Library: British Library, London

Manuscript: Sloane MS 4040

Folio: ff. 141-142

Microfilm: The History of Science and Technology Series One: The Papers of Sir Hans Sloane, 1660-1753 From the British Library, London Part 1: Science & Society, 1660-1773 Reel 3 Sloane Mss. 4040, 4041 98461

Language: English

Letter Categories:

Letter Subject:
Real Estate

Date of letter (as written): March 28, 1706 (Gregorian)

Standardised date: 1706-03-28

Letter Origin (as written): Upminster

Letter Destination (as written): To Dr Sloane at His house in Bloomsbury Square London

William Derham

Sir Hans Sloane

Others Mentioned:
Signor Castini
Dr. Childrey
Dr. Hook
Dr. Schinker
J. Thorpe

Letter written about self or others: Others

Single or Multiple Sufferers: Single Sufferer

Patients Mentioned in Letter:

Patient 1

Anna Derham (Female)

Age of Patient: [About 31, as she was b. c. 1675.]

Description of Patient:

Previous Treatment: Following Sloane's instructions she took woodlice and 'depurat'. She had tunnel water dropped into her eye and took a purgative last week.

Ongoing Treatment:

Diagnosis: Eye condition.

Response: The tunnel water did not agree with her, causing inflammation. The purge wrought well, but left her with pain above her eye, which suffused to her head for the next four days, and in her throat and cheek. Derham thinks her cornea is wasted from the medicine.

Theme Description: The pain spreading throughout Mrs. Derham's head is described as 'violent'.

Pain descriptions

Medical Problem(s):

Eye Infections
Vision, disorders
Vision, ocular

[fol. 142] Sr Upminster Mar. 28. 1706 My wife hath persisted in your Directions parti- cularly the taking Woodlice, & having [symbol] depurat: & Fennel water dropt into her Eye. This latter did not well agree with the Eye, by reason it caused a small Inflam- mation therein so yt we were forced to leave it off. She took a Purge about a week agoe of Pil: Cochin as you directed, wch wrought well, but left her with a violent pain just over that Eye (wch hath the Suffusion) wch continues there & sometimes in all her Head about 4 days & then fell into one of her Teeth with great Pain, & then remains still. Sometimes it was in her Cheek & sometimes in other parts of the Head, or Throat. I think the Albugo or membrane on the outside of the Cornea is some what wasted wch she [symbol] lick medicine. I beg the favour of your farther Directions in this my Wifes case. I have had one wch me about your Farme, who volun tarily offered an advance of Rent, but I told him that Culverwell was not to be yet discharged, as I supposed Now for things in the Heavens* As I was observ- ing the Imersions of the 3d and 4th Satelitte of ♃ [Jupiter] on ye 20th of this March in the Evening. I espied a very odd sort of Light in the Constellation of [symbol], the lower end of which was below the Bulls-Eye, & the other a good way above it, & yt staer about the middle of the low- er end thereof, as in the annexed figure below, wch doth represent its appearance to me. This Glade of Light had the same motion that the Heavens had, & was much like the Tail of a Comet, but pointed at the upper end, as in the Figure. This Light I doubt not is such as Dr Childrey first observed in England, & wch Castini & others afterwards ob- served in France, as Dr Hook saith [words obfuscated] I am sorry the there following Nights were cloudy & although Easter-day evening was fair, yet I forgot it unluckily then. And Easter monday being cloudy in the evening I could not ob- serve it a second time till Tuesday last & then it was gone. Yesterday looking on the Sun, I espied two small spots near his Center wchI suppose lately have sprung up, because I did not perceive any on the Diske a day or two before, when I took a view of him. These spots will be on the ☉ [Sun] Diske probably till after the next meeting of the Society. And I have advertised you of them, yt if you or any of the Society desire it, you may have the pleasure of seeing them. My wifes humble service to you, & we both acknowledge out obligations to you Sr Your most faithfull humble servant Wm Derham I lately recd a Lr From Mr J. Thorpe (I suppose it may be him yt takes care of Dr Schinkers Book [?]) about the loss of my first paper on Magnetick I told him that my friend paper might be published alone, if I but referred him to you about it.

Other Notes:
Derham was a Church of England clergyman and a natural philosopher, interested in nature, mathematics, and philosophy. He frequently requested medical advice from Sloane, and likely served as a physician to his family and parishioners (Marja Smolenaars, "Derham, William (1657-1735)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [, accessed 7 June 2011]).