Now! Then! A Yorkshire Almanac for 2024

25 June 1808: Dr Campbell, lodging above a chandler’s on Leeds Kirkgate, advertises the results of his treatment of anorexia, Napoleonic wounds, and all other known illnesses

Dr Campbell. 1808/06/25. Astonishing Facts. Leeds Mercury. Leeds. Get it:



Mrs Nicholson of Hunslet, having been reduced to the lowest state of helpless and enfeebled debility, by anorexia, haemorrhage, and rheumatic pains, is now able to come to Leeds market and follow her usual employment. The doctor cures a certain disorder in all its various stages, without mercurials. The strictest honour and secrecy may be depended on. He cures debility and impotency, and all disorders in the genital system. He cures all female obstructions and irregularities from puberty to a certain critical time of life. The doctor makes no charge for consultation, but if he judge a patient incurable, he candidly acknowledges he can be of no service. Patients who cannot personally attend, by sending a glass of their morning urine to the doctor’s apartments, may know the real state of their complaints, and receive proper medicines… The doctor treats all curable disorders of the eye, with wonderful success; and cures hardness of hearing of ever so long standing; wens, without cutting; asthmas; bilious and dropsical complaints; fistulas and piles; debility, impotency, female complaints; rheumatism, gout, etc. He never fails to cure old wounds, cancers, and evils; stone or gravel, scurvy, jaundice, agues, and fits of all sorts. The doctor will forfeit £500 if he has ever failed in curing 5,000 ruptures, and 10,000 rickety and watery-headed children. The doctor may be consulted from eight o’clock in the morning till nine at night, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and any other day of the week, from eight till ten in the morning, and from five till nine at night, at his apartments, at Mr Bagner’s, tallow chandler, next door to the Star Inn, Kirkgate, Leeds. N.B. There are 49 persons in Leeds, who have already experienced the happy effects of his medicines.

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The mention of anorexia (aka anorexy) is interesting. Scott Alexander:

Anorexia was mostly unknown in the West, until becoming “trendy” in the mid-1800s. During that period, doctors reported high prevalence of anorexia among “hysterics”, but the fad ended after about ten or twenty years, and it went back to being basically unknown.

Not sure about that. An ngram:

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Copy of a Letter to Dr. CAMPBELL, Leeds.

GRATITUDE for the Benefit I have received from your Medicines, obliges me to authorize you to make my Case Public, (if you please) for the Benefit of the Afflicted: having been 27 Years troubled with a Windy Rupture, which baffled many Doctors, and rendered my Life constantly miserable, I am happy to inform you, that I am now perfectly well; I left off my Truss when First I began to use your Medicines, and I hope I shall never need it again, as I have not felt any Appearance of my Complaint now for some Months, &c. &c.
Sir, I shall he happy to offer you all due Recommendation in this Neighbourhood.
Yours respectfully,

MRS. NICHOLSON, of Hunslet, having been reduced to the lowest State of helpless and enfeebled Debility, by Anorexia, Hemorrage, and Rheumatic Pains, is now able to come to Leeds Market and follow her usual Employment.

The Doctor’s Time here being limited to Twelve Months, the Afflicted are strongly requested to embrace the earliest Opportunity of consulting him, as he gives Advice to the real Poor gratis, and engages no Patient whom he judges incurable in that Time. With unbounded Satisfaction, the Doctor refers the Public to the neighbouring Newspapers, as well as to the several papers of the United Kingdom, which authenticate the numerous and extraordinary Cures which he has had the Pleasure to perform.

He cures a Certain Disorder in all its various Stages, without Mercurials. The strictest Honour and Secrecy may be depended on. He cures Debility and Impotency, and all Disorders in the genital System. He cures all female Obstructions and Irregularities from Puberty to a certain critical Time of Life.

The Doctor makes no Charge for Consultation, but if he judge a Patient incurable, he candidly acknowledges he can be of no Service.

Patients who cannot Personally attend, by sending a Glass of their Morning Urine to the Doctor’s Apartments, may know the real State of their Complaints, and receive proper Medicines-In this Case only, he requires One Shilling, to be paid to the Servant for the first Consultation.

The Doctor treats all curable Disorders of the Eye, with wonderful Success; and cures Hardness of hearing of ever so long standing; Wens, without cutting; Asthmas; Bilious and Dropsical Complaints; Fistulas and Piles; Debility, Impotency, Female Complaints; Rheumatism, Gout, &c. He never fails to cure old Wounds, Cancers, and Evils; Stone or Gravel, Scurvy, Jaundice, Agues, and Fits of all Sorts.

The Doctor will forfeit 500l. if he has ever failed in curing 5,000 Ruptures, and 10,000 Ricketty and Watery-headed Children.

The Doctor may be consulted from Eight o’Clock in the Morning till Nine at Night, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and any other Day of the Week, from Eight till Ten in the Morning, and from Five till Nine at Night, at his Apartments, at Mr. Bagner’s, Tallow Chandler, next door to the Star Inn, Kirkgate, Leeds.

N.B. There are 49 Persons in Leeds, who have already experienced the happy Effects of his Medicines.

544 words.


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