Letter – George Neale to William Blackett – 1 Aug 1679

Document Type: Letter
Date: 1 Aug 1679
Correspondent: George Neale
Recipient: William Blackett
Archive Source: NRO ZBL 193
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For the right wor.ll Sir William Blaket  August 1 1679

      The cheife and principal Disease (wch is the epidemical disease of this and many other Northerne Counteyes) is the scurvy, manifesting itselfe by many and various symptoms a dejected appetite, Asthma, Phisick or shortness of breath, looseness of teeth, wasting of the Gums, a great lassitude, weariness, drowsiness and sleepiness, An increase of Choler and bilious humours and also acidityes in the blood, Nervous and Pancreatical Juices and in the lymphortick vessals. Breakings out of the skin of Pimples white scurfe sometimes. Pains in the back loins thighs and legs, arms & shoulders and also in the head with swimmings, Dizziness & light vertiginous motions. Great Sweatings in the night towards morning & bleeding at the nose neither of which two last symptoms must be stopped or hindered whatever is objected by many persons.

      The best way and means at this season of the year, as also in the Autumn & winter I shall set down, to obviate, subdue and overcome these infirmityes, & doubt not but (by the blessing of God) to bring your body again into a good condition and state of health as your years will admit and yr body is capable to receive.

      Purgative Diaphoretick vomiture or as yet alternative medicines are not proper for you, nature being able of herselfe to discharge & cast of all Excretions by stoole, urine, sweat or by other emunetoryes but would now commend vitrioline waters to you (a luminous & Sulphureous being not so proper the first being to acide & apt to coagulate the latter being too hot for yr body, wch is sanguine & apt to abound with Choler) & in them to take sometimes Syrrop of violets, volatile drops of sal volatile, olessum Harts horne or spiritus solie aemoniae volatile, of wch you may likewise take of frequently in your ordinary beverage of wine and water mixd. & in fresh small bear, mixd with Syrrop of Auranges, mulberryes, woodsorrell, Nymphea, violets cowslips, lemons pomegranets, Citrus, cherryes & barberryes.

      I would also commend to you Thamovenids to quench your thirst, Conserve of barberryes, woodsorrel & the tinctures of them as of current berryes Gooseberryes Rasberryes sweetend with a very little of any of the syrrops mentioned above you best fancy & like or agreeable to your palat & stomack. Bathe often (whilst the weather is hot) in cold springs, river water or an artificial bath made according to the Presceipt in the Bill, use moderate exercise but not to tire the body or weaken your spirits, be cheerful, frequent god company but meddle not much with businesse till you arrive at a better state of health wch I hope will be in a short time.

      In the latter end of October and September take once a week of the opening electuarey in the bill drinking fresh whey when it works or Posset, Drink Chicken broth made wth french barley or little Harts horne, sorrel, & violet leaves, a sprig of Rosemary & a little mase with a papir of the white powder in it instead of salt & such like broth with the sayd powder set down in the bill. I would have you take of it your breakfast every morning & if you add a few watercress leaves to it you will find it still more advantageous to your recovery.

      Let your diet be of fresh meats of flesh or fish & of the latter shel fish as lobsters, crabs, gurnets, Crey fish, the fresh river trout, salmon, Smelt perch, Gudgeons are good, of qwuick digestion & so are Turbat Place whitings and Soales wch you have at home.

      Let your drink be yet ahile wine and water mixd but let the latter be the greater quantity, no drinks made of malt being yet proper for you or correcting scorbutical Ferments so well as the other, or good made wines of flowers, Berryes, Cherryes, Grapes Fruicts of Apples, pears of whch you can procure of the best sorts of cydar and perry, it is a good liquor and makes a wholesome bereage.

      I would intreat you now this month to have your bath prepared for you according to the Presceipt in the Bill but let it not be above new milk warme when you goe in first & continue in that heat about an hour if your sweating leave you, the bath may be made hotter when you have been three quarters of an hour, if have not, let it be kept of an equal heat all the time & it will abate yr drought, coole your body & the whole masser of blood, promote an equal distribution of nutrinical blood and spirits, remove your vayous pains & make you more nimble, lightsome & cheerful. 

      Let me beseech you to hear from you sometimes to Leeds & I shall take all the care I can to answer yr letters & give your worship the best advice I can for your health & recovery wch I pray God grant unto you. I remain worthy sr

      Your faithful servant to command

      	Geo. Neale

There being lately some symptoms of the jaundices appearing in Sr William by his high colord veine, suddain faintness drought & short breathing I would intreat his dear Consort his lady to bruise five and tenty or thirty lobstrus L & pour a little wine and water upon them & strain them out and drink it in a morning & sometimes at fur a clock in the afternoon. Also I desire this drink to be mdae & let Sir William drink of about a gill of it in a morning & at four a clock. Take of salt threepenny worth of Tumerack in powder a poonful of Madder. Infuse these in a quart of spring water & a pint of Rhenish or white wine & also put in a bagg four score lobstrus lice buisd in a bag let all stand in close infusion near the fire 24 hours, straine it out & put a little syrop of woodsorrel or Oranges to it

[on verso:] Directions for Sr William Blaket Baronet 1679

[annotated in a different hand, not WB’s:} Doctor Neale His Directions
Dr George Neale was a physician of Leeds, a strong proponent of warm water bathing, with whom Dr Ralph Thoresby of Leeds dined and ‘lost too much time at play’. Neale started, but appeared not to finish, a book on the Yorkshire spa wells of Knaresborough: D.H.Atkinson, Ralph Thoresby, the topographer; his town and times, (1885)

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The Dukesfield Smelters and Carriers Project aimed to celebrate and discover the heritage of the Dukesfield Arches & lead carriers' routes between Blaydon and the lead mines of Allendale and Weardale. A two year community project, it was led by the Friends of the North Pennines in partnership with Hexhamshire and Slaley Parish Councils and the active support of Allendale Estates. It was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the generous support of other sponsors. Friends of the North Pennines: Charity No:1137467