Cullen

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

 

[ID:813] From: Mr William Cuningham (Cunningham(e)) / To: Dr William Cullen (Professor Cullen) / Regarding: Mr William Cuningham (Cunningham(e)) (Patient) / 14 June 1771 / (Incoming)

Letter from William Cuningham [Cunningham, Glasgow 'Tobacco Lord'] concerning his own case of stomach complaints, including a copy of a recipe prescribed to him by another physician.

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Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 813
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/2/81
Main Language English
Document Direction Incoming
Date14 June 1771
Annotation None
TypeAuthorial original
Enclosure(s) No enclosure(s)
Autopsy No
Recipe Yes
Regimen No
Letter of Introduction No
Case Note No
Summary Letter from William Cuningham [Cunningham, Glasgow 'Tobacco Lord'] concerning his own case of stomach complaints, including a copy of a recipe prescribed to him by another physician.
Manuscript Incomplete? No
Evidence of Commercial Posting No

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:84]
Case of William Cuningham (Cunningham) who has a persistent stomach complaint.
1


People linked to this document

Person IDRole in documentPerson
[PERS ID:125]AuthorMr William Cuningham (Cunningham(e))
[PERS ID:1]AddresseeDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:125]PatientMr William Cuningham (Cunningham(e))
[PERS ID:1]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:1091]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryMr Hice
[PERS ID:1092]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr John Daltry (Dealtry, Daltrey)
[PERS ID:1094]OtherMr Robert Bogle (of Shettleston; Robin)
[PERS ID:1093]OtherMr James Duncanson

Places linked to this document

Role in document Specific Place Settlements / Areas Region Country Global Region Confidence
Place of Writing Glasgow Glasgow and West Scotland Europe certain
Destination of Letter Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe inferred
Mentioned / Other North America certain
Mentioned / Other Virginia USA North America certain
Mentioned / Other Edinburgh Edinburgh and East Scotland Europe certain
Mentioned / Other Harrogate North-East England Europe certain
Mentioned / Other York North-East England Europe certain

Normalized Text

[Page 1]
Glasgow 14 June 1771
Sir


As I have been troubled with a wind
on my Stomach / though without the least degree
of Pain / for some years, attended at times with
an Acidness which last indeed I have had but
little off these 8 or 9 months owing to the ease
of my Diet and Drink since last summer


I beg leave to insert to you its Rise and
progress as nigh as I can remember at this
distance, which may be very defective as I did
not mind it for some time being otherwise of
a pretty stout constitution, considering I was
upon fifteen years in North America from the
age of 16 to 31 -- But as I propose to deliver
this myself whatever it may be deficient in
I shall endeavour to make up from my answers
to any questions you may think proper to ask
me ~ ~ ~


I therefore date its commencement in
Summer 1767 when I was with my family in
the Country at a house about a computed
Mile distance from this to and from which I
constantly went a foot, as I keept no horse, &
frequently in the very heat of the day to dinner



[Page 2]

when I was always much heated - toward the
last of the Summer on perceeving at times a
Belching of Wind and it continuing, on consulting
my surgeon he informed me it might be
owing to my walking so much through the
Summer and particularly in the heat of the day
which with the confining myself so much through
the day in my Counting Room might bring
on such a Wind on my Stomach


At that time I eat, and in Short admir'd
every thing of the Vegetable food, never choosing
to sitt down to dinner without Barlay Broth
& the more blades the better, with any other Garden
stuff and Roots in Season, making up my
Dinner from choice with any kind of boiled
meat rather than Roasted -- which last in
eating I always inclined to have of the best & fattest
/as well as the boiled/ with the Richest Sauces
In short no table coud furnish Beeff too fatt &
Rich for me ~ ~ At Tea time after dinner
I generally drank double the usual quantity of
Tea, rather of the Green than Bohea, at which
I seldom or ever broke bread, {illeg} from any drought
that might be upon me /as I seldom or never was
dry betwixt meals, excepting when eating salt meat



[Page 3]

or Roasted veal/ but from a Custom that had
creept on me since my Return to Scotland in 1769
and what I likt when Good and midling in Strength
--- At supper I never from inclination eat
any meats of any kind, choosing rather an Egg
than any thing else if need -- To which food I
always accustomed myself to eat much Bread
& a deal of Butter ~ My Breakfast
was always Tea, rather a large quantity than
usual --- To which I generally eat pretty hearty
of Bread and Butter --- or rather on the butter being
fine, Butter and Bread


Thus I have gone through the manner I
lived and from inclination ---


My Belching still continued and encreased &
at last I discovered an acidness on my Stomach
at times which also Grew on me


I was advised by my Surgeon to leave off
eating Broth &c, which I coud not think of doing,
Going into a Cold Bath, which indeed I could not
for want of conveniency -- Doing less business
and taking more exercise by Riding --- My
Business must be done and did continue doing
it --- But took at times some more recreation
by Riding out when my business & the Weather
woud permitt which indeed was but seldom


I find I neglected above to mention my



[Page 4]

General drink - which was at the above Periodd
of 1767 always small beer to my Victualls from
inclination never choosing any thing else, and which
I continued during all 68 -- Afterwards beleeving
it to be too Windy I either drank Porter or Water
at which I continued till the latter end of 69 when
I took to drinking Brandy and Water - & at other times
Red Port and Water by way of change -- -- After dinner
when in Company I either drank Toddie or Bumbo
made of Rum, Sugar & Water /no Acid of any kind
as from my earliest appearance in the World
I found it Gripe me in the Gutts almost imme¬
diately at times on using it --/ Or a Glass of
Wine of any kind, preferring Claret when on
the Table ----- About two years ago I left
off drinking Claret entirely on finding at the
next morning when drinking after supper, or
in the Evening when drinking after Dinner,
leave on my Stomach a certain Sharp dissa¬
greeable acid - But from this Abstemiousness
I cannot say I found any Relief, as I still
continued till last fall my favourite Barley
Broth -- fatt meat -- mostly Boiled &c


In fall 69 to 70 I left off tea in the morning
and eat a ↑new↑ egg - taking for Drink a Little Water
with a dash of Red Port or Brandy - but which I
was obliged to leave off in spring 70 owing to my



[Page 5]

finding it too Rich for me, by being about that time
siezed frequently with a Bleeding of my nose
/an old Complaint from my earliest infancy &
which most of my Fathers family have had in
like manner, But which I had not the least
thing off since 1764 till the above, which alarm'd
me/ though I never was during its continuance/
and I took again to Tea -- Taking for some
moneths a Tea from the Sassafras Tree bark
of (↑from↑) the Roott which certainly did immediately
thin my Blood as I have not from the first day
of using it Lost one drop of Blood from my nose


During the whole of the above Processes
the wind on my Stomach Still continued & I
think encreased --


About a year agoe I got a machine made
for Bathing myself
in a Room over the head,
which I used also without perceeving any Senceable
Service till early last august when I took a Ride
through some of the Northern Countys of England


When at York I consulted Doctr. Dealtry
there -- who gave me the annexed prescription
Recommending me to use Harrowgate Water as
the best thing for me - during which {illeg} I coud
only Remain at Harrowgate a few days I was
to take only One dose of the Medicine a day, and



[Page 6]

afterwards to take two doses - continuing to do
so through all this last Winter ↑for two weeks at a time & then to Intermitt two weeks↑ by which time
he said he hoped I woud be perfectly well ~


Copy of the Prescription


Take Salt of Tartar one Scruple
Lemon Juice half an ounce
Simple {illeg} Water an Ounce & a half
Nutmeg and Syrup of Orange Peel of each
a machin and a half
Myrhh seven Grains
Cordial Confection 1 half a drachm
Tincture of Antimony fifteen drops in Wine


As Doctr. Dealtrys hand writing is very difficult to Read
/though no complaints of it in England/ My surgeon on
my coming down has complained he coud with
difficulty make out some of the things - And
accordingly I find the above in the first Article differ
from an explanation made to me since by another
surgeon who calls it the salt of Wormwood instead
of Tartar as above -


Doctr. Dealtry Recommended to me in conversation
on account of the Wind on my Stomach, and the Acidness
still complained Off ~ Abstenance form all drink except
when absolutely necessary or Regimed and then Only of the
best strong Wine, Preferring Madaira to Port - And of {illeg}
not more than 2 or 3 Glasses -- that I might use at
times Wine & Water to my Victualls, or a Draught of Water
Porter out of the Cask. -- To avoid all Young Meats



[Page 7]

Butter and salt meats, fruits of all kinds except
when eat of a morning - all vegetables - except
Mustard, Sallary & Horse Radish -- No Greens of
any kind -, if any, Cabbage on the account of them having
less acid than any other -- All my Drink to
be taken Cold not warmer than the Stomach.


Tea, Coffee or Chocolate may be taken to break¬
fast -- and Soops to dinner if free from any kind
of vegetables -- No fish of any kind --
Brandy & Water forbid as the brandy Separated from the
Stomac Water in the Stomach and occasioned the
Relaxness then complained off


Not to ride after a full Stomach, Recommended
riding 15 or 20 miles before dinner & 6 or 8 miles
in the Evening when on my Journey


If my Stomach at any time shoud be very
uneasy, to take a little warm brandy & water as
hott as I coud drink it of about '5 of the best &
strongest brandy -- but to be avoided if possible --


Agreeable to which I began that day the
23 of August to take my medicine, and Got to Harrowgate
next day where I continued 2 days drinking the Waters
every morning, during which time I took only one
dose of the Medicine a day, after which I took two doses
a day morning and Evening as I had it made up at
every mercat Toun in which manner I conti¬
nued taking it till the Violent heat prevented me
from the Medicine working and [flying?] in my Pocket



[Page 8]

and even in my Room which resolved me to discon¬
tinue it till I shoud reach Glasgow as I was then
on my way home -- -- -- During my taking this
medicine which was the Same in every place so
far as I could Judge from the Taste and Colour, as
well as during my continuance at Harrowgate, where
I circumscribed myself to the diet and drink prescri¬
bed for me I found no inconvenience, The Wind
on my stomach continued much the Same, rather
less than otherwise ~ ~ But I found on my
Return home I had lost much Beeff which indeed
I have by no means gained Since But have on
the contrary been loosing notwithstanding my
appetite is in general sharp and Good


On my Return I gave in Dealtrys prescription
to my Surgeon, desiring him to have made up for
me Some doses - on looking at it, he said he was a good
deal surprised at the prescription and advised me to let it
alone, I made answer I was determined to try its
Effect patiently and to have it made up accordingly, he
then told me he woud be obliged to send to Edinburgh {illeg} for some of
the medicines as they were not to be had in Glasgow, at
which I testified my surprise, as I found them in every
mercat town in England -- he made answer they
certainly then did not make up the medicine agreeable
to the prescription -- In about three weeks I think
however, I began to the Medicine, which I found to be
indeed totally different from that I had as such in



[Page 9]

England -- In the fornoon of the day I took the first
dose, I was Siezed while writing at my Desk with a
Stupidity /which continued about two or three minutes
at a time/ more than once which deprived me of
the Sense of thought or Reflection
, In Short I totally
forgot once and again, what I was doing and the
Subject matter I was on
-- This alarmed me
a Little but as Dealtry had told me it would make
me sick for some days at first I did not mind it,
-- I continued therefore at it 3 or 4 days when
I was obliged to leave it off having been siezed with
a violent inclination to go to Stooll, without having
it in my Power to pass the least thing /though
so far as I coud Recollect I had missed a Stool for
two days though at all other times extreamly
regular onece a day/ This happened pritty early
in the morning, when after remaining in the
house of Office considerable time. It was not
without vast Pain I left it, occasioned by the Reachings
and which continued on me being obliged every now &
then to run to stool -- The frequency of which with
the Agonie and Pain encreased with the day, about
{illeg}day I chewed a quantity of Rhubarb in order
if possible to give me ease - which soon afterwards
flew into my Bladder, and caused an immediate
stoppage there, in which situation I continued till


[Page 10]

Ten at night, when on finding myself in the greatest
agonie in both I sent for my Surgeon who at length removed
the obstruction about four in the morning by
applying Injections and warm fomentations to the
Stomach and Belly --


On talking to my Surgeon he attributed the
Stupidity I was siezed with to the Spiceries contain'd
in the medicine, or rather to the antimony -- I am
off myself rather apt to believe it was owing to the
former ↑&↑ especially the nutmeg as I know I took
duly the 15 Gutts of antimony Separate from the Medicine
during my continuance in England, without any Effect
whatever, I am the more certain of this as I had
a Viol containing the antimony Separate from the
Medicine of which I dropt the 15 Guts myself into
every dose on taking it -- this deprivation of my
Sences
I found in a Similar degree next day --


As I had Suffered so much and run such a
great Risque from this Medicine I easily determin'd
with myself to take no more of it, and which I have
accordingly not touched since -- But determined
to try what Good Effects I should Reap by a Steady Plan
laid down agreeable to Dialtrys Sentiments of Eating
and drinking -- I accordingly confined myself to
a moderate quantity of Tea in the morning with dry
Bread or hard Biscuit -- at Dinner nothing but
Solids, avoiding fatt, at which I woud now & then drink
a little wine and water, and with a constancy two &
not exceeding three full Glasses of Good Madaira &
about two Glasses of the Same at night at



[Page 11]

Suppertime, as I eat no Supper at Doctr. Dealtrys
desire, which indeed I never was fond off, and is
therefore by no means any Punishment to me, -- However
on pursuing this Regimen I found that even at times
Madaira left a little acidness behind it and burnt
like Spirits on going down -- upon which I varyed
my Drink, judging Madaira was not of itself
Sufficient to Supply my Body with a Proper quantity of
Juices for its nourishment -- I accordingly betook
myself to the drinking of Good Port in much the Same
quantitys, which answered very well for some time, but
in two or three weeks had the same Effect with the
Madaira; I accordingly therefore began to drink
Madaira & Port Promiscuously - Taking a larger
quantity of wine and water and now & then a draught
of Toddie to my Victualls, which I found still answer'd
better and better, and Supplyed my Body with almost
the necessary quantity of Joices for its Support, but
still I found there was a very perceivable want from
my former fulness of living on Broths and the very
Richest of Meats and the Plan I had adopted since
my Return from England of living chiefly on Roast
or Broiled Meats and entirely Solids - which had made
such a visible alteration on my looks & loss of Beeff
on my Body
, that it came to be {illeg} taken
notice off by all my freinds & acquaintance, notwithstanding
during the time I lookt worse, Say about three


[Page 12]

Weeks ago I had the keenest appetite eating at
Breakfast and Dinner Generally more than my
usual quantity, especially on having a thing to my
taste -- At the Crisis I was siezed with Violent
Headacks, and a Pain in the small of my Back
at times, the former as its from Inheritance &
which from my earliest time of life still within those
2 or 3 years I was particularly much Subject to
though never so Violent as many others I have seen
under the same Complaint, I did not much mind it,
-- The latter allarmed me more as I was con¬
vinced some disorder or other was lurking about
me, I was accordingly by my Surgeon ordered a
Vomitt
, in order to remove my Headacks, which
always had the desired Effect, at least in a few days
thereafter on taking a Second Vomitt -- Which
Vomitt operated well enough, but I was next
day Siezed with a Violent Chilliness, when in the
Country, and in about two or three hours afterwards
a Glowing heat /without a quick pulse/ which I did not
find out till the second day afterward to be an Ague
when it Returned /at which time I recollected I had
been at times Chilly Some days prior to that/ or
whch I was ordered to a second Vomitte -- Since which
have been drinking a Glass of Wine & Bitters of Bark
once a day & when my Urine /which has I believe been
rather bad for sometime/ is pretty Good I have been
taking three doses of the Bark in Substance through


[Page 13]

the day {illeg} Morning, Midday & Evening, and have since
then Generally taken about a Pint of Good Strong Soop
at Dinner daily by way of additional nourishment
without any regard to the Belching of wind --
and have also changed my Breakfast from Tea to
pretty Strong Chocolate --


I must here notice that I am Seldom or
ever troubled with the least Belching of wind from my
going into Bed till I Rise in the morning


By the care I have taken in my Drink in
taking nothing of the Wine kind but what is perfectly
Good & Sound {illeg}Madaira and Sourd Strong
bodyed Port - With wine and water - Brandy & water
& Toddie to my Dinner, I cannot say I have found
any thing Acid on my Stomach for some time, at
least extreamly Seldom


I had almost forgot to notice that Doctr.
Dealtry told me the Cold Bath, on asking him,
would do neither good or harm to my disorder because
my Complaint was from the Inwards which a
Bath could not reach -------


I will beg leave here to put a question to you
Quere - As my appetite and digestion has been as good
this Twelve moneth as ever I was in my Remembrance
-- What can the loss of flesh be occasioned by


If by the Change of Diet -- Or by the drinking
of the Harrowgate water last summer, which though



[Page 14]

it wrought me well enough, It may be too peculiar
to it to leave some thing Poisonous behind it in
the body to Some Constitutions - In making this
Remark I must inform you that after the first
two days I always took a full Glass in the Evening
on going to Bed - that it might not only Go
through the Blood, but {illeg} in Operating next
morning on taking three full Glasses, which
I always took as well as our Mutual friend Mr.
Bogle of Shettleston who was along with me


Thus I have gone through the whole of
my Case so far as I an, which you could consider
off with attention and Give me your Opinion of in
full in writing accordingly - And to enable you
to do which with more propriety I Send this to you
by Post this Evening, and will waite on you on
Sunday or Munday Evening next on my Coming
into Edinburgh, that you may then have the
opportunity of asking me any other questions
necessary -- After which you can make out
your opinion to me with diliberation, at your
Leisure and with the greatest circumspection
and Pointedness peculiar to you -----


Mr Hice is my surgeon here, shoud you



[Page 15]

want any information from him --- He always
tells me if I coud lay aside business, I woud be
well -- -- But that will not do ~


I hope Mr Duncanson in Virginia will
Receive great benefit from your Opinion to him
last summer --- --- I am with my
great Regard


Sir
your most Obedient Servant
William Cuningham


P. S:
I will waite on you On
Sunday Evening twixt
6 & 8 at night




[Page 16]


1771

Notes:

1: By this date "Confection" implies that sugar has been added for palatability so "Cordial Confection" is presumably being employed here as a general term for a comforting or invigorating mixture of drugs.

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]
Glasgow 14 June 1771
Sir


As I have been troubled with a wind
on my Stomach / though without the least degree
of Pain / for some years, attended at times with
an Acidness which last indeed I have had but
little off these 8 or 9 months owing to the ease
of my Diet and Drink since last summer


I beg leave to insert to you its Rise and
progress as nigh as I can remember at this
distance, which may be very defective as I did
not mind it for some time being otherwise of
a pretty stout constitution, considering I was
upon fifteen years in North America from the
age of 16 to 31 -- But as I propose to deliver
this myself whatever it may be deficient in
I shall endeavour to make up from my answers
to any questions you may think proper to ask
me ~ ~ ~


I therefore date its commencement in
Summer 1767 when I was with my family in
the Country at a house about a computed
Mile distance from this to and from which I
constantly went a foot, as I keept no horse, &
frequently in the very heat of the day to dinner



[Page 2]

when I was always much heated - toward the
last of the Summer on perceeving at times a
Belching of Wind and it continuing, on consulting
my surgeon he informed me it might be
owing to my walking so much through the
Summer and particularly in the heat of the day
which with the confining myself so much through
the day in my Counting Room might bring
on such a Wind on my Stomach


At that time I eat, and in Short admir'd
every thing of the Vegetable food, never choosing
to sitt down to dinner without Barlay Broth
& the more blades the better, with any other Garden
stuff and Roots in Season, making up my
Dinner from choice with any kind of boiled
meat rather than Roasted -- which last in
eating I always inclined to have of the best & fattest
/as well as the boiled/ with the Richest Sauces
In short no table coud furnish Beeff too fatt &
Rich for me ~ ~ At Tea time after dinner
I generally drank double the usual quantity of
Tea, rather of the Green than Bohea, at which
I seldom or ever broke bread, {illeg} from any drought
that might be upon me /as I seldom or never was
dry betwixt meals, excepting when eating salt meat



[Page 3]

or Roasted veal/ but from a Custom that had
creept on me since my Return to Scotland in 1769
and what I likt when Good and midling in Strength
--- At supper I never from inclination eat
any meats of any kind, choosing rather an Egg
than any thing else if need -- To which food I
always accustomed myself to eat much Bread
& a deal of Butter ~ My Breakfast
was always Tea, rather a large quantity than
usual --- To which I generally eat pretty hearty
of Bread and Butter --- or rather on the butter being
fine, Butter and Bread


Thus I have gone through the manner I
lived and from inclination ---


My Belching still continued and encreased &
at last I discovered an acidness on my Stomach
at times which also Grew on me


I was advised by my Surgeon to leave off
eating Broth &c, which I coud not think of doing,
Going into a Cold Bath, which indeed I could not
for want of conveniency -- Doing less business
and taking more exercise by Riding --- My
Business must be done and did continue doing
it --- But took at times some more recreation
by Riding out when my business & the Weather
woud permitt which indeed was but seldom


I find I neglected above to mention my



[Page 4]

General drink - which was at the above Periodd
of 1767 always small beer to my Victualls from
inclination never choosing any thing else, and wh
I continued during all 68 -- Afterwards beleeving
it to be too Windy I either drank Porter or Water
at which I continued till the latter end of 69 when
I took to drinking Brandy and Water - & at other times
Red Port and Water by way of change -- -- After dinner
when in Company I either drank Toddie or Bumbo
made of Rum, Sugar & Water /no Acid of any kind
as from my earliest appearance in the World
I found it Gripe me in the Gutts almost imme¬
diately at times on using it --/ Or a Glass of
Wine of any kind, preferring Claret when on
the Table ----- About two years ago I left
off drinking Claret entirely on finding at the
next morning when drinking after supper, or
in the Evening when drinking after Dinner,
leave on my Stomach a certain Sharp dissa¬
greeable acid - But from this Abstemiousness
I cannot say I found any Relief, as I still
continued till last fall my favourite Barley
Broth -- fatt meat -- mostly Boiled &c


In fall 69 to 70 I left off tea in the morning
and eat a ↑new↑ egg - taking for Drink a Little Water
with a dash of Red Port or Brandy - but which I
was obliged to leave off in spring 70 owing to my



[Page 5]

finding it too Rich for me, by being about that time
siezed frequently with a Bleeding of my nose
/an old Complaint from my earliest infancy &
which most of my Fathers family have had in
like manner, But which I had not the least
thing off since 1764 till the above, which alarm'd
me/ though I never was during its continuance/
and I took again to Tea -- Taking for some
moneths a Tea from the Sassafras Tree bark
of (↑from↑) the Roott which certainly did immediately
thin my Blood as I have not from the first day
of using it Lost one drop of Blood from my nose


During the whole of the above Processes
the wind on my Stomach Still continued & I
think encreased --


About a year agoe I got a machine made
for Bathing myself
in a Room over the head,
which I used also without perceeving any Senceable
Service till early last august when I took a Ride
through some of the Northern Countys of England


When at York I consulted Doctr. Dealtry
there -- who gave me the annexed prescription
Recommending me to use Harrowgate Water as
the best thing for me - during which {illeg} I coud
only Remain at Harrowgate a few days I was
to take only One dose of the Medicine a day, and



[Page 6]

afterwards to take two doses - continuing to do
so through all this last Winter ↑for two weeks at a time & then to Intermitt two weeks↑ by which time
he said he hoped I woud be perfectly well ~


Copy of the Prescription


Take Salt of Tartar one Scruple
Lemon Juice half an ounce
Simple {illeg} Water an Ounce & a half
Nutmeg and Syrup of Orange Peel of each
a machin and a half
Myrhh seven Grains
Cordial Confection 1 half a drachm
Tincture of Antimony fifteen drops in Wine


As Doctr. Dealtrys hand writing is very difficult to Read
/though no complaints of it in England/ My surgeon on
my coming down has complained he coud with
difficulty make out some of the things - And
accordingly I find the above in the first Article differ
from an explanation made to me since by another
surgeon who calls it the salt of Wormwood instead
of Tartar as above -


Doctr. Dealtry Recommended to me in conversation
on account of the Wind on my Stomach, and the Acidness
still complained Off ~ Abstenance form all drink except
when absolutely necessary or Regimed and then Only of the
best strong Wine, Preferring Madaira to Port - And of {illeg}
not more than 2 or 3 Glasses -- that I might use at
times Wine & Water to my Victualls, or a Draught of Water
Porter out of the Cask. -- To avoid all Young Meats



[Page 7]

Butter and salt meats, fruits of all kinds except
when eat of a morning - all vegetables - except
Mustard, Sallary & Horse Radish -- No Greens of
any kind -, if any, Cabbage on the acct. of them having
less acid than any other -- All my Drink to
be taken Cold not warmer than the Stomach.


Tea, Coffee or Chocolate may be taken to break¬
fast -- and Soops to dinner if free from any kind
of vegetables -- No fish of any kind --
Brandy & Water forbid as the brandy Separated from the
Stomac Water in the Stomach and occasioned the
Relaxness then complained off


Not to ride after a full Stomach, Recommended
riding 15 or 20 miles before dinner & 6 or 8 miles
in the Evening when on my Journey


If my Stomach at any time shoud be very
uneasy, to take a little warm brandy & water as
hott as I coud drink it of about '5 of the best &
strongest brandy -- but to be avoided if possible --


Agreeable to which I began that day the
23 of Augt to take my medicine, and Got to Harrowgate
next day where I continued 2 days drinking the Waters
every morning, during which time I took only one
dose of the Medicine a day, after which I took two doses
a day morning and Evening as I had it made up at
every mercat Toun in which manner I conti¬
nued taking it till the Violent heat prevented me
from the Medicine working and [flying?] in my Pocket



[Page 8]

and even in my Room which resolved me to discon¬
tinue it till I shoud reach Glasgow as I was then
on my way home -- -- -- During my taking this
medicine which was the Same in every place so
far as I could Judge from the Taste and Colour, as
well as during my continuance at Harrowgate, where
I circumscribed myself to the diet and drink prescri¬
bed for me I found no inconvenience, The Wind
on my stomach continued much the Same, rather
less than otherwise ~ ~ But I found on my
Return home I had lost much Beeff which indeed
I have by no means gained Since But have on
the contrary been loosing notwithstanding my
appetite is in general sharp and Good


On my Return I gave in Dealtrys prescription
to my Surgeon, desiring him to have made up for
me Some doses - on looking at it, he said he was a good
deal surprised at the prescription and advised me to let it
alone, I made answer I was determined to try its
Effect patiently and to have it made up accordingly, he
then told me he woud be obliged to send to Edr. {illeg} for some of
the medicines as they were not to be had in Glasgow, at
which I testified my surprise, as I found them in every
mercat town in England -- he made answer they
certainly then did not make up the medicine agreeable
to the prescription -- In about three weeks I think
however, I began to the Medicine, which I found to be
indeed totally different from that I had as such in



[Page 9]

England -- In the fornoon of the day I took the first
dose, I was Siezed while writing at my Desk with a
Stupidity /which continued about two or three minutes
at a time/ more than once which deprived me of
the Sense of thought or Reflection
, In Short I totally
forgot once and again, what I was doing and the
Subject matter I was on
-- This alarmed me
a Little but as Dealtry had told me it would make
me sick for some days at first I did not mind it,
-- I continued therefore at it 3 or 4 days when
I was obliged to leave it off having been siezed with
a violent inclination to go to Stooll, without having
it in my Power to pass the least thing /though
so far as I coud Recollect I had missed a Stool for
two days though at all other times extreamly
regular onece a day/ This happened pritty early
in the morning, when after remaining in the
house of Office considerable time. It was not
without vast Pain I left it, occasioned by the Reachings
and which continued on me being obliged every now &
then to run to stool -- The frequency of which with
the Agonie and Pain encreased with the day, about
{illeg}day I chewed a quantity of Rhubarb in order
if possible to give me ease - which soon afterwards
flew into my Bladder, and caused an immediate
stoppage there, in which situation I continued till


[Page 10]

Ten at night, when on finding myself in the greatest
agonie in both I sent for my Surgeon who at length removed
the obstruction about four in the morning by
applying Injections and warm fomentations to the
Stomach and Belly --


On talking to my Surgeon he attributed the
Stupidity I was siezed with to the Spiceries contain'd
in the medicine, or rather to the antimony -- I am
off myself rather apt to believe it was owing to the
former ↑&↑ especially the nutmeg as I know I took
duly the 15 Gutts of antimony Separate from the Medicine
during my continuance in England, without any Effect
whatever, I am the more certain of this as I had
a Viol containing the antimony Separate from the
Medicine of which I dropt the 15 Guts myself into
every dose on taking it -- this deprivation of my
Sences
I found in a Similar degree next day --


As I had Suffered so much and run such a
great Risque from this Medicine I easily determin'd
with myself to take no more of it, and which I have
accordingly not touched since -- But determined
to try what Good Effects I should Reap by a Steady Plan
laid down agreeable to Dialtrys Sentiments of Eating
and drinking -- I accordingly confined myself to
a moderate quantity of Tea in the morning with dry
Bread or hard Biscuit -- at Dinner nothing but
Solids, avoiding fatt, at which I woud now & then drink
a little wine and water, and with a constancy two &
not exceeding three full Glasses of Good Madaira &
about two Glasses of the Same at night at



[Page 11]

Suppertime, as I eat no Supper at Doctr. Dealtrys
desire, which indeed I never was fond off, and is
therefore by no means any Punishment to me, -- However
on pursuing this Regimen I found that even at times
Madaira left a little acidness behind it and burnt
like Spirits on going down -- upon which I varyed
my Drink, judging Madaira was not of itself
Sufficient to Supply my Body with a Proper quantity of
Juices for its nourishment -- I accordingly betook
myself to the drinking of Good Port in much the Same
quantitys, which answered very well for some time, but
in two or three weeks had the same Effect with the
Madaira; I accordingly therefore began to drink
Madaira & Port Promiscuously - Taking a larger
quantity of wine and water and now & then a draught
of Toddie to my Victualls, which I found still answer'd
better and better, and Supplyed my Body with almost
the necessary quantity of Joices for its Support, but
still I found there was a very perceivable want from
my former fulness of living on Broths and the very
Richest of Meats and the Plan I had adopted since
my Return from England of living chiefly on Roast
or Broiled Meats and entirely Solids - which had made
such a visible alteration on my looks & loss of Beeff
on my Body
, that it came to be {illeg} taken
notice off by all my freinds & acquaintance, notwithstanding
during the time I lookt worse, Say about three


[Page 12]

Weeks ago I had the keenest appetite eating at
Breakfast and Dinner Generally more than my
usual quantity, especially on having a thing to my
taste -- At the Crisis I was siezed with Violent
Headacks, and a Pain in the small of my Back
at times, the former as its from Inheritance &
which from my earliest time of life still within those
2 or 3 years I was particularly much Subject to
though never so Violent as many others I have seen
under the same Complaint, I did not much mind it,
-- The latter allarmed me more as I was con¬
vinced some disorder or other was lurking about
me, I was accordingly by my Surgeon ordered a
Vomitt
, in order to remove my Headacks, which
always had the desired Effect, at least in a few days
thereafter on taking a Second Vomitt -- Which
Vomitt operated well enough, but I was next
day Siezed with a Violent Chilliness, when in the
Country, and in about two or three hours afterwards
a Glowing heat /without a quick pulse/ which I did not
find out till the second day afterward to be an Ague
when it Returned /at which time I recollected I had
been at times Chilly Some days prior to that/ or
whch I was ordered to a second Vomitte -- Since which
have been drinking a Glass of Wine & Bitters of Bark
once a day & when my Urine /which has I believe been
rather bad for sometime/ is pretty Good I have been
taking three doses of the Bark in Substance through


[Page 13]

the day {illeg} Morning, Midday & Evening, and have since
then Generally taken about a Pint of Good Strong Soop
at Dinner daily by way of additional nourishment
without any regard to the Belching of wind --
and have also changed my Breakfast from Tea to
pretty Strong Chocolate --


I must here notice that I am Seldom or
ever troubled with the least Belching of wind from my
going into Bed till I Rise in the morning


By the care I have taken in my Drink in
taking nothing of the Wine kind but what is perfectly
Good & Sound {illeg}Madaira and Sourd Strong
bodyed Port - With wine and water - Brandy & water
& Toddie to my Dinner, I cannot say I have found
any thing Acid on my Stomach for some time, at
least extreamly Seldom


I had almost forgot to notice that Doctr.
Dealtry told me the Cold Bath, on asking him,
would do neither good or harm to my disorder because
my Complaint was from the Inwards which a
Bath could not reach -------


I will beg leave here to put a question to you
Quere - As my appetite and digestion has been as good
this Twelve moneth as ever I was in my Remembrance
-- What can the loss of flesh be occasioned by


If by the Change of Diet -- Or by the drinking
of the Harrowgate water last summer, which though



[Page 14]

it wrought me well enough, It may be too peculiar
to it to leave some thing Poisonous behind it in
the body to Some Constitutions - In making this
Remark I must inform you that after the first
two days I always took a full Glass in the Evening
on going to Bed - that it might not only Go
through the Blood, but {illeg} in Operating next
morning on taking three full Glasses, which
I always took as well as our Mutual friend Mr.
Bogle of Shettleston who was along with me


Thus I have gone through the whole of
my Case so far as I an, which you could consider
off with attention and Give me your Opinion of in
full in writing accordingly - And to enable you
to do which with more propriety I Send this to you
by Post this Evening, and will waite on you on
Sunday or Munday Evening next on my Coming
into Edinburgh, that you may then have the
opportunity of asking me any other questions
necessary -- After which you can make out
your opinion to me with diliberation, at your
Leisure and with the greatest circumspection
and Pointedness peculiar to you -----


Mr Hice is my surgeon here, shoud you



[Page 15]

want any information from him --- He always
tells me if I coud lay aside business, I woud be
well -- -- But that will not do ~


I hope Mr Duncanson in Virginia will
Receive great benefit from your Opinion to him
last summer --- --- I am with my
great Regard


Sir
your most Obd Svt
William Cuningham


P. S:
I will waite on you On
Sunday Evening twixt
6 & 8 at night




[Page 16]


1771

Notes:

1: By this date "Confection" implies that sugar has been added for palatability so "Cordial Confection" is presumably being employed here as a general term for a comforting or invigorating mixture of drugs.

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