Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors]

From Blackwood's Magazine. poraries suffered ; second, I shall say NOTES ON SCOTTISH MEDICINE IN THE something of the careers of some of DAYS OF QUEEN MARY.

the medical men who treated these EVERYTHING is of interest to Scot- cases ; and third, I shall select an illustish people, and indeed to many of other tration or two of the observations they lands, that throws additional light upon made, the theories which they held as the history of the career and times of to the nature of the morbid processes Mary. Stuart. Her career fascinates ; which came under their observation, and every fact in it has been amply and the lines of treatment which they discussed from many points of view. adopted. Her tinies were among the most important that our country has known. The The first illness that befell Queen days of Columba were great ; those of Mary, so far as I have been able to asQueen Margaret and the first David certain, was not in her childish days were of no little importance ; those of when she played at Linlithgow or at the heroic struggle against English ag- Inchmalome, nor in the days of her gression have always thrilled the heart girlish study, or young married life in of Scotland and the world, — but for France, but when the first cloud of sora fascination, none can compare with row had broken over her, and she had those of Mary. Her own great per- seen her father-in-law and her youthful sonality, with its perplexing problems husband die, and when her own mother

– those of Knox and Moray, and had passed away. Rather reluctantly Darnley and Bothwell — of Maitland of she had decided to return to Scotland, Lethington, of Morton, of the Hamil- and was making her way thither when tons, and among them, above all, the she was taken by fever, evidently au vigorous-minded John, Archbishop of ague of a tertian type, from which she St. Andrews — with Glencairn, Argyle, suffered for some time, and which led Huntly, Ruthven, and Rizzio -- with to a delay of her return. Elizabeth and her great minister Cecil, Two years later she suffered, towards and her astute representative at the the end of November, 1562, an attack Scottish court, Randolph — with Cath- of what I think every one will agree erine de Medicis, the Duke of Guise, must have been influenza. Thomas the Cardinal Lorraine — with Philip of Randolph or Randall, who was one of Spain, and Alva, and many more, the most zealous and able of Queen crowd the stage, and make the period Elizabeth's agents, and was long emattractive beyond any other historical ployed in Scotland in that capacity, epoch. It may be interesting, both to writes to Cecil : medical men and to readers in general,

May it please your honor, immediately to gather up some of the medical facts which are to be discovered among the upon the queen's arrival here she fell ac

quainted with a new disease that is comrecords of the great political events of mon in this town, called here the New

Acquaintance, which passed through her Some may ask what we can really get whole Court, neither sparing lori, lady, nor to know of medical matters in that damoiselle not so much as either French period, but it is surprising how many or English. It is a pain in their heads that points of interest emerge when one is have it, and a soreness in their stomachs, on the lookout for them. We rely not with a great cough that remaineth with so much upon stated medical works as some longer, with others shorter time, as it upon incidental references. But

findeth apt bodies for the nature of the

every here and there references do occur, and disease. The queen kept her bed six days :

there was no appearance of danger, nor I have gathered a few of them, and

many that die of the disease except some shall here present them in groups. old folks. My Lord of Murray is now presFirst, I shall give a short account of ently in it, the Lord of Liddington hath various illnesses from which Queen had it, and I am ashamed to say that I have Mary herself and some of her conten-I been free of it, seeing it seeketh acquaint

the day.


ance at all men's hands. By reason of these as a witch, and as such was able to occasions I have not seen her Grace since transfer the pains of labor to another she came to town.

-sometimes to a woman, or sometimes It can scarcely be doubted that this even to the husband, sometimes to a disease was influenza. It had appeared cat or a dog ; and if Andrew Lundie's suddenly ; it was common in the town ; information was correct, she had obliged it passed through the whole court, the queen on this occasion by transfersparing neither lord, lady, nor damoi- ring her pains to one of her court selte, and affecting alike the Scots, ladies. Chloroform is a great improveEnglish, and French. It was character- ment upon this method. ized by a pain in the head, by soreness

Queen Mary seems to have made a in the stomach, and by cough. And it good recovery, for within three months lasted longer or shorter time, according we find her able to do things that few to the constitution of the individual now could achieve. patient. In the queen's case it lasted

One of the most curious of all the six days. It was unattended by danger, illnesses which befell Queen Mary was for few died of it except old folks. that which happened in Jedburgh in Our ancestors seem to have been as the end of October, 1566. She had much impressed with the novelty of given birth to her son in Edinburgh the malady as others have been in more Castle on the 19th June, and in October recent times, and the name they gave

was so well as to be able to hold “ jusit - the New Acquaintance — is

tice airs,” or circuit courts, in some of suggestive as the name of intluenza, by

the Border towns. She reached Jedwhich it has come to be known in modi- burgh on the 9th of October, Various ern days. It is interesting to notice matters of business were transacted how this courtier misses his opportunity during the following week. On the of basking in the smiles of royalty, and 15th, Le Croc, the French ambassador, feels a polite regret that he has not arrived, and on the 16th, Mary made been able in this particular to be en- her famous ride to Hermitage Castle in tirely in the fashion.

order to visit the Earl of Both well, her I have not heard of any other illness lieutenant of the Marches. The distill those interesting days when Queen tance is twenty-three miles in a direct Mary had taken up her quarters in line, and she showed her vigor by ridthose apartments in the Castle with ing on horseback there and back in a which we are familiar, and was looking single day, a distance in all which must forward to the birth of her son.

Rich- have been at least sixty miles. The ard Bannatyne, who belonged to the mere bodily fatigue involved in such an household of our great reformer, states, expedition was enough to induce illunder date of July 3, 1571, that

ness ; but if mental emotion of the

keenest kind be superadded, we may Andro Lundie beand at dener with my well conceive how much the danger maister, in a place of the lard of Abbott

was increased. halls, called Falsyde, openlie affirmet for treuth, that when the quene was lying in with that kindliness of heart which was

Some authorities are of opinion that ieasing of the king, the Ladie Athole, lying thair: lykwayis, bayth within the castell of one of the leading features of the beauE linburgh, that he come thair for sum tiful queen, she hastened as soon as her busines, and called for the Ladie Reirres, official duties permitted to pay a visit of whome he fand in hir chalmer, lying bed- sympathy to her wounded lieutenant. fast, and he asking hir of hir disease, scho Both well was among the foremost of answrit that scho was never so trubled with her nobles. He was seven years her no barne that ever scho bair, ffor the Ladie senior, and, like her, had lived much Athole had cassin all the pyne of her child- abroad. He was familiar with Italy, birth vpon hir.

and especially with Venice, and, like Now it was well known at that time that every leading Scotsman of his day, the Countess of Athole possessed power knew France well, and was well known

[ocr errors]


to its statesmen. He held sway over the queen's brother, the Earl of Mogreat territories of the Borderland. ray ; and Nau roundly asserts that when From his castle at Dunbar to that of things were at their worst that nobleHailes, close by East Linton, on to man laid hands on her most precious Borthwick and thence along to Her- articles, such as her silver plate and mitage, the country was studded with jewels. Her condition was considered fortresses of which he was master, and so hopeless that mourning dresses were in her service this great noble had been ordered and arrangements were made wounded. What, say many, was more for the funeral ; some even declared natural and more characteristic than that she was actually dead. On oue that this gracious queen should pay him occasion she lost the power of speeche a visit of sympathy and condolence ? and had a severe fit of convulsions ; all

But others, reading the history by her limbs were drawn together, her the light of subsequent events, aver face was distorted, and her whole body that the queen's heart was already became cold. Her surgeon, Arnault, touched, and that, wife and mother however, refused to believe her dead, though she was, love had sprung up for having perceived some tokens of life in this strong, able, and accomplished her arms, and he adopted what is justly man who was destined to wreck her described as an extreme remedy in her fame. They point out how the weak, extreme

He bandaged very vain, vicious Darnley, on whom she tightly her great toes and her legs, from had lavished her wealth of love some the ankles upwards, and her arms ; and eighteen months before, had become he opened her mouth by force and hateful to her, and assert that tokens poured some wine into it. When she are not wanting that Bothwell had had recovered a little, he administered taken the place of which Darnley had other remedies, and pronounced the proved unworthy. They picture to results produced by them to be very themselves the struggle between duty suspicious ; but under this treatment and passion, and represent the queen she improved. One day during her as having at last yielded to the dictates illness she called together the loris that of her feelings - given the rein to folly, were in attendance upon her, and reand galloped off, regardless of appear- minded them of the importance of their ances and of every other deterring mutual union and agreement for the consideration. If this view be correct, good of the country and the safety of we can well understand what share the her son. She specially recommended tumultuous emotions of that day might him to their care, and to that of the have bad in the production of her ill. king of France. She caused prayers to ness.

be read, and disposed of herself as one With regard to the illness itself we near to death. have the record in considerable detail. We have various accounts of the On the 17th, the day after her famous events of these anxious days, and it ride, she was taken ill. The “ Diurnal appears that although she was never in of Occurrents says she was so heavily such extreme danger, yet she had for a vexed with hot fevers that no one week recurrences of vomitings and of thought she would live. The illness nervous seizures; and even after she set in with severe pain in the side, and had sufficiently recovered to make her confined her to bed. As it was referred way to Edinburgh by Teviotdale and to the spleen, we may infer it was in Berwickshire, slie vomited a quantity the left side. It was attended by very of corrupt blood, and then seemed to severe and often repeated vomiting. convalesce decidedly. Nau says she vomited more than sixty All the narratives leave us in some times ; this gave rise to a suspicion doubt as to the details of this formidaof poisoning, and some writers have ble illness, but certain of its features plainly said not only that poisoning had are unmistakably portrayed. She unoccurred, but that it was the work of I doubtedly had hiematemesis, but its

[ocr errors]



cause is not so clear. Six years before I tried by the events of her escape, by the she had suffered from tertian ague, and hasty ride to Niddry Tower and to Hamthe spleen miglit have been perma- ilton, and still more by the miserable nently enlarged in consequence ; but and lonely gallop over the moorland this would not explain such a hemor- hills of Lanarkshire and Dumfriesshire rhage. The hypothesis of irritant that followed the hopeless defeat at poisoning seems to have suggested it- Langside ; but I find no authentic acselt almost of necessity in every case of count of failing health till March, 1569, sudden death in those days, and one when Shrewsbury writes to Cecil : “ She cannot wonder, considering the symp- hath complained this fortnight of the toms of this illness, that it was sus- grief of the spleen, which my physician, pected here ; but what irritant poison Leveret, informeth me is . obstructio is there which couid lead to such hæ- splenis

flatu hyponcondrico,' matemesis and not prove fatal ? I do wherewith by times . . . she is ready not believe that such a poison exists. to swoon.” A month later her health Even if it were referable to poisoning, was evidently suffering on account of I should reject as utterly groundless her perplexities and anxieties. On the suspicion against the Earl of Moray Tuesday, May 10, she had an attack which finds favor in certain quarters. which she described both to the Bishop But what was the cause of her uncon- of Ross and to the French ambassador scious attacks, her blindness, her vio- as being similar to the one which nearly lent convulsions ? They could not proved fatal at Jedburgh. Shrewsbury, result from organic disease, for they writing to Cecil about that attack, says : soon and completely disappeared ; they “ This queen, on receipt of pills by her were therefore clearly functional, and physician for ease of her spleen, becertainly referable to the category of came very sick, and swounded divers hysterical complaints. And who that times vehemently, so as they were knows hysteria can wonder that a driven to give her to drink aqua vitæ young woman, not three months after in good quantity, but she escaped the lier confinement, whose heart was danger. Her body remains yet very . broken at the thought of her miserable much distempered. Her recovery was folly in marrying a man so utterly be- as sudden as her attack, and she had neath her and unworthy of her in every various convulsions." Here, again, it respect ; who had during her pregnancy is clear that she had a recurrence of seen her faithful servant dragged from her nervous and lysterical symptoms. her supper-table to be murdered in an She was seen by Dr. Francis and by ad joining room ; who liad ridden for Drs. Atslowe and Good. sixty miles in one day to see a favored In the long years of her captivity the nobleman ; who was striving with all queen seems often to have suffered her might to re-establish the old reli- from rheumatic and gouty complaints, gion in which she believed, and undo and asked permission of Elizabeth to the work of her people in the direction visit Buxton for their relief. This was of Reformation ; and perhaps who felt refused. In the summer of 1573 the in her heart the tumult of rising pas- English authorities were again liard sion for him whose bedside she visited, pressed by Mary herself and by the — who can wonder that with these French ambassador, and the Earl of conditions and the exhaustion due to Shrewsbury reported that she was comhæmatemesis together, her nervous plaining of a hardness in her side. system broke down, and she took hys- This hardness may have been an enteria ?

larged spleen due to her old malarious I find no sufficient evidence in sup- disease ; and Lord Burleigh, after ? port of vague stories about illnesses, good deal of delay, was intrusted by and utterly reject the rumor of the birth Elizabeth with the duty of telling of a child in Lochleven Castle. Her Shrewsbury that he might go with system must have been tremendously Mary to Buxton. Abont August 21 the party left Chatsworth, and they | when she left it she seems to have said seem to have spent at the utmost five farewell with special sadness ; for she weeks at Buxton. Buxton Wells had wrote with a diamond, upon a windowbeen known to the Romans, and had pane, the words : been used by them during the Roman

Buxtona, quæ

calidæ celebraris nomine occupation of our island, but had fallen

Lymphæ, into neglect. Just about Mary's time

Forte mihi posthac non adeunda, Vale. they were again coming into favor. A certain Dr. Jones was the fashionable A few years more, and she was freed physician of the place, and wrote about forever from the trials of bodily sickits merits. He recommended not only ness. the baths but regular exercises : for gentlemen, bowling, butts, and tossing Many illnesses are recorded as occur. the windball ; for ladies, a kind of ring among Mary's contemporaries, and game which consisted in trolling bowls one might be glad to know details of of lead or other material into a set of fevers from which Queen Elizabeth holes made in the end of a bench or suffered. What was the particular otherwise. I have seen on the floor of lesion, which was called an aposthume the room in Linlithgow Palace in which (an old name for abscess), and which Mary as a child used to play, a set of came on so suddenly when Mary's first holes, each about the size of a wine- husband, King Francis, was hearing glass, and evidently intended for some mass one day? Was it really a ceregame -- very possibly this same one bral abscess, or was it thrombosis of that Dr. Jones was in the habit of rec- the sinus, or was it a septic meuingitis ommending his lady patients to play that followed upon his disease of the at Buxton. She took her baths, and, mastoid cells — his rotten ear, as the according to tradition, explored some plain-spoken historians of the day called of the places of interest, and particu- it ? One would like to know the nature larly the caverns in the neighborhood. of the temporary paralysis with aphasia She derived some relief, and said that from which John Knox suffered so sudif she had had a better season of year denly ; of that chronic spinal malady and more time she would have got more which so long beset the acute and mas. good. She was frequently suffering terful Maitland of Lethington ; whether from rheumatic, gouty, and other com- it was Bright's disease, or a cardiac plaints in the years which followed, trouble, or a tumor, of which Mary of and in 1580 she again visited Buxton Guise died in Edinburgh Castle ; of the and took the baths regularly. About kind of insanity which seized the Earl this time again there was an outbreak of Arran in St. Andrews, and led to of influenza, but Mary seems to have his being brought to Edinburgh in the escaped.

queen's coach, guarded by thirty-three In 1582 two eminent physicians, Dr. attendants on horseback, and accomSmith and Dr. Barronsdale, were sent panied by Bothwell, and one of his to treat the queen, and they again rec- kinsfolk, the Hamiltons. But for this ommended Buxton. She went on the incident we should scarcely have known 13th of June, and stayed there some that the queen possessed a coach, or weeks. In 1584 Shrewsbury reports that the country possessed roads along that she had been much crippled in her which a coach could travel. One would hand, and after another visit to Buxton like to know particulars of the strange she herself writes : “ It is incredible malady which simultaneously affected how this cure has soothed my nerves, almost all the Scottish commissioners and dried my body of the phlegmatic who had been sent to France on the humors with which, by reason of feeble occasion of the marriage of Mary to the health, it was so abundantly filled.” | dauphin. It proved fatal to Robert She probably remained there for a Reid, Bishop of Orkney, the first man month or six weeks that season, and I who left money to found the University

« ZurückWeiter »