Mind-gut connection

These cases have been selected and transcribed by Michael Walkden, author of a doctoral thesis on ‘The Gut-Mind Connection in Early Modern Medicine and Culture, c.1580-c.1740’ (University of York, 2018).

Case 29594

Thomas Meacocke of Kettering in Northamptonshire, 45 years. Tuesday 20 August 1601, 7.00 am. Married. A fully faced man, swarf of face. Came sooner but I could not talk with him. & George Pagget & this Thomas Meacocke came yesterday but I was from home. Tempted to many follies to make himself away & his friends. Light headed, chest & legs. Much urine thin whitish & full of motes. [?] years since. But most ill since this last month. It did rise up from his belly with some water. Can take no rest.
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Case 29422

Mary Barton of Patshill, 21 years. Tuesday 16 July 1605, 4.40 pm.
[In chart] Lightheaded. She mended God be thanked.
[Astrology.] Costive, stomach swelled, throat stopped. Very phlegmatic. Lightheaded. Frantic. Stomach & a beerish urine had. Full body & of a good complexion. When the fit takes her looks with a black face. Troubled with a great rising in her stomach ready to stop her wind. Her fits take her twice or thrice in a day. Yesterday twice. Full of melancholy. Talks little at any time. Sweats. Troubled much in mind.
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Case 28826

Agnes Soule of Steppingly, 50 years. Friday 26 April 1605, 9.30 am.
Left side ill. A very good water but has a slimy stuff & residence. An aching of her heart. Complains of a great burning over all her body. Her back burns as fire. Shortwinded. No quiet rest but quaking & trembling. Fear & grief. [Illeg.] left her 4 years. A great pain in her back, burning like fire. Can eat but not digest. No appetite. Sweats & is by complexion cold. Costive, not once in 3 days. A giddiness & staggering in her head without pain. Runs into arms legs back & hips & all other parts. A slight taken touching some bargain her husband made but all fell out well notwithstanding.
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Case 28652

William Gawyn of Bidnam, 28 years. Monday 15 April 1605, 2.38 pm.
[In chart] Much afflicted in mind. Hypochondriac passion.
A great griping & plucking about the left side.
[Treatment information. Jeralog, diet drink against flatulent melancholy.]
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Case 17592

Grace Allen of Turvy, 55 years. Wednesday 28 July 1602, 7.45 am.
[Bottom left of chart] Did cast & vomit much.
Mind troubled with the loss of a fat lamb which perished by negligence & will have words given of her that she should be a witch. & Was not. First taken in her back. Bottom of her belly. Upon the 18 of July Sunday between 6 and 7 pm 1602. Suddenly stricken being abroad. For lack of sleep idle headed & says she cares not.
[Treatment information.]
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Case 29490

Alice Hartley of St Needes, 43 years. Tuesday 30 July 1605, 3.30 pm.
[Right margin: had not her sickness [menstruation] since Candlemas.]
Troubled with a rising in her stomach. Ready to stop her wind. Has voided a worm downward & tickles like a worm upward. This 12 years cold inward & dry. An itch about her breast. Comes with a trouble of mind. Had her sickness [menstruation] 3 weeks since.
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Case 29221

Joan Broadbrok of Weston Underwood, 40 years. Married. Friday 14 June 1605, 6.45 am. Tempted by an ill spirit. Thinks she has an ill spirit within her. The spirit tells her that he will burn her & drown her & seems to speak within her. A great rising in her stomach. Will take nothing. Cannot sleep at all. Mind much distempered this 7 years worse than others. Thinks her children to be rats & mice. Head throbs. Six weeks since.
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Case 42365

Robert Banbery of West Haddon, 47 years. Wednesday 6 September 1615, 8.00 am.
[In chart] Mopish.
One charged him for stealing one of his sheep. His partner. Cannot hold his water any night since Easter & sometimes in the day. Griped in his belly as if an ill thing within him did nip him. Strong yet keeps his bed idly. Much grief taken for it he was falsely charged. They would have him to be bagged for a lunatic. & then out of spite accused this honest man to be the death of his mother all which were proved to be false. Mistress out of spite accused him. Never since well. [Sigil] Jupiter tied about his neck.
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Case 28709

John Hibbo of Longwick, 26 years. Married. Thursday 18 April 1605, 4.25 pm. Beyond Aylesbury. Troubled with melancholy & heaviness. Sadness of heart. Haemorrhoids & piles. When they run to the haemorrhoids then stomach well, but when the melancholy goes up to his stomach, stomach sick.
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Case 28500

William Gawyn of Bydnam, 28 years. Wednesday 3 April 1605, 11.38 am.
[In chart] Much distempered in mind.
Complains of the left side & heart & round about his side & back & much offends him with a windiness. Flatulent melancholy. Saturn Jupiter ambo orient [both rising]. As it now with a griping as if one should stop his mouth with the pain. With an itching about his face.
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Case 28434

Catherine Nelson of Hilsden parish, 35 years. Thursday 21 March 1605, 2.30 pm. Married since Christmas.
[In chart] Very light headed.
Light headed this fortnight. Was frighted with a piece of a chimney which fell upon her. Her water very yellowish & thick. Talks fondly & did swoon. Supposed to have taken sore grief & fright for that her husband lives at her service. Very hot & sorely vexed in her stomach & says that she has fire & brimstone.
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Case 14274

Mrs Leate came to my house sick in mind. Saturday 3 December 1603, 5.00 pm.
[In chart] Sad, uncomfortable.
Complains of her belly a bad stomach.
[Same patient continues in case below: took fear & grief for the death of her child. She mended God be thanked.]
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Case 17493

Mrs Brunning of Oxford, 50 years. Tuesday 13 July 1602, 6.45 am. For her disease.
Much grief. Disquieted in mind for suits of law & debt & want of silver. Had not her sickness [menstruation] this 5 years. Since she took allum to stay the reds which had exceedingly weakened her. A bad stomach & side. Wind cholic.
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Case 17428

Mr Claver of Fosket, 50 years. Saturday 3 July 1602, 10.20 am.
Comes from his stomach & ascends upward & fills his brain. Stomach full of slimy & viscous phlegm.
[Treatment information, extensive.]
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Case 17302

Elisabeth Ellis, 27 years. Saturday 19 June 1602, 11.00 am. Back ill, head & [?]. 2 children the youngest 2 weeks old tomorrow. Distempered in mind. Heart faint. Sometimes hot & cold.
[Treatment information.]
[Bottom left] Elizabeth Ellis of Hanslop. Mind much disquieted, back very sore at all time. Very hot. Shoot & prick. A wind in her stomach & an arising. Head & memory ill. Lays hand at the mouth of her stomach.
[Treatment information, including stim, syr bugloss.]
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Case 16939

Mary Hill of Hanslop, 41 years. Monday 17 May 1602, 1.30 pm.
[In chart] Mind troubled & tempted.
Had no child six years. Complains of her stomach this 8 weeks. Had her sickness [menstruation] about a fortnight since. Good quantity, black. Much grief & sorrow. Mind distracted. Fears quakes & trembles as if she were frighted with some ill sight. Mr Lingard the minister her landlord threatened to cast them out of the house. Troubled with melancholy.
[Treatment information, includes hiera logadii.]
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Case 16760

John Spencer Sir Robartes Spencers servant. Tuesday 30 March 1602, 9.00 am. Complains of his left side & spleen & swelling of his leg. Asks a remedy for Alice Faulkner, 23 years, troubled with the green sickness. Has taken many vomits but none would work with her. Craves a vomit. Sick in the stomach. Asks whether Alice Faulkner loves the man or not.[In chart] Much grief & discontentment.
[Treatment information.]
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Case 20139

Mary Gunthrop of Wolverton, 30 years. Monday 21 December 1601, 2.00 pm. Grief. Discontentment with her husband.
Mary Gunthrop troubled with an arising in her stomach like the mother. Her mistress doubts that she is with child. Melancholy since the death of her child. Refuses company. Lies in her chest & all over her side.
[Treatment information: tabulatus silicate ii & suppository with hiera picra]
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Case 19094

Robert Alcock of Bonist, 22 years. A bachelor in Bedfordshire. Thursday 26 March 1601, 1.00 pm.
Stomach, light headed. It is of Saturn in Scorpio Moon separating from Jupiter in Virgo. Stomach & rises up to his throat. Head pained. Much water & somewhat yellowish. [Treatment information, includes jeralog.]
Has taken grief touching a lewd woman that dwelt in the house with him that a year before he knew her had a child & afterward this woman spoke him fear being acquainted with another young man which is now is gone & they of the house mocked him with her as if he would have her. & Now fearing lest she should be naught & he to be hanged with her being but a softly fellow is as it were frantic & foolish & fears lest he should be bewitched by this woman that spoke him fear.
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Case 12453

Mrs Mary Berry of Cranfield, 52 years. Monday 14 May 1599, 3.15 pm. Came in person. She was wont to fall down as if she had a dead palsy.
Giddiness & swooning of the head. Weakness & faintness of the heart & stomach. Troubled much with windiness of the stomach with sudden melancholy passions. Has taken great grief at her husband’s meddling with his brother’s goods as to take the administration who think he exclaim again him as if he kept away their goods. For that he is much indebted & hardly thought of & slandered. She fears lest [if?] as he should die.
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Case 12407

Mr Farindon sent to me for my counsel for his passion of his heart. Tuesday 8 May 1599, 8.00 am. Very usual & easily procured with every small stirring & continues with him 3 days. & for the correcting of the spleen which is supposed by the doctors to be the cause thereof. Because he feels himself not well in the spleen sent his letter.
[In chart] Purge him with jeralog in pills.
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Case 43036

The Lady Susan Grey, Saturday 16 March 1616, 11.00 am. Sent her water. Aguish melancholy hottish weak rising in her stomach. 29 years. A fullness. A rupt twist. Aguish water. A heaviness in her head & stomach subject to the mother. Sad & much melancholy. Back ill. 1. A clyster. 2. A purge. 3. A cordial electuary cord julep. 4. Cinnamon water 2 ounces. Syrup cinnamon 1 ounce.
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Case 43407

Mrs Norwood of Astwood, 40 years. Monday 20 May 1616, 6.00 pm. Troubled with much melancholy & heaviness. Stomach full & has no appetite & cares not to eat any meal & cannot sleep & grows light headed. Is not sick. Cannot be merry. Is very forgetful.
[Treatment information.]
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Case 50453

Mrs Margaret Franklin of Bonehurst, 24 years. Wednesday 29 March 1620, 10.40 am. Worst fasting. Head full & dizzy. Windy. A cold stomach. Hot liver. Full of melancholy grief since her father’s death. Face flushing hot & breaking out. Unmarried. Cold feet hot head.
[Bottom left of chart] A thick and muddy water.
Has taken much physic, purges, pills. Let blood little the better.
[Treatment information.] A purging diet drink for melancholy. The like for Elizabeth Bosse 26 years melancholy.
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Case 17135

William Wallington, of Wolverton 60 years. Monday 7 June 1602, 12.00 pm.
[In chart] Died on Wednesday. He died 3 days after. Very well & godly.
Miserably tempted & rages. Wits senses taken.
[Left] They fear lest he be beworded by taking of a woman a piece of cake with which I have nothing to do. God send them help. His water much of a thick bayish & reddish colour. Much bluish thick rubbish in the bottom.
[Treatment information.]
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Case 11817

Elizabeth Whooton of Sherington. Thursday 23 November 1598, 9.30 am. Unmarried. Crazy ever since Michaelmas but took her & handled her very grievously the 16 of November. Enquired of me a remedy. Father for the daughter with her consent.
[In chart] Swelled in her face body hands. She vomits up all.
[Right of chart] Worms troubled. Owes 6d.
She breaks wind upward. She complains of her heart & head & chest as if she were pricked with nails. [Preceding column] I gave her 6 of scammony & 6 of stim & 6 semis of hellebore & 4 ounces of [confection] hamech. Has not gone to ground this week. Her water whitish. She voided worms of her own accord. Belly hoven & hard. Complains of her left side. Hard belly. Nothing will stay but vomits it up.
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Case 21977

Mrs Taylor of Lidlington, 28 years. Thursday 28 February 1605, 1.00 pm. In presence herself.
[In chart] Hurt by an unskilful midwife. Hypochondriac passion. Mind troubled.
Mightily troubled with wind in her guts runs up into her stomach & fumes up into her head back & shoulders. Mind tempted to witchcraft. Was hurt by a bad midwife. Of Jupiter in Capricorn and Saturn in Sagittarius, Moon approaching Mercury. Has them [courses] orderly for 2 or 3 days every 3 weeks. Head & brain much disquieted. Fearful. Much troubled in mind. See December 31 last.
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