Thursday 23 October 1662

Up and among my workmen, and so to the office, and there sitting all the morning we stept all out to visit Sir W. Batten, who it seems has not been well all yesterday, but being let blood is now pretty well, and Sir W. Pen after office I went to see, but he continues in great pain of the gout and in bed, cannot stir hand nor foot but with great pain. So to my office all the evening putting things public and private in order, and so at night home and to supper and to bed, finding great content since I am come to follow my business again, which God preserve in me.

13 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link


"For many centuries, blood-letting was considered a tried and true remedy for certain conditions. It was recommended for fevers, inflammations, a variety of disease conditions and, ironically, for hemorrhage...A brief selection of material, in word and image, on bloodletting [from] Henry Clutterbuck M.D., Member of the Royal College of Physicians, *On the Proper Administration of Blood-Letting, for the Prevention and Cure of Disease*(London, 1840), [which] gives a brief history and outlines the proper use of the treatment."…

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"but being let blood is now pretty well"
Most likely placebo effect.

Jeannine  •  Link

Meanwhile back at the palace...
Davidson reports (page 159) that Queen Catherine "was already beginning to feel the pinch of that poverty which was soon to become a thumbscrew. Her dowry of sugar and spice had not been sold, and there was no money due to her in the Exchequer. She wrote to John Hervey on October 22 [23 from actual letter], asking for funds". The need for funds will be an ongoing theme during the reign of Charles II, not only for Charles but also for Catherine.What will be a point to watch is where money flows on those occasions when it does touch the hands of the King (hint:not to his wife). Her letter read:

"Our will and pleasure are that you forthwith unto our trusty and well-loved Francesco de Silva (the ambassador) the sum of five hundred pounds for our owne particular use, and for soe doing this shall be your sufficient warrant and discharge. Given at Whitehall this 23rd of Xber 1662, in the year of the reigne of our dearest Lord and Husband.
To our trusty and well-beloved John Hervey, Esq., Our Treasurer and receiver"

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

'Most likely placebo effect' Much of getting well [ or good doctoring] be the bedside manner, and convincing the patient that these blankety blanks be wot yer need.

Cumgranissalis  •  Link

'Meanwhile back at the palace' Katerina, should have made allies with the strumpets of the front room and got a share of the funds that be paid out for satisfaction given.
It appears that much of the incomes from the mails ended up in playing postman's knock.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Well, I'm sure Sir Will B. is 'calmer'...

I once had to portray Dr. Benjamin Rush the American last great advocate of bloodletting in a face-off with Dr. Jacob Bigelow, advocate of the 'self-limiting nature of disease' approach (ie, stand back, offer comfort and what little painkiller, etc you got, and let nature do its thing).

Oddly enough I won the audience over to my view...

Ruben  •  Link

I did not see Sir Batten's medical record so I am only guessing.
After Walter Raleigh, the English began to smoke. Tabac in those days was much stronger than today. If Sir Batten smoked enough, he could have suffered polycitemia. This condition is symptomatic. A little bloodletting could have made him feel better.
Otherwise, all the indications for bloodletting are, of course, obsolete today.
No sterilization in those days, so that the special scalpel used for the procedure could have passed viral infections from patient to patient (except for the first patient!)
50 years ago, before the discartable plastic syringe,we boiled the glass ones and their needles, passing along a lot of hepatitis...

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"he continues in great pain of the gout
and in bed"
"Man,Sirs,is like a tub or sink;
From everything we eat or drink,
A vicious sediment remains,
Prolifik source of future pains
Where tho' concealed from vulgar eye,
Gout,fevers,agues,dormant lie;
Those,by intemp'rance jog'd,awake,
And(as when we a vessel shake,
From the low bottom dregs arising,
With filth th'imprison'd fluid poison)
With the swift blood and spirits mingling,
Set all the tainted mas atingling;
Now to prevent such dire devouring,
The sink of man needs frequent scouring,
To compass which salubrious end,
My sov'reign remedies I vend,
Which in an instant let me tell ye
Cause such a ferment in the belly,
That in an hour,I'll[sic]hold a guinea
They'll purge as tho' the de'il was in ye."
A Pharmacopeia Empirica of 1748
Bull Med Libr Assoc.

Nix  •  Link

"finding great content since I am come to follow my business again" --

Especially with the two Sir Williams unable to interfere.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Bloodletting: an early treatment used by barbers, surgeons," Cardiology Today, September 2008
[ A brief history with an illustration of the procedure. ]

Bloodletting was used for hundreds of years to help cure illness and restore health, and its popularity thrived in the 19th century. Even though its effectiveness was routinely questioned, the procedure was used for cardiac problems into the 1920s.…

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Note again that archaic English past tense "I AM come to follow my business again", not "I HAVE come ...."

In our neighbour Indo-European languages, French and German, "to be" rather than "to have" is still used as the auxilliary verb for the perfect tense of intransitive* verbs; eg: "je suis venu" or " ich bin gekommen", not "j'ai venu" or "ich habe gekommen".

Tolkien used it in his work sometimes for archaic effect, eg Elendil's words: "Out of the Great Sea to Middle Earth I am come ..."

*those verbs without a direct object.

Third Reading

Ruslan  •  Link

Sasha said:

> In our neighbour Indo-European languages, French and German, "to be" rather than "to have" is still used as the auxilliary verb for the perfect tense of intransitive* verbs;

I'm being nitpicky here, but in French and German, the auxiliary verb "to be" (être in French, sein in German) is used to form the perfect tense for certain verbs, particularly those indicating motion or change of state.

Whether a verb is intransitive or not, is not in itself a guaranteed way to determine which auxilliary verb it uses.

"Ich habe geschlafen" (I have slept) — schlafen is intransitive
"Il a couru" (He has run) — courir is intransitive

"Ich bin ihm gefolgt." (I have followed him) — folgen is transitive
"Il est descendu les escaliers." (He has gone down the stairs) — descendre is intransitive

Ruslan  •  Link

Sorry, typo.

Il est descendu les escaliers." (He has gone down the stairs) — descendre is transitive

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