Cullen

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

 

[ID:5812] From: Dr William Cullen (Professor Cullen) / To: Dr James Wood (of Keithick) / Regarding: Mr Robert Richardson (Patient) / 24 April 1789 / (Outgoing)

Reply, "Dr Robertson C[oncerning] ____", although this appears to be a mistake: the letter is written to James Wood. It concerns 'a young Gentleman who is your patient', about whom Cullen was consulted the previous day by Mr Richardson of Pitfour. The young man (Richardson's nephew) has a respiratory ailment. Cullen's advice includes preparing 'artificial Asses Milk' from cow's milk mixed with water gruel and sugar. He sends his regards to Dr Robertson.

Facsimile

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Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 5812
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/1/21/84
Main Language English
Document Direction Outgoing
Date24 April 1789
Annotation None
TypeMachine scribal copy
Enclosure(s) No enclosure(s)
Autopsy No
Recipe No
Regimen No
Letter of Introduction No
Case Note No
Summary Reply, "Dr Robertson C[oncerning] ____", although this appears to be a mistake: the letter is written to James Wood. It concerns 'a young Gentleman who is your patient', about whom Cullen was consulted the previous day by Mr Richardson of Pitfour. The young man (Richardson's nephew) has a respiratory ailment. Cullen's advice includes preparing 'artificial Asses Milk' from cow's milk mixed with water gruel and sugar. He sends his regards to Dr Robertson.
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting No

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:2313]
Case of Robert Richardson, who coughs up blood.
3


People linked to this document

Person IDRole in documentPerson
[PERS ID:1]AuthorDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:5170]AddresseeDr James Wood (of Keithick)
[PERS ID:5607]PatientMr Robert Richardson
[PERS ID:5170]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr James Wood (of Keithick)
[PERS ID:1]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:2177]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr Colin Robertsone (Robertson)
[PERS ID:5606]Patient's Relative / Spouse / FriendMr John? Richardson (of Pitfour (Perthshire))

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 Perth Mid Scotland Scotland Europe inferred
Mentioned / Other Pitfour House / Pitfour Castle St Madoes Mid Scotland Scotland Europe certain

Normalized Text

[Page 1]
Dr Robertson Concerning
Dear Dr.


I was yesternight consulted by Mr
Richardson of Pitfour about a young Gentle[man]
who is your patient.


Mr Richardson has put into my
hands a full account of the case, and I suppose
it to be very just, as he tells me that you saw
and approved of it before he brought it away
It appears very plainly that fatigue and cold
had brought on a strong inflammatory disposi¬
tion
which though you took the most proper
measures to correct it, has remained very
long obstinate, and it is very doubtful with
me whether {illeg} be yet removed. However
this may be I think you have employed the
chief antiphlogistic remedy
Bloodletting as
far as it will go, and though I suspect the



[Page 2]

inflammatory [disposition?]
still to remain
I suspect at the same time a tendency to
suppuration
↑and↑, both on this account and on
that of his great weakness, I would not pro¬
pose any evacuation as I might have done
at a more early period of the disease, though
indeed I dont see that you ever had the
time and opportunity for trying it. But
I must here observe that though purging
cannot be any ways proper
, you are cert[ain]¬
ly right in keeping his belly soluble by
glysters, especially as you are at the sam[e]
time under the necessity of alleviating
his Cough and giving him rest by [opiates?].
These I am very averse to early in the [disease?]
but I am perfectly persuaded that at
present they are unavoidable. I believe
that at present you must leave matter[s]


[Page 3]

to nature, and must be satisfied with keeping
the Patient easy till you see what nature
may do for him.


The blistering you formerly practised was
extremely proper, and the issue you have now
established is as promising as any remedy you
could employ, and if any new pain or diffi¬
culty of breathing
should arise I would
have no hesitation in applying a fresh
blister
anywhere about the thorax.


I need not say that Diluent and Emollient
fluids
are the chief of the remedies that can
be of service, and for my part, if no objection
lies that I know of I would put him
entirely upon a milk diet, and either give
him Asses milk or what I think does often
as well, or better as it can be employed in
greater quantity, is the Artificial Asses
milk, that is Cows milk with an



[Page 4]

equal part of thin water gruel, the whole
being well sweetened with Sugar.


In such cases the bystanding friends are
ready to propose wine and some nourishing
things, but I am absolutely against the
former, and I would admit of no other ani¬
mal nourishment but a little Hartshorn
jelly, and hardly that of Calves feet in small
quantity.


Make my best compliments to your
Colleague Dr. Robertson and tell him that I
think his solution of nitre in moderate quantity
may be of service, but when used very largely
proves sometimes irritating to the lungs.


I am always with great affection and
regard

Dear James
Your most Obedient Servant
William Cullen
Edinburgh 24th. April
1789/

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]
Dr Robertson C
Dear Dr.


I was yesternight consulted by Mr
Richardson of Pitfour about a young Gentle[man]
who is your patient.


Mr Richardson has put into my
hands a full account of the case, and I suppose
it to be very just, as he tells me that you saw
and approved of it before he brought it away
It appears very plainly that fatigue and cold
had brought on a strong inflammatory disposi¬
tion
which though you took the most proper
measures to correct it, has remained very
long obstinate, and it is very doubtful with
me whether {illeg} be yet removed. However
this may be I think you have employed the
chief antiphlogistic remedy
Bloodletting as
far as it will go, and though I suspect the



[Page 2]

inflammatory [disposition?]
still to remain
I suspect at the same time a tendency to
suppuration
↑and↑, both on this account and on
that of his great weakness, I would not pro¬
pose any evacuation as I might have done
at a more early period of the disease, though
indeed I dont see that you ever had the
time and opportunity for trying it. But
I must here observe that though purging
cannot be any ways proper
, you are cert[ain]¬
ly right in keeping his belly soluble by
glysters, especially as you are at the sam[e]
time under the necessity of alleviating
his Cough and giving him rest by [opiates?].
These I am very averse to early in the [disease?]
but I am perfectly persuaded that at
present they are unavoidable. I believe
that at present you must leave matter[s]


[Page 3]

to nature, and must be satisfied with keeping
the Patient easy till you see what nature
may do for him.


The blistering you formerly practised was
extremely proper, and the issue you have now
established is as promising as any remedy you
could employ, and if any new pain or diffi¬
culty of breathing
should arise I would
have no hesitation in applying a fresh
blister
anywhere about the thorax.


I need not say that Diluent and Emollient
fluids
are the chief of the remedies that can
be of service, and for my part, if no objection
lies that I know of I would put him
entirely upon a milk diet, and either give
him Asses milk or what I think does often
as well, or better as it can be employed in
greater quantity, is the Artificial Asses
milk, that is Cows milk with an



[Page 4]

equal part of thin water gruel, the whole
being well sweetened with Sugar.


In such cases the bystanding friends are
ready to propose wine and some nourishing
things, but I am absolutely against the
former, and I would admit of no other ani¬
mal nourishment but a little Hartshorn
jelly, and hardly that of Calves feet in small
quantity.


Make my best compliments to your
Colleague Dr. Robertson and tell him that I
think his solution of nitre in moderate quantity
may be of service, but when used very largely
proves sometimes irritating to the lungs.


I am always with great affection and
regard

Dear James
Your most Obedient Servant
William Cullen
Edinr. 24th. April
1789/

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