must Say that the Case is a very unfa¬
vourable one, and that the obstinacy it has now shown
and the present state of it make me now apprehend that
it may turn out more and more Paralytic, but I think
it would be a pity to disturb Mrs. Nicolson by giving
her this unfavourable account of it, but I must leave
this to Lady Nicolsons own discretion. I am


Sir
Your most Obedient Servant
William Cullen

Edinburgh 2{illeg}[th.] June
1786

Notes:

1: For Cullen's "Bathing Machine", an indoor shower-bath employing a tub suspended on ropes and pulleys, see Letter ID:82 (CUL/1/1/77), which includes his diagram of the design.

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]
Nicolson of Glenbervie
Dear Sir


I am heartily concerned to hear of the obstinacy
of Mr. Nicolsons complaints, and I should be very happy
to advise any thing for his relief, but I am at a loss
to advise further. I have no distinct account from a
person of the profession of the precise state of his
Symptoms, nor of the remedies that have or have
not been employed, or of their affects. By the accounts
you have received I should suppose that the remedies
which I last advised had been diligently employed
but from other circumstances I have reason to doubt
of this, and particularly if the Waterford Doctors
think that the Summer Season has ↑is to↑ proved a certain
remedy to him I suspect they may be negligent
in employing other means. I am still of opinion
that Electricity diligently employed in the means
I proposed in my last, would be the most effective
means of his relief, but as it appears that no[ne?]



[Page 2]

is yet obtained I doubt if the remedy has been faithfully
employed. In the mean time in answer to the question
you propose I cannot advise his bathing in the Sea
but Cold bathing may be tried in this manner, by
beginning with a tempered water, as by taking one
part of boiling water to four parts of Spring water
and every two days afterwards keeping back an eight
part of the boiling water, he may come in the
course of a fortnight to take it quite cold and by its
being thus brought on by degrees, it may be perceived
whether it agrees, or disagrees with him, and that
accordingly they may proceed or not. Let it be
observed ↑that↑ the Cold water be always taken from
the same Spring, or deep pit well, but never
from a Brook or river, and I must conclude
with observing that the best and easiest method
of employing Cold bathing would be by employing
a Shower Bath
, Such as we now consistently employ
in Scotland, and it would be easy for [any Person?]
who has Seen the Machine of this Country to


[Page 3]

fit up one in Mr. Nicolsons house. 1


I am clearly of opinion that Mr. Nicolson would
be the better for going upon a Journey to the length of
200 Miles or thereby, but must observe that if the
weather continues warm, it will be necessary for him
to confine his Travelling to the mornings and Evenings


I dont know of any Mineral waters that are
likely to be of Service to him.


This much in answer to your questions but
cannot conclude without repeating that my chief
dependence would be upon Electricity employed
diligently
in the manner I proposed in my last.


If I am to give my opinion to Lady Nicolson in a
sincere manner I must Say that the Case is a very unfa¬
vourable one, and that the obstinacy it has now shown
and the present state of it make me now apprehend that
it may turn out more and more Paralytic, but I think
it would be a pity to disturb Mrs. Nicolson by giving
her this unfavourable account of it, but I must leave
this to Lady Nicolsons own discretion. I am


Sir
Your most Obedient Servant
William Cullen

Edinr. 2{illeg}[th.] June
1786

Notes:

1: For Cullen's "Bathing Machine", an indoor shower-bath employing a tub suspended on ropes and pulleys, see Letter ID:82 (CUL/1/1/77), which includes his diagram of the design.

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