Library: British Library, London
Manuscript: Sloane MS 4075
Folio: f. 29
Date of letter (as written): February 12, 1699/00 (Unknown)
Letter Origin (as written): Badminton
Letter Destination (as written):
Sir Hans Sloane
Letter written about self or others: Others
Single or Multiple Sufferers: Single Sufferer
Patients Mentioned in Letter:
Mary Somerset (nee Sackville), Duchess of Beaufort (Female)
Age of Patient: Mary Somerset was bap. 1630 and d. 1715.
Description of Patient: The letter does not mention which Duchess in particular, but the Dukes of Beaufort had their seat at Badminton. The letter also refers to the recent Lord Duke's death; this occurred in January 1699/1700. [See: Molly McClain, "Somerset, Henry, first duke of Beaufort (1629–1700)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2007, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/26009, accessed 14 May 2010.] The Duchess was described as "generally costive", eating little and feeling faint. Also had "rellow clouds before her Eyes".
Previous Treatment: Black cherry water and canary; liquid laudanum; tincture of Antimony; plaster of Galbanum applied to stomach.
Ongoing Treatment: Recommended pearl in liquor and tincture of antimony. Asked about asses milk with pearl or cinnabar of antimony or quinquina in pills or powder or strong infusion of canary wine. Age and diet would make bleeding and vomiting problematic. Duchess refused any medicines with taste or smell and "clarett she can't bear". Her diet: drank chocolate and canary and ate some lamb or mutton. Should have air and rising medicines.
Diagnosis: Depression after her husband's death leading to pains in the stomach, low spirits, diarrhoea, vapours. "I have bin sent for hither twice since my Lr Dukes death & her Grace having been out of order some months before, this Great & suddent loss has made ye greater Impression on Her."
Theme Description: Good account of physical effects of grief.
Other Notes:John Cook was a physician.