Yesterday I gathered books for display in the exhibit, chose pages to have the books open to, and wrote descriptions. Doesn’t sound like much but it took hours. I found that what I thought were letters between the two physicians involved in the “cane thrashing” as I like to refer to it, were actually pamphlets (more short books by today’s standards) that were published and distributed in the events leading up to the thrashing in 1793. There is one written by each physician, each accusing the other, blatantly, of being unprofessional. They are titled “Response to Dr Gregory” and “Answer to Dr Hamilton.” I found them rather funny, but you can sense the anger and frustration these two men had with each other even after 2+ centuries. I found it interesting, in an observation of human interactions sort of way, that the tone of “Response to Dr Gregory” is very much that the writer, Dr Hamilton, didn’t do anything wrong when along came Dr Gregory all fire and spite, accusing Hamilton and his father, the renowned Alexander Hamilton, of bad practice, while “Answer to Dr Hamilton” sounds annoyed and basically calls Hamilton a groveling loser. Later that same year Dr Gregory, the firebrand, thrashed Dr Gregory, the whiner, with his cane. Some things never change.
Anyway, here are a few pictures, since I don’t have much to say.
A nineteenth century physician. Nice chops!
Rare books. This one is open to an engraving John Kay made in the late 18th century.
Publishedhed 1720, by Dr Richard Meade, the first physician to own London’s famous Gold Headed Cane.
Beautiful Edinburgh, on my walk home