[Sir Thomas Spencer Wells, surgeon to Queen Victoria and President of Royal College of Surgeons.] Autograph Letter Signed ('T. Spencer Wells') to W. F. Cleveland, arranging a joint consultation, and inviting him to 'see me do ovariotomy'.

Sir Thomas Spencer Wells (1818-1897), surgeon to Queen Victoria and President of the Royal College of Surgeons [William Frederick Cleveland (1823-1898), surgeon]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of 3 Upper Grosvenor Street, Grosvenor Square, London W.; 13 May [no year].
SKU: 21705

For information on the recipient William Frederick Cleveland, see his obituary, BMJ, 3 December 1898. 2pp, 12mo. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged, with thin strip of paper adhering to the reverse of the blank second leaf. Folded twice. He begins by explaining that he has been that day asked 'to see a patient of your with a large abdominal tumour – (named Conlon, I think) living somewhere near you – I said I had better see her with you & she asked me to arrange with you to see her on Thursday afternoon'. He suggests a time for this appointment, stating that he will call on Cleveland at home. If this is not convenient he 'could say 4 – but please let me know by first post as I have another consultation in the City with Mr. Elwyn which I must arrange to agree with yours'. The letter concludes: 'If you should happen to be near the Samaritan [Hospital] to-morrow afternoon, & could look in at 4 o'Clock, you would see me do ovariotomy'. From the distinguished autograph collection of the psychiatrist Richard Alfred Hunter (1923-1981), whose collection of 7000 works relating to psychiatry is now in Cambridge University Library. Hunter and his mother Ida Macalpine had a particular interest in the illness of King George III, and their book 'George III and the Mad Business' (1969) suggested the diagnosis of porphyria popularised by Alan Bennett in his play 'The Madness of George III'.