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Bell, John Pearson: Commonplace Book

  • Bell, John Pearson, MD, JP (1808-1886)
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


Commonplace scrapbook kept by John Pearson Bell [?and possibly other family members] over a period c.1826-1884, relating to public health in Hull and Glasgow as well as other medical and non-medical matters.

The numerous manuscript entries seem to be in a variety of different handwriting.

ff.1-3 The Criterion: A monthly review of politics, literature and society, Hull, 15 Aug 1877, with long article, including photograph, on Dr Bell

ff. 4-6, 9-10 "Arts and Sciences" - notes on various medical matters

ff. 6-7 University of Glasgow Regulations respecting degrees in medicine and surgery

f. 8 Coloured drawing of Nicotiana Tabacum, with notes

ff.10v-12 Phrenology

f. 12v-13 "Philosophy of the Mind" extracts from lectures by Dr Brown, Professor of Moral Philosophy, Edinburgh,

ff. 13v-16v Notes on various medical topics

ff.16v-26 Notes on Typhus

ff. 26v-28 "On Injuries, Diseases and Distortions of the Spine" by RA Stafford

ff. 28-29 "Plumbe on Diseases of the Skin"

ff. 29-30v "Sir Benjn. Brodie on the Treatment of Corns and Bunions"

ff. 30v-35v "The Physiology of Digestion"

ff. 36-38v Quotations, aphorisms, poems

ff. 38v -39v Notes on the heart

ff. 40-41 Account of operation for strabismus, 1840, with line drawings

f. 45 "Table (Dr Henry) shewing the quantity of solid extract in sixteen ounces of urine in Diabetes Mellitus"

ff. 46-47 Two line drawings illustrating "imperfect formation of foetus", 1845

ff. 48v-50 "Table of probabilities of human life" with notes

f. 51 Pencil drawing of a case of stricture of the oesophagus with perforation into bronchus, 1846

f. 52 Pencil drawing of polypus of uterus, 1945

f. 53 "Dr Burgess on Chronic Eczema of the Legs", Medical Gazette, 1849

f.54 "Red-hot process of producing artificial ice"

ff. 54v-55v, 58-59vOn Sponges

ff. 56-57 Geological layers

ff. 60-62v "On the Predisposing Causes of Epidemics" British and Foreign Medico-Chirurgical Review, 1853

f.63 "Method of treating Itch adopted in the Durham County Prison"

ff. 64-66 Pamphlet and notes on the "degradation of the Yorkshire coast", 1853

f. 67 Vaccination

f. 68 "On the acidity, sweetness and strength of wine, beer and spirits"

ff. 68v-69 Notes of water supply and climate

f. 69v List of court of directors of Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, 1855

ff. 70-71 Programme of Hill Microscopical Society Soiree, at which Bell presented specimens, 1858, and admission ticket

ff. 72v-99 Notes and documents, including correspondence, on personal and family matters, including material on the Fotherley and Bowlby families, ff. 78-93, Bell family pedigree, ff. 95-96

f. 100 cutting "Picture of the Bedale Hunt", 1879

f. 101v, 106 Cutting relating to breach of promise case

ff. 102-105 Items relating to the Grand Lodge Zetland Commemoration

f. 106v "Kitchingman's Stenography"

f.f. 107-114 Material on population and sanitation of Hull, including meteorological observations

f. 115 "Dr Crook's method of facilitating the recollection of numbers"

ff. 115v-116 Statistics

ff. 116v-117v Quotations and aphorisms, including List of suicides committed in London, 1770-1830

f. 117v Postal charges

f. 118 Lists of French and Latin terms used in English, with pronunciation and meaning

ff. 118v-121 Miscellaneous medical and sanitary matters

ff. 121v123v "Curious calculations" relating to the Bible, "Detraction displayed" by Amelia Opie, 1828 - extracts

f. 123v "Church reform"

ff. 124-126v Copy will of Dr Joseph Cook of Hull, 1835

f. 127 "Extract from the Cash list published list of Unclaimed Dividends"., 1844

ff. 127v-128 "Missionary societies", Dent's lecture 1837

ff. 128v- 130v Abercrombie on diseases of the stomach and intestinal inflammation

f. 131-132v University of Glasgow regulations for degrees in medicine and surgery, 1839

f. 133 "Results of Re-vaccination in the Deaf and Dumb Institution in Paris"

f. 134 "Corn Laws"

f. 134v "South Myton Soup Kitchen Formula 1846-7"

f. 135 "Forms of Bills, Notices etc" [Hull local matters]

ff. 135v-137 Forgery of signatures in Hull to the People's Charter, 1848

ff. 137v-194 Sanitary, medical and welfare matters in Hull, including Lying-In Charity and Female Penitentiary, and other local matters; ff. 171-172 are printed letter of application, with testimonials, by Richard Penrose Bell {JPB's brother], applying for post of Resident Medical Officer at York Dispensary, 1857

ff. 195-209 blank

f. 210 "Aneurism", with drawing and case history

ff 211-214 blank

f. 215 Cutting of report of "Dr Smith's Lectures on Air and Water"

f. 216 blank

f. 217 Cutting of report of paper by a Mr Stone on ventilation

f. 218 Pasted-in coloured diagram of head with blood vessels, with legend giving the names

f. 219 blank

f. 220 Note relating to a salver presented to Rev John Ellam, 1862

ff. 221-222 Cuttings relating to treatment of juvenile criminals

f. 223 Reprint of report from Hull Packet, 11 Nov 1853, of "Dinner of Mr Clark, CE" [William Clark, first surveyor and engineer to the Hull Board of Health]

f. 224 Past-in coloured diagram of blood vessels of the neck and jaw

ff 225-243 blank

Pasted inside back cover, cutting "Hints for correspondents"



Physical description

1 volume Volume, 20 x 33 cm, 243 leaves, missing front cover, back board and some pages detached, some staining, leather spine broken, with paper label "Common Place Book"

Acquisition note

Purchased from Blackwell Rare Books, Nov 2011

Biographical note

Born 8 Nov 1808 in Hull, son of John Fotherley Bell, a merchant and ship owner. After five years apprenticeship to a surgeon, he matriculated at the University of Glasgow, where he pursued his medical studies for three years, and then moved to London where he attended St Thomas's Medical School. Once qualified, in 1832, he returned to Hull and set up a practice in South Myton. In 1836 he married Louisa Bowdler. He became interested in issues of sanitation and public health, leading to the setting up of the Hull Board of Health and the promotion of sanitary improvements within the Borough. He was Honorary Senior Surgeon to the Hull Lying-In Charity, and also to the Hull and East Riding Penitentiary. He was also involved in a wide range of philanthropic activities and numerous local organisations in the area. He died in 1886.

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