Cullen

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

 

[ID:940] From: Dr William Cullen (Professor Cullen) / To: Mr Thomas Stapleton (of Carlton) / Regarding: Mr Thomas Stapleton (of Carlton) (Patient) / 14? December? 1774? / (Outgoing)

Letter, in the form of a retained, neat draft copy in Cullen's own hand, to Thomas Stapleton, regarding his case, and mentioning that he had also obtained the opinion of Dr Stack. Incomplete; the final pages are missing from the archive. Day of month is inferred: this is a part-draft of Cullen's reply to letter 942. so must be post-8th December.

Facsimile

There are 4 images for this document.

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[Page 2]


 

[Page 3]


 

[Page 4]


 
 

Metadata

FieldData
DOC ID 940
RCPE Catalogue Number CUL/1/2/200
Main Language English
Document Direction Outgoing
Date14? December? 1774?
Annotation None
TypeAuthorial original
Enclosure(s) No enclosure(s)
Autopsy No
Recipe No
Regimen No
Letter of Introduction No
Case Note No
Summary Letter, in the form of a retained, neat draft copy in Cullen's own hand, to Thomas Stapleton, regarding his case, and mentioning that he had also obtained the opinion of Dr Stack. Incomplete; the final pages are missing from the archive. Day of month is inferred: this is a part-draft of Cullen's reply to letter 942. so must be post-8th December.
Manuscript Incomplete? Yes
Evidence of Commercial Posting No

Case

Cases that this document belongs to:

Case ID Description Num Docs
[Case ID:142]
Case of Thomas Stapleton with worsening digestive ailments.
4


People linked to this document

Person IDRole in documentPerson
[PERS ID:1]AuthorDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)
[PERS ID:431]AddresseeMr Thomas Stapleton (of Carlton)
[PERS ID:431]PatientMr Thomas Stapleton (of Carlton)
[PERS ID:430]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr R. W. Stack
[PERS ID:1]Patient's Physician / Surgeon / ApothecaryDr William Cullen (Professor Cullen)

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 inferred
Destination of Letter Carlton North-East England Europe inferred
Mentioned / Other North-West England Europe certain

Normalized Text

[Page 1]
Sir


Soon after I had the pleasure of seeing
you here I wrote to DrrStack and had a return from him
written with great pains giving a very exact account of
what he had observed with respect to your ailments and
the different remedies that had been employed. In conse¬
quence of this I wrote a letter to you addressed to
1 in Lancashire where I supposed you would then be
or if you Should not that the letter would be forwarded
to Yorkshire. It gives me the greatest concern to find
that this letter has miscarried and I Shall now en¬
deavour to Supply it as well as I can.


It is possible there may be a fixed ailment about
one or other of the orifices of the Stomach and if there is
we Shall not be able to do ↑you↑ much Service but I see no
reason for Supposing any Such fixed ailment and I think



[Page 2]

there are many reasons for Supposing that your pains
are owing to the recurrence of Spasms which are often
cured and I hope you need not despair of it.

Whether these Spasms depend upon the weakness
of your Stomach alone or if the weakness is owing to a
gouty disposition which does not take its proper course
I Shall not determine but am much inclined to the
last Supposition. It is ↑not↑ however necessary to determine
because upon either Supposition my advice will be the
Same and that is, to restore and Support the tone and
the proper course of the alimentary canal.


I trust to a Single medicine which has indeed in
some measure been employed already but neither in the
form I think best nor in the quantity I have in many
cases found necessary. I have found that when taken
↑in↑ large doses, it not only Strengthened the bowels but pro¬
cured regular Stools and only when it had this effect



[Page 3]

was it very effectual in preventing the return of pains.
When you take it at first in small doses it may ↑not↑ open the
belly and in that case you must employ a laxative and
any one that your late experience has Shewn to answer
but I would prefer what is called Castor Oil if you can
get it good and your Stomach will bear one or two Spoon (↑table↑)
Spoonfulls of it. It sits best when before it is taken, it
is Shaken in a vial with a teaspoonfull or two of Strong
Rum. The best Oil is (↑will be↑) that which is recently expressed from
the Seeds if these can be got fresh
at London.


The powders I prescribe are to be carried to the full
doses I propose before you despair of their effects unless
from circumstances which I do not foresee they are found
to disagree ↑very much↑ with the Stomach. When they are brought
to the full dose you are to continue them for four
days and no longer but after intermitting them for a
week you may return to take them again for several
days and this you will do more or less frequently



[Page 4]

as your experience Shall direct. TheIf they keep your
belly open they will certainly be of service and they may
be of Some tho they Should not but if they do not ↑at↑ all I
their effects is more doubtfull and the use of them is not to
be urged.


Tho they Shall as I expect be of great service you
must ↑not↑ depend upon this medicine alone for whatever
its power it cannot restore entirely a Stomach that has
been so long {illeg} affected and much less will it cure
a gouty disposition. The effects of it therefore will not
be durable unless your regimen is at the Same time pro¬
perly ordered.


The regimen ordered by Drr Stack is in general extremely
judicious but I must venture to Say that he is a little
severe in forbidding all french Cookery for if it does not
entice to take too much I think it generally gives food
more easily digested. All Cookery that does this is proper
for you but it is of the utmost consequence to you to keep your

Notes:

1: Cullen has left a gap to add a title and name, but the person cannot be identified.

Diplomatic Text

[Page 1]
Sir


Soon after I had the pleasure of seeing
you here I wrote to DrrStack and had a return from him
written with great pains giving a very exact account of
what he had observed with respect to your ailments and
the different remedies that had been employed. In conse¬
quence of this I wrote a letter to you addressed to
1 in Lancashire where I supposed you would then be
or if you Should not that the letter would be forwarded
to Yorkshire. It gives me the greatest concern to find
that this letter has miscarried and I Shall now en¬
deavour to Supply it as well as I can.


It is possible there may be a fixed ailment about
one or other of the orifices of the Stomach and if there is
we Shall not be able to do ↑you↑ much Service but I see no
reason for Supposing any Such fixed ailment and I think



[Page 2]

there are many reasons for Supposing that your pains
are owing to the recurrence of Spasms which are often
cured and I hope you need not despair of it.

Whether these Spasms depend upon the weakness
of your Stomach alone or if the weakness is owing to a
gouty disposition which does not take its proper course
I Shall not determine but am much inclined to the
last Supposition. It is ↑not↑ however necessary to determine
because upon either Supposition my advice will be the
Same and that is, to restore and Support the tone and
the proper course of the alimentary canal.


I trust to a Single medicine which has indeed in
some measure been employed already but neither in the
form I think best nor in the quantity I have in many
cases found necessary. I have found that when taken
↑in↑ large doses, it not only Strengthened the bowels but pro¬
cured regular Stools and only when it had this effect



[Page 3]

was it very effectual in preventing the return of pains.
When you take it at first in small doses it may ↑not↑ open the
belly and in that case you must employ a laxative and
any one that your late experience has Shewn to answer
but I would prefer what is called Castor Oil if you can
get it good and your Stomach will bear one or two Spoon (↑table↑)
Spoonfulls of it. It sits best when before it is taken, it
is Shaken in a vial with a teaspoonfull or two of Strong
Rum. The best Oil is (↑will be↑) that which is recently expressed from
the Seeds if these can be got fresh
at London.


The powders I prescribe are to be carried to the full
doses I propose before you despair of their effects unless
from circumstances which I do not foresee they are found
to disagree ↑very much↑ with the Stomach. When they are brought
to the full dose you are to continue them for four
days and no longer but after intermitting them for a
week you may return to take them again for several
days and this you will do more or less frequently



[Page 4]

as your experience Shall direct. TheIf they keep your
belly open they will certainly be of service and they may
be of Some tho they Should not but if they do not ↑at↑ all I
their effects is more doubtfull and the use of them is not to
be urged.


Tho they Shall as I expect be of great service you
must ↑not↑ depend upon this medicine alone for whatever
its power it cannot restore entirely a Stomach that has
been so long {illeg} affected and much less will it cure
a gouty disposition. The effects of it therefore will not
be durable unless your regimen is at the Same time pro¬
perly ordered.


The regimen ordered by Drr Stack is in general extremely
judicious but I must venture to Say that he is a little
severe in forbidding all french Cookery for if it does not
entice to take too much I think it generally gives food
more easily digested. All Cookery that does this is proper
for you but it is of the utmost consequence to you to keep your

Notes:

1: Cullen has left a gap to add a title and name, but the person cannot be identified.

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