John Bremner Case with Medicines

[ John Bremner Case with Medicines ] Dr. William James Almon

Contributor Role
Contributor Name
Dr. William James Almon

Date: Late 18th century; exact date unknown.

Publication Format


head pain
sizy blood

thin gruel
purgative powder

Nova Scotia

Source: Manuscript Notebook of Dr. William James Almon
Institution: Nova Scotia Archives | Source Origin: Almon Family Fonds | Reference: MG 1 / Microfilm Reel 10,045


A case study describing treatment for sporadic head pain that includes prescriptions in Latin, pp. 59-60.


Mr. John Bremner, |a clerk| Aged     of a plethoric habit
was attack’d early this Morning with a most violent pain
in his forehead between his two Eyes, his body was open
and he appeard the day before perfectly well. I found his
pulse very little alterd from health, his appetite was
good and he was free from fever, the part paind was
hot to the touch and a few pimples appeared on it -- free from
Any nausea: [VS] was used immediately to 12oz; the Blood
was a little sizy and I order’d him the following
             Rx Calomel_ ʒv. Pulv. Purg. ʒi. Mel
             q[uantum] s[ufficit] fiat Bol[us] stat[im]
to abstain from Animal food and to drink thin
gruel for his common drink _ In the Evening
the Bolus had operated and his headach was easier
The Headach returnd this Morning about the time
it did yesterday but was not so severe: Bolus still
Operating; the Afternoon & Evening he was entirely
free from it__
The Headach returned this morning rather earlier than
yesterday |about 6 AM| was extremely severe: large
Blisters were applied behind his Ears yesterday morng
which not drawing so well as I could wish worsened
today: as the Disease now evidently provd itself to be
an Intermittent, a quotidian type: the Intermission
perfect: I recommended as soon as his paroxyism was
Over to begin with a tea spoonful of the Cortex

in wine & water every hour: as he was rather
[--tive] to take a few grains of Rhubarb with
each dose until this was removed--
14- this morning about seven AM. he had some little
symptoms of his complaint: but nothing to speak
of- 15Grain of Rhubarb purged him twice: has
taken his bark constantly & is to go on with
it -- as the Cortex purges him 5 drops of LL was added to [each] dose
15-: Scarcely any symptoms of his complaint this Morg
is to go on with his Bark, rests well at night
16- Free from any complaint is to have Meat for Dinner
and continues his Bark
18- Went to the counting house to do duty this Morng. 
has taken nearly [AR]: of Bark since the 15th--
21- Remains perfectly well--


Translation (from line 10) 

Recipe: 5 drams of calomel, 1 dram of purgative powder, and as much honey as needed. Make a pill, to be taken immediately.


Translation and transcription by Winston Black

The remedy used to treat Bremner appears also in "Table of the Effects of Medicines," Manuscript Notebook of Dr. William James Almon, pp. 95-97.