In “Bacca B: John Beveridge and his Two Careers” Jean Barclay gives us a short biography of a well-known Dunfermline tobacconist and Town Councillor, who, in 1850, moved to Edinburgh and began a new career in an unusual profession.
In the next of his articles based on Alexander Stewart’s “Reminiscences of Dunfermline – Sixty Years Ago”, George Robertson describes the provision of pharmacy and medical care available in Dunfermline in the early years of the 19th Century. As you might imagine, they are very basic and seem to be based largely on traditional remedies. “Old Fashioned Pharmacy” indeed. Stewart himself notes by how much pharmacy and medical practice had improved even over his “60 Years”.
As we continue to cope with the current pandemic, it is interesting to learn how epidemics were managed in the past. In “Our Autumnal Remittent: Dr. John Steadman and the Influenza Epidemic of 1758“, Dr Jean Barclay recounts the life of one of the doctors involved in treating those affected by an outbreak of influenza, in the time between the identification of that disease and any real understanding of it’s causes.
In the latest of her articles on life in the 19th Century, “Cleaning Up Victorian Dunfermline“, Sue Mowat describes the truly filthy condition of the town in the 1850’s and pulls from the archives the story of how the authorities tried to prevent the return of cholera.