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


People [PERS ID:115]

First NameJohn
Middle Name/Initial(s)
Last NameGilchrist
Maiden Name
AKAof Speddoch
Medical Professional?Medical Professional


Birth (year) 1747
Date of death (year) 1830


A Dumfries physician and pupil of William Cullen. who may have taught his father, Dr Ebenezer Gilchrist who published on the effects of climate on health. John Gilchirst founded the Dumfries Infirmary in 1776 with the help of Alexander Copland. Family connection with the Lawsons of Girthead, including Hugh Lawson, through his mother Grizel Corrie.

Cases that this person appears in:

CountCase IDCase Name
1Case 4Case of Mr Alexander Spalding Gordon who has a venereal infection in 1775; in 1776 he has a swollen ankle and toe assumed to be gouty; and in 1784 he is suffering from the after-effects of an accidental pistol wound.
2Case 9Case of Dr Thomas Mutter who has suffered 'a palsy' (stroke).
3Case 30Case of an unnamed patient, a 'young Lady 23 years old' suffering from sleeplessness, fits of breathlessness, sickness and muscle spasms.
4Case 67Case of Mrs Morison (Morrison), diagnosed with a 'uterine' weakness.
5Case 136Case of James Hay, 15th Earl of Erroll who is thought to have a gouty knee and stomach.
6Case 173Case of the elderly Mr Dickson who dies after being weakened by influenza.
7Case 174Case of Mrs Blackstock who has various symptoms including painful legs and 'glandular' eruptions for which she has been given mercury. She is diagnosed as having 'dropsy' on the brain.
8Case 392Cases communicated by Charles Broughton, a London surgeon, who sends Cullen letters detailing the successful use of his proprietary ointment that is supposed to cure tumours.
9Case 406Case of unnamed patient with case 'an uncommon Itching & Pain' in the nose'.
10Case 436Case of the teenage Miss Murray of Broughton who has a log-standing pulmonary complaint and eventually starts to spit blood.
11Case 447Case of the brother of Dr John Gilchrist who is being treated for a scrophulous condition with Charles Broughton's ointment.
12Case 517Case of Mr Hugh Lawson who has developed pains in his joints, possibly gout or nephritic. His condition baffles local physician Dr John Gilchrist to whom he is related, but eventually proves to be a fatal case of kidney stone.
13Case 543Case of Mr Cruickshank who has been seen abroad in the cold despite being placed on a mercurial course to cure 'eruptions' on his hands and throat.
14Case 684Case of Miss Jean ["Jeanie"] McMurdo [MacMurdo] who in 1775 has a fever, in 1778 has a bad chest condition with feverish symptoms, and then develops severe bouts of colic.
15Case 732Case of the Dumfries surgeon Mr James Hill who has a bladder condition.
16Case 746Case of Lord Dalzell who has a protracted illness which includes pains in abdomen.
17Case 783Case of Mr Atkinson, whose symptoms of diarrhoea, vomiting and biliousness are attributed to a 'weakness of the alimentary canal'.
18Case 811Case of Mrs Gordon who has a serious 'visceral obstruction' which Cullen thinks may be a tumour, ovarian in origin.
19Case 923Case of the son of Walter Riddell, who has a biliary disorder, possibly a stone.
20Case 950Case of Mr Gibson of Kelton who has been affected by the cold in church and has an habitual cough.
21Case 965Case of the Reverend Burnside who is left weak from a history of headaches and attacks of sweating.
22Case 1031Case of Miss Balmain who has long been delicate and is advised to travel to Galloway via Moffat (see earlier consultation as Case 802).
23Case 1107Case of Mr William McDowal [McDowall, McDouall], who has a chest complaint and spits blood.
24Case 1148Case of Miss Mitchell whose health was undermined in the West Indies from where she returned two years previously; she has rheumatic pains and a long-standing throat condition which is described variously as a tumour or quinsy.
25Case 1189Case of Mrs Clark who has had a persistent cough as the result of a long-standing hectic fever now accompanied by diarrhoea.
26Case 1279Case of Mr George Mackenzie staying near Dumfries, who has a cough and spits blood. He travels abroad where he dies.
27Case 1354Case of Mr Gordon, who obtains an electrical machine to treat the pain and weakness in his lower back and stomach region, a condition considered almost paralytic by his local physician Dr John Gilchrist.
28Case 1373Case of an unnamed female patient with menstrual and uterine problems which are thought to be affecting he mental state; a friend and poor relation of Dr John Gilchrist at Dumfries.
29Case 1410Case of Miss Aitken who has a long-standing, intermittent, painful chest complaint.
30Case 1455Case of Mr McConchie [Macconchie] whose illness began with a severe pain in his side with loss of appetite and swollen stomach which is now thought dropsical.
31Case 1458Case of Mrs Gordon of Greenlaw who is conserdering shaving her head to guard against the colds to which she is susceptible.
32Case 1537Case of Lady H. Douglas who has injured her head but Cullen is sure it is only mild concussion.
33Case 1649Case of Miss Hill who, like her sister (Case: 1650), is thought to have a weak constitution and whose conplaints stem from obstructed perspiration.
34Case 1650Case of Miss Hill who, like her sister (Case: 1649), is thought to have a weak constitution and whose conplaints stem from obstructed perspiration.
35Case 1684Case of Mrs. Mary Maxwell of Kirkonnel who suffers from a rheumatic complaint which especially affects her hip.
36Case 1699Case of Mr Blair, Provost of Dumfries, with a history of ailments, whose current weak state is attributed by Cullen to hypochondriasis.
37Case 1732Case of young Mr McMurdo of Drumlanrig who has a fever.
38Case 1783Case of Mrs Mary Maxwell of Kirkconnel who has various symptoms includings sweats, restlessness and pains in her arms and shoulders.
39Case 2001Case of George Gordon at Carnshalloch House, Kirkton near Dumfries (but his father appears to be in London), an infant who is being treated with laudanam.
40Case 2002Case of Francis Johnston at Carnsalloch House, Kirkton near Dumfries, an infant who has problems with deafness.
41Case 2031Case of Mr Stewart of Shambelly [Shambellie] who is advised to got to Buxton for his health but later develops a chest complaint exacerbated by anxiety over family matters.
42Case 2059Case of Mr Mackenzie whose complaints may be venereal in origin.
43Case 2101Case of Mr Gordon of Skelton, who is advised to go to Buxton for an unstated condition.
44Case 2129Case of Mr Ramsay, a Collector of Excise, who has a chest complaint.
45Case 2135Case of Lord Dalziel's servant who is prescribed pectoral pills.
46Case 2139Case of Miss Spalding whose condition has remained largely unchanged for two years.
47Case 2140Case of Miss Murray, who is recovering from an unspecified disorder.
48Case 2141Case of Mr B. Bell, whose illness seems to have ended fatally.
49Case 2218Case of Sir Thomas Hay whose withdrawn, antisocial, erratic, sometimes wholly insensible moods and behaviour have become a cause for concern.
50Case 2490Case of Captain Maitland of Eccles (near Dumfries), who may be diabetic.
51Case 2506Case of an unnamed female, "Miss ---- Junr. (Junior)". Cullen thinks her case phthisical.
52Case 2512Case of the nephew of Walter Riddell, possibly Mr Kennedy.