[John Johnstone, physician and biographer of Samuel Parr.] Autograph Letter Signed ('J Johnstone'), concurring with 'Mr Pott' (i.e. the surgeon Percivall Pott) on the treatment of the recipient's 'complaint'.

John Johnstone (1768-1836), physician and biographer of his friend Samuel Parr, physician to the Birmingham general hospital [Percivall Pott (1714-1788), celebrated surgeon]
Publication details: 
Worcester; 6 Sept [1786].
SKU: 21774

2pp, 4to. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged, with thin strip of paper from mount adhering to reverse of second leaf, which is endorsed 'Docr. Johnstone | 6 Sep. 1786'. The recipient is not named. Twenty-eight lines of text, beginning: 'Dr Sir | I got home tuesday night and sent my son over to Mr Pott, to let him know your wishes. He answered he was engaged every day to dinner, and could not fix any particular time to be at Malvern. Having met him to day, her adds to the above, that he will endeavour to see you before he leaves the Country, and will also take an opportunity of conversing with me concerning your complaints; But says he has nothing to propose but quiet, & least of all any operation, or attempt to cut away the tumour, in which he has the entire concurrence of one [i.e. Johnstone himself], who is sure such a measure would greatly shorten your life, & take away its remaining comforts.' He has not heard from him, but hopes his 'little patient is better'. He is sure he has 'nothing to fear from any thing I have yet observexv nf d in his constitution, which under a prudent abstinence from unnecessary interposition, and the judicious adaptation of such medicines as may be occasionally proper, will I dare say improve'. In a postscript he states that he has prepared 'A small quantity of Essence of Pepper mint and a bottle of Laudanum', before sending his 'compts to Mr Young'. From the distinguished autograph collection of the psychiatrist Richard Alfred Hunter (1923-1981), whose collection of 7000 works relating to psychiatry is now in Cambridge University Library. Hunter and his mother Ida Macalpine 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'.