Friday, January 9, 2009

Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker

Old Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh

Random Thomas Sutherlands of Edinburgh of the relevant period.

1. Thomas Sutherland, Butcher
Reported in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine‎, 1818:
“At Edinburgh, in the 68th year of her age, Mrs Anne Sutherland, widow of Thomas Sutherland, late butcher in Edinburgh.” The post office directory lists TS sometimes as a butcher, sometimes as a flesher (same thing, but the latter sounds far more interesting) on a Charles Street throughout the early years of the nineteenth century.

2. Thomas Sutherland, Laborer
Thomas Sutherland (Newhaven) dies May 18, 1841, dies in Royal Infirmary from fever, age 28. No address or family noted.

3. Thomas Sutherland, Oenologist
I want to believe this one is TS (1772-1850); certainly his fondness for a well-stocked cellar is noted elsewhere.
“Thomas Sutherland was admitted into the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, January 6, 1827, on account of a wound by a piece of a broken wine bottle. The radial artery was implicated where it passes betwixt the metacarpal bones of the thumb and forefinger, to join the deep palmar arch. The vessel was tied on the proximal side of the opening, and it being found impossible to discover the other end, a piece of sponge was introduced into the wound. On the 11 th, bleeding occurred from the part of the vessel which had been tied. The wound was enlarged, and the artery tied above and below. The original wound then took to bleeding. It bled repeatedly, on the 14th, and again on the 15th. The hand had become swollen, and a quantity of matter had collected. An attempt was made, by cutting up the original wound, to expose and tie the bleeding vessel; but on account of the sloughy state of the parts the ligature would not keep its hold. The humeral was then tied by Sir George Ballingall, and there was no further trouble; the patient made a rapid recovery.”
-- Medico-chirurgical Transactions
, Medical and Chirurgical Society of London

4. Thomas Sutherland, Bibliophile
In 1824 a Thomas Sutherland of Edinburgh was one of the subscribers to the novel Adolphe and Selanie, or the Power of Attachment ; a Moral Tale, founded on Facts, written by Henri Leopold Dubois, who identified himself as a “Teacher of the French Language.” The subscription list is interesting for the notable presence of members of the Scottish legal establishment and other “professional worthies.” For those wondering what it meant to publish a novel by subscription, generally authors would pre-sell copies of their unpublished works in order to gain enough capital to publish them. The names of purchasers would be included, serving as a kind of endorsement. Of course, inclusion of names was at the discretion of the author, who might edit the lists in later editions in order to disassociate themself from public figures who had fallen out of favor.

Whether or not Sutherland enjoyed the novel is unknown—what is known is that a reviewer for The Edinburgh Magazine and Literary Miscellany panned it, describing “friends, whose lengthened visages but too plainly told their disappointment and chagrin for the utter loss of their seven shilling and sixpence (such is the price of the bagatelle) and the exertions they made to extract from the volume something like an equivalent for their time and their cash. But GULLED was too legibly imprinted on their foreheads.” (March 1825).

5. Thomas Sutherland, Soldier
A Thomas Sutherland, born in Edinburgh, served in the 75th Foot Regiment, also known as Abercromby's Highlanders, after their commander, Robert Abercromby of Tullibody. He survived to be discharged at age 43. His service record is covered by the years 1813-1838, and can be ordered.

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