[Peter Mark Roget, compiler of 'Roget's Thesaurus', as Secretary to the Medical and Chirurgical Society.] Autograph Letter Signed ('P. M. Roget') to the London bankers W. & T. Raikes & Co, regarding 'specimens of Drugs' and 'Medical Communications'.

P. M. Roget [Peter Mark Roget] (1779-1869), physician and lexicographer, compiler of the celebrated 'Roget's Thesaurus' [W. & T. Raikes & Co, London bankers; Medical and Chirurgical Society]
Publication details: 
39 Bernard Street, Russell Square [London]. 8 February 1820.
SKU: 21442

2pp, 4to. On bifolium, the verso of the second leaf of which is addressed to 'Messrs. W & T. Raikes & Co.', and endorsed: '1820 | Dr. P. M Roget | Bernard St – 8 febry | receiving 9 do | Answered Ditto'. In good condition, lightly aged, with thin strip of paper from stub adhering to one edge. The letter is headed 'To Messrs. W. & Thos. Raikes & Co.' (Thomas Raikes was the noted dandy and diarist.) An interesting letter highlighting the connection between commerce and medical research in Regency London. Roget begins by acknowledging the receipt of the firm's letter, 'with the packet of Medical Communications which accompanied it'. He explains that he and 'Mr Earle' are secretaries of the Medical & Chirurgical Society, rather than the College of Physicians, and states that he has 'directed the poster' to leave at the Society's house, at 20 Lincoln's Inn Fields, the 'box containing the specimens of Drugs', 'till future orders'. He continues: 'I presume it is your wish that the Medical Communications should be laid before the Society, together with the specimens; and shall accordingly not fail to do so at their next meeting, which will be on the 29th. inst. - I shall not however open them till I am authorised to do so by you.' If the 'Communications' are found to be 'in a form proper for publication', the Society's council may decide that they could be printed in the 'Medico-Chirurgical Transactions'. He ends by asking if the firm has 'any objection to their being given to the public in that mode'. From the distinguished autograph collection of Richard Hunter, son of Ida Macalpine, whose collection of 7000 books relating to psychiatry is in Cambridge University Library. Macalpine and Hunter had a particular interest in the illness of King George III, and their book 'George III and the Mad Business' (1969) suggested the diagnosis of porphyria popularised by Alan Bennett in his play 'The Madness of George III'.