Christmas Card to Professor Pybus

#ChristmasCountdown
Door No. 7

From the Pybus (Professor Frederick) Archive, FP/3/1/7

Written during World War Two, this Christmas card was sent from Major Saviour of the 53 General Hospital, a Royal Army Medical Corps hospital which formed part of the Middle East Land Forces.

The recipient was Frederick Charles Pybus, Professor of surgery at Newcastle Medical School. Major Saviour congratulate Pybus on his appointment and chair. In addition to Pybus’ research into surgical methods and the causes of Cancer, he also amassed the internationally important Pybus Collection. The collection consists of around 2000 books on aspects of medical history, spanning nearly 700 years.

Find out more about the Pybus (Professor Frederick) Collection.

Thomas Baker Brown’s Christmas Pantomime Programme

#ChristmasCountdown
Door No. 6

From the Baker Brown (Thomas) Archive, TBB/1/9/1-1

This is a programme for a 1917 Christmas pantomime, ‘Dick Whittington’, produced by army troops and directed by Lieutenant Walter Thomas.

Thomas Baker Brown, born 22nd December 1896, a soldier who fought in World War I. In December 1915, he was serving in the ‘Clerks Platoon’ for the 6th Northumberland Fusiliers at a training camp at Scarcroft School, York. As a soldier, or “tommy”, training would begin with basic physical fitness, drill, march discipline and essential field craft. Tommies would later specialise in a role and Brown received training in bombing, signalling and musketry. He suffered from poor eyesight and was issued with glasses. After failing to be transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, Brown was placed into the signalling section and later drafted to France alongside his brother George, as part of the 2/6th Northumberland Fusiliers, 32nd Division.

By the 1st August 1916, Brown was moved to the 21st Northumberland Fusiliers (2nd Tyneside Scottish 37th Division) and was sent on his first journey to the front line trenches. Later, in March 1917, Brown was awarded the Military Medal for his ‘heroism’ and ‘bravery’.

Find out more about the Baker Brown (Thomas) Archive.

17th Century Snow Cream Recipe

#ChristmasCountdown
Door No. 5

To make Snow Cream recipe from Jane Loraine’s recipe book (Miscellaneous Manuscript, Misc MSS 5)

Fancy making ‘Snow Cream’ the 17th Century way. Well, here’s how;

Take thick cream of the evening milk put to it a little sugar and some rose water, then put it into silver basin or a wooden bowl and with a little rod make a little brush and beat it with good strength and as you see it rising to froth put it with the rod into the other side of the bowl from the plate where you beat it and when you have a good deal made into froth take it up with a skimmer and as fast as you lay it into your cream bowls throw searced double refined sugar upon it, and when you have taken up as much froth as yohave that made, that fall to beats in your cream again so do till yohave made your dish of cream as big as you will have it that is done

This recipe is part of a larger recipe book that was created by a number of people including the manuscript’s owner, Jane Loraine. The recipes are culinary, medicinal and cosmetic. The manuscript is an excellent example of the kinds of knowledge and expertise that women in an early modern household needed during the 17th Century.

Find out more about Jane Lorraine’s recipe book here and find more recipes from the Jane Lorraine Recipe book in this digital edition.

Christmas Greetings to Kitty Trevelyan

#ChristmasCountdown
Door No. 4

Postcard from Katharine Trevelyan (CPT Uncat 62/19

This postcard was written to Kitty [Katharine] Trevelyan, daughter of Charles Philips and Lady Mary Trevelyan of Wallington, when she was four years old. The card sends Christmas greetings and is signed ‘Edie’. It was written at the Victoria Home for Invalid Children in Margate.

The Trevelyan family were a  wealthy and important family who lived at Wallington Hall in Northumberland during the 19th and early 20th centuries. They played an important role in politics, culture and education.

The card was published by the German company of E. A. Schwerdtfeger & Co. Information on the reverse reveals that this particular card was ‘imperfect’ – likely relating to the slight misalignment of the print leaving a thin white band at the top, and some of the information missing at the bottom.

Courier ‘Stealing the Christmas Spirit’

#ChristmasCountdown
Door No. 3

Article titled ‘Stealing the Christmas Spirit’ from 5th December 1985 edition of The Courier

Anyone see the pun here? Wonder if he was ever caught?

From 5th December 1985 issue of the Courier. View the full issue here.

Find other issues from the Courier Archive online.

Two Turtle Doves

#ChristmasCountdown
Door No. 2

The Turtle Dove from ‘History of British Birds Vol I (Bradshaw-Bewick Collection, Bradshaw-Bewick 761BEW)

On the second day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

THE TURTLE DOVE

“…The female lays two eggs, and has only one brood in this country, but in warmer climates it is supposed to breed several times in the year.”

Extract from History of British Birds Vol I., page 273, by Thomas Bewick.

History of British Birds is published in two volumes. It was the first field guide for non-specialists and contains accurate illustrations of bird species. Aspects from the History of British Birds is used in poetry and literature.

Find out more about the Bradshaw-Bewick collection.

Lady Tabitha and Us – At Home Christmas Eve

#ChristmasCountdown
Door No. 1

Illustration from ‘Lady Tabitha and Us’ (Rare Books, RB823.912 AIN)

Lady Tabitha At Home Christmas Eve…Come and Play. So we all went – 

‘Lady Tabitha and Us’ is an illustrated book that describes the adventures of Lady Tabitha and other wooden dolls at a Christmas Eve party. The illustration depicts peg dolls at home getting ready, putting on make-up, preparing hair and getting dressed for a Christmas Party. You join Tabitha as the others as they play games, including musical chairs, hunt the slipper and dumb crumbs.

Published by Castell Brothers Ltd: London and created by Kathleen Ainslie. Kathleen Ainslie was an illustrator, active in the years 1900-1911. She is best-known for her series of children’s books based on jointed Dutch peg dolls which were popular during the 19th and early-20th centuries (Florence Kate Upton’s The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg had been published in 1895).

Come back to see another Kathleen Ainslie illustration behind Door number 25 on Christmas Day!

Explore another Kathleen Ainslie book that we have in Special Collections; ‘Catherine Susan and Me’s Coming Out’, in our February 2017 Treasure of the Month Feature

Special Collections Christmas Countdown Advent Calendar 2017

#ChrsitmasCountdown

The Special Collections team have been busy looking through their archive and rare book collections to uncover unique Christmas Treasures for the return of the Special Collections #ChristmasCountdown advent calendar.

Starting on Friday 1st December 2017, join the team in counting down the days to Christmas. Explore our unique collections by opening a new door each day to reveal a Christmas Treasure.

Click on the calendar above to take you through to our Christmas Countdown 2017 advent calendar. Be sure to visit each day throughout December in the run up to Christmas to uncover a new image.

Once you’ve opened the door for that day, why not look through the previous days and see what you can find.

Why not follow @ncllibspeccoll on Twitter to keep up-to-date with Special Collections’ #ChristmasCountdown.

Andrew Wilson’s An Essay on the Autumnal Dysentery, 1777

For many of us, autumn is synonymous with falling leaves, darker nights, and wrapping up in warmer clothes. It’s a time when the clocks go back, and we can enjoy the last of the sunny days before winter sets in. However, in the Eighteenth Century, autumn was also synonymous with something altogether less pleasant: ‘autumnal dysentery’.

Dysentery was common in Newcastle and wider Tyneside during the Eighteenth Century, but reached epidemic levels during the autumns of 1758 and 1759. There were also significant outbreaks in 1783 and 1785.

Andrew Wilson (1718-1792) was a Scottish physician and medical writer, who studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh and graduated in 1749. He set up a practice in Newcastle a short time after and stayed in the city until 1775 or 1776, when he moved to London.

Wilson was in Newcastle during the 1758 outbreak, and ‘the conceptions that I then formed of the nature and genius of the Autumnal Bloody Flux, and of the true indications of cure to be adhered to in it’ (pp.1-2), he put into his Essay. The Essay was first published in 1760. The second edition that we have in Special Collections was published in 1777. Considering Wilson’s Edinburgh connections, it is unsurprising that he dedicated the tract to Dr John Rutherford, Professor of Medicine at Edinburgh, ‘my respected Master, my Patron, and my Friend’.

Title page from ‘An Essay on the Autumnal Dysentery’ (Medical Collection, Med Coll 616.935 WIL)

Wilson went into considerable detail discussing the causes, symptoms, and treatment of patients with dysentery. He offered a fairly gory description of the symptoms, which may not be suitable for those of squeamish dispositions…:

‘This disease is called the Bloody Flux, because more or less blood is generally, tho’ not always, mixed with the slimy fetid stools which are discharged during the course of it. The bloody discharge may be attributed to different causes, according to the degree, malignancy and continuance of the disease; such as, the vehemence of the inflammation, stretching the vessels opening into the cavity of the intestines, and straining red blood thro’ them, which does not naturally pass that length undissolved; the acrimony of the humours which are discharged into these guts during the inflammation, fretting and corroding the blood vessels…’ (pp2.3)

Page 2 from ‘An Essay on the Autumnal Dysentery’ describing the symptoms of the disease

Page 4 from ‘An Essay on the Autumnal Dysentry’ describing the time of year that dysentery spread

Wilson also mentioned how ‘This disease, like all epidemics, is… more frequent in cities and towns than in the country; among the feeble than among the strong…’ He also claimed that dysentery was ‘more frequent among the poor and labourers, than among the wealthy, and those who live better and pay more attention to their health’. As for the reason for this, he suggested that ‘indigence, but much more especially negligence in the article of cooling after heats by labour, exercise etc., exposes the lower class of people prodigiously to this and many other diseases’. (p.28)

Page 31 from ‘An Essay on the Autumnal Dysentry’ describing the signs of danger when treating patients

The second edition of the Essay, there is also the hint of medical controversy. In the ‘Introductory Discourse’ (which was new to the second edition), Wilson mentioned some of the recent publications on dysentery since his work was first published. Of particular interest to Wilson was a study by the Swiss physician Johann Georg Ritter von Zimmermann, titled A Treatise on the Dysentery. Zimmerman had been made Physician in Ordinary in Hanover to George III in 1768.

First iii of the ‘Introductory Discourse’

Zimmermann’s book was of such interest to Wilson because, in the course of reading it, he ‘discovered that he had made use of my Essay, and totally supressed his knowledge of it, while he was very profuse in his references to every other latter English writer on the subject’. Wilson argued that he ‘would be sorry to mention this circumstance upon presumptive evidence only, but he has extracted a pretty long case verbatim from my Essay, which was to be found nowhere else…’ Wilson found this ‘a very strange way… of extracting from a writer upon the very subject he was treating of, while he was, almost in every page, citing other authors who had written in English as I had done…’ However, drawing back from a full accusation of plagiarism (perhaps because of Zimmerman’s relationship with George III), Wilson left the question open, and stated: ‘I make no remarks upon it’. (p.V)

Title page from Zimmerman’s ‘A Treatise on the Dysentery’ (Medical Collection, Med Coll 616.935 ZIM)

Newcastle University’s Special Collections have both Wilson’s and Zimmerman’s books here in Special Collections. Reading them and deciding whether there has been any wrongdoing might be a nice way to spend a dark autumn day, but only if you’ve got the stomach for it.

———————————–

Item references

Andrew Wilson, An Essay on the Autumnal Dysentery (1777) (Medical Collection, Med Coll 616.935 WIL)

Johann Georg Ritter von Zimmermann, A Treatise on the Dysentery: with a description of the epidemic dysentery that happened in Switzerland in the year 1765 (1771) (Medical Collection, Med Coll 616.935 ZIM).

Page Turners – Generations

A further three Trevelyan family albums have become available to browse and search on Page Turners. They fill the gaps between those already available, and bring the family to a great turning point in their lives.

George Lowthian, Kitty and Pauline Trevelyan in 1909

Volume Six is an album of two parts – the earlier pages having been compiled prior to Charles and Molly’s marriage. It includes photographs of Charles at Harrow in the 1880s, and early photographs of the family’s homes at Wallington and Welcombe. These early pages include the marriage of Charles’ brother Robert Calverley to Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven from Holland as well as photographs of Philips Park in Prestwich.

The second half of this album is compiled by Molly, and spans 1908 to 1911. There are many pictures of their three eldest children; Pauline, George and Kitty, as well as their extended family, including Robert and Elizabeth’s only son the artist Julian Trevelyan. There are photographs of the family enjoying the countryside on the Wallington estate, and visiting family at Stocks, Sidmouth and Welcombe. There are more wedding photographs, although this time from the wedding of the family’s former nurse – Florence Lister.

Charles and other cabinet members at Downing Street at the end of the first Labour Government, November 1924

The next album in this instalment is Volume 11, which is laden with cuttings and photographs relating to the first Labour Government in 1924, in which Charles became President of the Board of Education. By the time this album was begun in 1924, Charles and Molly’s family of six children was complete, and photographs of their youngest, Geoffrey, playing with his young Richmond and Bell cousins. Further ephemera in the album relates to Molly’s work with the Women’s Institute, and local events at Cambo.

One event which features across these albums and others is the famous ‘Trevelyan Man Hunt’. This annual event saw one or more participants designated as ‘hares’, whose would spend the day evading capture by the others – the ‘hounds’. From 1898 this event took place annually, based at Seatoller – a family holiday home in the Lake District. Charles was ‘Master of the Hunt’ from 1901 to 1934. These three albums include photographs from the hunt in 1909, 1910, 1924 and 1926-28.

Group photograph of participants in the 1926 ‘Man Hunt’

The latest album of the three, Volume 13, shows a great deal of change taking place within the family between 1926 and 1928. Much of the album reflects the children’s ongoing education, including the younger children at Sidcot School, Kitty as the title role in a school performance of ‘St Joan’, and a visit to Schule Schloss Salem – an elite reformist school in Germany. There are images of two eldest children in their new homes – Pauline at Wessex College, University College Reading and George in his rooms at Trinity College, Cambridge.

The Trevelyan cousins at Cambo in September 1926

As well as their eldest children starting their life as adults, the end of this album features cuttings and photographs relating to the deaths of Charles’ parents – George Otto and Lady Caroline Trevelyan. This marks the point in the family’s life where they left Cambo House – the home they had known since their marriage 25 years before, moving into Wallington Hall, and taking on the management of a large and neglected estate.