Memorandum Book, Cheshire

Scope and Content

The volume consists of 25 folios, which are still bound together, with an additional volume of 36 folios inserted into the front along with 8 loose folios.

Of the 25 folios still bound together the first 17 are entitled 'Memorandum Book' and detail a series of 22 cases suffering from a variety of ailments between the dates December 1774 and October 1778. The cases are varied including a number of accidents involving falls from height, injuries from horses, and falls from carts or coaches in addition to cases of burns, a breast tumour, and a stroke. Given the range of ailments and the four year time span it is difficult to ascertain why these cases have been noted together. Other physicians and surgeons referenced in the cases are Mr Wright, Mr Beckett, Dr Henderson, and Dr Alcock and it seems quite clear that the author is practicing in Middlewich, Cheshire but also comments upon patients being sent to the Infirmaries at Chester and Manchester.

These cases are interspersed with other extracts including from A Sketch of the Late Epidemic Disease as it Appeared in London by Dr John Fothergill from 6 Dec 1775, referring to the influenza epidemic of the time, followed immediately by comments made by the manuscript's author on the arrival of influenza in Middlewich, Cheshire. There are also comments on measles in Middlewich in 1776, 'A few passages taken out of [Thomas] Dimsdale's Treatise on Inoculation', extracts from Dr Hopwood's Method of Treating an Hydropical Case, and notes on small pox.

Folios 18-25 of this section are entitled 'Memorandum & Remarks on Various Authors', and include notes from Smellie's Treatise of the Theory and Practice of Midwifery, Gillard's Midwifery, Chapman's Midwifery, White's Treatise on Pregnant Women, and Home's Clinical Experiments.

The 36 folios inserted into the front are entitled 'An abstract of the lectures of Mr Henry W... Surgeon and Anatomist'. The corner of the page has been lost obscuring the page, but it is believed to refer to Henry Watson (d.1793), a surgeon at the Westminster Infirmary. Lectures are numbered up to 25 but the notes continue after this without any attempt to divide up individual lectures. The contents are as follows: (1) introduction, (2) the cellular membrane, (3) on the arteries, (4) on the veins, (5) on the blood, (6) on the nerves, (7) on the muscles, (8) on the ligaments, (9) on cartilage, (10) on the mucaginous glands, (11) on the periosteum, (12) on osteogeney, (13) on the thoracic viscera in situ, (14) on the abdominal viscera in situ, (15) on the structure of the oesophagus, (16) on the structure of the stomach, (17) on the structure of the intestines, (18) on the structure of the pancreas, (19) on the structure of the liver & gall bladder, (20) on the structure of the spleen, (21) on the structure of the kidneys, (22) on the structure of the bladder, (23) on the male organs of generation, (24) on the penis & urethra, (25) on the female organs of generation. Numbering of lectures, in the most part, finishes here but the notes continue with on the lacteal vessels, on the salivary glands, (28) on the pharynx etc. in situ, on the larynx, trachea and lungs, of the situation & figures of the lungs, on the heart & circulation, on the foetus in utero, placenta & its membrane, on the diaphragm, on the breasts, on the brain with its membranes & sinuses, on the structure of the eye, on the structure of the ear, of the integuments, of digestion, on the skeleton, on the cranium [skull], of the nose, face, maxilla inferior, teeth, vertebrae, ribs, os femoris, on the patella and knee joint, ankle, tarsus, clavicle, os humeri, fore arm, carpus, the lips, on the operations in surgery, precautions on making the sutures, of gunshot wounds, of gastrophy, wounds of the throat, bronchotomy [tracheotomy], wry neck [torticollis], polypus [polyps], extirpation of the tonsils [tonsillectomy], of the cataract, couching, extraction of the crystalline humour, fistula lachrymalis [lacrimal fistula], harelip [cleft lip], on the trepan [trephining], emphysema, paracentesis, hydrocele, of encysted tumours, of the scirrhous & cancer, bubonocele [inguinal hernia], of the paracentesis of the bladder in the suppression of urine, lithotomy, the parts wounded in lithotomy, fistula in ano [rectal fistula], castration, phimosis, paraphimosis, aneurysm, amputations, remarks on bandages, and the method of embalming. The notes finish mid-sentence implying they are incomplete.

The additional loose folios contain notes describing the signs of and treatment of a fever, possibly typhus, and the case of a woman 'swooning'. There is also a long list of medical works by various authors but with no indication as to the purpose of the list.