The Consultation Letters of Dr William Cullen (1710-1790) at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh


People [PERS ID:563]

First NameAlexander
Middle Name/Initial(s)
Last NameStevenson
Maiden Name
AKAProfessor; of Dalgairn
OccupationPhysician and Lecturer at Glasgow University
Medical Professional?Medical Professional


Birth (year) 1725
Date of death (year) 1791


Prominent private practitioner and Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine at the University of Glasgow from 1766. At the time, the philosopher Thomas Reid described him as having ‘much the best practice in this town and Neighbourhood.’ Stevenson was the son of Cullen's associate Dr John Stevenson. Because records and lost and because Alexander Stevenson did not contribute to medical literature his academic career remains somewhat obscure, but his letters to Cullen confirm that he had an extensive practice in and around Glasgow. He was a founding member of Edinburgh's Select Society, and became a respected "improver" who built a model village for the workers on his estate at Dalgairn. He is amongst the most frequent professional correspondents represented in the Cullen consultation archive and they are evidently on friendly terms (Stevenson calls on Cullen unannounced).

Cases that this person appears in:

CountCase IDCase Name
1Case 91Case of Robert Bogle who has stomach complaints.
2Case 98 Case of the seven-month-old daughter of Mr Ritchie, once again suffering from fits.
3Case 99Case of Sandy Trotter suspected of having Yaws.
4Case 101Case of Agnes Hamilton at Westburn, who in 1756 is suffering from headaches, 'vomits' and 'obstruction'. In 1762 Cullen fears she has an internal fistula caused by the misuse of a clyster; in 1776 has cold and sore throat.
5Case 102Case of Mr McCall who has a chest complaint for which he plans to sail to the South of France.
6Case 117Case of James Hamilton, 7th Duke of Hamilton, concerning his premature death.
7Case 316Case of Mr Robert Neilson with a chronic, progressive illness, probably pulmonary (consumption) but possible cardiac. After a gap, in early January 1782, Cullen confirms that Neilson's condition is terminal. An autopsy soon follows.
8Case 329Case of Miss Beckie Glassford who is suffering from various weakening symptoms, including a bad cough.
9Case 330Case of John Glassford, the 'Tobacco Lord' who suffers from a long-term stomach complaint which eventually proves fatal. Includes post-mortem report. Internal reference implies he was Cullen's patient in 1768, though no letters are extant.
10Case 334Case of James Muir who is diagnosed with a 'suffocating asthma'.
11Case 386Case of Mr Crauford [Crawford] of Milton's brother who is asthmatic.
12Case 389Case of Mrs Hopekirk who is diagnosed as having an obstructed pylorus.
13Case 417Case of Mrs Barclay, who has an 'inflammatory pain' in her side which Cullen thinks may be evidence of a lung condition.
14Case 471Case of Mr Alexander Craig who has swollen legs.
15Case 556Case of Mrs Murdoch at Rosebank, who is given a regimen after seeing Cullen in person; swollen ankles not considered serious, but has consumption; also needs some teeth extracting.
16Case 557Case of Amelia, wife of George Murdoch, who now has tumours on her legs and a cold (following an earlier Case:1637).
17Case 560Case of Mr James Brown whose disorder of his 'breast' is mending but has a 'glimmering' in his eye and is given a regimen.
18Case 631Case of Sir James Maxwell who has started having convulsive fits at night but who rejects all attempts at medical intervention.
19Case 649Case of Miss Jeanie Campbell of Clathick whose symptoms, including chilblains and suppressed menses, suggest to Cullen that she has 'stagnant' blood.
20Case 682Case of Mr Barclay with a long history of lung complaints and other symptoms (may be same patient as later Case 1402).
21Case 701Case of Mr Muir, a wine-merchant, who experiences strange sensations when entering his cellar, becomes melancholy and can barely be roused to move or speak; having recovered he considers removing to a warmer climate in the East or West Indies.
22Case 724Case of Mr McDowall [Douall], who developed a rheumatic complaint while in America, followed by other episodes of illness, including an injured leg from being knocked into by a horse.
23Case 848Case of Mr Houston whose long-standing apoplexy has becomes severe with breathing difficulties, pain and weakness.
24Case 937Case of Miss Houston who is advised on how to manage a difficult, unspecified, disorder with a regimen and strengthening medicines.
25Case 970Case of Mrs Corbett of Tolcross who has a weak stomach accompanied by faintness and nosebleeds.
26Case 1001Case of Mrs Agnes Campbell of Clathick who has a pulmonary disorder and is spitting blood.
27Case 1118Case of Mr Roger Stevenson, nephew of Glasgow Prof. Alexander Stevenson, who has a pulmonary disorder characterised by the spitting up of 'chalky matter'.
28Case 1136Case of "little Clark", the grandson of Robert Bogle of Shettleston.
29Case 1274Case of Dr William Miller of Walkinshaw who has gout.
30Case 1277Case of Lady Grace Campbell who is generally deprived of her 'powers' and suffers vertigo, headaches and other 'nervous' symptoms [see earlier Case 340].
31Case 1311Case of Lady Lucy Douglas of Bothwell Castle who despite the treatments remains weak with pains in her temples.
32Case 1329Case of Edward Brisbane, a merchant returned to Glasgow from America, who has ascites and anasarca (fluid retention) which prove fatal.
33Case 1342Case of Thomas Hopkirk who suffers from a severe pain in his right side and a related stomach disorder.
34Case 1367Case of Lady Helen Stuart of Castlemilk who reports flying rheumatic pains, a skin eruption and pains in her abdomen.
35Case 1376Case of Provost (Commissioner) Buchanan who suffers from weakness and whose gout is exacerbated 'by the popery mob'.
36Case 1385Case of Rev. William Thom, a Cullen family friend, who is weakened by a very severe, persistent cough.
37Case 1402Case of Robert Barclay who suffers from bad headaches, especially at night, and swollen ankles.
38Case 1414Case of the surgeon Gavin Fullarton who seeks advice on his own very painful rectal complaint.
39Case 1452Case of the Revd. James Hamilton, minister in Paisley, who suffers from swollen and ulcerated legs. The case proves terminal and a post-mortem is performed by local surgeon Alexander ["Sanders"] Taylor.
40Case 1561Case of "Mrs C of G' who has an internal disorder of her lower abdomen which may be rectal and/or uterine. Context implies 'G' probably indicates 'Glasgow' or 'Greenock'.
41Case 1576Case of Major Hutchison Dunlop who is to be bled, blistered and given a cooling mixture.
42Case 1584Case of Mr Boyle who is being treated with diuretics for a visceral obstruction.
43Case 1637Case of Mrs Murdoch who has a 'gravellish' complaint.
44Case 1681Case of Miss McDoual who is considering taking goat whey.
45Case 1693Case of Mr Livingston of Parkhall who has a chest complaint, with asthma and a cough.
46Case 1720Case of Mr Coates who has dropsy.
47Case 1728Case of Mr Donald who has a bowel disorder, and who is considering a recuperative 'jaunt'.
48Case 1818Case of Mr William Bruce of Stenhouse, who lost his health while long resident in Tobago and who suffers from fevers and other weakness since returning to Scotland.
49Case 1914Case of Thomas Hamilton who has pains and spasms in the side and trouble walking.
50Case 1940Case of John Hunter, a student at Glasgow College (University), who is about to travel to Madeira for the winter after developing a chest complain.
51Case 2075Case of Mr Ramsay with an inflammatory irritation.
52Case 2222Case of Robert Bogle who has various genito-urinary disorders.
53Case 2484Case of Mrs Cunninghame who has been treated with a 'laxative injection'.
54Case 2566Case of Cullen's close associate Dr Alexander Stevenson. Professor at Glasgow, who injures himself getting out of a coach. Cullen is not being formerly consulted, but observes that it will hinder his friend dancing.