Cullen

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

 

[ID:733] From: Dr John Stevenson / To: Dr William Cullen (Professor Cullen) / Regarding: Anonymous (Patient) / 9 March 1755 / (Incoming)

Letter signed by John Stevenson, J Clerk and John Rutherford, giving advice on an unnamed female patient in response to a request from Cullen. Includes recipes for 'laxative pill', 'bark electuary' and 'opiate bolus'.One of only two letters in the consultation archive addressed to Cullen in Glasgow before he left to take up his Edinburgh chair in 1756, the other being Doc:3655.

Facsimile

There are 4 images for this document.

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Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 733
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/2/1
Main Language English
Document Direction Incoming
Date9 March 1755
Annotation None
TypeAuthorial original
Enclosure(s) No enclosure(s)
Autopsy No
Recipe Yes
Regimen No
Letter of Introduction No
Case Note No
Summary Letter signed by John Stevenson, J Clerk and John Rutherford, giving advice on an unnamed female patient in response to a request from Cullen. Includes recipes for 'laxative pill', 'bark electuary' and 'opiate bolus'.One of only two letters in the consultation archive addressed to Cullen in Glasgow before he left to take up his Edinburgh chair in 1756, the other being Doc:3655.
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting No

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:291]
Case of an unnamed female patient whose illness is attributed initially to 'the passions of the mind'.
1


People linked to this document

Person IDRole in documentPerson
[PERS ID:974]AuthorDr John Stevenson
[PERS ID:1]AddresseeDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:976]Patient
[PERS ID:974]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr John Stevenson
[PERS ID:975]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr John Clerk (Clerke)
[PERS ID:1]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:518]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr John Rutherford
[PERS ID:975]Supplemental AuthorDr John Clerk (Clerke)
[PERS ID:518]Supplemental AuthorDr John Rutherford

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 inferred
Destination of Letter Glasgow Glasgow and West Scotland Europe certain

Normalized Text

[Page 1]
Sir


1. We have considered your patients case with
all due attention, & as we are informed that
her present indisposition was initially owing to
passion of the mind, we are of opinion that
on that account chiefly the case has proved so ob¬
stinate, & the cure so difficult & uncertain, tho'
we are not without hopes even of a thorough recovery.


2. We agree in opinion that all brisk evacuations
especially bleeding & purging, are improper,
nor do we expect any benefit from blistering
However we think vomits may be of great use
given in the intervals or during the pa¬
roxysyms
, & that it may be needfull sometimes in
case of costiveness, to give a laxative. The form
surely must be chosen that the patient will most
readily comply with, we recommend the laxative
pills ordered, if she will take them. We
are not against applying leeches to the temples
or hæmorrhoids, when the head is much affected:
such gentle evacuations may be if use, & can do no
harm.


3. We think she may find benefit from wearing
plasters on her soles, of the Empastrum cal¬
idum
Pharm. paup. 1


4. We are of opinion, tho' Camphire has been
already used pretty liberally, without great effect,
that it is the medicine chiefly to be depended on.



[Page 2]

And as there is no mention made of having tryed
opiates, we think it reasonable to make tryal
of them joyned with Camphire, when there is great
watchfulness.


5. We think it likewise reasonable, in an interval
of the disease, to give some doses of the bark
in the form here prescribed, from which she
may find more benefit if at the same time
she rides out daily either on horseback or in a
wheel-machine.


6. We are all of opinion that it would contribute
much to her recovery, to send her to some coun¬
try place at some distance from her friends &
ordinary acquaintances, especially if she uses
daily exercise either on horseback or in a chaise
but we think it would be of still greater im¬
portance to cause her travel, we mean a long
journey, & above all a sea voyage, which we be¬
lieve in all probability might prove more ef¬
fectual than any course of medicine.


7. As we have no great opinion of the cold bath in
thin habits like hers, we would expect much grea¬
ter benefit in case of watchfullness, from bathing
her feet in warm water & pouring warm water
on her head. We do not think her diet should be too
low.


Jo. Stevenson
J. Clerk
Jo. Rutherford

March 9
1755



[Page 3]

1. Laxative pill. Take {illeg} Extract of Black Hellebore and crushed Socoterine Aloes; and sufficient Syrup of Buckthorn to make into a mass and out of which precisely form four pills as single doses.

2. Bark electuary. Take two ounces of Peruvian Bark; an ounce of Wild Valerian root; a drachm of Sal. Mart.(Green Vitriol); and sufficient Syrup of Orange peel to make an Electuary, of which take the quantity of a nutmeg four times a day.

3. Opiate bolus. Take fifteen grains of Camphor; two grains of Extract of Opium; and sufficient Simple Syrup to make a bolus.

JS



[Page 4]


To Dr William Cullen
Physician
at
Glasgow

Notes:

1: Probably a reference to the Pharmacopoeia Pauperum, in usum Nosocomii Regii Edinburgensis compiled by the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary which listed the drugs and preparations employed in the charity hospital. Editions appeared at Edinburgh in 1746 and 1752.

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]
Sir


1. We have considered your patients case with
all due attention, & as we are informed that
her present indisposition was initially owing to
passion of the mind, we are of opinion that
on that account chiefly the case has proved so ob¬
stinate, & the cure so difficult & uncertain, tho'
we are not without hopes even of a thorough recovery.


2. We agree in opinion that all brisk evacuations
especially bleeding & purging, are improper,
nor do we expect any benefit from blistering
However we think vomits may be of great use
given in the intervals or during the pa¬
roxysyms
, & that it may be needfull sometimes in
case of costiveness, to give a laxative. The form
surely must be chosen that the patient will most
readily comply with, we recommend the laxative
pills ordered, if she will take them. We
are not against applying leeches to the temples
or hæmorrhoids, when the head is much affected:
such gentle evacuations may be if use, & can do no
harm.


3. We think she may find benefit from wearing
plasters on her soles, of the Empastrum cal¬
idum
Pharm. paup. 1


4. We are of opinion, tho' Camphire has been
already used pretty liberally, without great effect,
that it is the medicine chiefly to be depended on.



[Page 2]

And as there is no mention made of having tryed
opiates, we think it reasonable to make tryal
of them joyned with Camphire, when there is great
watchfulness.


5. We think it likewise reasonable, in an interval
of the disease, to give some doses of the bark
in the form here prescribed, from which she
may find more benefit if at the same time
she rides out daily either on horseback or in a
wheel-machine.


6. We are all of opinion that it would contribute
much to her recovery, to send her to some coun¬
try place at some distance from her friends &
ordinary acquaintances, especially if she uses
daily exercise either on horseback or in a chaise
but we think it would be of still greater im¬
portance to cause her travel, we mean a long
journey, & above all a sea voyage, which we be¬
lieve in all probability might prove more ef¬
fectual than any course of medicine.


7. As we have no great opinion of the cold bath in
thin habits like hers, we would expect much grea¬
ter benefit in case of watchfullness, from bathing
her feet in warm water & pouring warm water
on her head. We do not think her diet should be too
low.


Jo. Stevenson
J. Clerk
Jo. Rutherford

March 9
1755



[Page 3]


1. Laxative pill.
℞ Extract. helleb. nigr.
Aloes Succorin. pulv. @ [p. c.?]
Syr. de rhamno q.s. ut f. massa e cijus
singulis serupulis formentur piluls iv pro dosi.


2. Bark electuary.
Cort. Peruvian.℥ij
Rad. valerian. sylv. ℥i
Sal. Mart.ʒi
Syr. e cort. aurant. q.s. ut f. Elect.
cujus cap. molem nuc. mosch. quater in die.


3. Opiate bolus
Camphor g.r XV Extract. Opii gr ij
Syr. simplic. q.s. ut f. bolus.

JS



[Page 4]


To Dr William Cullen
Physician
at
Glasgow

Notes:

1: Probably a reference to the Pharmacopoeia Pauperum, in usum Nosocomii Regii Edinburgensis compiled by the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary which listed the drugs and preparations employed in the charity hospital. Editions appeared at Edinburgh in 1746 and 1752.

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