Cullen

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

 

[ID:806] From: Dr Gilbert Steuart / To: Dr William Cullen (Professor Cullen) / Regarding: Anonymous (Patient) / 2 January 1770 / (Incoming)

Letter from Gilbert Steuart about one of his female patients, who 'had the Misfortune to surfeit Herself with Cucumbers' and suffered from severe stomach problems some years previously, and more recently experienced a difficult miscarriage. Steuart also enquires about obtaining transcripts of Cullen's lectures.

Facsimile

There are 4 images for this document.

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[Page 2]


 

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Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 806
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/2/75
Main Language English
Document Direction Incoming
Date2 January 1770
Annotation None
TypeAuthorial original
Enclosure(s) No enclosure(s)
Autopsy No
Recipe No
Regimen No
Letter of Introduction No
Case Note No
Summary Letter from Gilbert Steuart about one of his female patients, who 'had the Misfortune to surfeit Herself with Cucumbers' and suffered from severe stomach problems some years previously, and more recently experienced a difficult miscarriage. Steuart also enquires about obtaining transcripts of Cullen's lectures.
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting No

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:296]
Case of an unnamed female patient who has had a miscarriage and suffers stomach problems after a surfeit of cucumbers.
1


People linked to this document

Person IDRole in documentPerson
[PERS ID:314]AuthorDr Gilbert Steuart
[PERS ID:1]AddresseeDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:939]Patient
[PERS ID:909]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr Heyes (of Chester)
[PERS ID:910]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr Maggan (of Chester)
[PERS ID:314]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr Gilbert Steuart
[PERS ID:906]OtherLady Jane Drummond
[PERS ID:907]OtherLord Raines
[PERS ID:908]OtherLady Raines
[PERS ID:905]OtherMr M Drummond

Places linked to this document

Role in document Specific Place Settlements / Areas Region Country Global Region Confidence
Place of Writing Wolverhampton Midlands England Europe certain
Destination of Letter Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe inferred
Mentioned / Other Scotland Europe certain

Normalized Text

[Page 1]
Dear Sir;


In the Management of [the?] Ladys case now
under my Care, I have Leave to consult you, &
from the Hands of our Gentleman of this Place, who
travels twice a year into Scotland, you may de
[pend?] on receiving our Gratification for your
consultation, which you are requested to send in
[w?]riting as soon as your Leisure will permitt.
This Lady is now marry'd & about 25 Years of
Age; but on the Dawn of Puberty, she had the Mis¬
fortune to surfeit Herself with Cucumbers, which for
{illeg} [affected?] her Stomachwith anomalous Symptoms
but of Length - a Flushing with Pimples broke out upon
her {illeg} body, for which by the Advice of the late Dr.
Heyes of Chester she took [Corrosives?] & used Sea Bathing for
{illeg} Seasons without any lasting effect which induced
{illeg} that produced a Salivation



[Page 2]

so copious, that she had likes to have dyed. From this
imprudent Step her Surfeit received no Benefit & from that
Time she considered it as a Complaint not to be eradicated.
It is now almost two Years since she was marry'd & soon
after she was supposed to be pregnant, but after the fourth
Month the Gradation of Appearances peculiar to that state
ceased, & an Icchorros fœtid [flur?] from the Vagina with great
Soreness & Swellings of these Parts ensu'd which continu'd for
some Months in oppositon to all the Efforts of Dr. Haygarth
of Chester: but at Length on employing her Mother's acchoucheur
he is said to have delivered Her from a false Conception the
most putrid imaginable, as by Conjecture it had been at least
three Months Deprived of the nutritive Power.


Upon her Return in July last into the Country she had
a real Leucorrhoea ulcerosa & from the Inflammations & {illeg}
&c in the Vagina & from the Aspect of several Blotches,
there was at the same Time a Suspicion of a venereal Taint which
must have been contracted casually, as her Husband had not been
infected for a year [prior to?] their Marriage by all these Accounts, it
[was?] determined to conduct the Case with {illeg}



[Page 3]

Mercury, without allowing it to produce any sensible Effect whatever,
especially as the Bark & the other Means employ'd by D.r Haygarth
had been unsuccessfull. But to our Astonishment, before two Grains
of the Corrosive in very limited Doses had been used with six of
Plumers alterative Pills in a Day, & Ptyalism was unexpectedly
raised, although our Surgeon was in the house to superintend, as he
lived some Miles distant from me After we so were relived from this
perplexity it was agreed to give her only three of the alterative Pills
Night & Morning, with our Draught of an Apogem of Sarsparalla several
times thru' the Day, but the Pills either continually purged her, or
[if?] that was repressed by Opiates a brassy taste & Smell were in¬
stantly perceived. On this Dilemma we had Recourse to her Corro
sive
only, but it either gave her fever or six Stools a Day, or
took a Determination to her Mouth, even when lessened to 25
Drops in the Proportion of a Grain to two Ounces, & that indis¬
criminately whether Water or Spirit was the Vehicle. With all these
Disadvantages it was obvious we were in the right Train for the
Leucorrhoea changed its Colour & Consistence & in general lost its
foetor, the Inflammations, Soreness & Swellings of her Vagina were much
relieved, her [Blisters?] began to lose their bad Aspect, & fortunately
too the original surfeit that infested the stomach made it so irri


[Page 4]

table, broke out in Efflorescences all over the body. From these happy ↑[Changes?]↑
both the Lady & her Husband were sensible of the Propriety & [Efficacy?] of
the Mercury could it be but properly conducted & in this Extremity,
recommended Unction & Nothing to be employ'd with all possible Precaut[tion?]
but in this cold Season they d{illeg} (↑ec↑)line it, importuning me to take whatev'r
Physicians Advice I pleased on this Difficulty, & to You as an Artist,
highly superior to your Contemporarys I refer.


This Testimony of my Regard I hope you will consider as a Com
pliment when I inform You, that I have luckily obtained Copys of
your Lectures on Chemistry & the Materia medica 1 which convince me
that Providence has bestowed you on Mankind, as a Leading Spirit
for the Improvement of the Art you profess. I am now told that you have
filled every other Department of the Professors Chair, Anatomy excepted
with Dignity to the medical Art & additional Lustre to yourself; and as
my Situation with not admitt of my becoming your pupil & as Copys
must have been taken of all these Lectures, I should deem it as the highest
Favour if you could consistently with your own Honour & your Student's
advantage order Transcripts to be made for me from the most perfect
Copys, for which I shall be ready to make whatever Allowance you think proper
But if such Request be improper or inpracticable, I shall deem myself equally
obliged to you if you will prevail on one of your favourite Students to lend me
his Copys, I will transcribe these myself with all possible Dispatch. I likewise
beg you will present my most dutifull Respects to my Lord & Lady Raines, {illeg}
to the Patronage of the late M.r Drummond & Lady Jane to whom I had the
Honour of being related, I owe my Settlement in this Country & as they are now
no more, my Gratitude is naturally transferred to their Representatives.

I am with the greatest Esteem Dear Sir Your most obliged & most devoted
humble Servant
Gilbert Steuart
Wolverhampton
January 24th - 70.

Notes:

1: Notes taken down at Cullen's lectures, some taken down by professional note-takers using early forms of short-hand, where highly valued and in circulation amongst other interested parties who were keen to study his chemical and medical teachings.

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]
Dear Sir;


In the Management of [the?] Ladys case now
under my Care, I have Leave to consult you, &
from the Hands of our Gentleman of this Place, who
travels twice a year into Scotland, you may de
[pend?] on receiving our Gratification for your
consultation, which you are requested to send in
[w?]riting as soon as your Leisure will permitt.
This Lady is now marry'd & about 25 Years of
Age; but on the Dawn of Puberty, she had the Mis¬
fortune to surfeit Herself with Cucumbers, which for
{illeg} [affected?] her Stomachwith anomalous Symptoms
but of Length - a Flushing with Pimples broke out upon
her {illeg} body, for which by the Advice of the late Dr.
Heyes of Chester she took [Corrosives?] & used Sea Bathing for
{illeg} Seasons without any lasting effect which induced
{illeg} that produced a Salivation



[Page 2]

so copious, that she had likes to have dyed. From this
imprudent Step her Surfeit received no Benefit & from that
Time she considered it as a Complaint not to be eradicated.
It is now almost two Years since she was marry'd & soon
after she was supposed to be pregnant, but after the fourth
Month the Gradation of Appearances peculiar to that state
ceased, & an Icchorros fœtid [flur?] from the Vagina with great
Soreness & Swellings of these Parts ensu'd which continu'd for
some Months in oppositon to all the Efforts of Dr. Haygarth
of Chester: but at Length on employing her Mother's acchoucheur
he is said to have delivered Her from a false Conception the
most putrid imaginable, as by Conjecture it had been at least
three Months Deprived of the nutritive Power.


Upon her Return in July last into the Country she had
a real Leucorrhoea ulcerosa & from the Inflammations & {illeg}
&c in the Vagina & from the Aspect of several Blotches,
there was at the same Time a Suspicion of a venereal Taint which
must have been contracted casually, as her Husband had not been
infected for a year [prior to?] their Marriage by all these Accounts, it
[was?] determined to conduct the Case with {illeg}



[Page 3]

Mercury, without allowing it to produce any sensible Effect whatever,
especially as the Bark & the other Means employ'd by D.r Haygarth
had been unsuccessfull. But to our Astonishment, before two Grains
of the Corrosive in very limited Doses had been used with six of
Plumers alterative Pills in a Day, & Ptyalism was unexpectedly
raised, although our Surgeon was in the house to superintend, as he
lived some Miles distant from me After we so were relived from this
perplexity it was agreed to give her only three of the alterative Pills
Night & Morning, with our Draught of an Apogem of Sarsparalla several
times thru' the Day, but the Pills either continually purged her, or
[if?] that was repressed by Opiates a brassy taste & Smell were in¬
stantly perceived. On this Dilemma we had Recourse to her Corro
sive
only, but it either gave her fever or six Stools a Day, or
took a Determination to her Mouth, even when lessened to 25
Drops in the Proportion of a Grain to two Ounces, & that indis¬
criminately whether Water or Spirit was the Vehicle. With all these
Disadvantages it was obvious we were in the right Train for the
Leucorrhoea changed its Colour & Consistence & in general lost its
foetor, the Inflammations, Soreness & Swellings of her Vagina were much
relieved, her [Blisters?] began to lose their bad Aspect, & fortunately
too the original surfeit that infested the stomach made it so irri


[Page 4]

table, broke out in Efflorescences all over the body. From these happy ↑[Changes?]↑
both the Lady & her Husband were sensible of the Propriety & [Efficacy?] of
the Mercury could it be but properly conducted & in this Extremity,
recommended Unction & Nothing to be employ'd with all possible Precaut[tion?]
but in this cold Season they d{illeg} (↑ec↑)line it, importuning me to take whatev'r
Physicians Advice I pleased on this Difficulty, & to You as an Artist,
highly superior to your Contemporarys I refer.


This Testimony of my Regard I hope you will consider as a Com
pliment when I inform You, that I have luckily obtained Copys of
your Lectures on Chemistry & the Materia medica 1 which convince me
that Providence has bestowed you on Mankind, as a Leading Spirit
for the Improvement of the Art you profess. I am now told that you have
filled every other Department of the Professors Chair, Anatomy excepted
with Dignity to the medical Art & additional Lustre to yourself; and as
my Situation with not admitt of my becoming your pupil & as Copys
must have been taken of all these Lectures, I should deem it as the highest
Favour if you could consistently with your own Honour & your Student's
advantage order Transcripts to be made for me from the most perfect
Copys, for which I shall be ready to make whatever Allowance you think proper
But if such Request be improper or inpracticable, I shall deem myself equally
obliged to you if you will prevail on one of your favourite Students to lend me
his Copys, I will transcribe these myself with all possible Dispatch. I likewise
beg you will present my most dutifull Respects to my Lord & Lady Raines, {illeg}
to the Patronage of the late M.r Drummond & Lady Jane to whom I had the
Honour of being related, I owe my Settlement in this Country & as they are now
no more, my Gratitude is naturally transferred to their Representatives.

I am with the greatest Esteem Dear Sir Your most obliged & most devoted
humble Servant
Gilbert Steuart
Wolverhampton
Jan 24th - 70.

Notes:

1: Notes taken down at Cullen's lectures, some taken down by professional note-takers using early forms of short-hand, where highly valued and in circulation amongst other interested parties who were keen to study his chemical and medical teachings.

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