John Harrison

of Charleston, South Carolina, Epsom,
and 1 Mount Street, Berkeley Square, London
Member of the Corporation of Surgeons
An account of the practice of medicine in Epsom
during the late 18th century.

The Doctors by T Rowlandson
The Doctors by T Rowlandson
Image source The Wellcome Library

It appears that this surgeon named John Harrison had been in the British North American colonies from around 1770 and he probably returned to England following the revolution of 1775. The Statutes at Large of South Carolina: Acts, 1753-1786 mention him in a schedule 'Of the charges of this Government from the first day of January, to the thirty-first day of December, one thousand seven hundred and sixty-six, both days inclusive, and for other services' - 'John Harrison surgeon, for attending the corner's inquests, £20 00 00'. He seems to have turned up in Epsom about 1779. A self-publicist, Harrison is known mainly for papers presented in 1785/6 as reproduced below.

They name individual patients from Epsom and Banstead, from the well-born Christopher Buckle (1711 - 1783) [LINK TO ] to common people. Their treatments were bizarre and often failed to avert death. Harrison's reported methods were criticised by his peers who seem to have doubted the man's medical knowledge.


In Mortifications of the Extremities.

MRS. BUDWORTHi, a midwife, of Epsom, aged 90, was seized, on the 19th of January, 1780, with a violent inflammation on the calf of the leg, attended with excruciating pain. It came out, upon enquiry, that she had been subject, for five or six months before, to occasional chills, or shiverings, which were attributed to her years; but, upon the whole, she had been as well as people commonly are at so advanced an age. She had frequently experienced erratic pains in the lower extremities for many years preceding, and latterly her legs and feet would occasionally become oedematous; but she had never been attacked by any complaint of consequence, which probably was owing to a very regular, or rather abstemious, mode of living. Notwithstanding there was a very considerable inflammation of the part, the pulse was neither hard nor very quick. Indeed the degree of fever was by no means so strongly marked in the pulse as it was in the tongue, which was dry, rough, and discoloured. I applied the Saturnine poultice to the leg, and directed four spoonfuls of the following mixture to be taken every six hours: Take of decoction of the bark, 6 oz. and a half; Huxham's tincture of bark, one ounce; Thebaic [opiate alcaloid?] tincture, one drachm and a half; cordial confection, one drachm; solutive syrup, two drachms; Mix them together. The next day the pain and inflammation were much the same, and the poultice and mixture were continued as before.

21st. The medicines had not been regularly given. The inflammation was extended as low down as the heel, with a livid appearance; and vesications here and there, with a blackness underneath, denoted the mortification to be begun. I applied a poultice, of linseed flour with elder-ointment, over the whole leg and heel, renewing it twice a day, and continued the mixture. Her diet was sago, salop, and water-gruel, with the addition of a little brandy, cinnamon, and nutmeg. From this time to February the 20th, the mortification spread slowly, and at length reached the heel. The medicines were taken very irregularly; but, when she did take them, it was observed they relieved the pain. The body was occasionally kept open by an infusion of sena, and sometimes an emollient clyster [enema] was thrown up. She took brandy and wine freely with her gruel and sago, and sometimes would get down a bit of veal or chicken. She now (February 20) refused medicine altogether: I therefore resolved to try the effects of a fermenting poultice. I applied a composition of flour, yest, and honey, in the act of fermentation, laying it on thick over the whole affected part. Upon taking it off, at the end of thirty-six hours, I must acknowledge I was surprised to see the alteration. There was a free discharge of thin matter; the lividness was abated; and the painful twitchings, which for some days past had been very troublesome, were considerably lessened.

February 23, 24, 25. The cataplasm [poultice] was renewed daily, and the sloughs (which were about-half an inch deep) separated fast: the twitchings less painful, and less frequent. March the 1st. The sloughs were quite separated, and the ulcer began to cicatrise. The pain was gone, and her health visibly improved. March the 2d. A spot upon the os sacrum was shewn me this day, of the size of a half-crown, black and mortified. I directed some of the same poultice to be made, stiffer than the former, and applied upon leather. By the 7th a digestion was effected, and the part put on the appearance of healing. In the meantime the sore in the leg continued to heal.

March the 8th. She was taken with a fainting-fit, from which she was recovered with some difficulty. I directed a cordial mixture, but she could take but little of it; and, refusing all nourishment, sunk gradually, and expired the next day. The day before she died, I examined the leg. The sore looked very pale, and rather dry; but there was not the least appearance that threatened a return of the mortification. The sore had contracted about a fifth part. The fermenting cataplasm I made use of in this case, was made thus: Take of honey two parts, yeast one part, wheat-flour a sufficient quantity to form a consistence neither stiff nor soft; set it before the fire, and apply it when it begins to rise.

It was Mr. Buckle's particular request that his case should be published.

CHRISTOPHER BUCKLEii, Esq. of Banstead, near this place, aged 70, was attacked with a mortification of the great toe, January the 11th, 1780, without any preceding illness. It appeared in the form of a black speck at the top of the toe close to the nail, and the ball of the toe was livid and emphysematous. I directed him to make use of the following fomentation twice or three times a day, an hour at a time: Take of crude salt of ammoniac, an ounce; camphorated spirits of wine, two pints; Mix them together. After fomenting, the toe was dressed with balsam of copaiba, warm, and a large poultice was applied of linseed flour with a little lard. A drachm of the bark, in powder, was given every four hours; and he was to keep his body open with the Scotch pills. January the 14th. The toe was very flaccid, which induced me to make an incision into it; when I discharged, without pain, a pale watery fluid. I now wished him to try opium in conjunction with the bark; but, as I could not persuade him to take opium internally, I contented myself with dissolving two ounces of it in the fomentation. By January the 22d, the mortification was spread, and vesications appeared on the second, third, and fourth, toes. I now prevailed upon Mr. Buckle to allow the addition of Thebaic tincture, of which he took 120 drops every twenty-four hours, and an ounce of bark, in substance, in the same space of time. January the 25th. The mortification was stopped; but, the event being still very dubious, I requested farther assistance. A gentleman of the first eminence (Mr. Pott) in surgery was sent for from London; who approved of what had been done, and directed the continuation of the same applications and medicines. January the 28th. Some faint signs of digestion appeared; but, to cut the history short, it was not until the 28th of February that the sloughs were all separated. In the meantime my patient was repeatedly brought to the brink of the grave, by a violent Heart-burn. Cardialgia [heartburn] and Looseness. Diarrhoea at first, and afterwards by an accumulation of excrement in the Straight gut rectum, which I, with great difficulty, unloaded by means of a large marrow-spoon.

April the 16th. The sore was healed, and I took my leave; but, July the 1st, Mr. Buckle relapsed. On the side of the bone of the foot which sustains the little toe, metatarsal bone of the little toe, a blister had arisen; which being snipped, it formed an eschar [dead tissue] as black as ink. At his request I applied the fermenting poultice mentioned in the first case, for he was determined to die rather than submit to the former course of medicine. August the 2d. He was completely cured, without any internal medicine whatsoever. Mr. Sanxayiii, of this neighbourhood, paid three visits during the cure, and saw the progress of it with admiration. November the 10th. He relapsed again. A large vesication arose on the inside of the heel, which, being snipped, formed an eschar [dead tissue] as before. The fermenting poultice was applied. This eschar was rather larger than a crown-piece, and almost as deep as the heel-bone. It was healed, with great difficulty, on the 24th day of October, 1781, when it was firmly cicatrised without any other application save that of daily washing the ulcer with tincture of myrrh before the poultice was applied. Mr. Buckle, from October the 24th, 1781, to the 3d of December, 1782, had no return of his mortification, but received a stroke of the palsy on that day, for which, on the 5th, two blisters were applied to the calves of the legs; they were prevented from mortifying by the timely application of the fermenting poultice. December the 26th. The blisters were healed; and, on the 10th of January, 1783, this worthy gentleman, after having supported himself with great fortitude and patience, sunk under the disease, and, I cannot forbear adding, to the great regret of all those who were acquainted with his excellent character.

A Marrow Spoon
A Marrow Spoon


The frequent instances I saw of the most deplorable effects from worms, both in infants and adults, during my residence at Charles-Town, in South Carolina, induced me to make many trials of various remedies recommended to me in that country for their Worm-destroying, anthelmintic [vermifugal; destructive to worms] virtues. I had very early opportunities in life of becoming acquainted with the medicines commonly employed in such cases, and had often reason to lament the inefficacy of some of them and the dangerous roughness of others. The tender age and reduced state of those who are the greatest martyrs to this disease seem evidently to point out the mildest remedies as most desirable, whilst, at the same time, the common obstinacy of the complaints as loudly calls for the most powerful assistance. Those, therefore, who have trusted to rhubarb, Aethiop's mineral [black sulpheret of mercury], worm-seed, powder of tin, and the expressed oils, have frequently had the mortification to be spectators of the daily progress of the disease; and the bolder practitioner, who has scoured the stomach and bowels with antimonials, mercurials, and the violent drastic purges, has had but little reason to boast of the superior efficacy of his medicines, when the original complaints have been succeeded by a lingering and fatal hectic. The remedies, which I hereby recommend to the patronage of the public, are the result of ten years experience, during which time I have never known an instance of their failing; but, efficacious as they are, they operate with the greatest mildness, and are subject to no ill consequences whatever afterwards. They may be taken at any time, requiring not the least confinement; on the contrary, gentle exercise assists the medicine as well as the patient. It is not only in the more evident and marked worm-cases that they are of use; they are equally serviceable in that slow fever which is so frequent in the metropolis, and which is commonly called the worm-fever, though oftentimes the patient is cured without the discharge of actual worms. In short, in all foul bowels, attended with costiveness, shortness of breath, and sallow countenance, I can most conscientiously recommend these medicines, as they never fail to remove the symptoms gradually, clearing the skin and restoring health. Notwithstanding these medicines may be given without any risk from cold, they nevertheless require to be altered, and proportioned to the strength, age, habit, and other circumstances, of the patient; which renders it absolutely necessary that he should be attended both before and during the time of taking them, otherwise it will not be possible to administer them with any degree of certainty.

I cannot conclude without attempting an apology for the intrusion of an unknown medicine upon the courtesy of the public: but, as I cannot at present reveal the secret, and am perfectly satisfied that, upon trial, its own merits will sufficiently recommend it, I shall only beg leave to add, that no one, who is acquainted with the virtues of James's powder [a mix of antimony and calcium phosphate] , will think himself authorised to dispense with its use because he is ignorant of the precise form of the composition. I subjoin a cursory history of a few cases, by way of adding weight to what I have advanced above.

Dr James Fever Powder
Dr James Fever Powder


1781, October 30. A boy, aged about eleven years, son of Charles Greenfieldiv, a labouring man, who supplies the village of Epsom with water, was attacked with St. Vitus's dance. I gave him a mixture of liquid laudanum two drachms, assafoetida-tincture four drachms, made into a six-ounce mixture; of which he took a large spoonful at a time, often, without relief. November 2. Being of opinion, that worms are the most common cause of convulsions in young people, I gave him three worm-purges, which brought away several worms, and he gradually recovered. 1782, May 29. He relapsed, and was cured by taking six doses. 1783. January 20. He relapsed again; for which I made him continue the medicines, once every three days, for twenty-five days. October 20. He is stronger and heartier than ever; and is at this time perfectly well. His friends would not permit him to take a few doses while he was well, by way of prevention, or, in my opinion, he would not have relapsed.


1782, June 21. The child of Esau Archerv, a labouring man, aged between two and three years, was brought to me in strong convulsions. I gave her eight doses of the medicines. She voided several worms, and was perfectly cured.


1782, March 19. The Reverend Mr. Price'svi cook-maid, a young woman, aged twenty-three, was seized with violent convulsion-fits, for which, being very Full of blood plethoric, she was bled; and an emetic was prescribed, with a nervous anodyne draught at bed-time, and a purging mixture to take the next morning. March the 20th. Continuing almost in the same state, a mixture of liquid laudanum and assafoetida-tincture was prescribed, without relief. 21st. A purge of jalap and a few grains of prepared mercury were prescribed; after the operation, the mixture with laudanum and assafoetida was continued. 22nd. A physician of eminence was called. He recommended half an ounce of the herb called ladies-mantle, to be divided into eight doses, of which one was to be taken three times a day. 24th. At times she put on the appearance of being relieved. The flowers of ladies mantle were continued until April the 5th, when she relapsed, and was convulsed as severely as at the beginning. An electary [a paste taken orally, containing a drug mixed with syrup or honey], of valerian [garden heliotrope root], Russia castor, and conserve of rosemary, with an infusion of rue and soot-tincture, in a mixture, after it, was prescribed. April the 7th. Extremely ill. A perpetual blister was made between the shoulders.17th. From the 7th to this day never entirely free from the convulsions. An ounce of valerian-powder was divided into four doses, one of which was taken every six hours in four spoonfuls of the rue-mixture. In the evening of this day, she was so ill as to be scarcely able to swallow. A musk-draught was directed to be taken every eight hours, as it could be got down. April the 22d. No success having attended the medicines prescribed, it made the doctor determine to try a nostrum; which was two scruples of the lungs of a calf, dried in an oven and powdered, twice a day, in three spoonfuls of strong rue tea. After taking these powders a few days, her complaint put on the appearance of mending, and we hoped for success; when, to our great mortification, on the 7th of May, she was attacked as violently as ever. The blister was renewed. May the 8th. A box of pills, composed of wood-soot and balsam of amber, was directed; three or four to be taken three times a day. May the 12th. The pills were continued; but the doctor despaired of her getting the better of the fits, as they generally lasted four or five hours without intermission. May the 20th. A quack-medicine was recommended, which had the appearance of sweet spirit of vitriol; one phial was said to be a cure for all convulsions. She took two phials with no apparent success. June the 6th. The doctor gave her over, declaring it was not possible for her to live. This being the case, I informed her friends of a worm-medicine which I gave with great success, and recommended it to her; to which they consented. I sent eight doses, one to be taken morning and evening. Before she had taken all, several worms were voided; and once more her complaint put on the appearance of mending. May the 11th. The powders were continued; and she discharged an amazing large quantity of worms, knotted. She was much altered for the better.17th. Her countenance began to assume the appearance of returning health. The convulsions had entirely left her. Appetite good; strength increasing; daily voiding worms. 25th. Almost able to do her business. Nevertheless, as she had voided so large a quantity of worms, I continued the medicines once a day by way of security, and left them off in three days. June the 30th. Perfectly recovered. July the 2d. I thought it necessary to give her three doses more of the medicines, to secure her health.18th. Gave her three doses for the same reason.1783. June 18. Gave her three doses by way of prevention. October the 30th. She is in good health, and better than she had been for years before.


1783. July 20. - Graham, Esq. M. P. requested me to see his son, an infant, aged two years, ill, as I was informed, of a worm-fever. I found his belly very large and swelled, his countenance sallow, a slow fever, pulse quick and small, his mouth full of little ulcers, and costive. The first dose of the worm-medicine gave him a large, foetid, slimy, stool, very loose, which afforded him great relief. 21st. The medicine was repeated, which gave him another stool. He was much better. 22nd. The medicine was repeated again. 26th. The gentleman, who attended, wrote, that the child was recovering fast, and needed no more of the medicine.


August the 4th. Stephen Caleb, of Banstead, a village near Epsom, brought his son to me, a boy about eight or nine years old. He had, for several months past, languished under a slow fever, pain of the stomach, and now and then was thrown into a convulsion fit. He was much emaciated; could hardly walk alone. I gave three doses of the medicines, which brought away several long worms. He had less fever, and was much better. 17th. Repeated the medicines. He voided more worms. His pain in the stomach, and fits, entirely left him. September the 30th. Recovered.


1783, August 20. James Edes, a shoemaker, at Banstead, brought his son to me, a boy aged nine years, who had been very ill several months with a worm-fever, pain in the stomach, a cough, and enflamed eyes. I cured him with eleven doses of the medicines. He voided many worms.


1783, April 11. Mrs. Foreman's footman, at Epsom, aged twenty-two or twenty-three, applied to me. He complained of a fixed pain in the pupils of his eyes, which seemed remarkably dejected; a florid countenance, flushing often, pain of the right side and stomach, a tickling cough; a small, thready, unequal, pulse; hectic heats and night-sweats. An emetic was administered, and the next morning a cooling purge. He was advised to eat little flesh; to take butter-milk for breakfast and supper, or whey, or milk-porridge; and to eat freely of salad and other vegetables. April the 27th. A blister was applied between the shoulders, and made perpetual for several weeks; and, as he grew worse, he was directed to abstain from animal food. To shorten the history, he continued in this state until the seventh of August following, when he was advised to go and try his native air in Sussex. September the 9th. He returned much in the same state, excepting that the pain was fixed in the stomach; constant and severe, always, after eating ever so little; to use his own words, it had the feel of something striking gently against his stomach. 26th. Daily growing weaker, I recommended him to take the Worm-destroyer, anthelmintic, apprehending that worms might be the cause of his complaint. October the 1st. He had taken eight doses, and voided several knotted worms of various sizes.16th. From the 26th of September to this day, he took, morning and evening, a dose of the medicine, and every day voided some worms. His pain in the stomach, cough, hectic heats, &c. have all disappeared, and he is now well. 20th. He voided more worms. On that account, I sent him three more doses of the medicines. He is perfectly well, without any complaint, October the 23d, 1783 - February the 28th, 1785. Remains well.


A doctor prescribing continuation of treatment to his reluctant patient
A doctor prescribing continuation of treatment to his reluctant patient by T Rowlandson
Image source The Wellcome Library

C] Commentary from The English review, or, An abstract of English and foreign literature, 1785

The two cases, here related, of mortifications, seem to be instances of the gangraena senilis for which poultices of flour, yeast, and honey, were applied in the act of fermentation. In the first case (that of Mrs. Bludworth, aged 90) it was applied on the 20th of February; but though the sore had contracted a fifth part, and had no appearance which threatened a return of mortification, Mrs. B. died on the 8th of March following. The second case [that of Buckle, aged 70] is more in point, and bears more favourable testimony to the operation of the poultice. Is it right in this case to ascribe the good effect produced to the fixed air? Is not the heat, generated by the fermentation of use? Warmth and moisture are very beneficial in checking the progress of the gangraena senilis. Warm water simply has been known of service in such cases.

The histories of some worm cases cured by an unknown medicine (to use the Author's expression) are subjoined. These we shall not examine. We do not, however, agree with the President of the College, in the play, in maintaining that it does not become us to enquire; though, like Dr. Last, Mr. Harrison would stop us at once and say, as he does in his book, 'the means are a secret'. Such concealments are generally suspicious, and are always unworthy of professional men. They who practise them seldom have much to disclose.

D] Memoirs of the Medical Society of London: instituted in the year 1773, Volume 1


"A Case of the Stone, in the Urinary Bladder successfully treated; by giving Water impregnated with fixed Air, by Means of Salt of Tartar, and weak Spirit of Vitriol: By Mr. John Harrison, late Surgeon at EPSOM, now of Mount Street, BERKELEY SQUARE, Communicated by NATHANIEL HULME, M. D &c.

Read March 20, 1786.

Mr. John Hobman, of Epsom, late Danzick Merchant, was the subject of this case. He was a well-made strong man, of an excellent constitution, and before this complaint could walk ten or twelve miles a day with great ease to himself, though at the advanced age of seventy-four or five years.

He had been afflicted with calculous symptoms about two years, as nearly as I can remember, before I was consulted; and was so fully convinced in his own mind of having a stone, that he used to express himself by saying, 'That he felt the weight of it pressing on the neck of the bladder'.

He never had a severe fit till the month of January 1779, when he was seized with a suppression of urine, to relieve which I was obliged to pass the catheter, in order to draw-off his water.

The instrument struck against the stone in so remarkable a manner as to affect both the ear and the touch very singularly, and rather surprised me, notwithstanding I had been previously acquainted by him that there was certainly a stone in the bladder. Its magnitude I supposed to have been, from the sound and touch, about the size of a small pullet's egg, and rather globular. A few days afterward I was obliged to introduce the catheter again to bring away the water, and found the stone pressing on the neck of the bladder, which receded the moment that the instrument touched it, and then a quantity of palish urine ran freely off.

From the almost continual irritation of the stone, and Mr. Hobman's advanced age, his case was by some deemed fatal. Nevertheless, having paid great attention to him, I was of a different opinion; apprehending from his native strength, that he had stamina equal to support him some years longer; a sufficient reason I thought to justify the trial of some lithontriptic medicine.

With this view I proposed a lixivium to be given, as prepared by Mr. Lane, an ingenious apothecary in Aldersgate Street. The physician who was consulted, preferred the use of water impregnated with fixed air, by means of salt of tartar, and weak spirit of vitriol, as recommended by Dr. Hulme in a Treatise published in the year 1778, entitled, 'A safe and easy Remedy, proposed for the Relief of the Stone and Gravel, the Scurvy, Gout,' but with which I was not at that time acquainted.

This lithontriptic medicine was given twice a day, and after our patient had taken it about seven or eight weeks, to the best of my recollection, he was suddenly relieved one evening, by a large discharge of cretaceous, or rather stony matter in the urine, without any pain or inconvenience. It ran from him during the greater part of the night involuntarily, while he was asleep as well as when he was awake. It soaked through the bed, and sacking of the bedstead, and ran upon the floor, staining it with a whitish grey hue, or rather with the colour of freestone. The powder left behind upon the floor, and in the chamber-pot, was almost as fine as if it had been levigated. He never observed any calculous matter to be voided in his urine before the use of this medicine, and the whole of it was discharged in the space of five or six days.

From this time all symptoms of a stone in the bladder disappeared, and he recovered his strength much quicker than people in general do at his time of life; but was not able to walk so well afterwards as before; the fit seeming to have weakened his feet. I advised him to persevere in the use of the lithontriptic, lest some fragment of the calculus might remain, which he did for two or three months longer.

In January 1781, he complained of costiveness and piles, and that his urine did not pass so freely as before, but rather with a contracted stream. Some lenitive electary with sulph. Præcipit. were prescribed; and I recommended him to use the medicine of Dr. Hulme again, but could not prevail upon him. By means of the above electary, and ol. ricin. he seemed to be relieved. During the year 1782, he took but very little medicine, and his complaints were generally as last mentioned.

In 1783, besides an habitual costiveness, he was frequently seized with an hæmorrhoidal flux while at stool, and voided at different times large quantities of blood. These were attended with a frequent tenemus, and retention of urine; which induced me to think that some part of the stone remained still undissolved, and therefore I once more entreated him to begin with the lithontriptic, but in vain.

On the 28th of October 1784, his complaints becoming almost insupportable, he sent for me, and I advised the immediate use of an emollient enema to be thrown up twice a day, with a view to foment the parts, and empty the intestines.

October 29. He could at this time hardly pass any urine; but by throwing up an enema it enabled him by dribblets to make about a pint. October 30. By sitting over the steam of hot water, put into a closestool-pan and frequently renewed, for the space of an hour, his urine dripped slowly away, but he passed a very indifferent night. October 31. This day there was almost a total suppression of urine; but he had three stools without assistance. November 1. He informed me that he had made a little urine in the night; but that it was evacuated with the greatest difficulty. On examination I found that there was an enlargement of the prostate gland. An emollient injection was administered in the evening, and an anodyne draught was given at bed-time. November 2. In the evening he had a total suppression of urine; and an enema was thrown up, which procured him three or four stools. November 3. About four o'clock in the morning I was called to him, and on my arrival informed that he could pass no urine. As soon as a warm bath could be prepared, he was put into it, and in a few minutes after he had been immersed, he voided about a pint of water. When he came out of the bath he was put into a warm bed, and a cardiac anodyne draught was given, which procured him four hours good sleep. When he awoke, he made more water. An emulsion of ol. ricin. was occasionally administered, which kept the body gently open. November 4. A difficulty of urine continuing, I endeavoured to pass the catheter, as the frequent use of the warm bath occasioned faintness, but was prevented by a stricture in the urethra. November 5. His urine came away of itself, so as to occasion no further uneasiness, a general atony [Lack of normal muscle tone] now prevailed, and he was attacked with a violent diarrhœa. November 6. From this day to the 12th (on which he expired) he daily grew worse, and the diarrhœa resisted every effort made use of to check or suppress it.

The day after his death, I was permitted to inspect the body. The urinary bladder contained about a quart of water, but not the least calculous concretion was found therein. Its coats were rather thinner and softer than usual, and the innermost one had put on a dark gangrenous appearance. The neck of the bladder was much inflamed, particularly on its external part; and also the whole length of the rectum. The kidnies were found, and without any stone or gravel. The ureters were somewhat enlarged. In the urethra was found a stricture, seemingly caused by inflammation, and the pressure of the prostate gland, which was indurated and enlarged. All the other viscera were perfectly sound, and I never saw a finer subject opened."

Five surgeons participating in the amputation of a mans leg while another oversees them
Five surgeons participating in the amputation of a mans leg while another oversees them by T Rowlandson
Image source The Wellcome Library

E] The Monthly review, or, Literary journal, Volume 77

Art. 29. Observations on the Cure of the Dry Belly-ache. To which are added the remarkable effects of Fixed Air in Mortifications of the Extremities, and the History of some Worm Cases. By John Harrison, Member of the Corporation of Surgeons in London, 8vo. 1s. Galabin. 1786.

That species of colic in warm climates commonly known by the name of the dry belly-ache in the West Indies, is here said to be precisely the same with the Colica Pictonum of European physicians. The causes of these two diseases are so totally different from each other, and their diagnostic symptoms are so very obvious, that there seems no ground whatever for supposing them similar; beside, the method of cure in each is so diametrically opposite, as fully to evince their different nature and origin. As to Mr. Harrison's method of cure, we can only observe, as we have done on a former occasion, that relieving a colic by means of a large dose of dissolved verdigrease, is driving out one devil by means of another.

John Harrison of Mount Street in the parish of St George gave evidence at an inquest in London: -
'Information taken this fourth day of May 1789 at the Parish of St. George Hanover Square within the Liberty of Westminster in the County of Middlesex upon an Inquisition touching the Death in the said Parish Liberty and county. John Harrison of Mount Street in the Parish of St. George Hanover Square, Surgeon, on his Oath saith That he this Day Examined the Body of William Richards the Deceased and found the Symptoms of Extravasauim over the whole head which was the Ocassion of Deceased's Death.'
Subsequently, Harrison disappears from the records.


  1. Mrs Jane Budworth buried in St Martin's churchyard 16 March 1780
  2. Christopher Buckle 'of Burrough' buried at Banstead 17 January 1783.
  3. William Sanxay, lawyer, of Middle Temple, baptised Sutton on 3 February 1757, married Matilda Clerke 'of the parish' at St Martin's, Epsom, 19 January 1786. She was a daughter of Dr John Clerke M D formerly of The Stone House.They all lived at Woodcote End [Lehmann 13C9]. Sanxay died 15 October 1813 and was buried in Sutton, described as of Woodcot Green, Epsom.
  4. Elizabeth, daughter of Charles and Sarah Greenfield, was christened at St Martin's, 10 July 1768.
  5. Esau Archer and Elizabeth had brought a son, John, for baptism at St Martin's on 9 July 1780.
  6. MI St Martin's Churchyard
    "Here Rests the Remains of MRS. MARY PRICE who died October the 7th 1769 In the 71st Year of Her Age. Also the Body of the Revd. MR. JOHN PRICE her beloved Husband is deposited with her. He departed this Life August the 14th 1782 In the 82nd Year of his Age After Having Enjoyed the Vicarage of the Parish of Epsom 57 Years."
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O'Kelly Racing
O'Kelly Racing
Nonsuch Mansion
Nonsuch Mansion
New Stables
New Stables