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LONDON, SATURDAY, MAY 30,1846.
THE QUACKS AND THEIR ABETTORS.
DR. RICHARD BRIGHT, the " chief physician of Guy’s," stillsilently permits HOLLOWAY, the quack of Temple Bar, to adver-tise him as the sworn patron of his pills and ointment. His
taciturnity upon the subject, when publicly arraigned by one ofthe organs of professional opinion, is one of the most insultingaffronts which has ever been offered to the profession. Not
only has he remained silent, but he has ostensibly done nothingto separate himself from his unnatural alliance. Dr. LococK,with a higher professional rank than that of Dr. BRIGHT,thought it not beneath him to clear his name from the sus-picion of connivance at quackery. This physician was able toquote the opinion of his legal adviser, to the effect that no
legal proceeding would be adequate to reach his case. Wethought Dr. LOCOCK should have made the attempt, and wethink so still; but we rendered him just credit for his publiclyexpressed anxiety to stand acquitted in the eyes of his
brethren. But Dr. BRIGHT could have no such excuse, for we
declared to him the clear reading of the law relating to hiscase, and we showed, from the Law Reports, that a humble
country,clergyman, with a higher sense of his personal andprofessional dignity than pertains to the metropolitan physi-cian, prosecuted to a verdict the magistrate who suffered anillegal and extra-judicial oath to be taken before him, in amatter involving the professional character of the clergyman.Instead of asserting his own honour, and the honour of theprofession, when the remedy was at hand, Dr. BRIGHT hassuffered judgment to go by default, and the profession may notbe slow to pronounce their verdict. Let Dr. BRIGHT pro-ceed a little longer in his untoward course, and his brethren,instead of seeking him as the consulting physician, may avoidhim as the ally or the willing victim of the quack. The com-
munications we constantly receive from all parts of the coun-try, give us to know that such is the tendency of profes-sional feeling. We promise Dr. BRIGHT that we will followthe matter so closely and doggedly, that unless he alters hisline of conduct, he shall be more remembered as the utensilof HOLLOWAY the quack, than as the distinguished physician.We are but too much grieved that a man, who has in past yearslaboured so worthily and well for a good fame, should jeopardizeit in such an ignoble field.We give a string of advertisements, culled from the
newspaper columns, devoted to this notorious professorialhumbug. One word, in passing, on the mode in which
quack certificates of cure are obtained. Some of the quackestablishments keep a flash hand, purposely to concoct
testimonials, and obtain signatures thereto. It will be seen,from the advertisements we give, and the hundred others tobe seen in almost every newspaper published, that the extra-ordinary nostrums whose virtues they set forth, as readilycure a pimple as an apoplexy, an asthma as an ulcer, a dys-pepsia as a dropsy: ague or inflammation, chapped hands orcancer, a bunion or a bilious fever, disappear with equalfacility before their miraculous virtues. One advertisement
modestly ends with " rheumatism, lumbago, likewise piles."The genius of their inventor grasps the poles, and embraces
the two hemispheres in his benevolent aspirations. At one
time he aims at the East Indies, under the guise of his in.fallible pills for " dysentery, cholera, jaundice, and liver com-plaints ;" at another, the West Indies are captured by theointment, " a certain remedy for the bite of moschettoes,sand-flies, chigo-root, yaws, and coco-bay." The whole noso-
logy is at the feet of Dr. BRIGHT’S pilular and unguental hero.He has seized on Cullen, body and soul, from CLASS I., PYREXIÆ;Order I., febres; Genus, interntittenta; Species, tertiana; toCLASS IV., LOCALES; Order VIII., dyalyses; Species, vulnuset ulcus.
Testimonial No. 1 is from a poor broken-down Irish earl,who, in a fit of fatuity, seems to have taken HOLLOWAY for hishousehold god, and looks to " another box of pills and a pot ofointment" as the Lares and Penates of the Villa Messina. Our
nobility could not fall into this state of imbecility, and so con-stantly become the dupes and prey of quackery, if the physi.cians and surgeons in high practice were themselves pure anduntainted.
(No. 1.)"THE EARL OF ALDBOROUGH CURED OF A LIVER AND STOMACH
Extract of a Letter from his Lordship, dated Villa Messina,Leghorn, 21st February, 1845.
TO PROFESSOR HOLLOWAY.
SIR,—Various circumstances prevented the possibility of mythanking you before this time for your politeness in sendingme your pills as you did. I now take this opportunity of send-ing you an order for the amount, and, at the same time, to addthat your pills have effected a cure of a disorder in my liverand stomach, which all the most eminent of the faculty athome, and all over the Continent, had not been able to effect;nay, not even the waters of Carlsbad and Marienbad. I wishto have another box and a pot of the ointment, in case any ofmy family should ever require either.
Your most obliged and obedient servant,’
Testimonial No. 2 is from a so-called proprietor of a news-paper. It is an Irish testimonial, and this is, perhaps, theexcuse for the statement that our army was " many years" inCabull. N.B. the particularity with which the prices are men-tioned. We have no doubt pills and ointment may be had" at our office," and that the profits of quack medicines andquack advertisements are a very considerable item to theArmagh Guardian.
(No. 2.)" CURE OF A CONFIRMED ASTHMA, ACCOMPANIED WITH GREAT
Extract of a Letter from John Thompson, Esq., Proprietor ofthe Armagh Guardian, Arrraagla, 17th April, 1846.
TO PROFESSOR HOLLOWAY.
SIR,-There is at present living in this city, a sergeant, whohad been for many years in the army at Cabull, in the EastIndies, from whence he returned in September last. On hisway here, from the change of weather of a tropical to a moistclimate, he caught a very violent cold, which produced a con-firmed case of asthma. In December last, he commenced takingyour pills, and by the use of two lls. boxes, with two 4s. 6d.pots of your ointment, well rubbed into his breast, he is, I amhappy to say, not only quite cured of the asthma, but is also be-come so strong and vigorous, that he informed me yesterdayhe could now run round the Mall with any person in the city,and that he never got any medicine equal to your pills andointment. (Signed) J. THOMPSON."
Testimonial No. 3 is from another of the " gentlemen of thepress," who do what they can for the discredit of our profes-sion, and the disgrace of their own. There is not a fouler blot
upon the literature of the age than the tendency among men,who live by the pen, whether of high or low estate, to fosterand support quackery of all kinds.
607DR. BRIGHT AND HOLLOWAY.
(No. 3.)FIFTY ULCERS CURED IN’ SIX wEETi9.
Extract of a Letter from John Martin, Esq., Chronicle office,Tobago, West Indies.
February 4th, 1845.TO PROFESSOR HOLLOWAY.
SIR,—I beg to inform you, that the inhabitants of this island,especially those who cannot afford to employ medical gentle-men, are very anxious of having your astonishing medicineswithin their reach, from the immense benefits some of themhave derived from their use, as they have been found here, inseveral cases, to cure sores and ulcers of the most malignantand desperate kind. One gentleman in this island, who had,I believe, about fifty running ulcers about his legs, arms, andbody, who had tried all other medicines before the arrival ofyours, but all of which did him no good; but yours cured himin about six weeks, and he is now, by their means alone, quiterestored to health and vigour.
(Signed) JOHN MARTIN."
Testimonial No. 4 is from Dr. RICHARD BRIGHT. Ely-placeis, of course, a subterfuge,—there neither is, nor was, any Dr.RICHARD BRIGHT, a " celebrated physician," at "Ely-place."
This spot is too small for two celebrities ; and the hommo-pathic quack-Dr. CURIE, was long the chief Curer and Healerof Ely-place. Thousands know the name of Dr. RICHARD
BRIGHT who do not know his location in Savile-row, andnever give him the benefit of an alibi. As far as public injuryis concerned, he might as well have given the testimonial ashave allowed it to pass current without interruption.
(No. 4.)" THE TESTIMONY OF DR. BRIGHT, OF ELY-PLACE, HOLBORN, AS TOTHE EXTRAORDINARY POWER OF HOLLOWAY’S OINTMENT IN- THECURE OF ULCERATED SORES.
Extract of a letterfrorn the above celebrated physician.To PROFESSOR HOLLOWAY.—SIR: I think it but an act of
justice to inform you, that I have tried your ointment inseveral old cases of ulcerated sore legs, which for a consider-able time had resisted every kind of treatment, but whichwere afterwards effectually cured by its use. In the treat-ment of bad breasts, I have also found your ointment of thegreatest service. Indeed, from my practical knowledge, Iconceive it to be a most invaluable remedy.
(Signed) ’ RICHARD BRIGHT, M.D.’ "
Testimonial No. 5 is from a modest lieutenant, who desireshis "piles, fistulas, and bearings-down," to be anonymous, butis too benevolent to hide the pills and ointment under abushel.
(No. 5.)"PILES, FISTULAS, AND BEARINGS-DOWN.
A remarkable cure by these pills and ointment.A half-pay lieutenant, lately residing at St. Helier’s, Jersey,
whose name by request is omitted, had for three years sufferedfrom piles and fistula, besides a general bearing-down, of themost distressing nature. He had twice undergone an opera-tion, but to no purpose, and at last gave himself up to despair.Yet, notwithstanding this complication of complaints, to-gether with a debilitated constitution, he was completelycured of all his infirmities, and restored to the full enjoymentof health, by these justly-renowned medicines, when everyother means had failed."
Testimonial No. 6 is from a Wesleyan minister, and certifiesthat the pills made " a poor man" " quite another man :" wehope they made him a rich man. We certainly advise theRev. DAVID WILLIAMS to try a box, and should be glad toknow they had made him " quite another man." The Con-
ference should certainly send him a supply of pills. We haveheard it is common for outlaws and deserters to take these
"invaluable medicines" and return to their homes secure
against all detection.
(No. 6.)A CURE OF ASTHMA AND SHORTNESS OF BREATH.
Extract of a letterfrom the Rev. David Williams, resident Wes-leyan minister at Beaumaris, Island of A nglesea, North Wales,Jan. 14th, 1845.-To Professor Holloway.SIR,—The pills which I requested you to send me were for
a poor man of the name of Hugh Davis, who, before he tookthem, was almost unable to walk for the want of breath, andhad only taken them a few days, when he appeared quiteanother man ; his breath is now easy and natural, and he isincreasing daily in strength.
(Signed) DAVID WILLIAMS."
Testimonial No. 7 is from a gentleman of "literary pur-suits," who has evidently given the testimonial less in con-sideration for his " bowels" than a gratuitous advertisement ofthe " Book of the Bastiles, &c., &c."
(No. 7.)" A CURE OF INDIGESTION AND CONSTIPATION OF THE BOWELS.
Copy of a letter from G. R. Wythen Baxter, Esq., Author of the"Book of the Bastiles," &c. &,c. The Brynn, near New-town,Montgomeryshire, North Wales, fflarch 3rd, 1845.-To Pro-fessor Holloway.SIR,—I consider it my duty to inform you, that your pills-
a few boxes of which I purchased at Mr. Moore’s, druggist, ofNewtown—have cured me of constant indigestion and consti-pation of the bowels, which application to literary pursuitshad long entailed upon me. I should strongly recommendauthors, and studiously-disposed persons generally, to use
your valuable pills. You have my permission to publish thisnote, if you wish to do so.-I am, Sir, your most obedientservant, (Signed) G. R. WYTHEN BAXTER."
Testimonial No. 8 is from a canting bootmaker, respectinghis wife, who probably has no existence save in the imagina-tion of the professional puffer of the Temple-bar establish-ment. Some of our readers may perhaps understand theanatomy of the " several pieces of bone," said to have comefrom the mammary gland of this wonderful woman. Weconfess she is to us a lusus naturm.
(No. 8.)" CANCERED BREAST-A WONDERFUL CIRCUMSTANCE.
Copy of a Letter from R. Bull, Bootmaker, Tatton, nearSouthampton.
February gth, 1845.TO PROFESSOR HOLLOWAY.
SIR,-The Lord has permitted to be wrought a wonderfulcure of Cancers or Abscesses, of twelve years’ standing, inmy wife’s breast. In the latter part of the time, elevenwounds were open at once. The Faculty declared the caseas past cure ; several pieces of bone had come away, and Iexpected that my poor wife would soon have been taken fromme. It was then that a friend recommended the use of yourPills and Ointment, which, to our utter astonishment, in thespace of about three months, healed-up the breast as soundlyas ever it was in her life.-I shall ever remain your mostgrateful and obedient servant,
(Signed) RICHARD BULL."
Testimonial No. 9 is from "one of the greatest sufferers in the
world," who, after taking about eighteen hundred pills, suffersno longer from " short breath." His testimonial, we should
think, would cause many people, sick and well, to draw a
" long breath" after its perusal.
(No. 9.)" WHEEZING ON THE CHEST, AND SHORTNESS OF BREATH.
Copy of a Letter from Mr. Jeremiah Casey, -No. 1, Compton-place,Compton-street, Brunswick-square, London, April 25th, 1845.
TO PROFESSOR HOLLOWAY.
SIR,—I beg to inform you, that I believe I had been, formore than three years, one of the greatest sufferers in theworld with Chronic Asthma. For. weeks together my breathwas frequently so short that I was afraid every moment of
608 DR. BRIGHT AND HOLLOWAY.
being choked with phlegm. I never went into a bed; veryoften, indeed, I have been obliged to pass the night withoutbeing able to recline sufficiently to lay my head on a table,least I should be suffocated. No one thought I should liveover the winter, nor did I expect it myself ; but I am happyto say that I am now able to work from morning t.o night; andthat I sleep as well as ever I did in my life; and this miracle(I may say) was effected by rubbing your invaluable Ointmenttwice a day into my chest, and taking ten of your Pills at bed.time, and ten again in the morning, for about three months.(Signed) JEREMIAH CASEY:’
Testimonial No. 10 is from a chemist and druggist, whom werecommend, with many others of the same trade, to the at-tention of the Pharmaceutical Society.
(No. 10.)A WONDERFUL CURE OF DROPSY OF FIVE YEARS’ STANDING.
Copy of a Letter from Mr. Thomas Taylor, Chemist,Stockton, Durham, 17th April, 1845.
TO PROFESSOR HOLLOWAY.
SIR,—I think it my duty to inform you that Mrs. Clough,wife of Mr. John Clough, a respectable farmer of Acklam,within four miles of this place, had been suffering from Dropsyfor five years, and had had the best medical advice withoutreceiving any relief. Hearing of your Pills and Ointment,she used them with such surprising benefit, that, in fact, shehas now given them up, being so well, and quite able to attendto her household duties as formerly, which she never expectedto do again. I had almost forgotten to state that she wasgiven up by the Faculty as incurable. When she used to getup in the morning, it was impossible to discover a feature inher face, being in such a fearful state. This cure is entirelyby the use of your medicines.-I am, Sir, yours, &c. &c.,
(Signed) THOMAS TAYLOR."
Testimonial No. 11-but they are like Banquo’s kings, andwe’ll " see no more." The last shall be the great Bright affi-davit.
(No. 11.)" HOLLOWAY’S OINTMENT and PILLS.-ENTRA-
ORDINARY CURE of a CASE abandoned by Guy’s, theMetropolitan, King’s-College, and Charing-Cross Hospitals.This fact was sworn to this 8th day of March, 1842, beforethe Right Hon. the Lord Mayor, at the Mansion House.Summary of affidavit. - William Brooke, Aiessenger, of
2, Union-street, Southwark, London, maketh oath and saith,he (the deponent) was afflicted with fifteen running ulcers onhis left arm, and ulcerated sores and wounds on both legs, forwhich deponent was admitted an out-door patient at theMetropolitan Hospital, in April, 1841, where lie continuedfor nearly four weeks. Unable to receive a cure there, thedeponent sought relief at the three following hospitals :-King’s-College Hospital, in May, for five weeks; Guy’s Hos-pital, in July, for six weeks; and at Charing-Cross Hospital, atthe end of August, for some weeks more ; which deponentleft, being in a far worse condition than when he had quittedGuy’s, where Sir Bransby Cooper, and other medical officersof the establishment, had told deponent that the only chanceof saving his life was to lose his arm ! The deponent there-upon called upon Dr. Bright, chief physician of Guy’s, who,on viewing deponent, kindly and liberally said, I am utterlyat a loss 2vli.at to do for you ! but here is half a sovereign : go toMr. Holloway, and try what effect his Pills and Ointment willhave, as I have frequently witnessed the wonderfitl effects theyhave in desperate cases. You can let me see you again.’ Thisunprejudiced advice was followed by the deponent, and aperfect cure was effected in three weeks, by the use alone ofHolloway’s Pills and Ointment, after four hospitals hadfailed !! When Dr. Bright was shown by the deponent theresult of his advice and charity, he said, ’I ant both astoundedand delighted ! for I thought that if ever I saw you again, alive,it would be without your arm. I can only compare t7tis cure to acharm ! ! !’-Sworn at the Mansion House of the City of Lon-don, this 8th day of March, 1842, before me,
JOHN PIRIE, Mayor."There is a mawkish feeling abroad that quacks must not be
noticed, because of the publicity given them by the notices.They are welcome to the benefit of any notoriety we give them.The publicities of quackery have reached such a pass, that it is
to be hoped publicity will come to be of less and less value.And this is really the case: many of the advertisers are findingout that single advertisements " don’t tell," therefore they areseen in strings, repeated over and over again in the samepaper on the same day. This is a good sign. But even if it
were otherwise, and a temporary good were given to quackeryby the publicity incident to opposition, our duty, and the dutyof all honest men, is clear; the system is dangerous to thepublic health, perversive of public morals, and a robbery ofthe medical profession; as such, it must be battled with tillit is abated.
But our reason for inserting these advertisements is, thatwe may ask the question of our readers, in what respectis Dr. BRIGHT better than JEREMIAH CASEY, or BULL the boot-maker, or WYTHEN BAXTER, or the EARL OF ALDBOROUGH, orany of the fools or knaves we have placed on record ? Isnot the axiom that a man is known by the company he keepsapplicable here as elsewhere ? Has not Dr. BRIGHT willinglybemired himself when the way of purification and escape wasclear. Dr. BRIGHT is, by his obstinate silence, daily forcingpersons, in and out of the profession, to the belief that he didaddress the man BROOKE to HOLLOwAY, and that he did givehim the half-sovereign to buy pills and ointment with. The
remarkable point, on perusing these advertisements, is, thatthe BRIGHT contribution is the most odious and glaring of thewhole,-the trump-card of this monstrous quackery. The ulti-mate question is-Will the general body of the profession,suffering as it does from quackery on all hands, sanction a manwho, like Dr. BRIGHT, gives the consent of silence, when hisname is so glaringly involved in the support of quackery ?-orwill they not pass a sentence of professional outlawry uponhim!
On the 27th of June, the commemoration-day of the illus-trious HARVEY, the Harveian Oration is to be delivered byDr. ELLIOTSON. After the Oration, the Fellows, with a dis-,
tinguished party of guests, are to dine together, in the
dining-hall of the College of Physicians. Dr. BRIGHT,who has been twice Censor and twice Consiliarius,- whois, we believe, a president-elect, and who is the covert allyof the grossest quackery of the day, will of course be there.At this commemoration of HARVEY, who loved his professionbeyond life or lands, Dr. BRIGHT will have to sit at meat be-fore the offended shades of LINACRE and the other noble minds
who founded the College of Physicians for the promotion ofphysic and the destruction of quackery. By his side at theboard, a vacant seat should be left for the Genius of HOLLOWAY,.with whose name his own has been so long connected. But
even without this, to look at Dr. BRIGHT will be sufficient tosuggest the pill-and-ointment monger to the assembled Fellowsand their guests, unless he should previously repudiate the un-liallowed connexion.
WE propose, on the present occasion, to give a more succinctaccount than we have hitherto done, of the manner in whichthe medals of the Royal Society have of late years been dis-tributed, in those branches of science collateral to medicine.We have already dwelt largely upon the merits of some ofthe parties who have obtained medals, and we shall now chieflyconfine ourselves to the singular manner in which the Council,in making the awards, have constantly broken their own regu-lations.
609THE YÈDALS (5F THE RftATj 9(iC*,’TFTV.I
We take up the time after the accession of WILLIAM THEFOURTH, when that monarch restored the foundation of the
Royal medals, originally granted by his predecessor, GEORGETHE FOURTH. The official communication to the Royal Societystated that-" Two gold medals, of the value of fifty guineas each, shall
henceforth be awarded, on the day of the anniversary meet-ing of the Royal Society, on each ensuing year, for the mostimportant discoveries in any one principal subject or branchof knowledge."
It lay with the Council to frame proper regulations as tothe manner in which the royal gift should be administered.They forthwith inserted the following notice at the com-mencement of the Philosophical Tramaction8:-" The Council propose to give one of the Royal medals, in
the year 1836, to the most important paper in Animal Physio-logy communicated to the Royal Society for insertion in theirTransactions, after the present date, (May 13th, 1833,) andprior to the month of June, in the year 1836."
In the year 1836, the medal, as our readers already know,was awarded to Mr. NEWPORT. In the Presidential address it
was stated that,-" The Royal medal for the present year, which the Council
had proposed to give to the most important paper on AnimalPhysiology, communicated to the Royal Society within thelast three years, is awarded to GEORGE NEWPORT, Esq., forhis series of investigations on the Anatomy and Physiology ofInsects, contained in his two papers published in the Philo-sophical Transactions, within that period."We have already shown that the second of these papers
was not published till March, 1837, so that the Duke of SussExwas made to utter a positive falsehood, when he said that thispaper had been " published within the period." It had neither
been read nor published when he gave Mr. NEWPORT themedal. But there was a further irregularity; the notice of IIthe Council sets forth distinctly, that papers competing forthis medal were to be communicated for insertion in the
Transactions "prior to the month of June, in the year 1836." ,,
The paper, as published in the Transactions, is headed with I
the words, " Received and read, (i. e., the title,) June 16th,1836." This is the Royal Society’s reading of " prior to
It has been mentioned that Mr. KIERKAN felt himself
aggrieTed at the award of the Royal medal to Mr. NEWPORT.The Council had already awarded the Copley medal for theyear 1836 to Professor BERZELIUS. They, however, made asecond Copley medal for that year to pacify Mr. KIERNAN.Mr. BAILY, the celebrated astronomer, (a good authority,) said,that " the Council committed one blunder, and then com-mitted a second, to hide the first."On the demise of WiLLiAM THE FOURTH, the Royal medals
were announced to be continued by his successor, in the fol-lowing terms :-"Her Majesty Queen Victoria, in restoring the foundation
of the Royal medals, has been graciously pleased to approveof the following regulations for the award of them :-
" That the Royal medals be given for such papers only ashave been presented to the Royal Society, and inserted in theirTransactions." That in case no paper coming within these stipulations
should be considered deserving of the Royal medal in anygiven year, the Council have the power of awarding suchmedal to the author of any other paper, or other of theseveral subjects forming the cycle that may have been pre-sented to the Society, and inserted in their Transactions, pre-ference being given to the subjects of the year immediatelypreceding: the award in such case being subject to the appro-bation of her Majesty."
The Royal medal for 1842 was given to Mr. BOWMAN, forhis paper
" On the Structure and Use of the MaJpighianbodies of the Kidney, with observations on the circulationthrough this gland :’ This paper was received Feb. 14th, read
Feb. 17th, 1842, and published in the first part of the Philo-sophical Transactions for 1842. Dr. TODD, Mr. BOWMAN’S friendand colleague, was, we believe, a member of the Physio-logical Committee, and was also the referee of Mr. BOwMAN’s.paper.
In 1843, the Royal medal not having been awarded in thedepartment of mineralogy and geology, was awarded in thatof physics to Professor WHEATSTONE, for his paper, " On anAccount of several new Instruments and Processes for deter-
mining the Constants of a Voltaic Circuit :’ We mention thispaper, because one of Dr. LEE’s papers was put in competitionwith it for the medal. It deserves to be noted, that Mr.WHEATSTONE was at this time a member of the Council, and,consequently, ineligible to the medal. Further, this paper ofProfessor W]JEATSTOI-VE’S was received and read June 15,184’,and published as the Bakerian Lecture, at the end of thesecond part of the Philosophical Transactions, which was notprinted till 1844! This award comes under the exceptionalclause, that in case no paper on the subject named by theCouncil shall be thought worthy of the medal in any givenyear, it shall be given in another section; but here, also, thereis the bar, " and inserted in their Transactions." The regu-lation states, that a medal given under its provisions is " sub-ject to the approbation of her Majesty." Has this award
been submitted to her llTajesty? Would she be likely, pro-perly advised, to approve of a medal given in direct violationof regulations which she has already " been pleased to ap-prove of" ? î
The medal irregularly awarded to Mr. BECK in 1845, hasbeen sufficiently discussed. Like some of the others, it wasawarded, in violation of the regulations, before the paper hadeither been read or printed. Up to this time it has not beenpublished. It could not wait for the Royal medal in phy-siology, but it can wait many months, as Mr. BECK says, "inconsequence of the time required to engrave the drawing:’The particular and suspicious blunders connected with thismedal we have already commented on. If its holder had
had a proper spirit, he would, before this, have returned thepremature medal to the Council, to "bide his time," and seewhether, when the legal day of award had arrived, his labourswould have stood the test of examination and discussion.
Such are some of the irregularities connected with the dis-tribution of the medals and rewards of the Society during theROGET secretaryship. If all other circumstances were free
from suspicion, the constant infringement of their own lawswould be sufficient to vitiate the awards which have been
made; this alone would be a source of suspicion; but, coupledas it is with other acts of the darkest character, it is not
surprising that there should be in the profession but one mindand one voice of condemnation respecting the matter.The proceedings of the medical section for the last nineteen
years are everywhere viewed with distrust. We put it to theMarquis of NORTHAMPTON, whether these things do not callimperatively for a change 1 Is it to consult the true in-
terests of the Royal Society to allow the same hands to re-main at the helm after they have piloted the noble vessels socarelessly amongst shallows and quicksands. We, and the pro-
fession, and the public, recognise one individual who has wit-nessed all these things,-who has borne a part in all thetransactions we have been called upon, in this and former
articles, to criticise and denounce, and who has made no con-scientious interference for the defence of the honour of the
Royal Society. Presidents have died and changed, junior,secretaries have given place to new men, councils have againand again been renewed, and even the Physiological Committeehas been newly organized; Dr. ROGET, the senior Secretary,the principal acting officer of the Royal Society, has alone re-mained, and to him, chiefly, will his contemporaries and pos-terity look as the responsible individual during the medicalcabals of his too long secretaryship.
WYKE-HOUSE LUNATIC ASYLUM,BRENTFORD.
TO THERIGHT HONOURABLE LORD ASHLEY,
AND THE OTHER
COMMISSIONERS OF LUNACY.MY LORD AND &ENTLEMZN,—
IT is not without the most mature consideration, and themost perfect conviction as to the public necessity of drawingyour attention to the subjoined narration, that I at lengthresolve to do so. I shall be minute in relating the variousfacts, in order, on my part, to make the statement so completeas to render no point doubtful or obscure concerning thepatient whose malady and treatment are described.On the 7th of August, 1845, my husband, Dr. John
Sheridan, the highly-gifted editor of the .Morning Adve;-tiser,was taken to Wyke-House Lunatic Asylum, at Isleworth, nearBrentford, under the following circumstances:-Two days previously to the above date, he had been brought
to his house, No. 1, Rodney-street, Pentonville, by Dr. SheltonMackenzie, of Grafton-street, Fitzroy-square, in a state of thehighest delirium. Dr. Sheridan had left home on the morn-ing of that day, in a very excited condition, after a journeyfrom Boulogne on the evening before. He required personalrestraint when conveyed to Rodney-street by Dr. Mackenzie;indeed, in about an hour from that time, he suddenly seizedan opportunity to throw himself out of the window of thefirst floor, but fortunately without receiving any personalinjury. Shortly afterwards, Dr. Costello, the proprietorof Wyke-House, was sent for, and came at three o’clockin the afternoon, and, immediately on seeing Dr. Sheridan,wished him to be removed from home. Dr. M’Cann,of Parliament-street, surgeon, also saw Dr. Sheridan, butdid not assent to this desire, believing Dr. Sheridanonly to be labouring under delirium tremens, the effects ofwhich would disappear when he had been treated for thatdisease. Dr. Costello considered that the residence at homewould keep up the excitement; Dr. M’Cann thought that astrange place would renew or increase it. Sir AlexanderAf orisoii, M.D., of Cavendish-square, was also consulted, andcoincided with Mr. Richard Martin, a barrister, who was preysent, in the opinion that his removal from home was essential,Mr. Martin, who was a friend of Dr. Sheridan, at once assum-ing all the responsibility of’ that proceeding. Mr. Fergusson,of Dover-street, Piccadilly, surgeon to King’s-College Hos-pital, also saw him, and pronounced him to be in a very dan-gerous state. On Sir Alexander Morison’s recommendationof removal, it was agreed by Mr. Martin, (and, at that stage,by Dr. M’Cann,) that Dr. Sheridan should be removed fromhome, and taken to Wyke-House. I remarked, that as Dr.Sheridan’s brother was expected instantly from Ireland, itwere better not to remove Dr. Sheridan from home before hearrived; but Mr. Martin resolutely opposed this proposal,again repeated that he would take all responsibility uponhimself, and, in the afternoon, told me that he held a paperon the subject, which it was necessary for me to sign,-a legaldocument, as it proved to be, for consigning my husband tothe charge of Dr. Costello, at Wyke-House. Having laid iton the table, Mr. Martin asked me if he should fill up theblanks. I replied that that was of no consequence, as I woulddo so myself, he remaining t my elbow, at the drawing-room
table, while I filled it up, and signed it, as he requested, re-marking, however, that if symptoms of change occurred inDr. Sheridan, I hoped that he might not be removed fromhome; but a keeper from Dr. Costello’s establishment wasthen in the house, and remained in attendance upon Dr.Sheridan until Thursday, the 7th, when, at eight o’clockin the evening, Dr. Sheridan was conveyed in a cab to thatplace. At twelve o’clock on that day a great change had oc-curred in the symptoms of the malady. The raving had gra-dually subsided, and he became tranquil and powerless. Icalled Mr. Martin’s attention to the alteration, and hoped thatas a change, and to such an extent, had taken place, he wouldnot think of removing him. I repeated the hope during allthe day, at different intervals, Mr. Martin, however, takingbut little notice of my entreaties. Dr. Sheridan grew weakerand weaker, and at length, in alarm, I thought he was dying.It was in this state that he was removed by Mr. Martin, who,with the keeper, accompanied Dr. Sheridan to Wyke-House.I have since heard the state which Dr. Sheridan was thenin, described as a state of "collapse and one in which it wascritically dangerous to remove him. I, however, thought thathe was in the best hands, and that all parties were acting in aspirit of the purest friendship. In fact, he was placed atWyke-House on the presumption that Dr. Costello was an oldfriend of the patient, without any previous inquiry being ableto be made by me into the nature of the institution, Ithinking, therefore, that Dr. Costello was better fitted than a,stranger to have the care of him. Four guineas per weekduring his residence at Wyke-]Efouse were to be paid for him,Mr. Martin and Mr. Murdo Young (Editor of the Sun eveningnewspaper) becoming the acting agents in the negotiation.About eleven days afterwards, namely, on the 18th of
August, I went to Wyke-House, and there saw Mrs. Costello,and the manager, Mr. Cox, Mr. Martin having shortly beforecalled on me, and stated that Dr. Sheridan was improving’under the treatment. Meantime, Mr. William Sheridan, thebrother of Dr. Sheridan, had come from Ireland, and been toWyke-House, subsequently telling me that my husband wasviolently excited against the establishment, and against him(Mr. S.) for leaving him in it,as he did not wish to remain there,because,-as he (Dr. Sheridan) subsequently told me,-he con-sidered that he was not properly attended to; indeed, that hewas shockingly neglected, and that he was left alone for hoursat a time, particularly at night, and, at times, when labouringunder the greatest thirst, without means of allaying it; some-times, also, being placed under bodily restraint, by means offastenings to the bed, &c. At this visit Mrs. Costello saidthat Dr. Costello was then from home, and that he hadleft word that Dr. Sheridan should not be seen by any visitorduring his absence. I mentioned the antipathy which Dr:Sheridan entertained to Wyke-House. In reply, Mrs. Cos-tello and Mr. Cox said that he was much better, and that forme to see him would only renew his excitement, and do harm.
I When Dr. Sheridan had been at Wyke-House exactly onefortnight, he was out of doors, walking, with a keeper, namedGeorge Farrington, whom he persuaded to let him go toLondon; whereupon they did both go to the Sun newspaperoffice, in the Strand, and there saw Mr. Young, at whose housethey slept on that night. On the next day, Dr. Slieridan (andafterwards the keeper) came to his house in Rodney-street,accompanied by Mr. Martin. On seeing Dr. Sheridan, I my-self thought him then not to be of sound mind. He talkedvehemently and excessively. Mr. Martin was anxious thatDr. Sheridan should go directly to Ireland, and it was settled,I believe at Mr. Young’s residence, that he and the keepershould both start for Ireland on the following morning. Thisresolve was taken on the grounds that Dr. Sheridan’s relationswere in Ireland.
Accordingly, on the next morning, (Saturday,) Farringtonand the Doctor went to that country, by railway and packet.They stayed at Stradbally, at the house of the brotherof Dr. Sheridan, a fortnight. While there, Mr. WilliamSheridan wrote to me, stating that his brother was stillvery ill, and much excited against several members of hisfamily. Induced by anxiety on his account, and on accountof two of my children, who were there with him, I went toIreland, reaching Stradbally on the lst of September. ButFarrington, I was informed, said that an interview betweenus would be likely to excite Dr. Sheridan disadvantageously;on which account I did not see him, but returned with mysons, first entreating Mr. Sheridan not, under any circum·stances, to replace his brother at Wyke-House ; whereupon,it was agreed that he should remain in Ireland until an asylumcould be provided for him at Hanwell, or some equallysuitable place.